The tree of life is represented in several examples of sacred geometry and is central in particular to the Kabbalah, where it is represented as a diagram of ten points. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The woman, following the “shrewd example” of her mate who thought he had placed the guilt upon her, quickly pondered: “The serpent deceived me, and I ate” (Genesis 3:13). not use our free-will to sin), how might you go about accomplishing that while maintaining a loving relationship, and without infringing upon free-will? The fact that this tree, too, was in the midst of the garden served as a means of attraction to do good when man was influenced to disobey God. And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. Norman Masters, in answering the question, “Who’s to blame for mankind’s fall in the garden?,” emphatically declared: The “Lord God” is the “Tempter” in Eden in Genesis 2:17 when He says, “...but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die”.... Tell a child or juvenile not to do something and you’re immediately establishing the temptation to do it. You and I are engaged in a conversation. The attraction of every tree in the garden represented a fundamental piece intended to distract any possible craving that man might have for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That's why we can trust Him with our very breath, our very life. God did it. Actually, the situation has not changed much since then. Do you realize that there was literally no way to disobey God aside from the tree in the garden? We were not starving men, thrown into jail for stealing a loaf of bread. It’s not punishment. If something made the fruit of this tree not ideal to eat, surely it had nothing to do with the nature of the tree itself (since everything God had created was “very good”), but instead had to do with God’s command and prohibition.  The ten points are known as Sephiroth or Sephirah, or the ten emanations or attributes of God.Kabbalah is an esoteric method, discipline and school of thought in Jewish mysticism. Although the name given to the tree hints at something negative because of the word “evil”; the fact is that this tree was not a generator of evil. I can hold her tightly, and prohibit her from using her free-will to escape, but it doesn’t facilitate a very loving relationship, and it’s not very satisfying. That is the nature of a loving, trusting relationship. Hi, Hillary. Adam was permitted to eat of every tree in the garden except for the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. He created the tree because it was a manifestation of his character, of his love. There was no reason for Adam and Eve to be hanging around the tree. This location was strategic. Satan didn't do it...God did. Why Did God Make the Tree Good? The first tree was the tree of life. (1999), Diccionario Expositivo de Palabras del Antiguo y Nuevo Testamento Exhaustivo (Colombia, Editorial Caribe. Growing up, I had a little stuffed dog named Chuck. If there is no way to leave, then they aren’t really free. Vine, W.E. No. The Bible declares that God is love (1 John 4:8). Janet, They had the moral maturity of a one-year-old. But if this tree did not have an evil nature, then what made this tree one which was not good to eat? Hence, the question is bound to arise: Why did God create the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? God told him: “For in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17). Various trees of life are recounted in folklore, culture and fiction, often relating to immortality or fertility. In fact, the creation of this tree and the subsequent delivery of Heaven’s prohibition can be explained (if not totally, at least in great part) on the basis of divine love. It reminds me of what my friend Tommy used to do to me in high school. By eating from the tree of life, our original parents were to have the opportunity of expressing their faith in God as the One who provides and sustains life. The Tree of Life and Kingdom of God. We, as humans, act in a similar manner. It didn’t initially appear as if the first one went through. Click To Tweet. That’s the very essence of the challenge to authority that Adam’s sin presents. First, God placed the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the midst of the garden (Genesis 3:3). Is there obedience without choice? They had everything they could possibly want. Some questions were simple like, “Why did God create animals and not just people?” Other questions were more theologically gritty, and required longer explanations. Visit our Send Network church planting channel to discover how you can reach all kinds of communities with the gospel in fresh ways through church planting. The tree of life is mentioned three times in Genesis 2, in Eden, and again four times in Revelation during the New Earth. This would have been God’s just punishment for such a presumptuous sin, not merely a ‘magical’ effect of the Tree of Life. Why did God prevent Adam from eating from the Tree of Life after he had sinned? In fact, God went to lengths to guard Adam and Eve from ever getting near the tree again (Gen 3:22-24). God wanted a relationship with us! Could anyone conceive of God as a loving God Who created intelligent beings, but then programmed them to slavishly serve Him without any personal willpower? Some exegetical notes, observations, and tentative conclusions: 1. Did he want to have an excuse to exile them from Paradise? The argument is that if 1. there was a omnibenevolent God like the Bible teaches, then 2. evil shouldn’t exist, and 3. since evil does exist, 4. My question is how can you be so certain that what you believe in is true? Mama Bear Apologetics is a registered trademark. If God Knew Adam and Eve would sin, why did He put the tree in the Garden of Eden in the first place. And here a dilemma is posed, either God did not know what was going to happen with this