The tree that God forbade them to eat from was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. I’ve always wondered about that. Did they not know the difference between what was good and what was bad? Was it because everything was good in their world?
Except the tempter, of course.
I’ve wondered if it might be the knowledge — the ability to determine — what was “good” or “evil” for themselves instead of relying on God to make that determination for them.
When I look at Jesus, I don’t see Him making choices that an everyday man would have made. Or an everyday woman. I don’t see Him “looking out for Number One.” He didn’t do the things that would have, for example, furthered His “career” as Israel’s foremost prophet.
And He didn’t turn the loaves and fishes into KFC family meals complete with hushpuppies. Or chocolate.
He only did and said what His Father told Him. And for a time, I think it was that way in the Garden, too. Adam and Eve listened to God and did whatever He told them to do. And it was good.
But then that pesky serpent showed up and opened Eve’s eyes to the seductive world of self-determination. If she would just eat the fruit, she would be able to decide what was good or not for herself. She wouldn’t have to rely on Someone Else to decide what was best for her, Someone Who might really not have her best interests at heart. Who would know what was best for her any better than she herself?
And with that bite, I think her eyes were opened to the idea that she was the best judge of what was good and evil for HER. Not God. Not her Creator. Not the Lover of her soul. Not the One with infinite knowledge, not just of her but of all of her circumstance. But herself, with her limited and now-flawed judgement. She should be the one to say what was good and evil for her. What was right, and what was best.
And that’s where I find myself. Instead of doing and saying only what my Father tells me, as Jesus did, I calculate and scheme and determine for myself what will be best. My decisions are so often evidence that I, too, have eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil rather than relying on the goodness and grace of the One Who knows me best and still loves me.
This week my desire is to turn to Him instead of the tree. For the food that I eat and the words that I say and the things that I do to be in direct response to Him.
Is there evidence of that tree in your life?