The Tale Of Trees
“The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” (Genesis 2:8-0)
Now the Bible tells us that God freely gave every tree to man for his use and for his pleasure. There was but one exception. It was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. I call it the tree of choice. A choice to obey and trust God completely, or to experiment with living independently and to know what evil was like. God had said that eating that tree’s fruit would lead to death. Adam and Eve knew only life. What was death? As their minds pondered their choice, Satan came along assuring them that they would not die. Rather than dying, they would live more fully. They would be just like God. With subtle and cruel deception they were led to believe it would be better to be God than to submit to God. We might call it the initial seductive seed of secularism.
From this initial act of rebellion, the Bible teaches, and human history validates the reality of sin’s devastation. We do not have the power to dictate our destiny nor to deliver ourselves from death. If we are honest, we must cry out with the Psalmist, “From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” (Ps. 121:1)
Help for our dilemma comes from the Creator who made everything, including the trees. Just as Adam chose the tree leading to ruin, God chose the tree that leads to redemption. The curse on humanity that came by Adam’s eating from a tree was removed by the Man hanging on a tree. With due respect to the hymn writer I paraphrase. “On a hill far away, stood an old rugged tree, the emblem of suffering and shame; And I love that old rugged tree where the dearest and best for a world of lost sinners was slain.