As a former teacher, defining class boundaries during the first week of school is helpful to maintain a healthy environment. This introduction allow students know what’s in play and what’s off limits. However, once these expectations, guidelines and standards have been laid out, they are meaningless unless rules are enforced. Earlier on, life on earth was simple. There was only one restriction, do not eat from the Tree of Knowledge. Everything else was accessible and acceptable in God’s sight. Nonetheless, the little kid in each of us seek to do the very opposite of that which we are told.
The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die,’” Genesis 3:2-3.
Although Eve’s age is not mentioned, she is likely a teenager in the passage above. Drawn toward a gossiping busybody, Eve becomes curious, pondering the point behind this new ideology. Sure, a snake speaking would make the hair on the back of my neck stand up, yet it appears animals and human beings could communicate. Sounds strange right? Well, years later Balaam had a conversation with his donkey. Anyway, Lucifer begins to speak through this serpent with a slight lisp. Knowing right from wrong, Eve corrects this being. Instead of moving on, avoiding this shady character, Eve becomes intrigued with this new thought as lust for the fruit hanging from the Tree of Knowledge takes over. It doesn’t take long for irrational thoughts to take over, excusing this decision to disobey God within her mind. As sin is tasted for the first time, enlightenment follows.
“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil,” Genesis 3:4-5.
As a child, I believed this to be a literal event. Years later, many adults refer to original sin as an allegory or metaphor. However, the real question is why would God want to protect Adam and Eve from this tree? What is so dangerous about knowledge? How could enlightenment corrupt mankind? I didn’t know the answer to these questions until I watched movies like Lucy, a 2014 film starring Scarlet Johansson and Morgan Freeman. When you add this content with Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull from 2008, I begin to see God’s fears come true. When individuals become so consumed with knowledge, the most simplistic things in life become lost. During the Age of Enlightenment, mankind stopped looking for answers to life from above, toward heaven and began to look from within their own minds. This is why God restricted Adam and Eve from tasting forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. This is the consequence God feared, a time on earth when the Holy Spirit would be ignored and replaced by minds obsessed with human consciousness. This explains the words of the apostle Paul within 1 Corinthians 2, when fools know more than the wise due to this search from within. Look up, not within.
by Jay Mankus