SIN, DEATH AND KNOWLEDGE
Lord, we see how sin ruins things.
Read GENESIS 3:1–13
3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“If while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by his life” (Rom 5:10, NASB).
Is the serpent correct? In some ways, he is. Eating from the tree gives the couple knowledge – that they are naked, for instance. You will undoubtedly know that the Bible uses the word “know” for a man and a woman coming together, but the word “know” is not just a euphemism for sex; it often has the sense of an intimate knowledge. It is this intimate, experiential knowledge of good and evil that Adam and Eve now have. They were never intended to have such first-hand knowledge of evil, which humans obtain only by doing evil. It was better that they knew only good. But now that they have the knowledge of evil as well, they have lost some of the knowledge of good; they hide themselves in the garden from Ultimate Goodness.
Is God correct (2:17)? Adam and Eve have not dropped dead on the spot, but they have died in some ways. To be unable to face God is a kind of death, and one we cannot fully comprehend because we have never had the experience of meeting God face to face. There is also a death to their innocence and emotional tranquility (they need to hide themselves). They have died metaphorically on the spot in away that we cannot fully understand. In time, of course, Adam and Eve will die physically.
There is one thing that God did not say but was nevertheless eminently true: “On the day that you eat from the tree, I will surely die”. For it was when humans disobeyed that the cross became a necessity. Christ had to suffer and die to reconcile the world back to himself. Death came to that beautiful garden of life in a way that even Adam and Eve could not have known.
Try to imagine a world devoid of rebellion against God. Isn’t it rather difficult?
Father, forgive us our trespasses. Thank You that we can approach You through Your beloved Son and that His work on the cross has brought us forgiveness and reconciliation.