Back to the Tree of Life

The hope that is deferred is not just eternal life, but fullness of life.

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The tree of life is mentioned only three places in the Bible.  The first and most prominent place the tree of life appears in the Bible is in Genesis. The Tree of Life is one of two trees specifically identified in the garden. The other tree, of course, is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

I have wondered what would have happened and how things might be different if Adam and Eve had eaten of the Tree of Life, rather than tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If they had eaten of the tree of life, would they have had eternal life at that point? Or is the tree of life something that must be consumed over and over again?

It really doesn’t matter for purposes of considering our present reality. From dust to dust is our current condition, but the tree of life appears three times in Proverbs and again in the Book of Revelation.

The fact that it appears again in Revelations, the vision of the ultimate redemption of mankind and victory of God, gives us hope. Though we are presently cut off from it, the tree of life figures into God’s ultimate plan and purpose. The tree of life appears on either side of the “river of the water of life… flowing from the throne of God….”[1]

Where do we find the tree of life in between the Garden of Eden and standing beside the river of the water of life from the throne of God? Let’s take a look.

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