I wanted to snuggle with my cat. In today’s world, we find that plants often have some healing properties (e.g., aloe). For today, I will take some of his arguments and condense them into a kid-friendly version, with lots of concrete examples. In both it symbolizes ongoing provision for physical life. Couldn't Christ have been spared suffering if God had just nixed the tree? Thanks! Now, people often ask if there will be choices in heaven, or the possibility of sinning in heaven. It's not like God said, 'Thou shall only eat broccoli, but the the chocolate, you may not eat.' Should you find yourself in trouble, I would intervene on your behalf, as you would for me. Adam would “live forever,” even in his fallen condition, if he had eaten the tree of life after his sin. Certainly, God provided the necessary means for man to obey His divine will. 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?" Like I had the kids repeat: God is love. Adam was in a sinless state and was warned by God not to partake of the tree. 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. God created the perfect world in which nothing would ever go bad. Now you owe me your life!”, When we teach original sin and God’s plan for salvation without understanding why God created the tree, it can sound a lot like the game my friend would play; God tricks us into sinning (or caused us to sin), but then says, “Here’s a Savior to save you from your sins! Answer: The tree of life, mentioned in the books of Genesis and Revelation, is a life-giving tree created to enhance and perpetually sustain the physical life of humanity. You might as well have given them a calculus test. In both it symbolizes ongoing provision for physical life. 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! Now, approaching the subject as an atheist, I’ll attempt to share my thoughts on your final question. 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. She did not. Why, then, did God put the tree in the Garden of Eden and allow Satan to tempt Adam and Eve? That’s just the nature of nature. The freewill argument is a puzzle piece that fits simply because the endpoint was already established for most of us, that the Christian God is the one true God. That’s the mental gymnastics required to make sense of things. In fact, God went to lengths to guard Adam and Eve from ever getting near the tree again (Gen 3:22-24). It is most satisfying when she comes to me of her free-will and wants to sit on my lap, be petted by me, and engage in whatever level of relationship in which cats are capable. 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! I honestly don’t know how God could have made it easier to choose Him. As much as I love Chuck, he will never love me back. To partake of the tree would have been to seek not only the knowledge of good but also of evil. Growing up, I had a little stuffed dog named Chuck. Think of it more like contaminating a sterile environment, or decay. 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. 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 had the kids repeat a sentence with me multiple times. (see Ebon, n.d., emp. He didn’t deny them food, and then punish them for eating. Click To Tweet. She is working on her second master’s degree, and yet can’t seem to figure out the simplest cooking recipes. Mercifully, God did not permit this to happen (Genesis 3:23–24). Jesus death and His subsequent resurrection gives us the hope of an eternally glory filled life! Freedom means there is both choice, and responsibility. Very few of us reasoned our way into Christianity. [citation needed] The ten points are known as Sephiroth or Sephirah, or the ten emanations or attributes of God.Kabbalah is an esoteric method, discipline and school of thought in Jewish mysticism. Ebon Musings (no date), “Sins of the Father—The Fall from Eden,”[On-line], URL: http://www.ebonmusings.org/atheism/sinsofthefather.html. In a profanely titled article, “Sins of the Father,” the following declaration can be found: If he didn’t want Adam and Eve to eat from it, then why did he put it in Eden in the first place? Let’s say that we don’t want our kids to go outside. 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’s not like he built a staircase that they had to use every single day and said, “Thou shalt not step on the 4th step. As a Christian, I think I would have agreed with you on all of your points. 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. However, God had to give Adam and Eve a choice. added). If that was too long or didn’t make sense, here’s the short version: The problem of evil only works if we’re talking about an omnibenevolent and all-powerful God, hence the necessity of his inclusion in it. For many, the question, “Why did God create this tree,” is unanswerable, since they cannot reconcile the idea of a benevolent God with the fact of the creation of something that resulted in man’s fall. Third, the prohibition and potential punishment were intended to serve as a “fence” to prevent man from violating the divinely instituted boundary. Even though the kid KNOWS who Daddy is, in the kid’s mind, his way is better. God wanted a relationship with us! Give God the credit. added). The Creator’s masterpiece is a harmonious symphony that delights our ears. I hope that made sense, since I have difficulties explaining matters in a concise manner. Apologies for putting my own thoughts on the matter, but I did recognize something and wanted to contribute. It often feels like too much to bear, and I would give up if I thought this was the end of the story. We are not His robots. Very few of us reasoned our way into Christianity. Does that mean God can no longer do anything to him? About this term, the Vine’s Expositive Dictionary notes: “Essentially, yada means: (1) to know by observation and reflection, and (2) to know by experience” (Vine, 1999, p. 65, emp. He created it ALL and then did with what He created His own perfect intention and will. Freedom means that there is both choice, and responsibility.” God’s very nature mandated that He give Adam and Eve both choice and responsibility if his end-goal was a loving relationship! 