Choices between Good and Evil in the Bible

Essay add: 18-04-2016, 10:44   /   Views: 194
Choices between Good and Evil in the Bible

Throughout the Bible there are many examples of which humans must make a choice between good and evil. If the Fall had never occurred humankind would never have the responsibility to make their own choices. The consequences of the Fall provide humanity with the knowledge and characteristics that make them human. While the knowledge may not always result in the right choices, it at least provides people with humanity. Without the freedom to make their own choices people are more like soulless beings. Knowledge is a key human characteristic that often leads to other humanlike qualities, such as modesty, fear, blame, and jealousy. The Fall provides people with those humanlike qualities.

Adam is brought into the world when “the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Lawall 52). However, it is arguable that Adam actually has a soul at this point because he is unable to think for himself. He must wait for God to give him instructions on the way he acts rather than making his own choices. A true soulful being would have the ability and the knowledge to react and do things of their own accord. Not until the Fall are Adam and Eve able to behave with real humanlike qualities.

Before the Fall Adam and Eve act as if they do not have a care in the world and live to care for the earth and its animals. In fact, they have no judgments about anything and seem to live for relaxation. “They were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed,” (Lawall 53). Being unashamed of ones nudity is a very unhumanlike quality. Not until the Fall occurs can Adam and Eve gain the modesty that will force them to feel embarrassed when they are naked. Modesty is an important human characteristic that would not exist if it was not for the Fall.

Curiosity is actually a trait that becomes apparent even before the Fall. However, it takes a while for Adam and Eve’s curiosity to be aroused and when they first find out that “every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest therof thou shall surely die” (Lawall 53). Most people would immediately be curious, and many would doubt the depth of Gods threats. Yet Adam and Eve continue to go on with their normal day to day lives until the serpent points out how odd it is that God would want to keep such a special tree from his creations. Since the Fall has not yet occurred Adam and Eve require an outside source to give them the curiosity needed to eat the apple. Just like God can easily convince them what to do so can the serpent. When the serpent opens Eve’s eyes to the tree of knowledge she makes the humanlike decision to sample it. This foreshadows that she is going to soon be behaving like a soul-filled human. “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food…and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat…also unto her husband, and he did eat” (Lawall 53). Eve only sees that the tree is good for food when the serpent points it out, before that she takes Gods word that the tree is something that she must stay away from. The serpent points out, “for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Lawall 53). If the Fall had already occurred Eve would have wondered about the tree of knowledge instantaneously. She and Adam would have wondered about it because it is the forbidden fruit.

One of the most important traits that humanity gains from the consequences of the Fall is knowledge. The way that Adam and Eve act changes dramatically from before and after the Fall. Before the Fall they wander around the Garden of Eden in ignorant bliss, but afterward they have knowledge, and with knowledge many things follow. “Behold, the man is become one as one of us, to know good and evil” (Lawall 54). Adam and Eve gain knowledge of good and evil and many more human characteristics. The modesty that was written about above now becomes apparent when “the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked” (Lawall 53). This is one of the first events following the Fall. The Fall provides them with the knowledge that it is best to cover themselves (and leave a little to the imagination). After they realize that they are naked “they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden of the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden” (Lawall 53). God is immediately suspicious because Adam and Eve are not supposed to hide from God and are always expected to be honest. However, when God questions their actions Adam replies, “I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself” (Lawall 53). Now that Adam and Eve have become modest they will not even allow God to see them naked. After Adam and Eve realize that they are naked they quickly gather together fig leaves to make clothes for themselves. The Fall provides them with the knowledge of their nakedness.

Adam and Eve are quick to shift the blame away from themselves regarding the Fall. If the Fall had never occurred they would never have had to shift any blame because they would never have done anything that was wrong. However, the serpent feeds Eve the idea of tasting from the tree of knowledge.

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