Observations as I follow God through the Chronological Bible.
As I follow God through my Chronological Bible, I hear him speak to man for the first time.
“…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.”
If the timeline is correct, woman has not been created yet. 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 that Adam was free. He 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 that he did not want Adam to possess: the ability to know good and evil without God’s guidance and influence. God did not have to tell Adam and Eve they were naked. After they ate of 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 without Adam and Eve confessing what they had done.
We also needed to know that where there is freedom there are consequences. God wasn’t trying to keep Adam ignorant. He was trying to keep Adam alive. Law, the knowledge of right (good) and wrong (evil), is holy, righteous and good. But if anyone knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, they sin. The wages of sin is death.
Here are some more reasons God warned Adam about the tree of knowledge: “For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.” Knowledge makes us proud. Love is not proud. If we possessed all knowledge but do not have love we gain nothing. 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. He will not withhold any good thing from us. Everything God created is good, but everything is not good for us. Knowledge is good but it is also powerful enough to destroy us. God warned Adam that he would die if he ate from the tree of knowledge. When Adam ignored God’s warning, he had no one to blame but himself for the pain that followed.