Bible in a Year – Day 1: Unintelligent Decision-Making
As I embark on this journey of reading and blogging through the bible over the course of a year, I am confronted immediately with one of the most discussed and controversial portions of the Bible. Perhaps that’s because it involves the creation of the universe, or perhaps it’s because countless others have embarked on a journey to read through the bible and this is as far as they were able to get!
Whatever the case, I have no desire to dive into a discussion or debate about intelligent design. What I would like to point out instead is the very first case of “unintelligent decision-making”. In Genesis 2 and 3, we’re told all about this incredible garden that God had set up for Adam and Eve. The place was perfect – a real heaven on earth where human beings walked with God.
By all indications, this garden had only one rule – do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It was as if God, in his desire to offer free will to us, had to give Adam and Eve some kind of choice to make. Therefore, he made it really simple for them:
In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 2:9b)
Two trees. You choose which one to eat from: the tree of life, which comes with very little in the way of responsibility, a whole lot of freedom and an incredible, eternal life OR the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which comes with all of the stress and struggle of knowing right from wrong and trying to choose what’s right. In other words, we were allowed to choose innocence or to choose a loss of innocence that brought with it a lot of baggage.
Ultimately, Eve, followed by Adam, chose the loss of innocence. Why? Perhaps it was the enticement of power offered by the serpent or the allure of having something they were told they couldn’t have. Whatever it was, that same choice faces us every day…and every day we make the same foolish decision that Adam & Eve made – we choose the loss of innocence.
Our desire for knowledge, power, esteem or whatever else we can get our hands on causes us to make a stupid decision that immediately opens us up to more stupid decisions. That is the history of the human race and we continually feed into it. That is why Jesus told us that we need to “become like little children” in order to experience the kingdom of heaven – to experience life as it was supposed to be – life as it was before that fateful day when “unintelligent decision-making” was born.