bothersome little tree, or if He did know, then why did He make the tree? To begin to answer this, a couple of things should be kept in mind. God allowed Satan to tempt Adam and Eve to force them to make the choice. Moses urged the people of God: “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19). It is probably because with the knowledge of good and evil comes the knowledge of sin. And I don't know if I've ever thanked God for trees before. We are His beloved creation. added). God always wanted for man to keep His commands, and hence He used various means to facilitate such obedience. It’s a reality that every Daddy has to face DAILY. Because there was a promised consequence for his actions, there also was the fear of enduring this terrible consequence. Now, God is charged not only with creating something “dangerous” for man, but also with not providing any prevention and security system in order for His creatures’ safety. For many, the question, “Why did God create this tree,” is unanswerable, since they cannot reconcile the idea of a benevolent God with the fact of the creation of something that resulted in man’s fall. God Himself subjected the creation to the present futility. I hope that made sense, since I have difficulties explaining matters in a concise manner. Bible believers can be sure that, in our exercise of personal volition, God’s desire will be always our well-being. Thank you for the opportunity of dialog. Like I had the kids repeat: God is love. When Moses wrote about the “knowledge” contained in the fruit of this tree, he used the Hebrew term da´at—which implies discernment and distinction, but does not imply necessarily intimate involvement. God did not want robots, and he will not force His love on us. Something great happens? I think the freewill argument fills the gap because we started with the endpoint that the Christian God is the one true God and worked our way backwards to the freewill premise. It was beyond his reach. What … “And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. It's not like God said, 'Thou shall only eat broccoli, but the the chocolate, you may not eat. God created the perfect world in which nothing would ever go bad. He gave Adam and Eve every reason to trust Him, but they chose to doubt His goodness, and ultimately believed the lie that they were better judges as to what was good for them. I guess the question I would ask you is how you can be so certain that what you believe in is true? added). As much as I love Chuck, he will never love me back. That’s just the nature of nature. As a Christian, I don’t think I would have disagreed with any of your points. Something horrible happens? Praise the Lord that we serve a wise and merciful God who loved us so much that He sent His only son to redeem us from our sins! But that tree of death was really a tree of life. 1. The truth, however, is that regardless of the scenario, God will always get a pass. Man has continued in his endless search for ever more subtle, sophisticated, and convincing excuses that could set him free from his moral and/or spiritual responsibility. If we put them in a house that had no windows and no doors, and then said, “You can go anywhere you want,” have we given them free-will? The function of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is to make sure that the pleasures of all the other trees in the garden are supremely pleasures in God. The source of trouble in this story is Adam and Eve as well as the serpent, not the tree. To this end, God had bestowed on the tree a supernatural power. How much more so with people? He could not force His love on us without it exterminating any hope for a loving relationship. Join students from OVER 90 countries that attend our online classes. In conclusion, one more point needs to be stressed. However, I feel like regardless of the scenario, God will always get a pass. Physical death now began to enter the human race. Some exegetical notes, observations, and tentative conclusions: 1. He plans on creating a new proverbial “sterile” environment in the future. Rampant evil. Ebon Musings (no date), “Sins of the Father—The Fall from Eden,”[On-line], URL: http://www.ebonmusings.org/atheism/sinsofthefather.html. If that was too long or didn’t make sense, here’s the short version: The problem of evil only works if we’re talking about an omnibenevolent and all-powerful God, hence the necessity of his inclusion in it. The tree of life in Eden must have had some role to play in maintaining the life of Adam and Eve (and possibly the animals). I could be mistaken here, so please correct me if I am, but it seems as if the objection you raised really does not offer any sort of defeater towards the defense made by Hillary. In the middle of the garden were two special trees. No longer could he even contemplate eating from the Tree of Life. From our shallow understanding, it may seem like God is to blame for all the evil in the world. added). God put the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden to give Adam and Eve a choice. (see Ebon, n.d., emp. Genesis 1:31 records: “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.” Scriptures clearly declare that everything God had created was not only good, but “very good.” Exodus 20:11 records that everything was created in the six days of divine creative activity; thus, nothing was created after those days. [D]id God set a trap for his creations? Adam was in a sinless state and was warned by God not to partake of the tree. Even though by its very name this tree denoted something positive, man still would not have been excused if he had disobeyed a divine command not to eat its fruit.]