The Knowledge of Good and Evil

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“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!"

From the very beginning of time, God has always placed a choice before men. In the garden of Eden, even when everything was perfect, Adam had to choose; to heed the Father’s words or otherwise. Now, for how long did Adam and his partner hold on to the right choice? We cannot tell assertively. But we know that a day came when they both gave in. And the consequences are right before our eyes till this very day. So, the idea that we can somehow evade the task of making this choice is highly unrealistic. Man must choose; to do good or to do evil, to serve God or the Devil. There’s no middle course. Many might question why God gives us a choice. That’s a big debate on its own altogether. But from a careful introspection, we discover that there’s no true definition of love outside the concept of choice. 

The Evil I Know Not 

The sad reality is that after Adam failed, man is faced with an even greater choice. Adam faced the temptation of an evil he was oblivious of. Before eating that fruit, he had no knowledge of what lying or disobedience was. He had known no taste of sin nor its pleasures. So, he was hardly even tempted by it, until strange promises were mouthed to Eve by the serpent. The evil they knew nothing of couldn’t have overtaken them. Now, it is important to note that once these false promises were received, it wasn’t long before the innate sense of a need for gratification overtook Eve.  

What God wanted to achieve by way of His commandment to Adam was that man should know no evil. Because He knew that the hold of sin and temptation is so strong that man cannot withstand it on its own. And the destructive architecture of evil is such that it draws us away from the only One who can save us from its grip; God! Thanks be to Christ by whom we have freedom. However, the man in Christ must not neglect the words of the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul. “I want you to be wise about what is good and innocent about what is evil.” There is something gravely unsettling about the knowledge of evil.

It leads to temptation and the outcome of contending against temptation is never guaranteed. I have never been more tempted than on the days I spent talking garbage with my unbelieving friends. God wasn’t joking when He asked that we flee from all appearance of evil. The 10th Century man, for example, couldn’t have been tempted by pornography. He knew nothing about it. You really don’t need to know everything. Once it begins to show any appearance of evil, flee from it! Do not let curiosity kill “your” cat! 

Why Does Evil Prosper? 

One question that I have asked myself and received from others countless times is this; “Why do evil men prosper?” Why does it seem like it is the greedy capitalists and ruthless businessmen that run the show? Why are the internet fraudsters and prostitutes getting away with it? Why does it feel like you need to do something outlandishly immoral to become famous or “go viral” these days? Just like many, I was pretty bothered and I only found solace in the word of God. Psalm 37 and 73 made me realize that David and Asaph had these same thoughts that made my mind their home. 

We know that the god of this present world is the Devil. And the systems appear to be run for his pleasure. But we also know that whatever he gives to his own cannot compare to our inheritance – in this world or the one after. So, the only appropriate response to this thought is to rely on the Almighty. There’s no good that can emerge from comparing your life with that of others. The only thing that lasts forever is that which is given from above. The evil may appear to prosper now but it is only for a while; judgement is at hand and every man’s reward will be his shortly. 

Why Should I Do Good? 

One thing that is true for many of us is that we cannot stand the feeling of being cheated. When we look around and consider how badly the world is overtaken by evil, we Christians sometimes begin to ponder whether or not we’re being cheated. The sexually pure begins to wonder if there’s really anything like sexual immorality. Afterall, they say it is the promiscuous ones that get married early these days. Even the pious business owner is not left out. He can no longer land the big contracts because some palms ask to be greased along the way. So, why should I be different? Why should I do good? 

One thing is sure! God has never cheated a man and he will not begin with you. If you follow His lead and rest in Him, you will receive your reward. In fact, He will be your reward. Let us not be deceived. Though some among us try to erase the fine line between evil and good, God’s standard stands sure. This lot are indeed the most despicable of men. Therefore, let us not “be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” God is on our side! 

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Oluwadara Odukoya
Oluwadara Odukoya
Articles: 13

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