Posted tagged ‘tree of life’

Back to the Tree of Life

November 24, 2017

Depositphotos Image ID: 13147743 Copyright: martinm303

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 again in the Book of Revelation, and it pops up three times in Proverbs.

That gives us hope. Though we are presently cut off from it, the tree of life figures into God’s ultimate plan as revealed in the Book of Revelation. The tree of life appears there 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.

(more…)

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The Tree of Life

March 4, 2016

Shagbark Hickory


The tree of life was there in the garden. It was available to us until God “cast us out of the garden” and closed us off from it, so the story goes. Why?

I think there is intention to the fact that He let us know that the tree of life was there and we could eat of it. Conceivably, we could have chosen to eat of the fruit of the tree of life, instead of the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

(Notice that it was not a “tree of knowledge” but a tree of the knowledge of the difference between good and evil.)

I began thinking about these things one day as I was contemplating the slow unwinding of my own body. (more…)

Revisiting Life and Death: The Gospel from Beginning to End

July 10, 2015

Chris Frayley On Rock at River Bend


“O death, where is your victory?

O death, where is your sting?”

These familiar phrases from 1 Corinthians. 15:55 (quoting Hosea 13:14) jumped out at me as I read them again. Of course, I know that God has swallowed up death in victory through the resurrection of Jesus Christ! But, what does that really mean for us?

This statement is the tip of the iceberg, and it occurs to me that we cannot understand without remembering and contemplating “how we got here”. Therefore, we must go back to the beginning. (more…)

Two Trees in the Garden

January 30, 2014

Connecting with nature

“In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Gen. 2:10

Sometimes things jump out when I read the Bible. Two days ago, I was reading Genesis, and it struck me:

 There were two trees mentioned in the garden

The tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil….

and God only told Adam and Eve they could not eat from one tree – the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

God did not forbid them to eat of the tree of life.

That suggests that they could have eaten of the tree of life without prohibition, and it struck me: What if Adam and Eve had chosen life? Would there have been a fall? Would God have allowed them to remain in the garden with the tree of knowledge after having partaken of the tree of life?

We can only speculate because Genesis tells us Adam and Eve chose knowledge instead of life. They were drawn to the one tree that God forbade them to eat. It dawns on me that the very act of choosing was a sort of an introduction to that knowledge, and I suspect God knew that they would choose it: the one thing He told them they could not have. What is it in us that we are drawn to the things that we cannot have? Why are we drawn to the things we know we should not have, even over the things that we would rather have?

I suppose some people might choose knowledge again, even knowing that life would be forfeited. Even so, one theme of great literature and art over the centuries is a longing for eternal life. The fountain of youth is the coveted grail. Nothing strikes more darkly at the heart than the certainty of death and takes more of toil on the human heart than the loss of a loved one to its clutches.

I am certain that God foresaw and knew the path that His crowning creation would take. We are created in God’s image and for a purpose higher than our own designs. God must have known that Adam and Eve may have chosen (wold choose?) knowledge over life. He gave them that choice, and he must have been prepared to respond to it. In that sense, it seems to me that knowledge was a part of the plan, even if meant that we would be separated from life and separate from God by it.  

Ironic it is that partaking in the knowledge of good and evil would mean loss of fellowship with God and loss of a personal knowledge of God.

It had to be part of God’s plan as, without the ability to choose, and without the knowledge of good and evil, there would be no truly free will, and without free will, no true love. There would be no place for God’s mercy, no reason for Him to extend it. Without the knowledge of good evil and the opportunity to exercise truly free will, people would be one directional beings, not different in kind from every other animal, unable to appreciate God or to love Him fully.

Knowledge, however, could only come with a price. After gaining the knowledge of good and evil, there would need to be additional work done in the hearts of men, work which could not have been done without that knowledge, work that could not have been accomplished if knowledge were combined with eternal life, work that could take root only in the shadow of inevitable death, separation from God and the need for God’s redemptive mercy.

I do not believe that God could have (or would have) allowed the knowledge of good and evil to be gained along with eternal life. Knowledge, alone, puffs up. Indeed, it was the temptation to know what God knows and to be like God that induced Eve to eat. Sin, separation from God, toil, pain and inevitably death remind us that we are not in control, that knowledge, alone, cannot save us from this condition – that we are the creatures and not the Creator.

Knowledge alone does not make us like God. It does not ensure character, heart, mercy, justice, kindness, goodness and ultimately love. Those things must be chosen, and evil must be rejected. The knowledge of good and evil ensures that there is a choice to be made. It cannot be avoided. And in having to make the choice to embrace good, even though the tendency of man is to choose that which is forbidden, is where God meets the heart and does His work.

God placed the trees side by side; He forbade one, but made them both available. God made eternal life available in the Garden, and He makes it available to us still. God put eternity in the hearts of men. (Eccl. 3:11) He gave us the desire for eternal life. God desires that no one perish; and that all come to eternal life. (John 3:16) … but, men must choose. We must choose God, who is good, and His ways over ourselves and our ways. We must choose the merciful redemption of God, embrace the goodness of God and reject our own ways.

In the end, believers will have both knowledge and life, and that life that God gives freely will be given precisely because we choose goodness – because we choose God. The knowledge that was chosen in disobedience to God puts the horrible responsibility on us to choose, and by choosing, to end up with goodness and God for eternity … or  separation from God. It would have been so much simpler and better for us if we had chosen life, instead of knowledge. Instead, it is a matter of life and death.

 


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