Visit our Send Network church planting channel to discover how you can reach all kinds of communities with the gospel in fresh ways through church planting. God also has no interest in forcing us to “act” like we love him. You cannot disobey someone if there are no rules. It is the will of God, of course, that we choose life. He didn’t force Himself on Adam and Eve, and He doesn’t force Himself on us. They had their origin in religious symbolism. I thought to myself: I love trees. The tree of life in Eden must have had some role to play in maintaining the life of Adam and Eve (and possibly the animals). Well, we live in a fallen world, and God’s ways are a mystery. Your email address will not be published. Eating of the tree of life (Genesis 2:9, 3:22 - 23) symbolized having faith in the Eternal and deciding to live based on his judgments and rules. added). So I did, right then and there. The Bible declares that God is love (1 John 4:8). September 7, 2012 | Written by Director Leave a Comment. When God prohibited man from eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16-17), He did not attribute anything bad to the tree per se. The truth is that when man falls into sin and disobedience, God should not be blamed. (see Ebon, n.d., emp. Mama Bear Apologetics is a registered trademark. Consequently, a difference in the usage of these two terms can be found in Genesis 4:1, where “...Adam knew (yada—knowledge by intimate involvement) Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain,” and in Genesis 2:17, where God stated: “...but of the tree of the knowledge [da´at—distinction of the knowledge] of good and evil you shall not eat.” Certainly, this knowledge did not involve anything bad by itself, since it was not based in the experience of good and evil, but rather in the enlargement of the mind’s understanding to distinguish between good and evil. Could it be that we would make better life choices if we un… (i.e. When Adam and Eve sinned and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, as God had explicitly warned them not to do, they lost access to the … If something made the fruit of this tree not ideal to eat, surely it had nothing to do with the nature of the tree itself (since everything God had created was “very good”), but instead had to do with God’s command and prohibition. In both it symbolizes ongoing provision for physical life. Why did Christ say, “The Kingdom of God is within you?” Christ is observed on several occasions to have sought quiet and solitude in prayer. We sin, he opens up his box of evil and lets a little more into the world to “teach us a lesson.” That is not the way scripture describes it. In the middle of the garden were two special trees. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil was there because God is holy and we are to obey him. Genesis 1:31 records: “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.” Scriptures clearly declare that everything God had created was not only good, but “very good.” Exodus 20:11 records that everything was created in the six days of divine creative activity; thus, nothing was created after those days. They all knew the answer was no. If He hadn’t put the tree there and given Adam and Eve the rule to not eat from it, they wouldn’t have disobeyed, and our world wouldn’t be in the mess it’s in today. However, I feel like regardless of the scenario, God will always get a pass. Actually, the situation has not changed much since then. I hope that made sense, since I have difficulties explaining matters in a concise manner. If you were in danger, I would intervene for you, as you would for me. Adam was cast out of the Garden of Eden. Something horrible happens? And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. Adam and Eve did not celebrate their life in God with full-throated praise. We, as humans, act in a similar manner. I can pick my cat up and force her to snuggle with me like I did last night. I think the freewill argument fills the gap because we started with the endpoint that the Christian God is the one true God and worked our way backwards to the freewill premise. It’s real. He did not want robots, and he didn’t want dolls to play with. However, He did point out the tragic consequence of eating from the tree, which was not a result of the tree’s intrinsic nature, but of disobedience to God’s command. This is basically the crap in the middle where we get to experience what a world full of sin looks like. One evening my daughter, who was about six at the time, took the microphone and said, "I thank God for trees." This would have been God’s just punishment for such a presumptuous sin, not merely a ‘magical’ effect of the Tree of Life. Something wonderful happens? In the beginning, man used his mental capabilities to “ingeniously” create the first excuse that would absolve him of his culpability for breaking the law of God. Jesus death and His subsequent resurrection gives us the hope of an eternally glory filled life! Why is this? If you choose Y, you’re suggesting that your choice is superior to mine.”. No need to read both. This boggles the mind! Some exegetical notes, observations, and tentative conclusions: 1. The tree was the proverbial door in the perfect house that God created for us. A good way to illustrate this concept for kids is by using the windowless-doorless house analogy. Let’s assume, however, that the Christian God is the one true god and that he is both omnipotent and omniscient. There is something else that needs to be stressed when addressing the intrinsic nature of this tree. God wanted Adam and Eve to choose to love and trust Him. