You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.

Genesis 2: 17

Reading: Matthew 7: 13, 14

The tree of the knowledge of good and evil has been the subject of much speculation amongst theologians. The Bible does not give an explicit meaning to it and it is only mentioned in Genesis 2 and 3. It seems to represent an independent approach to life, an independent seeking after knowledge and an independent assessment of morality – what is good or bad. You only have to spend a few minutes on social media to see that mankind has well and truly chosen to live according to an independent assessment of what is good or bad.

Even though we don’t know exactly what the tree of knowledge of good and evil is, the basic point about this tree is that it stands as the test of faith and obedience on the part of man. It presents a choice. It enforces the free-will that they have. God created man good, with the free will to operate under the will of God. Or not.

I’m sure, like me, you often find yourself wishing that God had not placed that choice in the Garden of Eden. History tells us that Adam made a wrong choice and we’ve inherited corruption as a result.

However, take the longer view.

True love can never be forced. It must be by choice. If we’re to enjoy an authentic relationship with God, it must be by choice.

Choice. We have it. Living in dependence on God, in Christ, by His Spirit brings life. Living independently of God brings death. Every day, with every decision you make, you face this choice. Be mindful.


Lead me and guide me in the choices I make, Lord. 

For the family

Put out a spread of goodies to eat but allow each child only one choice. Let that lead into a discussion about how difficult it is to make wise choices. Encourage your children to consult with parents, teachers, other trusted leaders when making choices - and above all, of course, the Word of God.