The Tree of Knowledge is still alive, tempting . . . and deadly

The world is too much with us; late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—

Little we see in Nature that is ours;

We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

~ William Wordsworth

Sweet baby kale, peppery arugula and crisp baby watercress could be among the most delicious and unusual developments of our age—grown indoors now, in reusable cloth made from recycled water bottles.[1]

But some things never change.

Long ago, in an amazing garden, God gave the first “us” freedom to eat the fruit of any tree, including the Tree of Life (a type of his Son). But we were warned to give a wide berth to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

“Touch it,” he said, “and you will die.”

“You shall not surely die,” the snake whispered to Eve one day in private, “for God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be as God . . .”

And Eve believed a lying snake, instead of the God who had breathed his life into them, who loved them and talked with them as they walked together in the dazzling world he had created for them.

So, she ate. And she persuaded Adam to eat. And indeed their eyes were opened.

But all they saw was that they were naked. They did not become “as God.”

Thousands of years later, God sent his Son to redeem the world we had ruined by sin. He explained again that “every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”[2]

And today, as it did with Eve, the snake twists God’s words and tells us, “Sometimes, you need a bit of evil to be able to get the good.” And we nod and declare that, “the end justifies the means.”

“Who has bewitched you?” God asks us. “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?”[3]

Most people today think it’s okay if a good result requires a little evil. It’s a matter of degree, we argue. But God says it is as impossible for good to coexist with what we would consider the tiniest bit of evil as it is for a bad tree to produce even one piece of good fruit.

Both the world and the church are about to change, to move farther away from one another—the world to become more like its father, the devil, and the church to become more like our Father. And there’s not much time left for each of us to get as far as we can from that tree.



[2] Matthew 7:17-19, NASB.

[3] Galatians 3:1,3, NASB.