Free will and the Tree of Life
By Dean Honeycutt
Pam and I took a jeep ride on the parkway and the foliage on the mountainside looked like carpet. There was a full moon that evening and that full moon against the backdrop of the foliage was breathtaking. The fall leaves this year were beautiful. The colors remind me of God’s handiwork. So many different types of trees produce many different colors.
I have a Japanese maple in my yard, and it is beautiful it is the prettiest tree in my yard. It has several different colors of leaves. Some are orange, green, and red. God has blessed us with some of the most scenic places in all the world. Have you ever been in a place maybe on vacation or maybe just out in the woods and it was so peaceful and beautiful that you did not want to leave?
Can you imagine how Adam and Eve felt in God’s Garden? They did not have a care in the world. Everything was provided for them. God’s Garden was the most beautiful place on earth we can imagine, and it was perfect because God planted it. Adam and Eve had free reign of God’s Garden. There was no other place like it in all the world.
As beautiful as the trees are this fall, I imagine that the trees in the Garden of Eden were a sight to behold. Out of the ground God made trees to grow many of them provided food and all of them were beautiful to look at. Adam and Eve did not need anything because God provided His amazing Garden and plenty of food for Adam and Eve. God’s Garden was home to Adam and Eve it was specially designed for them.
The two trees in the garden were unique and visually different from all the other trees. The Tree of knowledge of good and evil was the single tree that God commanded Adam not to eat. But the Tree of Life in the middle of the garden Adam and Eve could eat from it. This was the best tree. Like the Japanese maple in my yard, the Tree of Life was the prettiest tree in all of God’s Garden.
God breathed into man and gave Adam life. Adam and Eve’s life came from God. Our life comes from God. We breathe God’s air. We cannot live without God. It is God that gives life and breath to all things, and it is in Him we live, move, and exist. Every time Adam and Eve would come to the Tree of Life and eat of its fruit not to add another day to their life, but to worship the Lord who blessed them beyond measure. This tree was a daily reminder that every good thing comes from God. It was a reminder that God loved them, and God cared for them. What are things in your life that remind you of God’s goodness? Why is it that when we have our needs provided by a good God we want more, and we will disobey God just to satisfy our own desires?
Jesus Christ would come and visit with them because they enjoyed a perfect relationship with God. While Christ was away but never far, God would allow Satan in the guise of a serpent to slip in and tempt man. Adam and Eve would eat of the tree they were commanded not to eat. God did not create robots. How much free will do we have? Only as much as God allows us to have. And just enough for us to disobey a good God. As Paul proclaimed, “O wretched man that I am who shall deliver me from the body of this death.” Our choices to obey or disobey God have lasting impacts.
Adam and Eve would regret disobeying God. God could have easily prevented man’s sin. Eating of the Tree of Life did not make man good. God made man good and very good. It was good for a man not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. But man disobeyed God.
God removed the man from His garden thus removing His provision and peace. Man, broke fellowship with God. However, God loves man and desires a relationship with him. Now separated from the Tree of Life God’s way of eternal life and peace comes through and by the sacrifice of God’s Son. When Jesus made “coats of skins” and clothed Adam and Eve they would understand without the shedding of blood there would be no remission of sin.
“Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Only God can make me good because only God is good. Jesus Christ God in the flesh sinless, perfect, and good paid my sin debt and suffered my punishment for sin. We are now redeemed and forgiven with the precious blood of Christ.
Adam and Eve experienced for a short time what we look forward to as believers. A home in heaven with God, the place Jesus has prepared for those who belong to Him. The Tree of Life is now planted in heaven and yields its fruit, and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. Thank you, Lord, for making a way for me to have fellowship and peace with you.
From my family to yours
Pastor Dean Honeycutt shepherds Snow Hill Baptist Church in Bakersville, NC. He may be reached at 828-385-0213, [email protected], or visit their website at www.snowhillbaptist.com.
You can read more good Christian news from Dean HERE.