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. Physical death now began to enter the human race. No need to read both. Something horrible happens? Some exegetical notes, observations, and tentative conclusions: 1. added). by Hillary Morgan Ferrer | Blog, Essentials, Hillary Morgan Ferrer, Historical, Most Popular, Novice, Uncategorized, Worldview, A few weeks ago, our church’s 3rd-5th graders were learning about the creation story from Genesis, and I was brought in to the planning process to help address common science misconceptions that the kids will encounter as they get older. We don’t really know, but we can be sure that it didn’t have a 10-foot diameter. No. Click To Tweet, This is fairly intuitive to most people, regardless of age. Question: "Why did God put the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden?" This would have been God’s just punishment for such a presumptuous sin, not merely a ‘magical’ effect of the Tree of Life. Required fields are marked *. “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. The only way to give this choice would have been to command something that was not allowed (2004, emp. 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. What's love got to do with it? The tree of life signified immortality. 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. 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. But why was the divine prohibition regarding the tree of the knowledge of good and evil necessary? By locating this tree very close to the other tree, God reminded man that he had the freedom—and thus the option—to choose obedience over disobedience, life over death. Mama Bear Apologetics is a registered trademark. In order for man to have choices that allowed for the use of his personal volition, a divine command was necessary. 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. I would love to hear your thoughts on how you think would be a better way to achieve the goal. This is basically the crap in the middle where we get to experience what a world full of sin looks like. The tree of life is mentioned three times in Genesis 2, in Eden, and again four times in Revelation during the New Earth. But perhaps they will help you. 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. Couldn't Christ have been spared suffering if God had just nixed the tree? god does not want us to be curious for such things but we are so dull that we do not understand what god wants for us and therefore continuously make the wrong choices, that tree makes us blind spiritually. He didn’t force Himself on Adam and Eve, and He doesn’t force Himself on us. And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. One evening my daughter, who was about six at the time, took the microphone and said, "I thank God for trees." Jackson, Wayne (1994), “Does Human Suffering Disprove the Existence of God?,” [a tract] (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press). not use our free-will to sin), how might you go about accomplishing that while maintaining a loving relationship, and without infringing upon free-will? Adam and Eve were free to do anything they wanted, except eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. 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. why did god create the tree of knowledge Home; About; Location; FAQ Actually, the situation has not changed much since then. It’s real. If I leave the door open on my freezer, things will start to go bad. Rampant evil. [The truth is that if God is accused of our tragedies, errors, and corrupt actions, then man becomes “free” of his responsibility to God—and it is this freedom (or licentiousness) that many want to attain]. They had the moral maturity of a one-year-old. Alba, María (no date), “Génesis 2: El Hombre en el Huerto del Edén,” [On-line], URL: http://www.sindioses.org/genesis/genesis2.html. 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. We are His beloved creation. The tree of life was originally situated in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:9). Hillary Morgan Ferrer is the founder of Mama Bear Apologetics. Because they’ve seen where that door leads. However, if you want to leave, that is the door.” Adam and Eve were told not to eat of the fruit. The Tree of Life stood in the centre of the Garden of Eden which elsewhere is called ‘ The Garden of the LORD ’.1 It was a real tree, to be sure, but let me suggest that it was also symbolic of the fact that God was, and is, the source of eternal life and blessing. Hi, Hillary. 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. “God is love. Rather, it was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We, as humans, act in a similar manner. Something great happens? The Tree of Life as pictured by Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933) The tree is see Adam was also given a simple law to obey. The Tree of Life and Kingdom of God. God could have created us like robots, without the ability to reject him or disobey. There is unspeakable evil. I could overpower her for a little while, but she was obviously not into our little “snuggle session,” and the moment I let up, she squirmed her way out of my arms. That alone should have been enough to keep man away from this tree. Janet, In spite of that, some still see the creation of this tree as a fundamental proof of God’s “dark side.” Yet we should not level such a charge against the God Who created a perfect world for man, endowed him with free will, and provided so much warning to keep man from sinning. 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. 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. Without free will to choose, Adam and Eve would have been mere puppets. 17:7–8). 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. If He did not know it then He was not wise, and if He knew it He was wicked (Alba, n.d., emp. If you choose Y, you’re suggesting that your choice is superior to mine.”