THE REAL TREE OF LIFE
by paul hoffmaster
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If Eve and Adam had eaten of the Tree of Life they would have lived forever in a garden of endless possibilities, yet Eve chose to believe a lie instead of trusting in her Creator. What is so incredible about this narrative is that Adam willfully and deliberately was a witness to the whole dialogue between the serpent and his helpmate. He knew what the consequences would be if they ate of the fruit of the forbidden tree, yet when Eve gave it to him, he ate. (I Tim. 2:14) The word eat is to “consume or devour.” They did not just take a bite, but ate the whole fruit. Every mouthful would drive them further from their fellowship with God. What would have happened if Eve would have taken a little taste and then spit it out? Would there have been any hope of rectifying the wrong before it consumed her? What if Adam had stopped Eve from taking the fruit? The first thing they realized after feasting on the fruit was that they were naked. Whatever was going through their minds gave them uneasiness. The difference in their anatomies must have caused them to wonder why they were different. Until they could understand what it all meant, they made themselves aprons from the fig leaves to cover their uniqueness. As they stood in the garden trying to process the bombardment of new thoughts, they heard God’s voice. This must have caused a new emotion, fear, to surface. Afraid of God, they hid themselves in the trees of the garden. I wonder how long they thought they could avoid God. Soon God came in the “cool of the day” to walk with His creations. Instead of seeing the happy couple running to meet Him, God called out, “Where are you?” Unable to hide any longer, Adam stepped forward and blurted out that he heard Him calling but was afraid, and also he was hiding because of his nakedness. I don’t believe the real reason he hid from God was because of his nudity, but because he was afraid of facing God.
Adam would blame Eve for his misstep, but indirectly he was really blaming God. If God had not given him Eve, he would not be in this situation. Eve blamed everything on the serpent who had tricked her. Neither one wanted to accept responsibility for their error. It is interesting to note that God’s punishment to Adam was not so much the result of his eating what he was not to even touch, but that he took Eve’s word over His. God stated that the consequences Adam would suffer were in direct correlation to his “listening to the voice of his wife.” (Gen. 3:17) I wonder what Eve said to Adam that caused him to walk into complete disobedience? Adam was sentenced to hard labor of farming the ground. For Eve, one of her consequences was that her desire in life would be to her husband and he would rule over her. If only Eve had submitted unto Adam! If Adam had only been the leader he was supposed to be! What would have happened if they both took responsibility for their actions? Would the consequences of their sin been any different?
The Gospel is Grace’s equivalent of the Tree of Life. Whoever takes and eats of the Gospel of Jesus Christ will live forever. Satan will attempt to get man to eat of his trees and neglect the Gospel Tree in the midst of life. Satan will attempt to draw people into his world by using the same tactics he did in the Garden of Eden. First, he challenges one’s perception of God’s Word. He attempts to dilute the Word by saying God did not really mean what He said. Satan wants people to question God’s Word. Arrows of doubt are constantly shot into the minds of the unexpected. Secondly, the forbidden fruits are presented in such beautiful and enticing ways. Satan will challenge you to make your own decisions as to what is right and what is wrong. Thirdly, he will attempt to get the individual to influence other people to follow the Eden path. God’s creations must not be ignorant of Satan’s tricks and devices. (II Cor. 2:11)
The difference between the Eden tree and the Calvary tree is that there is always forgiveness through Jesus Christ. If you make a mistake, take the responsibility and ask God for forgiveness. Follow God’s Word and you will not be disappointed. Do your own thing and you will suffer the consequences.
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