Knowledge of Good
"But from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die." (Genesis 2:17)
A disciple takes a good look at that command from God. He understands that the knowledge of "good" is just as deadly as the knowledge of evil. As soon as Adam ate from the forbidden tree and acquired the knowledge of "good," man was separated from God and a society with double standards was established.
The first departure from God was not the result of an evil act by Eve. Genesis 3:6 states the woman saw that the tree was "good" for food, a delight to the eyes, and desirable to make one wise, so she took from its fruit and ate. No evil intent, just rationalization of God's Word.
The serpent spoke a true word to Eve. It wasn't the entire truth, because he left out some facts about separation from God, and death. But in Genesis 3:5, he said, "For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing "good" and evil." From that moment, knowledge of "good" has kept us separated from God.
King Saul, for example, had clear instructions from God to utterly destroy the Amalekites, along with all their livestock. (1 Kings 15). Saul defeated the Amalekites, but spared the "best" of the livestock to be offered as a burnt offering to God. The people requested it, and Saul considered it "good" to please both the people and God. That decision cost him his kingship. The knowledge of "good" has just as much power to keep us separated from the will of God as the knowledge of evil.
When man acquired the knowledge of "good," the influence of humanism entered the world. Man was now in a position to decide for himself what was "good," rather than depend upon the standards established by God.
That influence has persistently crept over the world like a giant mass, until it has choked out and replaced the light and life of the gospel.
The most powerful body in our nation, the Supreme Court, has decided that it is "good" to allow individuals to kill unborn babies if the mothers feel it is the "good" thing to do. Slowly, public opinion, through the leadership of the liberal press, is agreeing that it is probably "good".
Writers of television sitcoms have determined that it is "good" to display the male figure as an incompetent idiot, rather than as a competent head of a household. Although this is contrary to the will and the Word of God, the public is laughing its way into acceptance.
That influence has become just another subtle contribution to family breakdown, and more and more children find themselves being raised by the state, where it is considered "good" to do whatever feels "good".
We have evolved into a world void of the stable standard necessary to co-exist peacefully. God and His precepts are ignored or denied. Satan is killing, stealing, and destroying. Everyone does what is "good" in his own eyes, and the prisons, hospitals, morgues and garbage dumps are overflowing.
How does this affect a disciple? We realize the battle is spiritual, and that we must intensify our prayers, but there is more. It is simple, but not easy. The disciple must never compromise his position in Christ Jesus! King Saul compromised and it cost him his kingdom. If a disciple compromises, it may cost him, and others, the kingdom of God.
Every disciple has someone he cares for, perhaps a member of his family, who has fallen under the influence of the world. That person currently operates by his own worldly standards, and his behavior is slowly taking him to the brink of disaster.
The Christian instinct is to reach out, to compromise if necessary, to do anything in order to turn that person around. But the last thing in the world that person needs is compromise. He desperately needs to see stability. He needs someone with a strong standard as a point of reference.
The disciple must have the strength to say to those in the world, "I love you, but I hate your sinful ways!" When their foundation crumbles into a mire of quicksand, in desperation they will look for someone strong enough to rescue them. They will never turn to one who has compromised because they realize the stability they need is not there.
The day will come, perhaps it is not so far away, when there will be a mass cry for help. The "good" of mankind will be exposed for what it really is...an abomination to God. When that day arrives, the uncompromising disciple will be ready. The fields will be white, and the harvest will be great!
Jesus is King!
P.S. What are you doing of eternal value?
Question for today: Do I compromise to please those who mean the most to me?