What exactly is God concerned to guard against in Gen 3:22?

The only thing the text is quite clear about is that God wants to prevent man from living forever. Such a notion doubtless seems offensive for the simple reason that man had become sinful, and an immortal man would make sin immortal as well. That would offend deeply against God’s holiness. Still, some look at the text of Gen 3:22-24 and think that God is concerned to keep man lowly, not too wise, not such as to pose a challenge to his authority. Such a notion, however, is utterly ridiculous. God had recently finished created everything; to a being so powerful and wise, there is no possible threat from a created being. There is a similar supposed puzzle about the Tower of Babel, as if God were actually threatened by uppity man, as if he wanted to keep man humble because man might be a threat. That is not the point, as we will see, although it is certainly true that God did not want man thinking that he was a god; again, see Ezek. 28 where he describes the “prince of Tyrus” as a Satanic would-be god. Even there, the reason God loathes the idea of such an overproud man is that such men become brutal sinners, when true righteousness simply humility before God. So keeping some sort of occult, or advanced, knowledge out of man’s hands makes up absolutely no part of what God is guarding against in 3:22. No, God simply wants to prevent fallen man from entering such a holy place. The right to the Tree of Life returns again at the very end of the Bible: “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” (Rev. 22:14)