Summary: Not all knowledge is good for us, mankind was never meant to decide for himself what is good and what is evil. He was created to depend upon Gods wisdom.
1. Vance Havner, "Some things are for us to know, some things are not for us to know. Blessed is the man who learns early which is which. Most of our unhappiness is caused by not knowing what we should know and by trying to know what we are not to know."
2. Not all knowlege is good for us, mankind was never meant to decide for himself what is good and what is evil. He was meant to depend upon God wisdom.
3. Knowing Good and Evil.
Trans: Gen. 3:1-
I want to repeat a quote by Watchman Knee, because it is vital to understand just what is going on in man’s Fall.
"The knowledge of good and evil, though forbidden to Adam, want not wrong in itself. Without it however, Adam is in a sense limited in that he cannot decide for hmself on moral issues. Judgment of right and wrong resides not in him but in God, and Adam’s only course when faced with any question is to refer it to the Lord. Thus you have a life in the garden which is totally dependent upon God.
The ’tree of life’ is God Himself, for God is life. He is the highest form of life, and He is also the source and goal of life. And the fruit: what is that? It is our Lord Jesus Christ. You cannot eat the tree but you can eat the fruit. No one is able to receive God as God, but we can receive the Lord Jesus. The fruit is the edible part, the receivable part of the tree. So - may I say it reverently? The Lord Jesus is really God in a receivable form.
If Adam should take the tree of life, he would partake of the life of God. But if instead Adam should turn the other way, and take of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, then he would develop his own manhood along natural lines apart from God. As a self-sufficient being, he would possess in himself the power to form indepent judgment, bu the would have no life from God."
I. FIRST, KNOWING GOOD AND EVIL WAS DISOBEDIENCE. 3:1-3a
A. First, the Deception. 3:1
By working through a beautifully deceptive animal...
1. First, we are introduced to an Animal.
Now the serpent - nachash Hebrew Pronunciation[nah KHASH]
Used in Genesis - 6 times; Used in the OT - 31 times;
This word, na-chash, is used 8 OT terms for a snake:
"So the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many of the people of Israel died." Numbers 21:6 (NKJV)
"who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock;" Deuteronomy 8:15 (NKJV)
"31 Do not look on the wine when it is red, When it sparkles in the cup, When it swirls around smoothly; 32 At the last it bites like a serpent, And stings like a viper." Proverbs 23:31-32 (NKJV)
In our passage the serpent is a literal animal, one which apparently did not crawl on its belly before the Fall, and since this is before the Fall it was "good" like all other animals which the Lord had made.
2. Next, it was Remarkable.
was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made - cumming is a-rum which appears no where else in Genesis but is used often in the book of Proverbs where it speaks of prudence, being shrewd or clever.
It is contrasted with the fool or simpleton:
"A fool’s wrath is known at once, But a prudent man covers shame." Proverbs 12:16
"A prudent man conceals knowledge, But the heart of fools proclaims foolishness." Proverbs 12:23 (NKJV) etc.
Leupold, "It is rendered "more cunning" because the Hebrew is a superlative which literally says, "more clever than all beasts."
This is not sinful or negative but indicating that this was one of the wisest animals that God created.
Ryrie, "Apparently a beautiful creature, in its uncursed state, that Satan used in the temptation. more crafty. I.e., clever, not in a degrading sense at this point."
She never dreamed that the one behind this beautiful intelligent animal was a wicked hedious fallen rebellious angel.
In a classic Twilight Zone episode from 1960, an American on a walking trip through central Europe gets caught in a raging storm. Staggering through the blinding rain, he chances upon an imposing medieval castle. It is a hermitage for a brotherhood of monks. The reclusive monks reluctantly take him in.
Later that night, the American discovers a cell with a man locked inside. An ancient wooden staff bolts the door. The prisoner claims he’s being held captive by the "insane" head monk, Brother Jerome. He pleads for the American to release him.