Friday, January 13, 2012

The Two Trees

  The second chapter of Genesis specifically mentions two trees in the garden. Both reside in the middle of the garden; both are beautiful. One of them gives life. It is called The Tree of Life. The second tree takes life. It is called the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The first command is given to Adam:  “You may 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 you eat of it you shall surely die.”  (Gen. 2:16,17)  I find it strange that God did not specifically point out the Tree of Life and say, “The day you eat of that Tree is the day you will receive Eternal Life--you will never die.”
When God spoke this to Adam, Eve was missing. When God brought Eve to Adam, did he grab her by the hand and take her all over the garden? Did he pull her over to the glorious Tree of Life and say to her, “We may eat of this tree so let’s dig in!” Did he take her to the “other tree” and tell her exactly what God had said? Scripture does not reveal how Adam and Eve spent these first days together, but in Genesis 3 we find Eve chatting with a beautiful creature and, evidently, Adam was standing beside her. The conversation goes back and forth but I notice that Eve is not quoting God exactly; her husband is silent.   Eve eats;  Adam is given the fruit and he eats while at the same time remembering...
Papa, our parents were given an incredible place to live. It is full of light, warmth, beauty, pure water, lush with trees of all kinds. They have plenty to eat, a world to explore, paradise! But in the midst of all that beauty stands a tree of death--that looks luscious on the outside. There is also the Tree of Life. They can’t have them both. I sit here and realize anew that I have a choice. I can choose whether I will munch on the Tree of Knowledge or on the Tree of Life. I eat from the tree of Knowledge every time I choose to live independently of You. Sometimes, many times, this way looks good on the outside, but it leads to self and self in itself, has nothing to offer me. I choose to lean on You because in myself I cannot choose what is best. I see life from the perspective of time but You see life from the perspective of eternity.  My desire is to choose life today.

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