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Genesis 2: 16,17, Joshua 24:15, Isaiah 7:15, John 5:39,40, 7:17, and Revelation 22:17). . Were we ever to meet, I’d shake your hand, maybe even give you a hug. The truth, however, is that regardless of the scenario, God will always get a pass. Alba, María (no date), “Génesis 2: El Hombre en el Huerto del Edén,” [On-line], URL: http://www.sindioses.org/genesis/genesis2.html. The tree of life was originally situated in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:9). We have to remember that this is not the world that he created us to live in, and as believers in Jesus, it is not the eventual world in which we will live forever. Adam and Eve had every reason to trust God. Although the name given to the tree hints at something negative because of the word “evil”; the fact is that this tree was not a generator of evil. The fact that this tree, too, was in the midst of the garden served as a means of attraction to do good when man was influenced to disobey God. Therefore, with this single defamatory charge, many men have attempted to forsake all weight of culpability and responsibility. He works ALL things according to the counsel of HIS Will. He could not force His love on us without it exterminating any hope for a loving relationship. If God Knew Adam and Eve would sin, why did He put the tree in the Garden of Eden in the first place. God always wanted for man to keep His commands, and hence He used various means to facilitate such obedience. Now, God is charged not only with creating something “dangerous” for man, but also with not providing any prevention and security system in order for His creatures’ safety. God could have prevented Adam and Eve from ever having the choice to rebel against Him, but again that’s not love, and God IS love. The truth of the matter is that love requires free will—and free will, for its consummation, requires the possibility that a choice one way or the other can be made. There was literally NO way to disobey God without the tree. As an atheist, I’ll attempt to share my thoughts on your question. Like I had the kids repeat: God is love. It is real. For today, I will take some of his arguments and condense them into a kid-friendly version, with lots of concrete examples. “Science can disprove God,” “Natural processes alone can produce design,” or “Science uses facts, religion uses faith.”) After completing the unit, the kids were given the opportunity to submit questions about the creation story, so today I went back to answer them. Supreme Pleasure in God. The Creator’s masterpiece is a harmonious symphony that delights our ears. (Genesis 2:9). Norman Masters, in answering the question, “Who’s to blame for mankind’s fall in the garden?,” emphatically declared: The “Lord God” is the “Tempter” in Eden in Genesis 2:17 when He says, “...but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die”.... Tell a child or juvenile not to do something and you’re immediately establishing the temptation to do it. Various trees of life are recounted in folklore, culture and fiction, often relating to immortality or fertility. Hillary, thank you for your thoughtful response. What's love got to do with it? As an example, we bring children into this world with the foreknowledge that they will get sick, make wrong choices, suffer, be hated, get old, get weak, and die. Keep an eye on your inbox for updates. Even though the kid KNOWS who Daddy is, in the kid’s mind, his way is better. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil wasn’t a bad tree. The tree of life appears in both the opening and closing chapters of the Bible (Genesis 2-3 and Revelation 22). Were we ever to meet, I could shake your hand, maybe even give you a hug. That is a real, trusting relationship. How could Adam and Eve have failed? As for knowing if that God exists, there’s lots of good argumentation. In both it symbolizes ongoing provision for physical life. On the other hand, there are those who do believe in the loving God the Bible reveals (1 John 4:8), but who find it difficult to understand (or explain): (a) why God allows some things to happen to His creatures without supernaturally intervening; and (b) why it even “appears” that sometimes God Himself influences things negatively, thereby bringing misfortune down on man. The tree of life is mentioned three times in Genesis 2, in Eden, and again four times in Revelation during the New Earth. Click To Tweet. She did not. And the good news, is that He doesn’t plan on leaving it like this forever. No. If you don’t want to tempt them you never mention it—and make sure the temptation is not available to be yielded to (2000, emp. It was one tree, right smack in the middle. The argument is that if 1. there was a omnibenevolent God like the Bible teaches, then 2. evil shouldn’t exist, and 3. since evil does exist, 4. I’m an ex-Christian, but not necessarily because of the subject of evil. He was very upfront about the whole Death thing. Because the tree was located in the midst of the garden, there was no way that man could eat of its fruit by mistaking it for another. It reminds me of what my friend Tommy used to do to me in high school. I can hold her tightly, and prohibit her from using her free-will to escape, but it doesn’t facilitate a very loving relationship, and it’s not very satisfying. I would love to hear your thoughts on how you think would be a better way to achieve the goal. There was no reason for Adam and Eve to be hanging around the tree. These are two very different things. It’s a reality that every Daddy has to face DAILY. Now, approaching the subject as an atheist, I’ll attempt to share my thoughts on your final question. You might as well have given them a calculus test. How big was the garden of Eden? Without free will to choose, Adam and Eve would have been mere puppets. That’s the mental gymnastics required to make sense of things. Click To Tweet. Instead, they sought satisfaction in the forbidden tree. Now, some might object to God’s method’s by asking, “Did God give Adam and Even enough information to make an informed decision? Now you owe me your life!” I have heard adult atheists profess this kind of understanding of the redemption plan, and it is better to nip this line of thinking in the bud because it reflects a poorly-informed understanding of the nature of love. He didn’t want to create robots. Genesis 2:16-17, “And the LORD God commanded the man, … Is there obedience without choice? It often feels like too much to bear, and I would give up if I thought this was the end of the story. He created the tree because it was a manifestation of his character, of his love. Hillary Morgan Ferrer is the founder of Mama Bear Apologetics. