The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." Genesis 2:15-17
I have read the Genesis creation account many times. Recently, this forbidden fruit has been giving me fits. It's such a strange name for a tree… 'the tree of the knowledge of good and evil'… I kept having this nagging thought - 'what's so bad about having knowledge of good and evil?' After all, isn't it good to know what you should stay away from? So why is the knowledge of good and evil a bad thing? Furthermore, why have I never stopped to think about the name of this tree in the past? Scripture can be such a strange and wonderful thing when you dig into it.
I started thinking about this tree from the perspective that we all have the capacity to engage in great evil. Yet we also have a sense of how good we could be. And perhaps the answer to the mystery of this forbidden fruit lies in that gap between the "good" we want to be and the reality of who we are. I would say this gap is the source of guilt, frustration, discontentment, yearning, etc. Who we are is not who we think we should be. Said another way, real is not ideal. Yet this comparison and frustration could not exist without the knowledge of good and evil. Prior to eating the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve were free. They were more free than we have ever been. The introduction of the knowledge of good and evil was the death of this freedom. Look at the shame and guilt that immediately followed. Adam and Eve were ashamed of their nakedness. They made clothes and hid from God. Maybe there is a lot of truth to the old saying "ignorance is bliss". It seems there are certain things God never intended us to know.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject.
Have a great week and a great fast.
3 years ago