Two trees were named in the Garden of Eden. One was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and one was named the Tree of Life. Adam and Eve weren’t to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, but they had complete access to the Tree of Life.
What was wrong with eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil? Isn’t knowledge a good thing? Shouldn’t we pursue and acquire knowledge? Just what was Adam and Eve’s sin? The sin was disobeying God, for sure, but it was also something else. They were seeking to gain knowledge on their own apart from God. Anything they needed for life in Paradise would have been supplied for them by God. Everything they needed to know would be found in a relationship with God. Anything they had a question about could have been settled by asking God. Why seek wisdom on their own? Why seek wisdom in a way God had already said was off limits? Why try to find answers apart from their relationship with God?
Wisdom and knowledge aren’t gained through what seems good and right to us. Wisdom and knowledge are only found through keeping God at the center of our lives and through obedience to His commands. What does the Psalmist say in Psalm 111:10? “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding.” Adam and Eve had access to the Lord, but they didn’t fear Him. They didn’t trust Him exclusively. They believed their own instincts and intellect could offer more insight and bring more clarity to their lives than simply trusting what God had told them.
In putting the two trees in the center of the Garden and in making one permissible and one off limits God was establishing the opportunity for Adam and Eve to choose to trust Him in all things or to trust themselves. I love that the trees were in the center of the Garden. Their very position suggests God wanted them to decide and declare by their actions who would be their Source. Who would be at the center of their lives? Self or God? They chose to trust themselves and when they did, they sinned against God. They wanted to rely on themselves, and God let them.
Adam and Eve’s choice, it is still our choice today. In Deuteronomy 30:19 God tells Israel, “There is a tree of death and a tree of life. There is blessing and there are curses. Choose life.” We choose the Tree of Life when we choose Jesus as Savior AND LORD. Have you chosen the Tree of Life for yourself?