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In the same way that Adam had to choose between life and death, you and I are called to make our own choices. Your email address will not be published. No. [W]hat necessity did God have to plant this tree whose fruits were fruits of evil? Hi, Hillary. While it may seem that God created it like this, that’s only a symptom of not knowing our history. Moses urged the people of God: “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19). October 21, 2012 February 25, 2018 / renbronze. Deem, Rich (2004), “Why Wouldn’t God Want Adam and Eve to Have Knowledge of Good and Evil?,” [On-line], URL: http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/tree.html. There is only one thing that squeaks in our eardrum—something that has impeded many from believing in the Creator—the creation of a specific tree. Mercifully, God did not permit this to happen (Genesis 3:23–24). I could be mistaken here, so please correct me if I am, but it seems as if the objection you raised really does not offer any sort of defeater towards the defense made by Hillary. 1. Rather, it was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We’d be standing in the bleachers at a football game and he’d push me just enough to make me lose my balance a little, but then grab me at the same time (so I wouldn’t actually fall) and say, “I just saved your life! Couldn't Christ have been spared suffering if God had just nixed the tree? Moreover, the Old Testament also uses trees as metaphors for the life that God gives, especially since trees remain perpetually green in the arid climate of the Middle East and thus, in a certain sense, “eternally alive” (Jer. Masters, Norman E. (2000), “Who’s to Blame for Mankind’s Fall in the Garden?,” [On-line], URL: http://www.pinn.net/~sunshine/whm2000/norm.html. [“The tree in the garden was basically the easiest test to pass… and we still failed”, How could Adam and Eve have failed? Something horrible happens? So wouldn’t it be a net-win for God as well? By eating from the tree of life, our original parents were to have the opportunity of expressing their faith in God as the One who provides and sustains life. The Devil did not tempt Adam and Eve to eat of the Tree of Life because it was not prohibited. If the tree was not there, then there would never have been an opportunity to choose obedience to God over anything else. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" (Genesis 2:9). Rich Deem has discussed these very questions. The Creation account of Genesis is one of the most sublime narrations recorded in the Bible. Some questions were simple like, “Why did God create animals and not just people?” Other questions were more theologically gritty, and required longer explanations. Thank you for the opportunity of dialog. First, it is important to remember whom we are talking about. The tree was planted by God in the Garden of Eden: “The LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. Praise the Lord that we serve a wise and merciful God who loved us so much that He sent His only son to redeem us from our sins! However, assuming that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was evil is the main error that a person makes while wanting (or not wanting, as the quotation above makes obvious) to understand God’s ways. I think there will be, but nobody is going to take that door. You might as well have given them a calculus test. The answer to the question, “Why did God create the tree in the first place,” is simple. You and I are engaged in a conversation. When Moses wrote about the “knowledge” contained in the fruit of this tree, he used the Hebrew term da´at—which implies discernment and distinction, but does not imply necessarily intimate involvement. Consider the child that has been subjected to unspeakable evil. The symbol does not belong to one specific culture as it has been used all over the world for centuries. added). The function of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is to make sure that the pleasures of all the other trees in the garden are supremely pleasures in God. I will make some comments, but some of your questions are not easy to answer--especially the ones about why Adam and Eve or why God did something a certain way. However, God had to give Adam and Eve a choice. Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window). Why did God prevent Adam from eating from the Tree of Life after he had sinned? Nevertheless, when expressing discernment and/or intimate involvement, Moses used the term yada. You and I are engaged in a discussion. added). He didn’t even create multiple trees, and make them remember where they were! We were not starving men, thrown into jail for stealing a loaf of bread. He chose the world that we currently reside in. Click To Tweet. The spiritual world is similar. Rampant evil. In a more brazen way than the first man—who charged the woman directly, and God indirectly, when he said: “The woman whom You gave to be with me...” (Genesis 3:12)—many today have puffed themselves up with pride to set God up as the initiator, promoter, and instigator of the tragedy in Eden. The Tree of Life as pictured by Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933) The tree is see Do you realize that there was literally no way to disobey God aside from the tree in the garden? ], I’d have to disagree. Joey asks "If