It could rightly be said that the Bible is an account of three
trees . . .
The Tree of Life
The tree of life was seen at the beginning of human history. It
will be seen again at the end of human history. It was originally
planted in the Garden of Eden. It will be transplanted into the
garden-like city of the New Jerusalem. Man chose not to eat of the
tree of life in the Garden of Eden. Man will eat freely of the tree of
life in the New Jerusalem.
The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil
Also introduced in the opening chapters of Genesis, the tree of the
knowledge of good and evil was the one tree of which Adam and Eve were
not to partake. When they disobeyed and ate of the forbidden tree,
death and damnation were the result.
The question arises as to why God
would place a forbidden tree in the Garden in the first place. I
suggest the following reasons . . . Choice. Because God is love, He
wants a loving relationship with humanity. But true love always
demands a choice.
Therefore, God said to Adam and Eve, ‘Because I want
to live with you in a love relationship, I will provide you the
opportunity to dump Me, to reject Me, to turn your back on Me. Eating
from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil will be a sign to you
and to Me that you don’t want to maintain a loving relationship with
Me.’ Simply put, without the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,
there would be no choice; and without choice love is questionable.
Dependence. Before they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and
evil, Adam and Eve knew only good because any time they had a
question, they went directly to God for the answer. This is the way
God created them — not because He wanted to cripple man, but because
He wanted to bless man. Yet when man ate of the tree of the knowledge
of good and evil, he knew good and evil apart from God. He no longer
realized he needed a moment by moment reliance on the Father. Thus, he
became independent — cut off from all the resources and blessings of
The same thing happens to us. Even we who love the Lord
are vulnerable to saying, ‘I don’t need to be in close communication
with the Lord because I’ve walked with Him for years. I know my Bible;
I understand theology; I have experience.
Such was recently the case
with me. Feeling I had already heard the word of the Lord regarding an
upcoming decision, I was already moving in a certain direction when
the Lord stopped me dead in my tracks with the account found in
Genesis 22 . . . ‘Surely you’re not that kind of God,’ Abraham must
have thought when he was told to sacrifice his son Isaac on Mt. Moriah.
But knowing he had heard the word of the Lord, Abraham did indeed lay
Isaac on the altar and took knife in hand, ready to plunge it into his
son’s chest. Suddenly, ‘the angel of the Lord called unto him out of
heaven and said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad . . .’, (22:11-12).
Perhaps, like me, a number of you have heard the word of the Lord
clearly in a Bible study or prayer meeting; through corporate worship
or private devotions. You wrote it in your journal and are now moving
in a certain direction in obedience to His word to you. But you must
realize that what the Lord wants from you is constant communion with
Him. You see, if Abraham hadn’t heeded the second word of the Lord —
but instead, stubbornly sacrificed his son in obedience to the first
word of the Lord, he would have made a bloody mess and a very grave
‘Got the word. I’m on my way,’ we so often say, failing to
realize it might change the very next day. How many unnecessary grave
mistakes I’ve made that could have been avoided had I said, ‘Lord it’s
not enough to act on what You spoke to me three days ago. I must hear
from you constantly.’ ‘But what if I’ve already made a grave mistake?’
you ask. Go to the third tree . . .
The Tree of Calvary
The tree of Calvary covers my mistakes, washes away my arrogance,
cleanses my sin. You see, after offering the sacrifice of His own body
for the bloody messes I have made, Jesus arose from the grave to
obliterate the grave mistakes I have made.
The word of the Lord is this, precious people: On the path to heaven, we
must keep current with the Lord. We can’t rely on what we heard
yesterday, last week, or a year ago. If you’re not receiving what the
Spirit says to you today, like Abraham, you could end up making a big
Turn away from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil — from
what you think you know — and begin to feast on the tree of life by
‘Before I make my plans for the afternoon, what’s Your agenda,
Lord?’ ‘Lord, how do You want me to parent my five-year-old son
today?’ ‘Lord, what do You want me to do about the situation at work
Dear saints, let us who love the Bible be those who
seek the Lord intimately even as we take in knowledge intellectually.
Because of the tree of Calvary, when we get to heaven, we won’t see
the tree of the knowledge of good and evil — only the tree of life,
from which we will partake freely, enjoying the fruit which will keep
us in perfect health and total harmony with our King, our Savior, the
Lord Jesus. But you don’t have to wait until then, saint. Heaven can
be in your heart today if you’ll choose to eat daily from the tree of