Choosing Truth- Genesis 3

In our previous post, we examined, from Romans 3:4, the connection between truth and morality, that this verse tells us that how we determine truth impacts what we see as right and wrong, that God is to be our ultimate source of truth and morality. This can be seen in the connection made between truth and judgment (for right or wrong behavior) noted there. We also saw that every human being is presented with the choice of deciding what their source of truth and morality will be. We will now turn to Genesis 3 to see where this doctrine is first presented. Genesis 3 is the story of the fall of Adam and Eve, and Adam has been given a command by God that he can eat from any tree in the garden but one. If he eats from this particular tree he will “surely die”. Adam and Eve encounter a serpent in chapter three, who tells Eve that when she eats of the forbidden tree her “eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil”. The vital question here is what does he mean by “knowing good and evil”? The Hebrew word know here is yada, a word with a rather wide range of meaning in the Hebrew. Among its definitions are 1) the capacity for ethical decision and 2) the capacity to shape life based on autonomous moral decisions. Both of these are appropriate in this context due to the object of knowledge being good and evil. The choice which Adam and Eve face is the choice to submit to what God says is right or wrong, true or false, or to choose to decide for themselves what is right or wrong, true or false. Why does the serpent tell them they will be “like God” if they choose for themselves what is right or wrong? Because this is what God ultimately does. We learn this from Genesis 3:22, in which God says of Adam and Eve “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil”. We learn from this story that our God is whoever we turn to tell us what is right or wrong, true or false. Man has made his own choice as to what is right and wrong, has become his own source of truth and morality, his own “god”. As descendants of Adam, every human being has been given the privilege of deciding who they will listen to as their source of truth and morality, and whoever we listen to is ultimately our “god”. We are all continually faced with the decision Adam was faced with in the garden, and we must, moment by moment, choose to submit to the God of the Bible as our source of truth and morality, and not choose to look to ourselves or anyone else as our source of what is true or false, right or wrong.

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