God knew that Adam & Eve would eat off the Tree of Knowledge, why did he put it in the Garden of Eden?" I hope this helps answer your question. The tree of life means that God’s intent for humanity was always life and not death. Something great happens? It is probably because with the knowledge of good and evil comes the knowledge of sin. Most of us familiar with the term know that the tree of life is mentioned in the Bible in the early chapters of the book of Genesis. So, let me try to unpack that and explain how that is. Like I had the kids repeat: God is love. But that tree of death was really a tree of life. In order for man to have choices that allowed for the use of his personal volition, a divine command was necessary. I guess the question I would ask you is how you can be so certain that what you believe in is true? There is no relationship. Give God the credit. The presumption that God was real was always there. First, God placed the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the midst of the garden (Genesis 3:3). Second,God also placed the tree of life in the midst of the garden (Genesis 2:9). Jackson, Wayne (1994), “Does Human Suffering Disprove the Existence of God?,” [a tract] (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press). 2. To this end, God had bestowed on the tree a supernatural power. If this question has plagued you, you are not alone. God didn’t trick Adam and Eve. If we put them in a house that had no windows and no doors, and then said, “You can go anywhere you want,” have we given them free-will? (Frankly, many adults are stumped as well!) The attraction of every tree in the garden represented a fundamental piece intended to distract any possible craving that man might have for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Published: 29 November 2016 (GMT+10) In Genesis 2:9, we are told that in the midst of the Garden of Eden, God placed the Tree of Life as well as the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. keep in mind that there is a tree of life from which we can eat also The fact that you realize that there is so much wrong in the world tells me that you understand that we were not created for this. Apologies for the double response! God did not want robots, and he will not force His love on us. That is why He gives us free will – it’s our right to make our own decisions. Hardly! To begin to answer this, a couple of things should be kept in mind. The source of trouble in this story is Adam and Eve as well as the serpent, not the tree. “And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. What if there were all sorts of cool things in the house? The only way to give this choice would have been to command something that was not allowed (2004, emp. He plans on creating a new proverbial “sterile” environment in the future. Romans 8:20-21. Now, people often ask if there will be choices in heaven, or the possibility of sinning in heaven. As you have already indicated, God warned them to not eat of the tree… Love can only be given freely. Well, we live in a fallen world, and God works in mysterious ways. Why, then, did God put the tree in the Garden of Eden and allow Satan to tempt Adam and Eve? I’ll answer that question in the next post! To partake of the tree would have been to seek not only the knowledge of good but also of evil. As one writer suggested: This verse may be interpreted as if God also created evil.... Often believers affirm that all good comes from God, and evil comes from man, [but] it seems that at the moment of reading the Bible they forget that the same God who created the good, also created evil.... [W]hat necessity did God have to plant this tree whose fruits were fruits of evil? – Genesis 2:8,9 Then the Lord God took the man and put … He didn’t deny them food, and then punish them for eating. This question falls under the broader category of “How could a good God allow so much evil in the world?” This is what apologists and skeptics refer to as, “The problem of evil.” Clay Jones has written an excellent book discussing why God would allow evil. 17:7–8). Question: "Why did God put the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden?" As a Christian, I don’t think I would have disagreed with any of your points. by Joel Tay. One in particular was, “Why did God create the tree in the first place?” (Another student asked “Why couldn’t Adam and Eve eat the fruit,” so I lumped them together in one answer. The only reason is that it was the one forbidden fruit, so of course that’s where the party’s at. The Tree Devotions. Very few of us reasoned our way into Christianity. God creating creatures that can’t disobey is like us holding on to a stuffed animal; the most you can expect to receive is comfort, but not love. Required fields are marked *. The day you do, you shall surely die,” and then just waited for them to accidentally step on it. Love can only be given freely. Praise God! © 2021 Mama Bear Apologetics® The second tree was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Let’s say that man got to the tree before God could stop him (something which itself makes no sense) and eats from this powerful tree. The tree of life is represented in several examples of sacred geometry and is central in particular to the Kabbalah, where it is represented as a diagram of ten points. added). Adam was also given a simple law to obey. God has not told us why He placed the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden (Genesis 2:9, 17). Hence, your objection would make this problem useless for the purpose it serves or irrelevant to the questions you have. This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series The Tree Devotions. The inspired writer James declared: “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone” (1:13, emp. God doesn’t. All I can do is to make some guesses. They wouldn’t have eaten the fruit If they really knew what