If God knew all (was omniscient) when he created the earth then why was he surprised at what Adam and Eve did? He should have not been so idealistic if he knew ahead of time that his first two creations were not going to hold his plan.


This is really an excellent question.  Biblical theology has God an omniscient being.  In other words he knows everything.  God is not limited by time, therefore he knows past present and future.  God literally knows everything.  According to human reasoning, then, it is impossible for God to be surprised.  The omniscience of God seems to call into question the very idea of free will.  If God already knows whether I will choose to submit to him or to rebel and be lost, in what sense, then, do I have free will?  God already knows what I will do, so the idea that he is giving me the ability to choose seems to not make sense.

This same kind of question seems to hold with your example.  One gets the idea that God created Adam and Eve with the full intention that they would obey his command and not eat of the forbidden fruit.  It seems that they thwarted his plan, violated his soveriegn will and "surprised" him when Eve chose to disobey God, along with her husband, and ate the fruit.

I will have to agree that from the perspective of human reasoning, this does seem logical (or illogical, depending on what one means).  My response is that with our limited perspective, we cannot understand God’s view of things.  We are living in Flatland, while God lives in a 3-dimensional world (to use an analogy from the interesting book titled Flatland).  How is it that we can have free will, yet God already knows the result?  This is a mystery that probably cannot be solved from our limited perspective.   By faith, we understand that what God says in Genesis and throughout the Bible is true.  God created his children with a fundamental choice.  We are not machines living in a deterministic world.  God, in his wisdom and because of his love for us, created people with the ability to choose to do evil or to do good.  God loves us and respects us so much that he gives us the freedom to chart our own path, even if it means rebellion against our creator.  I suppose one could argue that this is a sign of weakness rather than strength in God, but I disagree.  It is a sign of his wonderful creative power and love.  Maybe you are right.  Maybe God should have stacked the deck, essentially taking away our ability to choose.  What an awesome responsibility he has given us.  However, I believe in my heart that this is what love does.  Love gives freedom.  Love gives a choice.  Love is willing to let go.  Was God disappointed Adam and Eve chose to disobey?  Absolutely.  Genesis 6:5-6 shows the deep emotion of pain God feels when we sin.  Yet, in his awesome greatness, he created us "in his image."  There are aspects of this creation which boggle my mind, including the one you bring up.  However, all I can do as a limited human being is marvel at the fact that we are "fearfully and wonderfully made." (Pslam 139:14)

John Oakes

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