“And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:” (Genesis 3:22 KJV)
Goodness… It is almost a shame that so many read through the precious word of God searching for how to be good. Huh? Singer / songwriter David Crowder says it best, “The story is not about making bad people good, it is about making dead people alive.” So many ask the question as to why God would allow either Adam or Eve to eat of fruit that would (or could) cause death. After wrestling through that discussion on free will, the next question is rarely noticed. Why did God remove the tree of life from within their reach? In the midst of our death and dying spiral, it is natural for us to seek out life. We want to live. We want to get out from that which is killing us. And yet that tree is removed and removed by the very hand of the one who loves us the most.
You may argue that we would not want the eternal death that prematurely eating of the fruit of life would give. That is true. Yet could not the fruit be engineered to simply reverse the death? To be a cure for or antidote for the poison? If you have swallowed something that is likely to kill you could it not make you cough it up? Why is the death necessary to be able to properly eat of the fruit that gives life?
Did you notice the warning God gave about this fruit? “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Genesis 2:17 KJV) In the day they eat of it? We assume this is metaphoric because Adam and Eve go on to have children and live for many centuries after they have tasted this fruit and somehow it must have taken awhile to catch up with them. Somehow in eating the fruit they must have begun the death that was to one day over take them. Yet, that is not what God’s warning actually said. The fruit really did do it’s work as soon as it was eaten. They were at that moment dead. Granted, that will take a moment to get our arms around. Probably not too long though as we experience something similar as we sin. We are guilty the moment that we do the deed (if not sooner as the plan culminates in our hearts). It may seem like it takes time to “catch up” with us, but it is in that moment that we are done. There is no cure for that. No rehabilitation for that. No do over for that. There is only the possibility of resurrection from that.
So the question of faith is not one of, can I keep from falling; but, can I trust God to make me all new again? Can I walk with him (or in some cases let Him carry me) all the way to completion? Of course it is not easy. We want to be rebuilding the structure to be more sturdy, to be less rusty, and to be more fit. He is interested in something way beyond our very nature. He is big enough to remake us and our enemies. Our mind cannot be big enough to conceive the life He has because it is our will that is in the way.
“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13 KJV)