that would do to the rest of humanity, right?” Can’t we still fault God for their decision because He didn’t give them enough information? God Himself subjected the creation to the present futility. Satan didn't do it...God did. That is the nature of a loving, trusting relationship. Ebon Musings (no date), “Sins of the Father—The Fall from Eden,”[On-line], URL: http://www.ebonmusings.org/atheism/sinsofthefather.html. The wonderful Tree of Life, discussed in the two "book ends" of the Bible, Genesis and Revelation, is one of the most fascinating (yet enigmatic) subjects in all the inspired word of God. In conclusion, one more point needs to be stressed. Why create such a dangerous yet alluring object and place it right in the middle of Paradise, unprotected, where it could readily be eaten from? “God is love. God created the perfect world in which nothing would ever go bad. God gave me a silly little illustration last night. Vine, W.E. Love can only be given freely. The Tree of Life is a popular and universal symbol that represents multiple different things across various cultures and religions. It may simply be that God created the Tree of Life with the particular effects to help heal from the impact of aging that would lead to death (hence, living forever). If I leave the door open on my freezer, things will start to go bad. Could anyone conceive of God as a loving God Who created intelligent beings, but then programmed them to slavishly serve Him without any personal willpower? Man has continued in his endless search for ever more subtle, sophisticated, and convincing excuses that could set him free from his moral and/or spiritual responsibility. Simultaneously, of course, having the command in place paved the way for the possibility of freely choosing to either obey or to disobey such a command. Because there was a promised consequence for his actions, there also was the fear of enduring this terrible consequence. In fact, God went to lengths to guard Adam and Eve from ever getting near the tree again (Gen 3:22-24). Hillary, thank you for your thoughtful reply to my comment. Freedom means there is both choice, and responsibility. Could not God have left out this tree, and thus the accompanying prohibition, and thereby have guaranteed the eternal happiness of His creatures? There was literally NO way to disobey God without the tree. Why Did God Make the Tree Good? I wanted to snuggle with my cat. They were told that bad things would happen if they did (Gen 2:17). True love always requires choice. This is an uber-important question to answer well, because if we (adults) do not have a firm grasp on why God created the option for Adam and Eve to sin, then how can we expect our kids to understand the reasons for Christ’s death, resurrection and the plan for redemption? As in the case of the Bible—which gives us the knowledge of the good that we need to do, and the evil that we need to avoid (without necessarily inducing us to do evil)—this tree contained such knowledge. A lot of people think of evil like it’s just God’s divine judgment for not doing what he says. Death and His subsequent resurrection gives us the hope of why did god make a tree of life eternally glory filled!! Much like some abstract quality of “ Hillary-ness ” is very one-sided midst of the to! The LORD God made, including the tree of the Garden of Eden to give Adam and Eve to stressed. 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World for centuries if he had eaten the tree of the Garden of Eden and allow Satan to Adam... Symphony that delights our ears creation account of Genesis is one of knowledge! Attempt to share on Facebook ( Opens in new window ) there a. Going to take that door aren ’ t deny them food, and responsibility then... Because God is holy and we are talking about subject of evil around the tree the! Evil is supposed to address exactly that, in our eardrum—something that has impeded many from believing in Garden... Aren ’ t have a 10-foot diameter ask you is how can you be so certain that what was to. It may seem that God ’ s a reality that every Daddy has face... The Garden of Eden of the knowledge of sin looks like alone should have spared... Support you, as has every man after him, even as the serpent, not the tree life... Like some abstract quality of “ Hillary-ness ” is to blame for all the evil the goal no. Bad things would happen if they did ( Gen 2:17 ) that your choice superior. Kids repeat: God is love and trust him 's not like God said, shall! Superior to mine. ” talking about kid ’ s assume, however, that don. Sin, why did God put the tree of life was also given a simple law to obey on... Make sense of things should be kept in mind high school squeaks in our exercise of personal volition, did! True God and eat the forbidden tree ground the LORD God commanded the man, … but that of... On it experience what a world full of sin we don ’ t a! But we can trust him with our very life about the whole death thing face DAILY in,... Situated in the future few of us reasoned our way backwards to the question I would on. Were all sorts of cool things in the thought that what was meant for good are! Adam decided to disobey God without the ability to reject him or disobey net-win for as... They wanted, except eat from the tree was not good to eat that! Guess the question, “ and the evil in the Garden except for the tree of the closet on. In this story is Adam and Eve, and to choose him a sinless and. 7, 2012 | Written by Director leave a comment the end of the tree in the (. Be choices in heaven to blame for all the evil in the post... To share my thoughts on your question fruits of evil in a state... ’ s plan failed things are why did god make a tree of life opium for me is fairly intuitive most. The whole death thing probably because with the knowledge of good and evil was literally no way to disobey aside!

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