Have you ever wondered about the incident recorded in Genesis chapters 2 and 3 about the garden in Eden and the two specifically named trees there? Has it seemed like a fairy tale that you needed to believe whether you understood it or not? What about discussing the issue with non-Christians who think you are nuts believing tales like that?
Well, I thought about the incident and would like to present my take on it. If you are unclear about it, do read Genesis chapter 2 and 3 first. While we may never come to a satisfactory conclusion, it is good for us to think it through and to have an understanding about the events that took place in Eden.
What are the facts?
- Two trees were in the midst of the garden in Eden – the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:9)
- Adam was warned not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16,17)
- God did not forbid Adam from eating of the tree of life.
- Adam did not eat of the tree of life.
- Satan had access to the garden. He tempted Eve to take and eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
- The tree of knowledge of good and evil and its fruit were only the object of temptation, Satan was the tempter.
- Both Eve and Adam chose to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
- God had to drive Adam and Eve out of the garden since He did not want Adam to eat of the tree of life AFTER he had eaten of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He placed a cherubim with a flaming sword to guard the way to the tree of life. (Genesis 3:22-24).
Why was the tree of knowledge of good and evil present in the garden?
Why did it need to be there if it were detrimental to Adam and Eve?
Why was access to the tree of life barred AFTER Adam sinned?
Consider this –
Adam had a human nature, he was not God. He did not know of the existence of evil, he did not understand what evil was. Adam had the capacity to partake of either God’s nature or Satan’s nature.
God wanted Adam to eat first of the tree of life for if Adam had so done, he would have partaken of God’s nature, the nature within him would have been pure and untainted and he could not have been affected by evil at all. I think God would have wanted Adam to partake of the tree of knowledge of good and evil AFTER he had partaken of the tree of life (at some point of time in the future, possibly to judge the fallen angels). Once Adam had partaken of the tree of life, the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil would not have affected him (it would not have imparted Satan’s nature to Adam), it would have only opened his eyes to the presence of evil.
My main premise is this – Partaking of the tree of life BEFORE partaking of the tree of knowledge of good and evil would have rendered the tree of knowledge of good and evil harmless and only opened Adam’s eyes to the existence of evil and its horror. Partaking of the tree of knowledge of good and evil BEFORE partaking of the tree of life would have caused Satan’s nature to enter Adam since Adam was not protected by God’s nature (from the tree of life).
When Adam partook of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, he partook of Satan’s nature (since he was not protected by God’s nature). That is what made Satan his master. Remember Jesus saying that the Pharisees were of their father the devil (they had the nature of the devil)? And Paul saying that Satan worked IN the sons of disobedience (Ephesians 2)? If Adam were to then subsequently partake of the tree of life, the nature of Satan in him would have been made permanent, Adam and the entire human race would have been “unredeemable”. They would have stayed in that satanic state for eternity. Therefore, in order to pre-empt this condition, God banished Adam and Eve from the garden and guarded the tree of life to prevent Adam from partaking of it and becoming “unredeemable”. It was God’s love for the human race that caused Him to banish Adam from the garden.
It was God’s love for the human race that caused Him to enter this world, take on flesh, pay the price for sin, rise from the dead and thereby free us from the satanic nature we inherited from Adam and grant God’s nature to us in the new birth.
Praise be to our Lord Jesus Christ who has become our salvation.