The Tree of Life
Posted: Friday, January 2
Verse of the day:
Then the Lord God said, “Look, the human beings have become like us, knowing both good and evil. What if they reach out, take fruit from the tree of life, and eat it? Then they will live forever!” (Genesis 3:22)
When the Bible gives reference to the garden of Eden, it is to be meant as a literal place. Similar to how we would refer to Rome, Sydney, or Milwaukee as real places. It was a garden that God himself planted where man literally lived with God. The Bible says that Adam would tend and care for the garden and then spend time with God in the cool of the day. In the middle of this garden were two trees - the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
The Tree of Life was an actual tree with heavy symbolism tied to it. The Tree was a symbol of God dwelling with man in perfect union. It was a reminder to Adam of God’s love and relationship. As long as Adam & Eve were in the garden, they had full access to the Tree of Life and its fruits. The additional tree in the garden, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, was placed there so man could enjoy freewill. It was the only tree in the entire garden that they could not eat from. In order for man to have freewill, God gave them the option of choosing for themselves what they would do - obey or do things on their own. As we know from reading the rest of the story, Adam & Eve eventually eat from the forbidden Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and that is when sin is introduced into the human race. It wasn’t the fruit Adam & Eve ate that introduced sin into the world, it was their freewill choice of defiance where evil was then born.
Trees have played a major symbolic role throughout the Bible as a sign of life. In the Old Testament as Moses is leading the Israelites through the wilderness after leaving Egypt, many people were bitten by poisonous snakes. God instructs Moses to create a pole from a tree that the people could then look upon and receive healing. God speaks to Moses through a burning bush and the cross on which Jesus was crucified is often referred to as a tree. The final chapter in the final book of the Bible mentions the Tree of Life again, but this time not in the Garden of Eden but on the new Earth God creates. It says in Revelation 22:2, “On each side of the river grew Trees of Life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month; the leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.”
It was so important that Adam & Eve didn’t eat from the Tree of Life after sinning because it would have forever condemned man to death with no hope of salvation. I’m so thankful God has given us freewill and that we can choose every one of our actions. I’m thankful for a God who wanted a relationship with you and with me so bad that He made a way despite our mistakes. Our God is an incredibly creative and thorough God - he leaves no room for mistakes. It’s comforting to know that God is involved in even the smallest details of our lives. Doing things His way brings life - I can’t wait to see the Tree of Life one day in the reinstituted sanctuary where God lives with man!