Knowledge of Good and Evil

Scriptures: Genesis 3:7-13
by Jacob Abshire on April 11, 2016

Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?

Genesis 3:7-13

Adam’s instructions were simple. He was to maintain the garden, rule the animals, and enjoy God’s creation. He had only one prohibition: to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God told him that if he did, he would surely die.

Of all the tasty trees in the garden, this seemed like an easy charge. And yet, Adam failed. He didn’t rule the animals or protect his wife. She was deceived by the serpent and ate from the forbidden tree. Adam also ate.

Immediately, things changed for them. God was telling the truth! They didn’t believe Him. Instead, they disobeyed, and their eyes were opened to something called evil. Before this time, they had no sense of evil. They were pure and innocent. They had nothing to hide. But now they did. So “they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves clothes.” They were so ashamed of themselves.

Later, God was walking through the garden to visit with Adam and Eve, but they were hiding from Him. “Where are you?” God asked. “I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself,” Adam responded. With all his shame, there was plenty to hide. Even his body was tainted by sin.

God already knew what had happened. There was no other reason to hide from God. Sin had come between them. God questioned Adam about the forbidden tree. Adam blamed Eve. Eve blamed the serpent. No one wanted to take responsibility. They just blamed each other. This is the way of evil. Adam and Eve once knew only good. But now they knew evil as well. It had stained their bodies. And, all of creation began to die.

  1. Describe Adam and Eve before eating from the forbidden tree and afterward. How were they different? What does it mean to know good and evil?
  2. What does this part of the story tell us about God? Can He be trusted when He tells us something?
  3. How does this story help you today? What details in this narrative motivate you to obey God’s Word?
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