“And you shall be like God, knowing good and evil.” Innocence is lost. Sinlessness is lost. Now, with the fruit from the fatal tree, man must decide to follow good or evil. And for his trouble, he will die in his sin. Is knowing good and evil all it’s cracked up to be? Are we really better off that we know what is good, or even evil? What price have we paid for the knowledge of evil? Is it worth it?
We may tell ourselves that evil is easy to recognize. Plague, war, genocide, anti-semitism, Nazism, bigotry, murder all claim some degree of evil and revulsion. And certainly many top personal lists. But the Bible includes other areas we might not think of:
“lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness although they have denied its power.” (2 Timothy 3:2-5)
It would seem evil is a bit more subtle than we imagined. I can think of times I’ve been reckless, even ungrateful, yet God considers each of these signs of evil. Why is God’s sense of good and evil so refined? Because God defines evil by what He is not. God is good. (Ps 7, 48, 54, etc.) He is righteous. God is the standard of good, and what is not God is evil.
When Adam ate the fruit from the tree, he committed the equivalent of opening Pandora’s Box. He opened a door that cannot be closed. We cannot go back, this side of Heaven, to ignorance of evil. It was the very act of eating the fruit that opened Adam’s eyes to evil, since this was exactly what God told him not to do.
Everyone remembers the first time they did something they weren’t supposed to do, whether it was not to eat a cookie from the cookie jar, or run out into the street. I remember because my parents very loudly and sharply slapped my hand and told me NO. But it wasn’t just the sting of their words, but the sting of my conscience. I had violated it and did what I knew was wrong. There was no going back.
But there is hope. For there is one called Jesus, by whose standard all are judged. His blood paid for all of our sins, both past, present and even the future. This is grace. The judgment seat of Christ is passed by a simple task, put your faith in Him. If you will commit your life to Jesus, you will find all the evil can be put back into the box. You are not condemned to follow the path of your temptations. You are free to live without have to serve Sin as a slave.
All will bow at the feet of Jesus, but as a follower of Christ, you can do so without fear. You conscience can be healed, even if its “seared with a hot iron” because the salve of the Holy Spirit can heal such burns.