How could it be a bad thing to eat a fruit that would give you great knowledge or the promise of wisdom?
It is not knowledge or wisdom that is bad in itself. The problem is the desire to use knowledge to negate our dependence on God. The idea that knowledge will serve us better. The idea that knowledge will offer independence from the chains of faith, that is the issue.
It’s not always so easy to see why chasing knowledge could ever be a bad thing.
We might be intelligent and resourceful, we human beings, but there is a limit to our individual ability to understand everything that governs our lives. A little knowledge can be intoxicating. As we begin to learn about the world we quickly believe we know it all! Then as we learn a little more, we realise how much there is to know and faced with this realisation can fall victim to dejection and self pity. The more you learn, the more you realise how little you know! Knowledge on its own rarely brings love and reassurance with it. More often it brings more questions than answers, more uncertainty. Knowledge on its own brings more fear than joy. But knowledge that allows plenty of room for God to fill in the blanks is a real gift.
Genesis 3:1-7 NLT
The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’” “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. At that moment So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.
Knowledge won’t kill you. But it is powerful and needs to be respected. It can bring fear, shame and disappointment. But handled well it can produce great wisdom. God wants us to handle our knowledge well. We have had our “eyes opened”, knowledge is available.
My goal is to use what I have learned for God’s service, in the hope that, through seeking knowledge of his will, wisdom might be my reward.
Genesis 3:1-4:26, Matthew 2:13-3:6, Psalms 2:1-12, Proverbs 1:7-9