Slightly Obsessed #103 "The Tree of Life" by Pamela Thorson on 2015-03-11 09:44:12
“He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.” - Psalm 1:3
It was cold outside. We dashed from the car to the local home and garden store for some heat. We separated at the door; my husband headed toward the hardware aisle as I made a beeline for the indoor plants. Every year about this time, I wander through the lush tropical plants fresh from the hothouse and long for my personal Eden. I’m convinced the booming horticultural industry is a product of our internal wiring that makes us reach to reclaim that lost Garden.
The second chapter of Genesis presents two strange trees in the world God created: the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He urged Adam and Eve to eat freely of any tree in the Garden, with the exception of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
We read the story and fixate on the cartoon pictures we always see of the tree with the apple, two naked people standing behind strategically placed bushes, and Satan. We forget that Adam and Eve were invited to eat of the tree of life. But they chose, instead, to eat the forbidden fruit, condemning all creation to death from that moment forward.
God then sent them out of the Garden and stationed cherubim to guard the way to the tree of life. If they had eaten from that tree in their fallen state, they would have been immortal humans in rebellion against God. This was a kindness to humanity. Envision a world in which a child abuser, a terrorist, or a Hitler couldn’t be stopped. That would be a place of true torment.
After Genesis, the tree of life disappears from the Biblical account and doesn’t reappear until the last book—Revelation. Between the beginning and the end, we discover that when the Law was given, the tree became a symbol of judgment. Deuteronomy 21:22 tells us that a person hanged on a tree was considered “accursed.”
For millennia, we labored under that curse, longing for Eden and the tree of life.
Then came Jesus, the “second Adam” (1 Corinthians 15:21-22; 45). Galatians 3:13 tells us: “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, ‘CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE.’”
Upon one man, the full payment of Eden’s sin was unleashed. In one day of unimaginable suffering, the ageless curse was broken. Today, we stand once again before the tree of life. Again God extends the offer, “You may eat freely….” Once again, we choose between life and death.
Mankind no longer stands outside the gates of the Garden. If we accept Christ’s sacrifice, we are invited to enter into a fragrant new land and dwell in a lush refuge of hope.
Two Adams. Two trees.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.” - Revelation 2:7
About Pamela Thorson:
Pamela Thorson is a licensed practical nurse, author, and full-time caregiver. She pioneered in the homeschooling movement from 1982-2006 and authored her first book, Song in the Night, in 2008. Her second book, Out from the Shadows: 31 Devotions for the Weary Caregiver, released in 2014. She resides in the Northwest with her family.
Slightly Obsessed #224: When the Pressure Feels Too Great
The fig I found in a local big box store had already been trimmed into a lovely miniature tree with an unusual trunk. Little did I understand what it takes to train a plant into a bonsai, and what that process would teach me about God.
Slightly Obsessed #223: Right Clothes, Wrong Spirit
Satan seeks to deceive us, divide us, and destroy us. His bag of tricks and sleight of hand are impressive but imaginary trapdoors to disillusionment. He constantly roams the earth in an insatiable search for humans to devour.
Slightly Obsessed #222: The Rain
Like the grass, the human heart has shallow roots and fades quickly in the dry season. But those shallow roots also are the first to taste the rain.
Slightly Obsessed #221: Are You Green and Sappy?
Being described as either green or sappy is not usually considered to be a compliment. But Irma lay claim to both, and it was her secret to a bountiful life.
Slightly Obsessed #220: We Only Have One Job
The Martha in us makes everything so hard, when the Lord is calling us to be Mary, running toward the sound of His voice; sitting in stillness at His feet; not wasting a moment of our time with Him in distracted busyness. Simply clinging to His every word.
Slightly Obsessed #219: When the Hedge Comes Down, Part 3
Job's soul had been stripped completely down to the dirt. His friends accused him; he defended himself vigorously. Lost in the cacophony was the voice of God. No one seemed to notice.
Except for one.