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Two Trees

In the middle of the garden were two distinct trees: one was the tree of life,

and the other was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Then, the LORD God spoke to Adam and said:
"From every tree in the garden you may freely eat.

But you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

For if you do, you shall surely die."
iBIBLE Chapter 1

 

Scripture reference: Genesis 2:9; 16-17

Along with the fruit trees in the garden that God created for food for mankind, He also placed two distinct trees in the midst of the garden: the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Looking at the trees that God placed in the garden, we see clearly that He is the creator and sustainer of all things, and at the same time, He has the power to set the rules and limits of what mankind can and cannot do. Just as God set the boundaries of the seas, He also sets the limits of mankind’s actions in the garden.

 

Looking at the trees that God placed in the garden, we see clearly that He

is the creator and sustainer of all things, and at the same time,

He has the power to set the rules and limits of what mankind can and cannot do.

God offers Adam the tree from which he can gain spiritual life and nourishment—the tree of life—and at the same time, He sets up the very first law concerning the second tree.
 
God tells Adam, “You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. For if you do, you shall surely die.” Every time Adam passed by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and abided God’s instructions by not eating, he lived virtuously by obeying and honoring God's Word.
 
And what could have Adam possibly understood about death? There was no death in the perfect garden that God had planted. But, he would have known that God was to be trusted and obeyed because He was the creator.

 

Looking at the trees that God placed in the garden,

we see clearly that He is the creator and sustainer of all things, and at the same time,

He has the power to set the rules and limits of what mankind can and cannot do.

Our Response

There have been countless books written, sermons preached, and lectures spoken about why God would have done such a thing. Why would he place a tree in the garden that He knew would bring sin into the world if He wanted things to be perfect forever? 

This question is commonly referred to as “the problem of evil.” And, much to the frustration of Christians throughout the course of history, there is no clear answer given in Scripture. At the same time, we can trust in what God does reveal about the problem of evil elsewhere:
 

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. —2 Timothy 1:8–10 [ESV]

 
The problem of evil existing in this world has been solved by Jesus’s perfect life, atoning death, and glorious resurrection for all who believe. Through faith in Jesus, we receive the forgiveness He won for us and are promised life everlasting with our Lord. It is a free gift to all who trust in Him.

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. —2 Timothy 1:8–10 [ESV]


The problem of evil existing in this world has been solved by Jesus’s perfect life, atoning death, and glorious resurrection for all who believe. Through faith in Jesus, we receive the forgiveness He won for us and are promised life everlasting with our Lord. It is a free gift to all who trust in Him.

We may not be able to answer the question why God placed the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden in the first place, but we can trust that God has given us the solution in Jesus Christ, and it remains true for us now and forever.

The problem of evil existing in this world has been solved by Jesus’s perfect life,

atoning death, and glorious resurrection for all who believe.

A Prayer for This Week

Dear Heavenly King, we come before You today acknowledging our fallen understanding. Though we may not completely understand the full picture of why You placed the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden in the first place, we thank You that You orchestrated our salvation in response to sin—we are forever grateful for it. Thank You for sending Your Own Son into the fallen world to redeem it. We ask that You bless us and keep us steadfast in the faith. In Jesus’s name we pray. Amen.

Creation Day 6, Part 4

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