God give me passion, I am again writing on this blog because I feel the lack of desire for you. I want to love to spend time in worship and prayer.
God give me strength. I don’t know what you’ve called me to do and I have no idea if I have the strength to do it. Thank you for your provision. God you are my life. You are what will keep me alive. You are my bread. You are my life.
I was thinking yesterday how God mentions the tree of life in the second chapter of Genesis.
“And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” — Genesis 2:9
After Adam and Eve eat the from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil God banishes them from the garden lest they eat from the tree of life.
“ Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever — therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.” — Genesis 3:22–24
While reading this i had a couple of questions:
- Why was it important for them not to eat of the tree of life? Why didn’t God want them living forever?
- Why a tree? Why does the bible use the imagery of tree for these two ideas?
What is interesting is that this reference to eternal life is one of the far and few between reference to eternal life that is mentioned in the Old Testament. Some of the prophets make reference to this new life, but Jesus is really the first one to offer this idea up. Jesus says that he is the way to eternal life. For Adam and Eve the tree was. I don’t know if this is an important theological idea but it feels worth mentioning.
In terms of awnsering the first question I think I’ve come up with an answer, God offered them every tree in the garden, except the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” — Genesis 2:16–17
God gave them the choice to eat from the tree of life but they didn’t. Instead they rejected God and chose to be selfish and eat of a tree that gave them knowledge. One thing that I think is often confused is that some people think that because God told them not to eat of this tree, meant that God does not want his people to gain knowledge. I don’t think this is true. God doesn’t seem to be against knowledge, Solomon asked God for wisdom and God was pleased.
“ ‘Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?’
The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. So God said to him, ‘Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for — both wealth and honor — so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings.And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.’ ” — 1 Kings 3:7–14
God is for wisdom and is for knowledge.
One other paralled that I noticed reading this is that in both stories God offers life. He offers Solomon a long life if he obey’s him and he offers Adam and Eve eternal life if they obey him.
This is echoed throughout eternity, however not in the same way. It has already been established that those who obey God live and those who don’t don’t. But in the new testament Jesus offers something new. If someone would just believe in him they are offered this reward that they don’t deserve.
Since Adam and Eve chose themselves over God and Solomon chose himself over God isn’t it only right that God takes away their eternal life for the sake of his creation? If everyone who was evil lived forever the world would be full of evil people. God is faithful to reduce our time on earth for the sake of our life.
“Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever — therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.” — Genesis 3:22–24
Adam and Eve, like the rest of humanity are deemed unworthy of the tree of life.
However the tree of life does not end there. It makes one more appearance, in the last chapter of the bible.
“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” — Revelation 22:1–2
The tree of life is back
EDIT: My last edit was 2 days ago. I wrote most of this in that morning. That same day I got 1 youtube video explaining the tree of life as well as 1 podcast from the bible project about the same subject. I had almost no motivation to finish this blog but clearly God wanted me to. God always wants him to meet you, just give him the chance, and even if it is boring or doesn’t feel worth it, know that it is. We have 80ish years on this planet, during that time persuing God might not be easy or fun, but its the sacrifice that shows our devotion. Once we are in heaven there will be nothing we will rather do than praise God.
EDIT 2: Also trees are a prominant symbol in the Ancient Near East for life. In that arid climate there was not alot of trees, but when there was some they knew that life was abundant there. Actually the tree of life is an Egyptian idea. Pretty cool how God used their idea of the tree of life to show them what his idea’s are.