The Biblical story of the Tree of Knowledge and its forbidden fruit has us wondering and confused until today. What was forbidden and what has disobeying orders done to us? Infinite knowledge or Omniscience was what others believe the tree would give to those who ate its forbidden fruit. Very clearly it was not what happened to both Adam and Eve. What was certain was that their disobedience earned for both of them the displeasure of God. Many scholars hold the belief that the Tree of Knowledge is about the knowledge of good and evil. Strange that it is the one thing that God would not want Man to be in a possession of.
God is all-knowing as He is all-good. He would not forbid Man to have something that would do him good. In the religious context, God created Man to His image. He had wanted men to be His children to share His kingdom with. Like a Parent to His children He had wanted only the best for them. Before the fall of Man from His grace, He was protective of them. Knowing that Man is fallible and innocent to the ways of evil, God specifically forbade Man from eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. The temptation was too great to resist for the weak Adam and Eve.
The price mankind had to pay was banishment from Eden and a hard life on earth away from the Father’s kingdom. It does make sense, therefore, that God would not allow Man the taste of the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. Giving in to the temptation of evil is disobedience of the will of God. That already is the triumph of evil. Once Man has seen and given in to evil what is it that will prevent Man from doing more and more evil? Evil is very tempting, irresistible and pleasurable. No one person will deny himself of these things if these come to him easy.
These were offered free by Satan to Eve and even to Jesus when He became Man. On the other hand, to be on the side of good can be very difficult. It takes a strong will to choose good over evil. When God gave Man the freedom to take for himself all the trees in paradise save for the Tree of Knowledge, Man still opted for the forbidden. Doing the right thing all the time is a challenge many are not up to. God made Man to His likeness, including His goodness. God is perfect, Man is not. Man does not have what it takes to be as good as God is always good.
It is justified then, that the knowledge of good and evil be forbidden to Man. Man can not handle the forces of evil and the awesome challenge of goodness. Man is neither wise enough to reject evil, nor is he strong enough stay on the side of good forever. God would have wanted Man to have access to the knowledge of good and evil, but in His time. The timing and the plan were preempted by Man’s own deed when he was most vulnerable and ill prepared. From the time of Adam and Eve’s fall up to this day, good and evil has stayed with mankind. Man is never able to take one and leave the other.
Aside from the knowledge of good and evil, there are other knowledge that are risky for man to have. One of them is carnal knowledge. God created Man and Woman so that they will procreate. In order for them to do so, they will need to be intimate. Procreation is the pure and beautiful reason to engage in sexual intimacy. Time came when this act had been used to destroy one’s person and that of another. Some behave no better than the lower form of animals on how they treat the sexual act. Sex became a means for pleasure, for material gain, and for power over another.
When knowledge becomes destructive instead of bringing out the positive in an individual, then it becomes a risk to have. Another knowledge that people have and use in the wrong way is the power of science. Scientists are intellectually gifted that they are able to probe and explain scientific phenomena, came up marvelous inventions which make life easier today than it was yesterday. Their untiring research has produced cures for maladies that made life unbearable and short for those afflicted. These geniuses often claim sole credit for their triumphs instead of acknowledging the greater force and guiding hand of the Almighty.
Worst, yet, are those who use their skills to destroy, to kill and to give and take evil. These are those who invented and continuously work to produce weapons of mass destructions, drugs that kill or abort life, and chemicals that are more toxic and than they are safe. Knowledge that is partly or wholly harmful is a risk for Man to have. Technology has done our lives exceptional good with the advent of computers, especially along the areas of communications, transportation, commerce, entertainment, science, education and government.
It had shrunk the world and getting in touch with people no matter where in the world, is made easier. Technology evolves on a rapid fire basis. What is new today is obsolete tomorrow. Advances in technology had greatly eased the ways we do things. Knowledge in Technology has its dark side. Not all computer experts have all the good in mind. Along with the benefits that computer technology brings, there are also those problems that unscrupulous people of the industry bring the users. There is a proliferation of hackers and all sorts of cyber criminals.
While thankful for all the good technology has brought our lives, we do not rest easy with all the threats lurking in our cyber world. Man does not a have a monopoly of all the best intentions even in this promising discovery of our times. Knowledge in running a government happens to be a privilege of the few. Great leaders have led their nations to prosperity and others have brought trouble to theirs. Men who swore to do justice to everyman and lived by their oath can truly be said to be God’s gift to mankind.
They brought glory not to themselves but to those whom they serve, God and their people. Sadly, in the course of history of the world, many nations suffered and continue to suffer because of the evil misrule of tyrants and despots. Their abuse of their powers have brought misery to countless. These are the two sides of the Knowledge in governance. All knowledge have their good and evil. It is the choices that Man makes in their pursuit and practice of them that make such knowledge one of good or one of evil, just like the choice made by Adam and Eve.
Works Cited Callahan, Thomas J. “Seeing Good and Evil. ” 4 November 1998. Christian Century. BNet Business Network. 4 October 2008. http://findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_m1058/is_1998_Nov_4 Dyer, Allen. “The Knowledge of Good and Evil. ” 22 August 2003. Keynote Address at the Royal Australia New Zealand Congress of Psychiatry. 4 October 2008 http://faculty. etsu. edu/DYER/lectures/Knowledge_of_Good_and_Evil Rodriguez, Angel Manuel. “Knowing Good and Evil. ” 13 February 1997. Biblical Research Institute. 4 October 2008. http://www. adventistbiblicalresearch. org/Biblequestions/good&evil. htm
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