Knowing Good and Evil

Through the Fall we’ve become like God: we “know good and evil.” (Ge 3:22a) Since God doesn’t do evil, this can’t simply mean we know what it’s like to do good and evil, and since God sees this as a bad thing (Ge 3:24) it can’t mean we’ve experienced good and evil in others. It must mean that we, as if we’re God, presume the right to define good and evil for ourselves, that we claim to know what good and evil are apart from Him.

We’re constantly making moral judgments based on how we feel, without consulting God, just making it up as we go. And we instinctively respond to the moral evaluations of other mortals as if they’re divine. This is so natural we seldom even notice we’re doing it; it’s born into our nature, as natural as breathing, and it’s why we’re so wicked. Most all the evil and suffering in our world is from us doing what’s right in our own eyes.

Moral definitions are God’s business and He’s revealed them in His Law. Breaking His Law is His definition of evil (1Jn 3:4); any other definition is profound arrogance and presumption — it’s essentially climbing up into God’s throne and pushing Him off. There really isn’t a more offensive thing we can possibly do to Him; it’s Satan’s way.

We should make it our top priority to study God’s Laws and ask Him to conform our hearts and minds to His standards and ways, hiding them in our heart so that we don’t sin against Him. (Ps 119:11)  Let’s worship in truth and walk in the light, unintimidated when others make up their own moral laws. When we find ourselves making instinctive moral judgments, or reacting to those of others, let’s get in the habit of checking with God and dismissing the rest.

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