Thursday, October 6, 2011

Trees ~ Part 2

The name Eden means voluptuous, delight, luxury or finery. 
In our Genesis story, God formed man from the earth and breathed into him the breath of life. God placed this man He called Adam in this beautiful garden called Eden. There were all kinds of trees "that were pleasing to look at and good for food".  Here in Eden, Adam and his companion Eve enjoyed talking with God. They experienced peace, perfection, plenty and pleasure on a perfect planet.

In this perfect garden of God were two distinct trees. These two trees were named the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and the other tree was called The Tree of Life. These two trees play a role in our destiny.
In Genesis chapter 2, God tells Adam (and Eve) that they can eat from any tree in Eden except from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God allows them to have a choice and a free will. They could trust Him and have Faith in Him to be truthful or they could chose to do as they pleased. He told them of the consequences of eating from the Tree if they disobeyed. 
Genesis chapter 2 verse 17 says, "...for when you eat of it, you will surely die". Unfortunately, we know what happens next. 

The prophet Ezekiel tells us that Satan was in Eden, the Garden of God, and was beautiful to look at. The apostle Paul writes in Second Corinthians chapter 11 verse 14, that "Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light". It would be natural to think that a spirit being so evil would also look ugly but, this is not the case with the fallen angel Satan. Genesis chapter 3 tells us the story of how sin entered our world. The serpent (Satan) said to the woman, "Has God said you shouldn't eat of every tree in the garden?" Eve said, "We may eat of the trees but of the fruit of the Tree in the middle of the garden, God told us we shouldn't eat of it or even touch it or we will die." Satan replied, "Oh, you won't surely die! God knows in the day you eat of it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods knowing good and evil." Eve saw that the Tree was good for food, nice to look at and a tree to be desired to make one wise so, she took a fruit, took a bite and handed it to Adam and he ate it too. Their minds were opened and they knew they were naked and sewed fig leaves together to make aprons and hid among the trees from God when they heard his voice in the garden. God called to Adam, "Where are you?"  Adam replied, "I heard your voice and I was afraid because I was naked and I hid."  God asked, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the Tree I told you not to eat of?" Adam says, "That woman you gave me, she gave me the fruit of the Tree and I did eat it". God says to Eve, "What have you done?" Eve says, "The Serpent deceived me and I did eat." God made garments of skin (the first sacrifice) for Adam and Eve and clothed them. Then He said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take from the Tree of Life and eat and live forever." So God banished them from the Garden of Eden and placed a cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the Tree of Life.

The Devil didn't tempt Adam and Eve to eat from the Tree of Life because it wasn't prohibited. They would not have sinned if they had eaten from it. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was truly a tree of death. The death was a spiritual death. Their disobedience came with a cost and separated them from their creator God. They listened to the voice of the Tempter and began to doubt the goodness of God. God then immediately removed the Tree of Life because He was not going to allow them to eat of it and live forever in sin. This was an act of mercy. If they had eaten from the Tree of Life, earth would have become a living hell; they would have lived forever in sin without a way out. Adam and Eve disobeyed God's only rule. They acted on their own will, their own desire, instead of trusting in God's perfect will for them. Because of this, sin entered the world.
The book of Romans says in chapter 5 verse 12, "Just as sin entered the world through one man, (Adam and Eve) and death through sin, in this way death came to all men (humankind), because all sin."

Because of sin our planet and people suffer from a curse. Sin has separated us from God our Creator. We are encumbered with the cares of life. We contend with thorns and weeds; we have pain in childbirth; we work hard and face temptations and sin each day. We suffer from sadness, illness, loneliness, loss, grief, pain, and death. The punishment for sin is death. God was right.
I think Eve was hopeful that the birth of a son would help restore her relationship with God. She named her first son Cain which means 'to create'. In Genesis chapter 4 Eve says, "With the help of the Lord, I have brought forth a man". But, by the time Able was born, I think the realization of her disobedience had sunk in. The name Able means, 'to act emptily' or 'all is vanity'.
Sin separates us from God but, God in His great love and mercy has created a way back to Him.
In my next post, I will write about how God reached out to me and showed me The Way back to Him.
In the meantime, feel free to comment. Whether positive or negative, I would love to hear what you think.
Until then, blessings in the journey.


paul said...

From time to time, I like to remind myself that God's will for us was made perfectly plain right from the beginning: complete happiness in a world too beautiful for words.

A Magical Whimsy said...

Profound thoughts, my dear sister. Yes, God was merciful by allowing Adam and Even not to eat of the Tree of Life. There is a parable that while the flood was coming, a super-human (a super man born by a human daughter whose mate was an angel...yes that account is given in Genesis 3). The parable says the god-like super human saw the Tree of Life perishing, going into the ocean, at the time of the flood. He dove down into the depths and rescued the tree, only to have a dragon (Satan?) devour the tree as the god-like super human surfaced upon the shore. Who knows? Maybe the account had some truth in it. And there were myths that talk about a super-human going down into Hades. I do believe that myths had factual beginnings that were lost partially due to the flood. But quite a fascinating subject.
Thank you for your Biblical account. As we can trust God's Word to be true.

AprilMorris said...

I saw a photo of a tree with a rainbow around it. Where did you get that photo? I would like to buy a bigger version of it. Thank you.
April /