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May 9, 2021 | Chris Baselice
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“And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food . . .”—Genesis 2:9a (NKJV)
Having placed Adam in the Garden of Eden, we’re now told that God filled this garden with trees. These trees were intended to bring Adam pleasure as he beheld their beauty and nourishment as their fruit produced food for him. But the Bible goes on to highlight two trees in particular: “The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:9b NKJV).
We’re introduced to “the tree of life” and “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Both are incredibly important to the biblical narrative and need to be understood.
Starting with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil: We know this to be the tree that would factor into the fall of humanity. It was this tree (specifically the disobedient act of eating its fruit) that introduced sin into God’s perfect creation. With sin, death also entered into the earthly experience—and it hasn’t left since!
This tree represents what’s wrong with our world and with us because it revealed mankind’s weakness and disobedience towards God. It was the place where humanity’s status was changed to “sinner” and where our place in paradise was lost. We might even say that it represents our hopelessness before a holy God.
Thankfully, there’s another tree, the tree of life. We aren’t told as much about this tree in Genesis, other than God denying mankind access to it after the fall (Genesis 3:24). But it reappears in a promise Jesus makes in the Book of Revelation: “To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7 NKJV).
“To him who overcomes . . .” what does that mean? It’s another way of referring to all who trust in Jesus (1 John 5:5), who died on the cross to forgive the sin first spawned at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. All who place their faith in Him and what He did for them are promised access to eat from the tree of life in God’s Paradise. This is the great hope that we long for!
Two trees: One stands for hopelessness and Paradise lost, the other represents hope and Paradise regained! May we be people of the second tree through Christ’s work on the cross!
DIG: What two trees are singled out in this passage?
DISCOVER: What does each tree represent? What determines which tree will ultimately define someone?
DO: Which tree is bearing fruit in your life today? What one are you watering and nurturing with your actions, words, and attitudes? Ask the Lord to help you enjoy the fruit of the tree of life.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.