Monday, April 24, 2006

The fruit of the tree of the knowledge of Good and evil

Genesis 2:17
but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

Many times in the past I have thought about connection. I am speaking of connection in the context of my interaction with human just like me wherever I encounter them. We are essentially alone in our own consciousness except for God who knows us better than we know ourselves.

These contemplations are most often stirred by contact with people who I meet that I find very desirable. The frustration occurs when wisdom collides with emotion. The frustration is finding the closest vantage point on another’s soul with which to make camp and fellowship. I have included the verse above because it is at the root of my philosophy concerning human relationship. I know that in light of God’s Word that strong boundaries must be maintained in my friendships with people. I also know that God desires that we be transparent with our siblings through adoption into the family of God.

It is the knowledge of evil that keeps us at varying distances from every other person in our lives. Not only the knowledge that we have sinful and wicked thoughts but that everyone else does. We are well acquainted with shame and we hide. When the first man and woman were created they set into motion the entire human experience.

Genesis 3:6-21
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?"
10 He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."
11 And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"
12 The man said, "The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it."
13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?"
The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."
14 So the LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this,
"Cursed are you above all the livestock
and all the wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring [a] and hers;
he will crush [b] your head,
and you will strike his heel."
16 To the woman he said,
"I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing;
with pain you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you."
17 To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,'
"Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat of it
all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return."
20 Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.
21 The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." 23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

What a difference the knowledge of evil makes. We hide our own wickedness from those around us, we protect ourselves from the evil of others. We run from God when we should bear our souls to Him.

I write this because I am convinced that with Jesus we are given the ability to draw closer than we at first believe possible. In fact it is in drawing closer to Jesus that we find the capability to fellowship with our brothers and sisters.

1John 4:7-8
7Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son[b] into the world that we might live through him. 10This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for[c] our sins. 11Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
13We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19We love because he first loved us.

Jesus gives us the confidence to trust our new nature in Him.

1 John 3 20-22
20For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
21Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
22And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

Find believers around you who you can begin to be honest with. Friends who allow you to be genuine and will not ridicule you when you expose your weakness’. You will grow in this way.

5 comments:

  1. Billy - such a good word! Thanks for posting so much of God's Word ... it is always refreshing and reviving! I'm thankful to be a part of your church family with you! Once again, love your blog!

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  2. Hey thanks Lela we are blessed. It is humbling to have anything of value to say at all.Humbling because it is evidence that God loves and patiently teaches a fool child like me.

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  3. Ravi,
    Thanks for sharing your pondering and musings with us. I too am thankful to be part of a church family that for the most part, does life together. The realness is where growth really takes place and where God receives glory.
    Psalm 73: 25, 26.
    TD

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  4. very thought-provoking...
    very very.

    Thank you for sharing :)

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  5. Celebrate Recovery is the only place until recently I have been able to find the trust with other fellow Christians to open up and get real without the fear of ridicule. It is nice to be in a place where we are all admitting how messed up we are and that we all fall short and at the same time know that God loves us and pardons us abundantly!

    Thank you for sharing your heart Billy. It is refreshing to see you share like I have seen people share at CR. The more honest, real, non-judgemental and loving we are with one another the more we will grow in Christ as a family. Amen

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