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Good Ignorance (Just A Minute #106)

Andy Bonikowsky
Written by Andy Bonikowsky
04/24/2010

"And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of 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 thereof thou shalt surely die." (Genesis 2:16-17)

One of the first lessons God teaches man in the Bible is that there are things he is not supposed to understand.

Planted before the first man and woman was a live reminder that some things were meant to be in sight but out of reach. In other words, it is correct for them to exist before us, but not for us to comprehend. Unfathomable information was in fact available to Adam and Eve. They had the capacity to access the knowledge, but only by violating the command and desire of their loving Creator.

It was explicitly His business to know the mysteries of the fruit and not theirs.

Now, exploration in itself is not bad. The Bible does not discourage investigation per se. But there are God-ordained limits in some areas and we are to stay away from them, whether they are essentially good or evil. This goes totally against modern thinking. Our age just automatically expects it has the right to explore any place and anything. If we can see it, or hear it, or imagine it, or reach it, it is fair game.

But this is wrong thinking. This world of life is God’s and we do not have the keys to all knowledge nor can we snoop around without restrictions. We may scream that we are free, but that is simply pride, rebellion, and a denial of the facts.

Jehovah has determined that, for us, some things are better left alone or unknown. Here are a few examples: There is a certain kind of information at our fingertips that the Word of God calls an abomination. We should be careful before sticking our noses in for a deeper smell. In a different area, we find the Scriptures contain truths that we should accept as they are given while accepting our inability to fathom them completely. And also, we often face situations of daily living that we cannot understand. We chew and stew over the details for hours and still end up confused and without answers. Like the tree, they stand before us as mysteries we are unauthorized to grasp.

There is nothing wrong with this arrangement. God is God and I am His creature. He has the perfect right to place trees in my life that have fruit I should not even try to touch.

Are there some issues like this in your life right now? Some situations you just can’t make sense of, no matter how much you analyze them?

Then it is probably one of those times in which it is good to be ignorant. It may not be fun or what we would choose, but it is out of reach for the time being and is what God has decided in His sovereign wisdom.

Let’s not make the terrible mistake our ancestors made.

Dear Father, it is in me to always want answers. I feel like ignorance is necessarily bad, and that if I can’t understand everything around me, I am missing something I deserve. Teach me to make my highest priority knowing You and Your good will for me right now. Nothing else is really essential. Amen.

Andy