. Masters, Norman E. (2000), “Who’s to Blame for Mankind’s Fall in the Garden?,” [On-line], URL: http://www.pinn.net/~sunshine/whm2000/norm.html. keep in mind that there is a tree of life from which we can eat also If the tree was not there, then there would never have been an opportunity to choose obedience to God over anything else. If He hadn’t put the tree there and given Adam and Eve the rule to not eat from it, they wouldn’t have disobeyed, and our world wouldn’t be in the mess it’s in today. '. How could Adam and Eve have failed? Alba, María (no date), “Génesis 2: El Hombre en el Huerto del Edén,” [On-line], URL: http://www.sindioses.org/genesis/genesis2.html. October 21, 2012 February 25, 2018 / renbronze. This is basically the crap in the middle where we get to experience what a world full of sin looks like. The truth of the matter is that love requires free will—and free will, for its consummation, requires the possibility that a choice one way or the other can be made. So, let me try to unpack that and explain how that is. Let’s assume, however, that the Christian God is the one true god and that he is both omnipotent and omniscient. Now, since you haven’t offered any other reasons to doubt part 1 rather than any other argument, you’d need to either try a different approach or refute Hillary’s argument allowing for the existence of God and the presence of evil to coexist. He could not force His love on us without it exterminating any hope for a loving relationship. Your email address will not be published. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil wasn’t a bad tree. added). However, assuming that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was evil is the main error that a person makes while wanting (or not wanting, as the quotation above makes obvious) to understand God’s ways. [Consider the fact that God likewise could have prohibited man from eating of the tree of life (alluded to in Genesis 2:9). A good way to illustrate this concept for kids is by using the windowless-doorless house analogy. In both it symbolizes ongoing provision for physical life. When Adam and Eve sinned and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, as God had explicitly warned them not to do, they lost access to the … How big was the garden of Eden? Second,God also placed the tree of life in the midst of the garden (Genesis 2:9). If this question has plagued you, you are not alone. 17:7–8). Eating its fruit gave a person an extended life span. One in particular was, “Why did God create the tree in the first place?” (Another student asked “Why couldn’t Adam and Eve eat the fruit,” so I lumped them together in one answer. And the good news, is that He doesn’t plan on leaving it like this forever. Mankind lost access to the tree of life after disobeying God’s command to not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. "And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The Tree of Life stood in the centre of the Garden of Eden which elsewhere is called ‘ The Garden of the LORD ’.1 It was a real tree, to be sure, but let me suggest that it was also symbolic of the fact that God was, and is, the source of eternal life and blessing. The tree of life is represented in several examples of sacred geometry and is central in particular to the Kabbalah, where it is represented as a diagram of ten points. They wouldn’t have eaten the fruit If they really knew what that would do to the rest of humanity, right?” Can’t we still fault God for their decision because He didn’t give them enough information? As you have already indicated, God warned them to not eat of the tree… He gave Adam and Eve every reason to … I hope this helps answer your question. The day you do, you shall surely die,” and then just waited for them to accidentally step on it. So I did, right then and there. Although Adam decided to disobey God, it does not mean that God’s plan failed. You might as well have given them a calculus test. The answer to the question, “Why did God create the tree in the first place,” is simple. All trees in the Garden were attractive to the eye and/or good for food, so it is likely that Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the Tree of Life while they lived in the Garden. Does that mean God can no longer do anything to him? My heart rejoices tonight in the thought that what was meant for evil God meant for good. Even in the animal kingdom, love cannot be forced. As in the case of the Bible—which gives us the knowledge of the good that we need to do, and the evil that we need to avoid (without necessarily inducing us to do evil)—this tree contained such knowledge. That is why He gives us free will – it’s our right to make our own decisions. The beauty of Revelation 22:2 is that it shows that what was forfeited to them will be freely available to heaven’s residents. The tree of life signified immortality. The Tree of Life as pictured by Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933) The tree is see The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. I wanted to snuggle with my cat. Instead, they sought satisfaction in the forbidden tree. I’ll answer that question in the next post! The tree of life means that God’s intent for humanity was always life and not death. ), A great mystery for kids is why God created a way for Adam and Eve to sin. For instance, there are many things we do for “love,” even though we recognize before we do them that there will be times when things will not always turn out for the best. Consequently, a difference in the usage of these two terms can be found in Genesis 4:1, where “...Adam knew (yada—knowledge by intimate involvement) Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain,” and in Genesis 2:17, where God stated: “...but of the tree of the knowledge [da´at—distinction of the knowledge] of good and evil you shall not eat.” Certainly, this knowledge did not involve anything bad by itself, since it was not based in the experience of good and evil, but rather in the enlargement of the mind’s understanding to distinguish between good and evil. He didn’t force them to sin. I had the kids repeat a sentence with me multiple times. Now, approaching the subject as an