Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.
The LORD God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die."
I was reading this the other day, and for the first time, I was struck by a realization of something really odd.
“From any tree of the garden you may eat”
“But from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat”
Want to know what I wondered about?
Why didn’t Adam and Eve eat from the tree of life? I don’t get it. They were told, by God, that from any tree in the garden they could eat, except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
That would have made the tree of life fair game, as I read this account. In fact, that makes eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil really, really stupid, in my opinion. Of course, I have the benefit of hindsight with all of this. I wonder, would any of us have eaten from the tree of life?
That poses the next question. Just what is this tree of life? Or is this tree of life a who?
Jesus mentioned something about being the bread of life, and those who eat of the bread of life having eternal life. And here we see the tree of life, smack in the middle of the garden, and God, saying to Himself, “We better remove the people from the garden, otherwise they might eat from the tree of life, and live forever.”
Why didn’t they eat from the tree of life?
I don’t get it. Why does man choose to die? Was it a choice? To read the biblical account, it certainly seemed like a choice. God said, “you may eat from any tree in the garden, except one”. That leaves a choice, in my opinion. So were Adam and Eve free agents? Somehow, through all the theological garbage we have been saddled with, we would almost have to say, “no”, because God planned it this way. And maybe He did.
But this story certainly gives rise to a lot of questions, doesn’t it? Such as, if God really wanted Adam and Eve to live forever, don’t you think He might have done a better job of encouraging them to eat from the tree of life?
The point is, He didn’t. He left them to do according to their desire, as far as I can figure. If God really is unchanging, what does that say about the gift of redemption. Is that a new tree of life?