Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Genesis 3:22-23 -- On Good and Evil and the Community of God

"And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken."
Genesis 3:22-23

There are some interesting things here.  God says that man is become "as one of us."  That part is interesting, in terms of imagining a community to which God belongs that all share his knowledge of good and evil.  Man became like them, in that moment.
It's also interesting that God is worried that Adam and Eve might eat of the tree of life at this point and live forever.  Interesting that a tree of life like that was in the garden at all.  I wonder if they had ever eaten from it before... if it is a one time thing, like the knowledge tree, or if it was maintaining their lives indefinitely.  If the latter, how long had they been living in the garden before this happened?
It's interesting that God sends Adam and Eve out of the garden, presumably because now his plan of redemption and happiness can start.  Without having additional context though, why wouldn't it have been ideal to stay in the garden?  I think it was because the garden was perfect and easy and they couldn't learn what they needed to learn without some additional hardship or effort.  And the state we are in now isn't a perfected state, so have to die and be resurrected, or at least have our bodies changed and perfected in some way.  The body part seems solvable, perhaps, but the part where we had to learn more than we could learn in a perfect garden... that doesn't really.  God could tell Adam and Eve about things, but until they started learning for themselves, and experiencing things for themselves, they wouldn't really learn it.  And we have to know some hardship to even understand what comfort is I think.  Adam and Eve, by partaking of the fruit, took the first step toward that true free agency and independence that God wanted them to have.  It offered them the ability to become more than they were.
Our legacy from this is that we all have our inborn knowledge of good and evil.  We have become like God in that way, and like Adam and Eve, we now have the ability to become more than we ever have been.  Let's continue to learn, and to choose good, and maybe someday we will become members of God's community. :)

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