Observations as I follow God through the Chronological Bible.
READ: Genesis 1:27- 2:25
According to the timeline in Genesis Chapter 2, God had not created the woman the first time God spoke to humanity. He told Adam, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die,” (Gen. 2:16-17, NIV).
We don’t have every detail of what transpired “in the beginning,” but I believe God gave us what we needed to know. We needed to know humanity is free. Adam had a choice.
I remember teaching material when I first entered Christianity showing a man standing at a crossroads. One road led to God. The other led to drugs, alcohol, etc. I thought the choice was God or wild living that led to an early grave. The choice God gave humanity is life or knowledge.
Of all the good things God created, he only named one “good” thing he did not want Adam to have. The ability to know good and evil without God’s guidance and influence. After Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge, they knew they were naked. When they knew they were naked without God telling them, God knew they had eaten of the forbidden tree before Adam and Eve confessed what they had done.
We also needed to know where there is freedom there are consequences. We are free to choose but we are not free from the consequences of our choices. God wasn’t trying to keep Adam ignorant. He would have taught humanity what they needed to know when they were mature enough to receive it. He wanted to keep humanity alive.
Law, the knowledge of right (good) and wrong (evil), is holy, righteous and good (Rom 7:9-12). But if anyone knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, they sin (James 4:17). And the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:6).
Here are more reasons God warned Adam about the tree of knowledge:
“For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief” (Eccles 1:18).
Knowledge makes us proud (1 Cor. 8:1).
Love is not proud (1 Cor. 13:4).
If we possessed all knowledge but do not have love we gain nothing (1 Cor. 13:3, NIV). Without love you will destroy yourself and everyone around you with your knowledge.
I believe God put the tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden because God is good. And he will not withhold any good thing from us (Ps 34:10, 84:11). Everything God created is good, but everything is not good for us. Knowledge is good, but it is also a power that can destroy us. When Adam ignored God’s warning about the consequences of knowledge, Adam had no one to blame but himself for the pain that followed.