BACK TO EDEN
Good Rather Than God
By David Eckman, Ph.D.
Senior Lecturer, Kesed Seminars
-- Adam and Eve were supposed to function as a team, but the serpent
got them to act independently of each other. They were not supposed to
eat from the Tree of Good and Evil. As it says in Genesis 2:17, "But from
the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil you shall not eat." What is
often forgotten is that it was not the tree of evil but the tree
of good and evil. In the name of the tree first came the word "good,"
and then followed the word "wretchedness" or "evil." An important spiritual
lesson is here.
Choosing good without God quickly leads to evil. One can leave God out
just as quickly in the pursuit of good as of evil. It can be said that
the good that people pursue can be as spiritually dangerous as evil. God
wants relationship, and what Adam and Eve did was to choose benefit over
God. God is more than good things.
Eve was tempted not to do evil, but to pursue good without God. "When the
woman saw that the tree was good to eat, and that it was pleasant to the eyes,
and that the tree was to be desired because it made one wise, she took of
its fruit and ate, and she gave also to her husband who had been there throughout,
and he ate" (Genesis 3:6). Genesis 3 says the fruit of the Tree of Good and
Evil was good for food, was a delight to the eyes, and it could make one wise.
Not one thing in the list was evil; all was good. God is all for good food,
pleasing sights, and wisdom. But good should not be chosen over God, but that
was exactly what occurred and evil followed.
In a sense, the temptation set before Eve was to become a "better person"
who is a wiser person. She was like a woman in the Book of Proverbs who is
seeking wisdom. Seeking wisdom is a good thing, but the better thing is to
A modern-day temptation exists for today's woman. Again it is a temptation
concerning good over God. Eve was created to deal with Adam's loneliness.
The Scripture says that in creation both man and woman were very good. But
Eve was fashioned to deal with loneliness; therefore, she must be good at
relationships. Indeed, the universal observation is that women are superior
But because of the Fall, that could become a weakness, for it is women who
in three out of four cases initiate divorce. Normally, women become dissatisfied
with marriage first. A woman will notice the relational weaknesses in a marriage
long before a man will. Then, if she does not have a strategy for change or
the resources of God and the church to help, she may make the simple but damaging
mistake of thinking that finding another man may well be the answer. In these
situations the woman must first seek to know God and His ways before merely
seeking good, because seeking good without God is always followed by wretchedness
David Eckman is the co-founder and senior lecturer for Kesed Seminars, a
non-profit organization dedicated to introducing people to Gods loyal love.
The organization name, Kesed, comes from the Hebrew word for loyal love. Kesed
Seminars is a seminar and training team that works with Campus Crusade, churches,
denominations, schools, and other parachurch organizations to bring spiritual
transformation to their constituencies. Dr. Eckman and his wife, Carol, have
been married for 30 years and have two children.
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