Knowledge of Good and Evil (Part 3)
The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. 9 And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil . . . 15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 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.” Genesis 2:8-9, 15-17 NKJV
Life is all about choice and consequences (Deut. 30:19-20). We make choices in every way that involves living, and all choices have corresponding consequences. We “eat of the trees in the middle of the Garden” through the choices we make, and God holds us responsible for our choices and releases us to the consequences.
Responsibility gives us a sense of dignity. Dignity is the state of being esteemed or honored. Our responsibility of taking personal responsibility for the choices we make is God’s way of esteeming and honoring us, as He did with Adam. For example, Adam’s first responsibility given by God was to work (esteem); and, his second responsibility was to obey (honor) (see scripture text above). God has always dignified man, as a living being, by making man responsible for his choices (Gal. 6:7-8).
As a living being—created in God’s image and likeness—man has freewill to choose rightly or wrongly. Just like the father of the prodigal son didn’t argue his younger son’s errant choice, it is also true that God will not argue our choices (see the story of the prodigal son Luke 15:11-18). God is omniscient, all knowing, and all right—and right all the time. He sees the end before the beginning and releases us to the consequences of our choices to, hopefully, help us make better choices in the future. Bad irresponsible choices are the result of eating at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
When Adam and Eve became irresponsible by disobeying God’s command, God didn’t argue their choices. He released them to the consequences of their choices (Gen. 3:7-10). Like God, don’t argue people’s choices. Don’t spend a lot of energy and subject yourself to a great deal of stress trying to get them to re-evaluate their choices. People do what they want to do because they can! Just remind them that when they eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil by not making decision according to God’s Word—tell them–God has an unbeatable system. “The dice of God is loaded” (Emerson). It always rolls in God’s favor!