“But solid food is for the mature, whose perceptions are trained by practice to discern both good and evil.” -Hebrews 5:14
In the garden, there was a tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God told Adam and Eve they were not to eat of it. On the other hand, in Hebrews 5:14, the Lord reveals to us He wants us to have discernment or the ability to know the difference between good and evil. What is the difference between these two scriptures? How is it that in creation God limited the knowledge of the good and evil, but later reveals it is an example of spiritual maturity in the saints? The answer to this dilemma lies in the way a person receives knowledge.
There is knowledge of good and evil which comes through self-indulgence. God doesn’t want this for us. When we casually follow the prodding of our flesh, with no thought about God, we gain knowledge of pain and destruction. We tell a lie, and then, quickly we need to tell another lie to cover our first lie. Soon our trail of lies ends up hurting others and destroying relationships. Did we gain knowledge of what is good and what is evil? Yes, but at such a cost!
However, there is a right way to learn the difference between good and evil, and that way is through the teaching of the Word of God. By daily meditating on God’s word, by faithfully attending worship, by anointed pastors and teachers, we receive the ministry of the Word as seed in good soil it grows within. As we walk in the revelation the Word brings, the ways of God take root in our life, and proper discernment of good and evil fills our mind and conscience. Satan said knowing good and evil would make us like gods in the garden. God said He would make us into the image of His Son so we would not partake of evil. As we walk in God’s Word, our ability to sense in the spirit grows. Our ability to sense of the Lord is magnified. This maturity is what God intends for all His children, a maturity that keeps us safe from destruction and a maturity that makes us like Christ.
Written by Michael Heil