Whoa! Have you ever heard something in scripture that you had completely missed before? I did this week and it has set the wheels to pondering. I’m hoping this is one of those times I’ll get a bunch of comments on this post. Or on FB where I attach it. This is one of those times I noted that I hope to ponder in community.
Okay, I’ve read the story of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in Genesis a bunch of times. I know God told Adam and Eve not to eat from that tree. I know they did and were banished from the Garden. I know God put a guard around the Tree of Life so they wouldn’t then eat from it in their state of knowing. He was protecting them from living forever in that state.
But I never realized He did not forbid them to eat from the Tree of Life. So that is where my pondering took off…
What if they had eaten from that tree first? Would He have then put a guard around the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil? And Emily asked me last night what God would have done with all the people on the earth if they had eaten of that tree and lived forever. She was curious what would happen when there was no more room for all the people. And Gracie wanted to know where that tree is now and if it is still on the earth somewhere, still being guarded. And a friend recently posed the question of why God would even put the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in there in the first place.
So I went to the trusty internet in search of the Tree of Life to see how many references I could find in scripture. Biblegateway pulled up 14 verses in the NIV. Two didn’t really match at all because they just had the word tree and the word life in the same scripture. The ones in Genesis were obviously talking about this physical tree. Then there were 4 scriptures in Proverbs that pointed out things that were a tree of life-like wisdom, the fruit of the righteous, a longing fulfilled and a soothing tongue. Then you have to go all the way to Revelation before the Tree of Life is mentioned again. This time people are eating from the Tree. Nations are being healed by its leaves. You have to eat from this Tree to enter into Heaven. That sounds an awful lot like a PERSON and not an actual tree to me except that it sure paints a picture of an actual tree.
So, is the Tree of Life in Revelation a representation of Jesus or an actual tree? Is it the same tree that was in the Garden of Eden? If it is the same tree AND it represents Jesus, did it represent Him way back in the Garden?
The lesson was about looking for life in all your circumstances but I’m really much more curious about this tree.