“And the LORD God commanded…Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat; But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Genesis 2: 16, 17, KJV)
I don’t remember ever hearing any teaching on these two Old Testament verses. If I did, it wasn’t much, nor did it sink in. And it doesn’t seem that any of my friends, family or acquaintances ever got the gist of what’s goin’ on here, in this very succinct instruction to the ‘man’ (Adam) in the ‘garden’ (Eden). At least as I’ve come to understand it.
Boiling it down, knowledge kills. Ouch.
“The words of the wise…are given from one shepherd (I think we’re talking about the Good Shepherd here, that is, Jesus). And by these, be admonished: of making many books, there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.” (Ecclesiastes 12: 11, 12, KJV))
Though a softer version of ‘knowledge kills’, still, a li’l bit of ouch! nonetheless…. According to these words of Old Testament Scripture, learning can become overkill. Seeking knowledge can become a drain on the system, fatiguing. I know I have at times found this to be true, as regards the reading & studying I do to prepare my articles for God, History and You. I imagine that most college and grad students would agree. So what am I saying here? Obviously learning cannot and should not be eliminated from society. There’s that whole ‘stay-in-school thing’, of which I am an adamant supporter. Pursue a career goal, get that college degree. Education is paramount; people need to be able to read. Illiteracy breeds criminal behavior. We can’t dispense with learning.
Let’s go back to the garden….
God is speaking with Adam in what must have been an astonishingly abundant, lush garden, newly created. According to the Bible, humankind began here. Besides being struck with wonder at this prospect, what blows me away about this section of Scripture is that some of the first recorded words that God spoke to man concern this issue of knowledge and death.
The LORD is warning his new creation not to partake of the fruit of knowledge…not just any ol’ knowledge, but the knowledge of good and evil. (And for the record, as per popular childhood myth, God did not tell Adam and/or Eve not to eat an apple. A person could go through their whole life believing God has something against apples. Really.) He was very clear on the consequences. of having learned about good and evil: “…thou shalt surely die.”
So, now what? Throw caution to the winds and abolish laws? Maintaining order in civilized society requires some kind of control, and differentiating between the right way and the wrong way goes a long way in establishing and preserving that order. Still, “…God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” (Genesis 3: 3, KJV) So, I’m goin’ with God. If He said such knowledge kills, then it kills.
Actually, I’m making this point to re-introduce the issue of slavery. Man was created free. Knowledge enslaved him. The human race became enslaved, brought into bondage to death in all its forms, through Adam and his wife gaining a certain type of knowledge, and spreading from there. It may seem oversimplified, but it isn’t. This is where it started.
And make no mistake, we all every one of us would’ve been just as tempted, and just as deceived. We would’ve taken that ‘bite’, too, lest you think that God is unfair. He is dealing with it now, getting it out of the way once and for all, in His way, in His time. Yes, it’s taking centuries, millennia…sorry about that. But when His plan of the ages is finally, ultimately and fully unveiled, we will see Jesus and you will know, that He has done it right.
Please join me when, in the near future, I elaborate on these thoughts, and tie in Thomas Jefferson as well.
Thank you for stopping by.