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The Tree of Knowledge and the Forbidden Fruit

Pastor of Iglesia Conexiones, a baptist church in Jessup, MD. B.A. in Bible, B.S. English Ed., M.S. in Educational Leadership.

The Forbidden Fruit Was Unlike Any Other Fruit Today

Although tradition represents the forbidden fruit with an apple, the Bible does not specify what fruit it was.

Although tradition represents the forbidden fruit with an apple, the Bible does not specify what fruit it was.

More Meaningful Devotions

To get the most out of the devotional, (1) read the Scripture passage being discussed, (2) read the commentary, (3) answer the questions on the comments section or a personal journal, (4) discuss the questions with your home group.

Bible Passage

Genesis 2:16-17, 3:6-7

Pastor's Commentary

There is such wealth of details in the third chapter of Genesis that we easily lose sight of the theological points it makes. Here we read about an enigmatic tree, a lying snake, a magical fruit, a flaming sword, and beings called cherubim. Some people view this chapter as ancient fantasy, some theologians see in it symbols of a dark event in prehistory, and still there are those of us who take it as a faithful account of real past events. But no matter which of these positions you take, the main point should be clear: sin and death entered the world through humanity’s disobedience to God’s word. What a perfect introduction to the Bible and history.

God had commanded Adam not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and there is no reason why we should wonder whether Adam was able to understand God’s command. Having been created in the image and likeness of God, Adam was not only an intelligent being who could relate to God and who could make meaningful choices, but he was also a moral being could understand the moral dimension of life. Otherwise, how would God’s command make any sense to him? Or how would God be just in punishing him for his disobedience? Adam had to be a moral being.

What then was the effect of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil on them who ate it? Moses tells us on verse seven that it opened their eyes, and in verse twenty-two God states that it had given them knowledge of good and evil. We see the effects of the fruit on them when on verse seven: they found out that they were naked. On verse eleven, God asks Adam who has told him that he is naked. What we see then is that the fruit gave Adam and Eve a new perspective about their nakedness, and one’s perspective usually changes when one acquires new information. Perhaps, the fruit gave Adam and Eve information, laws God would decree as humans multiplied on the Earth.

This makes sense to me. Adam and Eve’s nakedness with each other in the garden and before God was not a sin, for God made all things good. But when we expose our nakedness to others, we are indecent before others, and unfaithful to our spouses. In support of this, we see that when God presented the woman to Adam, Adam began to think about what society would be like: the man and the woman would leave their parents and to live together (and deviating from this model would be wrong).

The fruit of this particular tree, then, was different to any fruit that we know. It wasn’t a regular fruit with only color, texture, smell, and taste: it also had information, like a flash drive. And why not! According to the Book of Revelation, the leaves of the Tree of Life can heal the nations (Revelation 22:2). These two trees were unlike any other tree in the garden.

Therefore, Adam and Eve’s transgression was more severe than eating of the wrong fruit. Their transgression consisted in procuring information that would make them independent from God, so that they would no longer need God to run the world He had given them. They wanted to continue to live forever, but without depending on God’s revelation and direction. And doesn’t that sound a lot like what society is trying to do today? Aren’t people today rebelling against God’s revelation, choosing different life styles than what God has ordained, and destroying the natural world that he has given us to keep?

So here is the question that we must us ourselves: how are we responding to God’s revelation? When it comes to God’s word, you can trust it and obey it, or you can reject it and disobey it. There is no middle ground. Faith leads to obedience, and doubt opens the door to rejection and disobedience.

Reflect and Discuss

  1. Why do you think it is important to trust in God’s word in order to have a relationship with him? Do you trust God’s word?
  2. What do you think is the relationship between faith and obedience? Is your life characterized by faith on God’s word and obedience?
  3. What do you think is the relationship between doubt and disobedience? How do you think you can overcome doubts about God?
  4. Do you think faith and doubt are only a response to a statement made, or do you think you can choose to believe or to doubt something? How is the ability to choose relevant to your faith in God’s word?

© 2015 Marcelo Carcach

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