September 15: Lesson 3
Knowledge of Good and Evil
Genesis Chapter 3 (focusing on 8-17)
[Key Verse: Genesis 3.22-23] The Lord God said, “The human being has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. Now so he doesn’t stretch out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat and live forever,” the Lord God sent him out of the Garden of Eden to farm the fertile land from which he was taken.
By Rev. Dr. John Brantley
It is important to know the larger context of this passage and I would encourage you to take time with your class to read the complete chapter and not just the suggested verses. The first seven verses give background to the actions of the lessons text.
Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord
The talking snake confirms for Adman and Eve that having the choice of more knowledge will not kill us. The gift of the tree in the center of the garden, our ability to choose, is present in the garden before people come on the scene. The snake presents the option of choice of what information do trust to guide our lives. Is it our understanding or God’s perspective that
It is nearly impossible for us to imaging knowing God fully as describe by Adam and Eve. It would be as if we could return to our infant state of awareness and full depend on others for all our needs, yet with the objective eyes of knowing what we currently know not influencing our perception of the world, our selves and God. An infant is unaware of political debates of war, gender identity and even what the day of the week might be. At the point in our development all we do know is the full trust of others to love, feed and comfort. But within our make up is the ability to grow, learn, to become self-aware and to make informed choices.
With hindsight Adam and Eve might has responded to the snake’s question, “Lets go ask God.” Our perspective, in a world surrounded by the mixture of evil and goodness, equally needs to be filtered through the boundaries for the same tree of knowledge in the center, which is God.
Why Hide from God?
8They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?" 10 He said, "I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself."
Awareness has Consequences
11 He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?" 12 The man said, "The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate." 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, "What is this that you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent tricked me, and I ate." 14 The Lord God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, cursed are you among all animals and among all wild creatures; upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. 15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel." 16 To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you." 17 And to the man he said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree about which I commanded you, "You shall not eat of it,' cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return." 20 The man named his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all living. 21 And the Lord God made garments of skins for the man and for his wife, and clothed them. 22 Then the Lord God said, "See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever"— 23 therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 He drove out the man; and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim, and a sword flaming and turning to guard the way to the tree of life.
Songs to Sing: Open the Eyes of my Heart Lord, All things Bright and Beautiful, Open My Eyes that I May See
Prayer: Thank you God for giving us the gift of knowing Good and Evil. Help us always to trust that you know what is best for us and give us strength to choose your goodness.