Tree of Knowledge and Tree of Life

In the Garden of Eden God placed two special trees, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (or conscience) and the Tree of Life (Gen 2:9). He gave strict instructions to Adam and Eve, “Don’t eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge” though there may not have been the same prohibition about eating of the Tree of Life (Gen 2:16,17). Rather than providing a physical barrier to prevent the fruit being sampled, God gave them a choice – to obey Him or disregard His commands. Satan tempted the couple, they ate of the Tree of Knowledge, and, true to God's Word, ‘their eyes were opened’ and they were aware of things they did not previously know. God stated, “They have become as us knowing good and evil” and were quickly banished from the Garden and the Tree of Life was guarded so they would not be able to eat it's fruit (Gen 3:7-11,22,24). If, in their fallen state, they had eaten this they would have lived forever in a sinful condition, separated from God without any hope of redemption. Being the ‘first parents’, none of their subsequent ‘children’ would have had any prospect of receiving the forgiveness and salvation which is now available through Jesus Christ for those who repent of sin and turn to Him (1 Cor 15:22).

Humanity’s original sin was disobeying the explicit command of God, rather than merely tasting the fruit. The fruit (whatever type it was) happened to only be the means of how their disobedience was outworked. The consequences of this primary sin are still being

Knowledge without divine life is futile

experienced today (Gen 3:15-19). The perverse nature of rebellious humanity is such that when told ‘don’t touch the paint – it’s wet’ we often touch it – either to verify if the statement is true or in defiance of a specific instruction. Every day we are confronted with the same choice – to live and act as Jesus would wish us to or to follow our own selfish desires (Rom 8:13; Gal 5:25). The decisions we make determine whether we are rewarded by God for obeying, or experience the consequences for disobeying.

In contrast to the present situation, in the New Jerusalem, we will be free of sin and able to eat freely of the Tree of Life that is continually in fruit (Rev 22:2,14,19).  Today humanity generally is more desirous of obtaining knowledge and catering to the inner desires than in seeking eternal life, thus humanity’s bias hasn’t changed throughout history.

See also: Adam, choice, consequences, disobedience, Eden/Garden of, Eve, knowledge, Satan, sin/sinners, temptation.