Wednesday, May 22, 2013


       An essay I wrote. . .

     “But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:4-5).

            In the beginning there was this beautiful place. It was truly beautiful. And a man and a woman lived there. They walked in the garden where there were never thorns, and swam in the rivers which were never too cold; and they talked to God. They were naked, but they were not ashamed. And there was just one thing God told them not to do: “Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17). The man and the woman knew they should obey. And they were happy to obey. And everything was perfect. Until one day when Eve was told that she could be like God

And everything went rushing, hurtling, falling, down-hill from there.

 From the very beginning, from the very first sin, we have desired to be like God. 

What is it about that sentence? You will be like God. 

That was the sentence that condemned all mankind to death. This was the idea that made foolish men build a lofty tower into the heavens. Like God. That is why people look at the stars and try to read them, and try to know the future. 

 It wasn’t just the ancients either. We are just as guilty today, if not more so, of this craving for the forbidden things. We hunger for something that will give us power to know. The Secret. That’s the name of one cult. This name intrigues people. They want to know the secret, too. Whatever it is. We want to know. That’s why people try to talk to demons and the dead. We have to know. 

We want to know how to create; not only paintings and sculptures and trampolines and computers. Now we want to create life. So scientists spend their lives - not to mention millions and millions and millions of dollars – trying to make something living out of nothing. They want to know how it’s done. And so far they’ve cloned a sheep…after hundreds of failed attempts and hundreds of dead, deformed sheep. And now they want to go on to clone human beings. 

We cannot know everything. And we are foolish, and proud, to think we can. “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding.” (Job 38:4). 

Where were you? 

You didn’t exist. And neither did I. And neither did any other person who’s ever lived or died. We have absolutely no control over anything that happens. We can’t control the color of the sky, the future, or even tomorrow’s weather. 

We are so utterly helpless. But our minds are so utterly finite, that we think we are powerful. 

This vulnerability, this cluelessness, should make us feel quite small. But not afraid. There’s
Someone infinitely more competent than you or I at the steering wheel. It’s stupid to try and snatch
the wheel away since we have no idea how to drive, or where we are headed, or how to get there. And it’s sinful too. “The secret things belong to the Lord our God.” (Deuteronomy 29:29)

There are things we should not know. 

God keeps the weight of knowledge on his shoulders, since it would crush ours. 

We’ve seen what the knowledge of good and evil did for Adam and Eve. They did not become like God. Instead they lost their innocence. They could not stand under the weight of knowledge. They realized they were naked. And they ran away from God, because they were ashamed. That's what the rest of the Story has been so far --- God chasing us, runaways, down and bringing us back.

Be thankful that we cannot know everything. Be thankful that God hides things from us. Even if we saw them, we could not understand. 


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