Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Eve and the Quest for Knowledge

Photo Courtesy of: Allef Vinicius

Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.” ~Genesis 3:4-6a

From our perspective now in this fallen and sin-cursed world, it would appear that Eve easily had everything she could have ever wanted - a beautiful home, a loving husband, a caring and present God, and no pain, death, destruction, or heartache. Eve, however, wasn’t quite so convinced. She wanted more.

From the moment the serpent first appeared on the scene to tempt her, Eve began to feel a rumbling within herself that she perhaps had never felt before - a longing, the idea that maybe she was missing out on something, even here, even now in the midst of such a lush and beautiful garden. 

No, the loving husband (and no marital strife!), the close and intimate relationship with her Creator, and the majestic beauty of her surroundings were not enough. It wasn’t enough to simply enjoy what God had given her, she wanted more. She wanted precisely that which God had not seen fit to give her - the knowledge of not only good, but also evil.

That doesn’t quite sound like something you would jump at the chance to acquire, does it? Why not live in peaceful ignorance of evil and enjoy your life in paradise, Eve? And yet we do the very same thing ourselves when we turn our eyes, our minds, and our hearts to those darker things which we, especially as believers, have no business becoming involved in. Eve’s problem was that she was not willing to remain the creation; she wanted to become as the Creator.

This desire is not to be confused with our legitimate, God-given mission to be an image-bearer of God and now and ambassador of Christ, as well. This is different. Eve’s desire in that moment of temptation that lead to her subsequent sin, was to possess all the wisdom and knowledge (and, therefore, the resulting power) of God. Being in relationship with Him as His child wasn’t what she wanted. She wanted to be Him.

You may be wondering how this applies to us today. It applies in the way in which we are daily allowing various distractions to keep us from being focused on our relationship with Christ and instead constantly searching for knowledge. For many of us (my hand is raised here!), these distractions are related to social media. We may be addicted to scrolling Instagram or Facebook so that we can acquire the knowledge of what is going on in other people’s lives. Maybe we can’t seem to get away from Twitter, because we have become addicted to acquiring the knowledge of what the opinions of others are on issues pertaining to politics, the President, theology, and issues among church leaders. Maybe your daily downfall is Google and your incessant search to discover what all the “experts” have to say about the seemingly best parenting, schooling, feeding, disciplining, and home management methods.

Though the heart motivation may be different, the end result is the same: we are daily doing exactly that which we commonly criticize Eve for. We look at her and wonder why she thought she needed more. And yet, here we are, with the words of God all bound together into one complete volume that we have moment-by-moment access to, and yet we are exchanging that incredible privilege and gift (that many of our brothers and sisters around the world are seeing fall through their fingertips) for the words and “wisdom” of man. We have all the wisdom, knowledge, and answers we could ever need within the pages of the Bible, and yet we leave it sitting dusty on the shelf so that we can spend all our time scrolling through the thoughts of fallible humans. In our quest for knowledge, we have become fools. We have exchanged the eternal for the temporal. We have sought our fulfillment in Netflix and social media, when true fulfillment only comes from being in relationship with and truly knowing the God Who made us.

But you know what? There is good news! There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ (Romans 8:1). Don’t wallow in guilt over misplaced priorities or a vain search for man-made knowledge. Instead, get up, dust yourself (and your Bible, if needed!) off, and begin anew, right where you are. Make it your aim over the next forty days to get into the Word however and wherever you need to. Perhaps you will need to take advantage of the audio option available through the YouVersion Bible App so that you can listen on the go or maybe you will be in the Word during your lunch break or while your kids watch a little show. Even if it is just for five minutes a day, it counts and is worth it! 

God promises us that His Word will not return void (Isaiah 55:11), that it is alive, active, and more powerful than any two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). The power of the knowledge of God and HIs Word in your life is not dependent upon the atmosphere surrounding your quiet (or not so quiet!) time. It is dependent on simply getting into the Word itself. I encourage you to do just that over the next week, and thereby begin a habit that will serve you well throughout the rest of your life. And if you think you just don’t have the time? Instead of opening the Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook app when you usually would, open up the Bible app instead, and you’ll discover just how much time you truly do have!

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