atheist, I’ll attempt to share my thoughts on your final question. He works ALL things according to the counsel of HIS Will. The Creator’s masterpiece is a harmonious symphony that delights our ears. Is there obedience without choice? Adam and Eve chose, of their own free wills, to disobey God and eat the forbidden fruit. Could it be that we would make better life choices if we un… If you don’t want to tempt them you never mention it—and make sure the temptation is not available to be yielded to (2000, emp. Couldn't Christ have been spared suffering if God had just nixed the tree? A lot of people think of evil like it’s just God’s divine judgment for not doing what he says. There is unspeakable evil. Third, the prohibition and potential punishment were intended to serve as a “fence” to prevent man from violating the divinely instituted boundary. God could have created us like robots, without the ability to reject him or disobey. The second tree was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God is love. Freedom means that there is both choice, and responsibility.” God’s very nature mandated that He give Adam and Eve both choice and responsibility if his end-goal was a loving relationship! We also need to remember that just because God knows the future, does not somehow make Him evil if He does not act on that knowledge to change the future. He wanted for man to love Him, not because it was the only option available to him, but because it was the only option that would guarantee him eternal joy. The truthful and unavoidable conclusion, then, is that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was in fact “very good.”. In a profanely titled article, “Sins of the Father,” the following declaration can be found: If he didn’t want Adam and Eve to eat from it, then why did he put it in Eden in the first place? . If Adam and Eve were smart enough to merely COMMUNICATE with God, they’re smart enough to follow IF to its inevitable THEN. Adam and Eve were to have their life centred in Him, even as the Tree was in the centre of His Garden. I’m an ex-Christian, but not necessarily because of the subject of evil. The inspired writer James declared: “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone” (1:13, emp. But why was the divine prohibition regarding the tree of the knowledge of good and evil necessary? It is most satisfying when she comes to me of her free-will and wants to sit on my lap, be petted by me, and engage in whatever level of relationship in which cats are capable. They had their origin in religious symbolism. why did god create the tree of knowledge Home; About; Location; FAQ Should you find yourself in trouble, I would intervene on your behalf, as you would for me. Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window). The argument about not knowing which God exists isn’t relevant here, since sentence 1 is required for the rest of the argument to work. Why is this? Genesis 2: 16,17, Joshua 24:15, Isaiah 7:15, John 5:39,40, 7:17, and Revelation 22:17). Our God is not an authoritarian type of God. Rich Deem has discussed these very questions. Therefore, with this single defamatory charge, many men have attempted to forsake all weight of culpability and responsibility. If I leave the door open on my freezer, things will start to go bad. Couldn't Christ have been spared suffering if God had just nixed the tree? God wanted Adam and Eve to choose to love and trust Him. If I’ve read your 2nd response correctly, it seems that your argument is that we presuppose that the God of Christianity is true, and that we don’t have basis for that presupposition. Adam was also given a simple law to obey. Love can only be given freely. But perhaps they will help you. Now, some might object to God’s method’s by asking, “Did God give Adam and Even enough information to make an informed decision? Thus, can we really say that God is love and worthy of a trusting relationship? Here's the opening live Q&A session that launched our online video training. God doesn’t. All I can do is to make some guesses. You cannot disobey someone if there are no rules. Even though the kid KNOWS who Daddy is, in the kid’s mind, his way is better. Genesis 2:16-17, “And the LORD God commanded the man, … [This term is used only twice in Genesis, and in both instances it refers to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil]. The freewill argument is a puzzle piece that fits simply because the endpoint was already established for most of us, that the Christian God is the one true God. When God prohibited man from eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16-17), He did not attribute anything bad to the tree per se. They all knew the answer was no. As for knowing if that God exists, there’s lots of good argumentation. The tree in the Garden of Eden symbolized the knowledge of good and evil. The Devil did not tempt Adam and Eve to eat of the Tree of Life because it was not prohibited. This is an uber-important question to answer well, because if we (adults) do not have a firm grasp on why God created the option for Adam and Eve to sin, then how can we expect our kids to understand the reasons for Christ’s death, resurrection and the plan for redemption? First, God provided the necessary means for man to obey him wanted Adam Eve. His sin both the good and evil in the midst of the Garden (! A net-win for God as well have given them a calculus test God set Adam and Eve not! That there was no reason for Adam and Eve to be stressed man into. God wanted Adam and Eve chose, of their own free wills, disobey... The closet occasionally on insecure nights part 3 of 6 in the.... Have choices that allowed for the use of His Garden child that has been all... Is part 3 of 6 in the house ( Frankly, many men have attempted to forsake weight. S our right to make the choice to arise: why did God put the tree of knowledge of.... 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