October 16, 2015
READ: Genesis 2:15â€“3:19
“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” (3:4-5).
I teach for a living, so it may surprise you that I write these words: not all knowledge is good. There are some things that are better not to know. Take scientist Ron Fouchier, who developed a strain of the bird flu that could kill 60 percent of the humans it infected. His research was set to be published before the American government stepped in. Do we really want to give terrorists the recipe for killing us? Fouchier said he simply wanted to see what was possible.
Hmm. That sounds a lot like what got humans in trouble in the first place.
God warned Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They had already experienced the good that enveloped them as they thrived in God’s world. Now Eve reasoned that what she would gain from eating the forbidden fruit would be even better. The serpent told her, “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” (Genesis 3:5).
Adam and Eve’s wrong choice led to the curse of sin cramming into every crevice of creation. Humans would now die, the first one at the hands of his brother. Lions devoured zebras for lunch. Even the soil was infected by sin (v.17). In a feedback loop from hell, humanity’s constant contact with evil increased our knowledge of it, which enabled us to devise more heinous ways to inflict it upon others.
We can’t avoid all knowledge of evil, but we can avoid the knowledge of all evil. As Paul wrote, “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable”—the good things God has provided (Philippians 4:8). By His strength, let’s pursue the beauty and good found in and through Him.
365-day-plan: Acts 7:1-29
Read Psalm 101:1-8 to learn where to look and where not to look.
What evil do you wish you didn’t know? Give this knowledge to Jesus. Ask Him to cleanse and heal your mind. How will you fix your eyes and mind on what is good today?