January 2nd - Knowledge of Good and Evil
Reading: Genesis 3:1-13, 22-24
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.
He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.
8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
20 The man called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. 21 And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.
22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24 He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.
I have always wondered why God only gave instructions to not eat from the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The tree of life was also there which we later see that guards were put around it so that they wouldn't eat of its fruit because they would live forever. But isn't it interesting that those guards were placed there, not before, but after they ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil?
I also find it interesting that God said in verse 22, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil." I wonder why so much emphasis on this...
Personally, I think this is the primary reason as to why we have the problems we are having now in the world. The main conflict around the world is that we are fighting for what we believe is good and evil. But the greater conflict is what exactly each and everyone of us consider good and evil. When it comes to our knowledge of good and evil, we see things through a filtered lens--societal, cultural, etc. I wonder if this is the reason why God wanted man to stay away from that tree--because of our inability to properly choose good or evil?
Immediately after Adam and Eve ate of the fruit we see three negative impacts--shame, fear, pride.
First - Shame --> After they had eaten from the tree (v7) "the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths." The reason why I think this is the first visible negative impact of the fruit is because when the man and woman was first made, in Genesis 2:25, it says that they were naked and unashamed. But in contrast, now you see that they wanted to cover their nakedness. Of course I could be wrong, but in my mind I feel like they were embarrassed that all their "flaws" were now visible--thus feeling shame.
Second - Fear --> After covering themselves (v8) "they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden." Clearly there's no need of hiding unless they were afraid. But the crazy thing is that this isn't the first time God walked through the garden. God and Adam have been maintaining a close relationship to one another since Adam's creation, so God's presence is no foreign thing, but for some reason, now when God was walking through the garden, they hid themselves from Him. In verse 10 Adam tells God, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.”
Third - Pride --> I consider "pride" to be the third visible negative effect because the humble road would have been to apologize to God, but instead the blame game started. After God asks Adam if he had eaten from the tree that He said not to eat from, Adam responds saying, (v12) “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” Adam could have simply said "Yes, please forgive me and my wife." But he automatically went into defensive mode and then Eve went and did the same, blaming the serpent.
The beauty of this, however, is that we see God properly cover them. I believe it's an image of what is to come later. Adam and Eve tried to cover themselves, but clearly it wasn't enough. So God came and gave them a proper covering. I kind of see this as man's effort to try to cover up their wrongs, but God, in the end, has to come and properly correct the wrong that we have committed. This process of redemption after questioning....I wonder if this is how it's going to be when Jesus comes back?