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THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL


Viktor Frankl in his book, "Man's Search for Meaning," describes the reactions of two brothers with the same heredity, the same environment, in the same concentration camp under the Nazis. One became a saint and the other a swine. Frankl tells us the reason why. He said, "Each man has within him the power to choose how he will react to any given situation." God has given us the power of choice. Some people today do not wish to accept the responsibility for their actions. They blame society. They blame the environment. They blame the schools. They blame the circumstances. But Adam sinned in a perfect environment under perfect circumstances. We can't blame it all on somebody else. We must accept the blame ourselves for our part. Society is made up of individuals. If we have social injustice, we're the ones who are wrong; we're part of it. Let's accept our responsibility to do something about it.


The fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil means that the one thing that Adam and Eve were NOT free to do was to delineate for themselves what is good and what is evil. As soon as they did that, they put themselves in the place of God. Only God can delineate what is good and evil. When God commanded Adam not to take of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, He was showing him what choice he should make. God wanted him to choose life, not death. Much later, when God brought Israel out of Egypt, He gave them a similar choice: "I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life that both you and your descendants may live" (Deuteronomy 30:19).

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