Have you heard that before? Tell me, can you spot where it’s wrong? It’ll be a good test of your Christian case-making muscles.
It wasn’t the tree of knowledge. The tree is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:9). It actually wasn’t that special.
What made it special is that it’s off-limits. That was the only command in the Garden of Eden.
…you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil…
Think about it, they had all they needed. Food for the picking, an ideal climate probably considering they were running around naked in a beautiful garden, and a deep, personal relationship with the Creator. Who cares about that tree when you have all that?
What About Knowledge?
They already had knowledge. Adam was a biologist. The moral law was written in their conscience already (Romans 2:14-16). They had the intellectual knowledge, but were innocent. That purity enabled them to have that relationship with God. Just obey one rule.
When they ate from the tree, they went from an intellectual knowing to experiential knowing what evil is. I’ll put it like this, when your mom tells you that something is hot, don’t touch it, and you do it anyway.
Before you knew it by trust, now you know it by experience. It wasn’t to keep them ignorant, but to keep them safe from the consequences. Like what your mom tried to do.
What Was So Bad About Eating From The Tree?
Look at what was behind the temptation used. What was the attitude and motive?
“For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
What is the Greatest Commandment? Love the Lord with all you got. What’s the first commandment in the Ten Commandments? You will not have any other gods beside me.
What did they just do?
They wanted to be like God. Remember when I said the problems of the world come from man worshiping his god, himself? Once pure and innocent, they broke the relationship they had with God by trying to be gods. If you read further in the chapter, you’ll see where despite that and the following consequences, God continued to care for them.
You can’t truly love unless it’s a choice.
Jesus was offered the whole world if only he bowed to Satan. Yet knowing the painful death that awaited him, he said, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”
This is God, of course growing in knowledge of Him shows you the truth. The truth by its nature is exclusive. St. Augustine wrote “Nay, but let every good and true Christian understand that wherever truth may be found, it belongs to his Master; and while he recognizes and acknowledges the truth, even in their religious literature, let him reject the figments of superstition, and let him grieve over and avoid men who, “when they knew God, glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” in On Christian Doctrine II.18.28.
Test the Truth
Do you want knowledge? Look at Jesus’ teachings likes this:
- What would happen if people did the opposite of what he instructed (consequences and culturally)?
- What would happen if it was followed by all?
Try to pull it apart. I dare you.