Knowledge is good, personally I wish I know it all, but I know I can’t know everything; could knowledge of a thing be bad? I ask myself. My conclusion was yes some things we know has done more bad than good. A lot of the time when we find ourselves in a deep mess we often say, “I wish I had known.” It other words if I had the knowledge of this I would have made a better judgment. Some other time, we say, “Thank God I wasn’t there” or “Thank God I didn’t hear”. This is often said when something bad happened in a place like a crime and then you were meant to be there, but somehow you were late or held back. Therefore, you didn’t see the action or experience the action. Though now you know what happened, but it would have been devastating to experience being robbed or shot at. Knowledge is not just about understanding a book or a particular aspect of life or being an expert in a field. Reading a book and knowing its contents means you have some knowledge about the book you read. I will not be dealing with knowledge limited to a particular sphere, but will be dealing with infinite knowledge as I am one of the believers of, what you know is who you are. Knowledge is the sum total of all that has been fed into your mind by all your senses. Past experiences mold you as a person and decisions most times are made based on past experiences. No wonder they say that experience is the best teacher and that it is only a fool that makes the same mistake twice. This is because if you have had a bad experience with something, you are permitted to say, if only I knew, but when you have the same bad experience from the same particular thing then there will be no point in you saying thank God I didn’t know; else you be classed as a fool.
It is not everything you have to know at a certain time and surely we cannot know everything even if we live a thousand years. That is why life is a continuous learning process; for if we knew what to do all the time, then there will be no need for learning and I must say taking out the experiences from life, be it good or bad makes life as I see it quite odd. Experiences yields learning and learning yields knowledge. The reason why someone will fall for the same exact trap is because the fellow has not learnt his lessons.
This brings me to the story of Adam and Eve, the first time the word knowledge was mentioned in the bible was in Genesis 2:16-17, where God gave man a choice of who he wanted to be, He said to man, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.” You must have been thinking about what I meant by a choice of who he wanted to be. Yes, it was a choice between being with God and not being with God. That is really what death is. That is why without Jesus eternal life is a mere mirage. One might also ask why was the tree even there? Choices and timing go hand in hand. Like you can make a good choice at the wrong time or a bad choice at a good time. Either way, they are both bad decisions, except you make the good choice at a good time. Kind of reminds me of multiplication of negative and positive values, don’t get carried away, though, two wrongs still never make a right. Anyways, man made a bad decision at the wrong time.
Do you think God never wanted us to have knowledge of what is good or bad? Why will He make a tree that was just meant to be there as a choice to either be with God or not, if man is to have dominion over all the earth, wouldn’t he require some form of knowledge. The answer is definitely in the role time has to play in choice. I want to go to school tomorrow, that is good. This means you have to wake up on time, waking up at the wrong time equates to you being late and that means you have made a right decision but have defaulted in time, which means you are late and therefore is bad. You get punished by your teacher which is a bad experience. Hopefully, learning from that bad experience equates to you being earlier the next time. Eccl 3:1; “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” God telling Adam that he will surely die was the consequence of wrong timing in the choice of having to be with God and be guided through independence or gain independence now and never be guided. It is like trying to give a baby meat without teeth. Knowledge of good and bad at that time was wrong because we were not equipped with the necessary experiences or had learnt enough to handle such. We choose to go to university, for example, to forge a career in a particular field. The university is where you are meant to be equipped (a timed process) with the right tools to be able to have the career path you have chosen. Imagine a doctor who was never equipped wanting to treat you. I am sure a lot of us will run away. Man skipped the equipping process and jumped into life, which is and was not ideal. This disaster is even worse than a doctor trying to treat you without being equipped to do so.
The physical death really was God doing us a favour, Genesis 3:22 says; Then the LORD God said, “Look, the human beings have become like us, knowing both good and evil. What if they reach out, take fruit from the tree of life, and eat it? Then they will live forever!” Just like a baby man was still very young and needed to be cared for and trained by God to be like God, notice in the verse man was like God by eating of the fruit, but man didn’t know what it takes to be a god. Paul the apostle used the same picture of being young and need to be trained to become an heir or joint heir to paint a different story in Galatians 4:1-2, which says;
Think of it this way. If a father dies and leaves an inheritance for his young children, those children are not much better off than slaves until they grow up, even though they actually own everything their father had. They have to obey their guardians until they reach whatever age their father set. In the beginning, I believe man skipped the guidance stage and went on to being kings which they were not prepared for.
Don’t think for a second that we are not constantly being faced with daily choices of what we should seek to know. Man is constantly being faced with the same decision of whether to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. We constantly make decisions of what we seek to know based on if it is good or bad for us. In eating of the fruit, there are two outcomes, it either builds your spirit or dents it. You see man is the sum total of what he has fed his spirit and what you have fed your spirit is what you know, which equates to who you are. So to be classified as a good or bad man, you must have fed your spirit with either good or bad thoughts. The five senses play a major role as they are channels for the acquisition of knowledge. Therefore, who you are which is as a result of what you have ever known is a sum total of what you have heard, smelt, seen, tasted and felt. There was, therefore, no way that man could possess knowledge without first activating the senses. One question I ask myself when reading Genesis 3:7 is; did they not know that they were naked before. Now I hope you have an answer for that if you were like me; the answer is because they have had access to knowledge.
In essence, what I am trying to say is; man made a choice at the wrong time when we were not ready for it. I do believe that God makes everything for a purpose and the purpose of the tree was to give man a choice, but man made the choice at the wrong time, which was therefore, a bad decision. As humans today, we are still being faced with decisions on what knowledge we choose to seek by what we receive from the antenna of our senses, which ends up as experiences that we either learn from or not. When we learn from past experiences this means we understood the purpose of such experiences. When we teach others what we have understood, then it is tagged as wisdom. Remember to always seek the face of God, so that we can know what God wants us to know. This, in turn, gives the Holy Spirit permission to interfere in what we see, hear, touch, smell and feel. By knowing what God wants you to know, it builds a goodly spirit which is good in the sight of God, just the same way it was in the very beginning.