Friday, December 11, 2009

The Tale of Two Trees. . .

Genesis 2:7-9
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (8) And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. (9) And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Nothing God does is rash or hurried. His plan is considered and thoughtful. He does not have to make corrections and adjustments as would be necessary with a human plan. God created the entire cosmos. . . the sun, moon, planets, stars and the earth. Upon the earth He created land and water. He created plants and animals. . .the entire complex ecosystem, all well functioning and self-sustaining. He created all this before He created Man. He made a special garden, "eastward in Eden" as it is translated or in the Hebrew it can also be read, 'before His pleasure' or 'before His delight'. It was a wonderful place. Everything required for man's physical needs were put into this garden.

In the midst of the garden, was a special place with two amazing trees, both having special powers in their fruit, the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. We know what happened with the fruit of the tree of knowledge, Eve first and then Adam ate of that fruit, but what about the other tree, the tree of life? Why would God put such a tree in the garden in the first place? We are told that death, through the actions of Adam entered the world through his sin:

Romans 5:12
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Therefore before sin, Adam and Eve had no need for a tree of life, they already had life everlasting. . .Death did not exist in the world until they sinned. The tree of life was the very reason that Adam and Eve were put out of the garden:

Genesis 3:22-23
And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: (23) Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

The tree of life, had no purpose before the sin of Adam. When death entered the world, when Adam now became contaminated with sin, man's access to the tree of life was withdrawn. When sin entered entered into the world, the direct and unrestricted path to everlasting life was barred to mankind.

God knows the beginning from the end. God knew when he created man and placed him in the garden of Eden, He knew that man would choose to taste of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God had to give man that choice if man was to be man. . .Man was created in the likeness of God:

Genesis 1:26
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. . .

But that likeness lacked one element, that of knowledge. After Adam chose knowledge, God said:

Genesis 3:22
And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us. . .

God does not do wrong. . .God does not do evil, so He would not, did not place the burden of knowledge on man, He did not choose the knowledge of sin for man, but God allowed man that option for himself. Without the option of choice, the garden of Eden, no matter how perfect, and no matter how luxurious would have become as a prison for man. No matter how nice the resort. . . no matter the finery and features of the hotel, if you can never leave it, the initial heavenly air about it, will with long familiarity become the cloying stench of hell. You will long to escape. You will long for anything outside the prison walls that contain you. . .

But now, God did us the ultimate favor by taking away the tree of life from us. With sin in our lives, if while in that fallen condition we were given eternal life, that life would have turned to a literal hell of agony, pain and godlessness. To be eternally separated by sin from God is hell. The direct path to the tree of life was barred to us. Importantly God did not say that the tree of life was destroyed, only that the road to the tree of life was blocked by a flaming sword. . .The sword blocked the way of the unrighteous partaking of the fruit of the tree of life. . . The powerful, sharp, and piercing sword along with the brightly burning and cleansing fire allowed only one way to the tree. . .The way was opened by the sacrifice of Jesus. . .

Acts 5:30
The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.

1 Peter 2:24
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

Jesus hung upon a tree. He knew death, that through His death we might have access to the fruit of that tree upon which He hung and have everlasting life. . .By His death, we regained the way, past the flaming sword to the tree of life. . .

Revelation 2:7
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

Revelation 22:2
In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Revelation 22:14
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.

Now rather than being barred from the tree of life,. . .the tree. . .now revealed as the cross, is still blocked by the sWORD of God from the unrighteous. The cross is a stumbling block to all who would try to enter into the heavenly city by some other way, but to us it is a ladder out of the pit of sin reaching all the way to heaven. From the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation, trees of the garden cast long shadows. . .by the eating the fruit of the first we chose darkness. . . by the partaking the fruit of the second we are blessed with a way out. . .

Come eat of the fruit of the tree. . .

Revelation 3:20
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

I love you my God. . .
Thank you my Lord. . .

Thank you for what You did on the tree. . .



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