Knowledge of Good and Evil

Knowledge of Good and Evil

In yesterday’s blog we discussed the fact that the Killing from Ambush is an evil act; so today we thought it would be a good idea to explore a little about such evil.

The first place in the Bible where we see the word “evil” mentioned is in the second creation account in Genesis 2:9.

9. And out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Then in verses 16 and 17, God defines the tree of the knowledge of good and evil further.

16. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely;

17. but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.”
NASB

The knowledge of good and evil is putting the discernment of what God desires and what He doesn’t want us to do in our minds and souls so that we must choose one or the other as part of our free will. In other words, we choose to follow God’s creation and heavenly will and do good, or we choose not to, which is evil.

God is very plainly telling Adam that he is to be obedient, and that if he disobeys Him, which is an evil act, that it would cause his body to age and die. Therefore, we see that disobedience to God brings death.

Before we close this brief discussion, it is helpful to think of good and evil as opposites, or more precisely that evil is the absence of good (God’s heavenly will for our lives), just as cold water lacks the heat of hot water, and darkness is the absence of light. There really isn’t any substance that is evil, or cold, or dark; they are just terms to describe the absence of good, heat, and light, just as God is the essence of goodness, and warmth, and light.

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2 Responses to Knowledge of Good and Evil

  1. avatar
    Noelene Sanderson December 31, 2012 at 9:43 am #

    I didn’t want to be first to jump in and comment here; but your final paragraph especially, really appeals, because it is only the second time I’ve heard this concept – (the first was in the Baha’i understanding): – that evil is simply the absence of good; hatred is the absence of love; darkness the absence of light and so on. The beauty of your approach, is, as I see it, that this does not give power to evil, and the negative things by deeming them to be concrete and AS powerful as good, love, warmth, etc, therefore they can the more easily be turned away from and the good and positive be expressed – which is, after all, the goal. Do I make sense? God and Good are more powerful than anything else.. Thankyou. (So can we then say that there are not evil people, but simply people who have never learned, practised or expressed, Good??? Hate or condemn the action, but not the person)?? There is always the potential they could be led to turn towards good?? Or am I misreading?

  2. avatar
    flhadmin December 31, 2012 at 11:58 am #

    Dear Noelene:
    You make prefect sense. You are also correct that there are no evil people, but there are plenty of evil acting people, many of whom actually seek to do evil. We see this more as their deliberately rejecting the goodness of God, which is perhaps a form of sociopathic behavior. And as you said, there is always hope that they can be turned around, just like we were.

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