Journey to Jerusalem Day 5
Sunday, March 1 Genesis 2:4-9, 15-17
4 These are the generations
of the heavens and the earth when they were created,
in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.
5 When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, 6 and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground—7 then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. 8 And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Loss of innocence. Can you remember when and how you lost yours? Your life has never been the same, has it? Something precious was gone. You might say that something died inside of you. That is what the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was really about… innocence.
Consider this. The world that God created was a good world in every way. It was perfectly fit for Adam. Adam was perfectly fit for it. Goodness was all Adam had ever known. It should have been more than enough.
But, in the garden there was a tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The word “knowledge” is important here. In Hebrew, “knowing” is more than understanding information. Rather, knowledge involves experiencing the reality of something. Knowledge is interactive, intimate. Famously, Adam “knew” his wife Eve and she became pregnant.
The fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, therefore, was not abstract information. No, the fruit of the tree was firsthand, personal experience. This tree offered the experience of evil, or the loss of innocence. And God said, “Don’t do it. It is deadly.” In prohibiting Adam from eating the fruit of this tree, God was not tempting him. God was protecting him.
Human beings are well served by God’s boundaries. When we trespass into forbidden areas, we do not know what the consequences will be. Like the tree in the garden, the fruit of evil is always outwardly appealing. In Eve’s eyes, the “fruit of the tree was good…” (Genesis 3:6). But such is the deception of evil. It looks good until it kills something inside of us.
Obedience to God. It really is a matter of life and death.
Thank you, Father, that you love us enough to give us boundaries. Amen.