Tuesday | 09 March 2021
Looking at the wrong tree

What does the tree of the knowledge of good and evil look like to us in a deceived condition? Gen 3:6. Viewing the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil as ‘good for food’ is the quest for empowerment. It involves the identification and procurement of resources – be they social, cultural, physical or financial – to support the attainment of a person’s self-defined image. This ‘food’ is the antithesis of Yahweh’s food. His food is participation in a whole burnt offering, through which another is revealed. Num 28:2.

Viewing the tree as ‘pleasant to the eyes’ is the desire for an image that is pleasing, or valued, in society. It involves our investment in activities and resources that optimise and sustain our ‘beauty’ or profile within a given community. It can also involve the ‘charitable’ advice that we can give to others, including the church, to improve their image in society. Again, this is at odds with true beauty, or excellence, which is the expression of the divine nature. For example, Peter said, ‘Do not let your adornment be merely outward – arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel – rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.’ 1Pe 3:3-4.

Wisdom that is sourced from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil involves the utilisation of knowledge to achieve one’s self-defined objectives. James described this as ‘the wisdom from beneath’. Its use is motivated by bitter envy and self-seeking in one’s heart. Jas 3:14-15. In contrast, ‘the wisdom from above’ is the word that we receive in fellowship with the Lord and with one another. Its expression is ‘peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy’. Jas 3:17.


Further Study:
JAMES 3
Daily Proverb:

References:
Gen 3:6
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

Num 28:2
Command the children of Israel, and say to them, 'My offering, My food for My offerings made by fire as a sweet aroma to Me, you shall be careful to offer to Me at their appointed time.'

1Pe 3:3-4
Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

Jas 3:14-15
But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.

Jas 3:17
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
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