. From our shallow understanding, it may seem like God is to blame for all the evil in the world. In fact, the creation of this tree and the subsequent delivery of Heaven’s prohibition can be explained (if not totally, at least in great part) on the basis of divine love. They were told that bad things would happen if they did (Gen 2:17). Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window). He plans on creating a new proverbial “sterile” environment in the future. 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. Did he want to have an excuse to exile them from Paradise? He did not want robots, and he didn’t want dolls to play with. 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. ), A great mystery for kids is why God created a way for Adam and Eve to sin. The tree of life is mentioned three times in Genesis 2, in Eden, and again four times in Revelation during the New Earth. I still pull him out of the closet occasionally on insecure nights. Adam and Eve had every reason to trust God. 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. A lot of people think of evil like it’s just God’s divine judgment for not doing what he says. I’m an ex-Christian, but not necessarily because of the subject of evil. God wanted a relationship with us! 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. 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. Who Made the Tree Good or Bad? That is a real, trusting relationship. As a Christian, I don’t think I would have disagreed with any of your points. There was only one door. 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. It is the will of God, of course, that we choose life. If there is no way to leave, then they aren’t really free. He works ALL things according to the counsel of HIS Will. – Genesis 2:8,9 Then the Lord God took the man and put … For instance, there are many things we do for “love,” even though we recognize before we do them that there will be times when things will not always turn out for the best. He was very upfront about the whole Death thing. So, let me try to unpack that and explain how that is. The Tree Devotions. God not only made various types of trees grow in the garden, but the text informs us that “every tree that was pleasant to the sight.” God not only made sure that there were many trees for man, but He also made sure that these trees looked attractive to man. The tree was the proverbial door in the perfect house that God created for us. added). I’ll answer that question in the next post! It was beyond his reach. As for knowing if that God exists, there’s lots of good argumentation. 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. The spiritual world is similar. Vine, W.E. Click To Tweet. If you were in danger, I would intervene for you, as you would for me. However, these men simply have not wanted to retain God in their lives (Romans 1:28), and in their efforts to find some peace in their licentious actions that impute their conscience, they have involved themselves in a deliberate search for a kind of intrinsic evil in the Divine nature. Nevertheless, when expressing discernment and/or intimate involvement, Moses used the term yada. You cannot disobey someone if there are no rules. The Tree of Life is a popular and universal symbol that represents multiple different things across various cultures and religions. Your email address will not be published. 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. The second tree was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. [D]id God set a trap for his creations? God didn’t trick Adam and Eve. It didn’t initially appear as if the first one went through. Your email address will not be published. We were not starving men, thrown into jail for stealing a loaf of bread. God chose for it to be that way. Various trees of life are recounted in folklore, culture and fiction, often relating to immortality or fertility. That is why He gives us free will – it’s our right to make our own decisions. 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? If Adam and Eve were smart enough to merely COMMUNICATE with God, they’re smart enough to follow IF to its inevitable THEN. Mama Bear Apologetics is a registered trademark. Although God told Adam that he could not eat from the Tree of Knowledge, God gave no prohibition against eating fruit from the Tree of Life (Genesis 2: 16). Is there obedience without choice? It's not like God said, 'Thou shall only eat broccoli, but the the chocolate, you may not eat. Bible believers can be sure that, in our exercise of personal volition, God’s desire will be always our well-being. Love can only be given freely. Adam and Eve did not celebrate their life in God with full-throated praise. All trees in the Garden were attractive to the eye and/or good for food, so it is likely that Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the Tree of Life while they lived in the Garden. How big was the garden of Eden? (1994, emp. Freedom means there is both choice, and responsibility. '. Eating its fruit gave a person an extended life span. Stating that God didn’t want a bunch of robots or that he won’t force you to love him or force his love on you does nothing to quell this cognitive dissonance. The Devil did not tempt Adam and Eve to eat of the Tree of Life because it was not prohibited. Do you realize that there was literally no way to disobey God aside from the tree in the garden? 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? 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. 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. Something horrible happens? The symbol does not belong to one specific culture as it has been used all over the world for centuries. It is probably because with the knowledge of good and evil comes the knowledge of sin. Mankind lost access to the tree of life after disobeying God’s command to not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God wanted Adam and Eve to choose to love and trust Him. He didn’t want to create robots. All I can do is to make some guesses. The tree of life means that God’s intent for humanity was always life and not death. Good way to disobey God without the ability to reject him or disobey perfect an environment you! 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