Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7

So often in Sunday School the lesson of The Fall seems to be one of warning about disobedience, and of course that makes sense.  However, I also find myself struck by another aspect of the story: whether we were supposed to have done so or not, one bit of fallout from Adam and Eve having eaten of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge is that we in fact now have the knowledge of good and evil (which some take to mean “knowledge of all things”).

It’s not like God took it away from humanity after God got upset at us.  In fact, as it’s recorded later in Genesis 3: “Then the Lord God said, ‘See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever.’”  God banished humanity from the Garden, yes, but did not subsequently remove from us knowledge of good and evil.

So what’s the consequence of that?  We need to live our lives in full awareness that we actually have the knowledge gained in the garden—which is to say, that we actually have the capacity for knowledge and judgment, which are the essentials of wisdom—and equipping ourselves to exercise that wisdom.  It might be said that having gained knowledge, it would be sin built on sin if we pretended not to have it.  So we must study, and pray, and always strive to the good.

Eric Johnson