Knowledge of Good and Evil

This week, I am back at the beginning, the creation story in Genesis.  First, we have God, in the persons of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Then, we have mankind represented in Adam and Eve.  And, third, we have Satan, represented by the serpent.

Genesis 1:26 says “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” (ESV).   I believe “Our” refers to the persons of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Genesis states that mankind was created in the image and likeness of the Trinity, but with one exception.  The only exception was that mankind was not to have the knowledge of good and evil.  God had left mankind with a choice, either choose the knowledge of good and evil, or choose eternal community with God.  Deceived by Satan in the form of the serpent, mankind chose the knowledge of good and evil over eternal community with the Trinity.

For today, I focus on the one characteristic of the Trinity that the Father did not wish mankind to have, the knowledge of good and evil.  God had created mankind exactly in the image of the Trinity, but with the only exception being the knowledge of good and evil.   This teaches us something about God’s character.  Essential to God’s character is the knowledge of good and evil.  The original struggle in the Garden of Eden is not about God’s sovereignty, God’s justice, God’s mercy, or God’s grace.  The original struggle is over the knowledge of good and evil.   All the other themes in the Bible come after that, but the original struggle is over this specific knowledge.

This tells us something about the character of God.  Essential to the character of the Trinity is the knowledge of good and evil.   In this struggle, God  is inherently good, and Satan is inherently evil.  Everything else in history starts with this dividing line between good and evil.

We also know that God had given mankind a choice, one tree or the other, but not both.  The road to eternal life would have been much simpler if mankind had eaten of the other tree, but mankind would have never gained the knowledge of good and evil.  The possibility of full completeness of the tree of life together with the knowledge of good and evil came later, when God the Father sent God the Son in human form on Earth in order to die, be buried, and raise again.  Only then was a way made so that mankind could eat of both trees.

One of those questions that does not matter, but is interesting to me is “What if mankind had eaten first of the tree of life?”  Apparently, we would have experienced eternal community with God, but we would never have had the knowledge of good and evil.  Without this knowledge, we would not truly be in the exact image and likeness of the Trinity.  Only through the Son’s death on the cross could we eat of both trees, and become completely in the image and likeness of God.

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About Allen Krell

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