I love history! I love to find out how different cultures existed in ancient times. I enjoy reading about past great leaders and how they changed the world. I love biology. I think it is so cool to see how living things work. I have always had a love of human anatomy with all the intricacies and inter workings of the body. I love poetry. I love literature and ancient texts. I think they are a window to that particular time in history. Oh and art...I really love art and photography. Really you could say that I love knowledge! I am an information junkie. The more the merrier. To some that that would sound so un-spiritual even carnal. But the thought that God did not want His created to have knowledge is misguided. He is the one that created our brains with the capacities for such things. We did not gain these things from the devil and his tree of knowledge.
There is no good knowledge that we gained from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The only knowledge that we gained was the knowledge that the devil existed. The tree was simply a publicity stunt of the devil to peddle his falsehoods. The devil made it sound as though we would gain some hidden mystery of the universe or wisdom greater than God. All we gained was lies, disappointment, destruction and death.
How did we ever get the idea that an omniscient God created us in his image but lacking in knowledge. That doesn't make much sense does it. Moreover why would God give dominion over the entire earth to a total idiot? Simple answer. He didn't. He created our intellect. He created it so that we would use it. We were not created as a little pet for the Almighty. We are not suppose to be mice running around a little maze trying to figure out if the red button means food or electrocution. All while God is sitting in heaven having a good belly laugh because we can't figure out it is the green button not the red. God created us with an intricate, intellectual brain capable of making decisions, learning new things and problem solving. He made us in the image of His mind so that we could have a personal relationship with a omniscient God. So that we would live in the fullness of His wisdom and have understanding.
Before we go further I want to give four definitions so we will all be on the same page.
KNOWLEDGE---awareness or information from study or experience.
WISDOM---ability to make sound judgements; insight; extensive or accumulated body of knowledge.
UNDERSTANDING---comprehension, reconciliation of differences; compassionate.
CONFUSION---unable to think with clarity or understanding; disorder, bewilderment, embarrassed.
So let's start at the top. God created us with a wealth of knowledge. He did this in part so that we might take dominion of the earth that He also created. Now right off the bat I think that it is safe to assume that God the Creator knows best about His creation...man and all that is in it. Let's not forget the celestial either. God created all the angels and where they reside. Angels includes the devil and all his helpers. More on that in a bit.
In Genesis chapter 2 it tells of Adam naming all the animals and birds that God had created. It tells of Adam tending and working the garden. So here is Adam already on his path to being a zoologist, botanist, ecologist and environmentalist. When God created Eve he told them to be fruitful and multiply. Sex Education 101. Adam and Eve didn't learn about sex from the devil. God gave this command before the eating of the fruit. How would man have known how to multiply if God hadn't told them so? I believe they engaged in sex long before the fall. Why wouldn't have they?
I have heard people say that Adam and Eve didn't get a fair shake because they never had a childhood. That they didn't get to "experience" things. First of all they got to "experience" the actual presence and fullness of the Creator God and all His wisdom. Second it would not be wise for God to give dominion of the earth to a child. Which further makes the point that we were not created with lack of knowledge. Third there is NOTHING that you can experience outside the fullness of God that is truly fulfilling. The notion that you can is a lie from the devil. A lie that has ruined countless lives or has plunged people into deep deception. Moving on...
After Eve is created Adam says "this is bone of my bone; flesh of my flesh..." Gen. 2:23. Sounds like Adam has some understanding of the body and how it works doesn't it? They had an understanding of relationship with God and each other. They had an understanding of physical beauty all around them. They ate and tasted good food, they smelled sweet fragrances. They saw colors and patterns. They could feel textures of plants and animals. They could hear and distinguish voices and sounds. This was all done with comprehension and understanding; not with instinct like the animals.
So here we have Adam and Eve prior to the fall. For all intents and purposes they had the makings of zoologists, ornithologists, botanists, ecologists, environmentalists, biologists, horticulturalists, and sociologists. They must have had tools for working the garden. They must have had some place to sleep and keep dry. It was your quintessential educational, vegetarian, nudist colony. It was a perfect, intimate and full of life. They had a God given understanding of themselves, creation and how to be good stewards of both. True Bliss. Really we don't know how long this lasted before the devil showed up; the bible doesn't say. Ah yes! We forgot about the devil and how he ruins everything.
The devil and his incurable pride was jealous of man. So he set a trap in the garden to snatch Adam and Eve from their intimacy with God and each other. (More on this here.) The tree of the knowledge of good and evil was simply a publicity stunt of the devil to show that he existed. Moreover that he knew better than God and that God was hiding knowledge from them. The father of all lies. There was no good knowledge in this tree. The only reason it was called the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" was so that there would be a comparison for understanding. Think about it. If God had just called it the "tree of the knowledge of evil" Adam and Eve would have had no clue what evil was. At this point there was no evil, destruction or death. But because God does not hide things; He named in a way that man would understand. He had to make a comparison between good and evil even though the tree was only evil.
Matthew 7:18-20 "A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them."
So there we have the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The devil's big, gaudy billboard announcing his "more knowledgeable" existence. A fruit of lies, deception, confusion, pride, unrighteousness, falsehood and death. But what of the other significant tree in the garden? The tree of life. It doesn't say much in Genesis about this tree. Except that after the fall God does not want Adam and Eve to eat of the tree and live forever. Meaning that if they eat of the tree of life in their sinful state that would mean eternal separation from God; just like the devil. So God had to protect the tree of life until after Jesus had paid our debt. Now the tree of life is available to all who believe.(Rev. 22:14) But what else does the bible say of this tree?
Proverbs 3:18 "She [wisdom] is a tree of life to those who embrace her;those who lay hold of her will be blessed."
Proverbs 11:30 "The fruit of righteousness is a tree of life..."
Proverbs 13:12 "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life."
Proverbs 15:4 "The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit."
So there we have two very different trees. While in the garden God only warns not to eat of the devil's tree. But spirit of pride entered the heart of Eve and she believed the devil over God. Adam was only moments behind. They both choose the useless knowledge of the devil over the wisdom of God. Knowledge was never a problem. It was never that God didn't want us to have knowledge. But it is how that knowledge is given and in what spirit. God seeks fulfillment and understanding for us. The devil seeks destruction. We must filter knowledge through a humble God fearing heart. Not through the prideful heart which Satan gives such grand example of. Take a look at this graph. This will be our guide as we move on.
Click here for Part Two.