This is a phrase quoted more times than I care to consider - used by people try to motivate others to study more, work harder, to give more of themselves to the pursuit of knowledge in order for them to better know how to maneuver through life and position themselves for “success”.
There are multiple challenges to this way of living. Firstly, the more you know, the more there is to know. You will never reach the end of knowing it all, and logically, ultimate success is forever out of reach. Secondly, there are fewer people who know what you know. While seeking knowledge and education is good, and should be done, what we are describing here effectively isolates one from a peer group. Finally, very few people are left who know what you want to know, and thus you will be left seeking knowledge alone. Hence, those who actually make it to the top find that it is very lonely there. They have traded relationship and community for power and success. This is a millennia old problem, and it is the result of sin. Get ready, this one is a little more “technical” than the previous few. I hope it does not confuse.
Gen 2:16, 18 “And the LORD God commanded the man,... But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it... And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”
We have already discussed that part of God’s motivation for creating gender marriage and intimacy was to preemptively give humanity something greater than what the serpent would offer.
Some scholars suggest that the garden was actually a sanctuary. At the center of the garden stood two twins: the Tree of Life, and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. In the sanctuary are 2 twins: the cherubim covering the mercy seat. It is at this center that Shekinah should have been revealed. It seems to me that God, in attempting to preemptively mitigate against the future lie of the serpent, decided to give humanity something greater than the twins trees could offer: God gave humanity committed intimate relationships. It was closeness with God, and closeness with each other, that was to be so powerful that they should cleave to one another, forsaking all others. They were given a relationship, a community, and intimacy outshone only by the glory of the Shekinah itself. Within such a relationship, all other issues were to pale by comparison.
Gen 2:16-17 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying…of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: …
Gen 3:5 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.
Gen 4:1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain...
The knowledge God said was in the tree of knowledge was da‛ath , cunning, or awareness knowledge. However, when the serpent spoke of God, he said that God doth know (yâda‛) meaning an intimate, relational sort of knowledge. He goes on to say that humanity “…will be as God, yâda‛ good and evil…”. His language offers an intimate relationship with good and evil, that will rival their relationship with God and each other.
When in Chapter 4 Adam knew Eve, the word yâda‛ is used again. This is in connection with sexual intimacy, to know someone completely. This was the part of the knowledge God had given them. In choosing what the serpent offered, not only was their relationship with God severed, but they even hid from each other, man proceeding to distance himself from woman in the succeeding conversation (Ch. 3:12). The end result is that humanity’s yâda‛ has been permanently been disfigured by the desire fo woman and the rulership of man (ch. 3:16).
Point: God created humanity to know, yâda‛,him spiritually intimately, and each other the same way. There was no other “knowing” to be had. Any other knowing offered at the tree was da‛ath, cunning and awareness. According to God, there was no yâda‛ at the tree. According to the serpent, it was yâda‛ that God didn’t want humanity to have, when that was exactly what He gave them!
Point: Eve spiritually offers to her husband what she thinks is a yâda‛, but not of herself (Ch. 4:1), but of something else…evil (ch. 3:6). Adam, eats the fruit, spiritually seeking the yâda‛ of something other than his wife…evil. They were already like God, their intimate relationship with each other a living object lesson of the Shekinah. They chose to give up their yâda‛ with God, and yâda‛ with each other, to gain the yâda‛ of evil, and all they left with was da‛ath and death.
Point: The relationship God gives you is in part to mitigate your desiring for knowing something God has not given you. I am to know only my wife intimately. All other relationships offering intimacy are only really offering…evil, da‛ath, and death, which is the cessation of relationship.
Point: It was God who said humanity as an individual was "not good". God chose to express Their knowledge and power through a heterosexually committed, intimate relationship, as seen created in Genesis 2.