So I decided to read through the Bible cover-to-cover. I have said many times, "This year I'm going to read the Bible all the way through," but each year I drop off somewhere in the middle of Leviticus. The thing that I decided to do differently this time, is to give myself as much time as I need to actually read through the Bible and enjoy it and learn from it...not make it a chore.
As I began reading Genesis though, I noticed something I've never noticed before...now you may think, "Wow, Aubs. You're slow." And this may be the case, but I'd like to share with you what I gleaned from the first few chapters.
"...the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 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...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.'" - Gen. 2:7-17
The thing I never noticed (and I'm not sure why): "the tree of life was in the midst of the garden"
God never said, "You may not eat of the tree of life."
But they didn't choose life. Eve chose the only thing God told them they couldn't have.
I wonder what the tree of life looks like...maybe it looked like all the other trees (doubt it).Maybe they didn't know it was the tree of life (doubtful again). But one thing is certain, eating from the tree of life brings eternal 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..." - 3:22,23
That's it. That's what I noticed, and it raises a lot of questions in my mind. Why did God put the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden in the first place? Did Adam and Eve ignore God's warning because death had never happened before, so "you will surely die" didn't make a lot of sense to them?
Someday we'll know. Maybe not until we get there...but someday.
Eve's choice of sin over life reminds me of myself sometimes. I choose to watch that movie, or I choose to let those words tumble out of my mouth and then wish I could stuff them back in. (Jeez, James was right when he said the tongue was "a fire, a world of unrighteousness").
Another thing I know, however, is that God, through John in the book of Revelation, tells us that we will see the tree of life again...and there will be no tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Maybe because we already know what evil is capable of doing to us. Maybe because there will be absolutely no evil where God is.
"also, on either side of the river [of the water of life], 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. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever." - Rev. 22:2-4