THE TREES OF LIFE AND KNOWLEDGE
Genesis 2:9 NIV: And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Genesis 2:16-17 NIV: And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; (17) but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
Here we see God DELIBERATELY plant in the MIDDLE of the Garden of Eden two trees: the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
He then explicitly commands Adam NOT to eat of the tree of knowledge but he was FREE TO EAT OF THE TREE OF LIFE!
To attract Adam’s attention to eat FIRSTLY of the tree of life!
Had Adam done this He would have got the knowledge of good and evil by REVELATION and not by physical experience: which was what happened when he and Eve ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil with its tragic consequences for the entire human race!
Romans 5:12-14 AMP: Therefore, as sin came into the world through one man, and death as the result of sin, so death spread to all men, [no one being able to stop it or to escape its power] because all men sinned. (13) [To be sure] sin was in the world before ever the Law was given, but sin is not charged to men’s account where there is no law [to transgress]. (14) Yet death held sway from Adam to Moses [the Lawgiver], even over those who did not themselves transgress [a positive command] as Adam did. Adam was a type (prefigure) of the One Who was to come [in reverse, the former destructive, the Latter saving]. [Gen. 5:5; 7:22; Deut. 34:5.]
The knowledge of good and evil is NOT EVIL; what was evil was getting it by disobedience and physical experience. God has the knowledge of good and evil and the strength of character ALWAYS TO CHOOSE TO DO GOOD AND NEVER TO DO EVIL.
Genesis 3:22 AMP: And the Lord God said, Behold, the man has become like one of Us [the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit], to know [how to distinguish between] good and evil and blessing and calamity; and now, lest he put forth his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever—
1 John 1:5 AMP: and this is the message [the message of promise], which we have heard from Him and now are reporting to you: God is Light, and there is no darkness in Him at all [no, not in any way].
Hebrews 6:18 AMP: This was so that, by two unchangeable things [His promise and His oath] in which it is impossible for God ever to prove false or deceive us, we who have fled [to Him] for refuge might have mighty indwelling strength and strong encouragement to grasp and hold fast the hope appointed for us and set before [us].
Today, we are still being faced with the two trees: the tree of life in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ through His written Word and the tree of natural knowledge that comes through physical experience.
Proverbs 3:13-18 NKJV: Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding; (14) For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold. (15) She is more precious than rubies, and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her. (16 Length of days is in her right hand, In her left hand riches and honor. (17) Her ways are ways of pleasantness, And all her paths are peace. (18) She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who retain her.
1 Corinthians 1:30 NKJV: But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—
God’s will for us like it was for Adam is to eat DAILY FIRSTLY from the tree of life BEFORE eating of the tree of knowledge. When we only eat of the tree of knowledge, we become spiritually blind to the reality of God’s presence and give ALL or majority of our time, effort and affection to studying and serving the physical creation rather than the invisible Creator who we can only see and know by REVELATION!
Romans 1:18-25 NKJV: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, (19) because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (20) For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, (21) because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. (22) Professing to be wise, they became fools, (23) and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. (24) Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, (25) who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
However, if we ‘eat’ FIRSTLY of the tree of life, we will have BOTH the knowledge of the invisible God and the knowledge of the physical world and so know its limitations and NEVER give more of our attention, effort and affection to the creation rather than the Creator!
Furthermore, the light of life that comes from the ‘tree of life’ will cause us to excel in natural knowledge like Daniel:
Daniel 5:14 NKJV: I have heard of you, that the Spirit of God is in you, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you.
Daniel 5:14 AMP: I have heard of you, that the Spirit of the holy God [or gods] is in you and that light and understanding and SUPERIOR wisdom are found in you.
Daniel 6:3-4 NKJV: Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm. (4) So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him.
In our article next week, we will see HOW to ‘eat’ DAILY, FIRST of the tree of life BEFORE ‘eating’ of the tree of knowledge.