Two Tall Trees
Read Genesis Chapter 2
Ge 2:9 And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Ge 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
Once again, we must come to the realization that we don’t understand God. I have heard more than one discussion about who created evil, or where did it come from. Those discussions are interesting and make us think beyond the realm of our abilities. Here is another question which we will not likely be able to answer. Why did God give mankind a choice between good and evil, since He knew very well which one would be chosen? Since we won’t be able to solve these issues, we will instead simply consider some facts about evil that we do know, and try to find an application to our lives.
We can be sure of at least one thing based on this verse. Evil existed even before Adam and Eve had sinned. We also know that Satan and some other heavenly beings rebelled against God, probably long before the creation of our world. So here we are in this chapter of Genesis, in the Garden of Eden, and there are two very significant trees. One is the tree of life and the other is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. One could say that the latter tree was the tree of death, because that is exactly what it was – a tree which caused man and woman to inherit spiritual death.
We presume that Adam and Eve ate from the tree of life for a while before eventually eating from the wrong tree. In effect, by doing so they chose spiritual death over spiritual life. What can we learn from these thoughts? We were born into this world as sinful. We inherited sinfulness from our original ancestor, Adam. Therefore, we were never given the option of choosing which tree to choose for ourselves. Or were we?
Because we are alert to spiritual things, we can see some very close similarities between ourselves and Adam and Eve. They were eating from the tree of life, but chose to eat from that other tree. We have been eating from the tree of death. But we have been given the privilege of choosing instead to begin eating from the tree of life. Our “tree of life” is in believing in Jesus Christ as our Savior, and following Him in righteousness. That is an awesome option which has been given to us, thanks to the grace and mercy of our Lord.
Yes, every once and a while, we pluck some fruit off that tree of death. But because we are God’s children, we always repent of our misdeed and get back to partaking in the good fruit. The Holy Spirit living within us will guide us to repentance, and we will receive forgiveness.
Every day we see both kinds of trees. Every day (or many times a day) we have a choice as to which one we choose to eat. By now you would think that we were smart enough to make the right choices each time. We haven’t had good results from eating from that wrong one. Every excursion into homosexual activity has brought us a measure of unpleasantness, yet we still look at that tree as though it were something that we must have.
The unsaved do not understand that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is a tree of death. Neither do they understand that the tree of life is something that they absolutely must have in order to inherit eternal life. We have all the wisdom and knowledge we need to understand the difference between these two trees. We have no excuse for making the wrong decisions. Let us consider all this more seriously from now on when we are presented with our options. There really isn’t any reason for us to eat bad fruit from the wrong tree.
Prayer: First, we thank You for showing us the difference between these two very opposing fruits. Thank You for showing us the way of life, and warning us of the dangers of the way of death. Second, we fervently pray that You would reveal truth to those we know and love who are not aware of the difference. And lastly, we pray for our friends who understand the difference, but have made the wrong choice. Lord, have mercy on them, and we thank You for the mercy we have been given.