The Tree?

I love the Bible. It's the greatest news I've ever heard or been exposed to. Everything I read in it further makes me stand in awe of God and all that he is. Unfortunately though, sometimes the "huge" God that we serve blows my mind a little too much and I just can't understand his ways. Usually, these times that I "just can't understand" are not simple questions that I can ask someone or that I believe others truly have an answer to, in fact most of these questions I come up with tend to make me a little upset with God, so we begin a wrestling match.

This morning I met with a few pastors from our church for a weekly discipleship group. Our study today revolved around the nature of a man as compared to Adam. As we read through Genesis, I couldn't help but worry about something I haven't ever worried about before. Let me sum up the story...

Genesis 2:8-9 (NASB)
8The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed.

9Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 2:15-17 (NASB)
15Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.

16The LORD God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely;

17but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die."

Genesis 3:6 (NASB)
6When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.

Genesis 3:16-19 (NASB)
16To the woman He said,
"I will greatly multiply
Your pain in childbirth,
In pain you will bring forth children;
Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And he will rule over you."

17Then to Adam He said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat from it';
Cursed is the ground because of you;
In toil you will eat of it
All the days of your life.
18"Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
And you will eat the plants of the field;
19By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread,
Till you return to the ground,
Because from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return."

Did you see it too? This really gets to me! Why does God even put the tree in the middle of the garden so that the man and woman are able to access it? Would they have sinned if the tree wasn't there? If the tree is necessary why not locate it somewhere else? Why not locate it somewhere that it is not accessible? Why even create that tree? What does the creation and placement of this tree suggest about the nature of God?

I have so many questions that do not make sense to me right now. Have any of you ever wrestled with this same idea? Have any of you ever come to any conclusions on this matter?

1 comment:

  1. A couple of thouhts:

    1. I am not so sure that this is a 'literal-historical' story, but possibly could be classified as "myth" (a conveyer of truth, but not needing to be historical...but rather theological in nature)

    2. Putting point one aside, I have often thought about this... and I am also wondering about the snake. Why did the snake have access to this situation? If God designed a 'good world,' why was the tree there as a temptation and why was the Tempter allowed access? If anything, it seems to allude to the idea that God created the world for good, but it was not ever complete. It was a project meant to move towards something. From a garden (Gen 2) to a City (Rev 21-22). Somewhere before the situation in Eden, sin entered the scene when Satan and the Powers fell. Humans fell prey to the lure of using the creation for a purpose that God had not intended... and Satan tempted this into being. Today, we continue to use the creation outside of God's design.

    So, I rambled above and did not answer your question, but maybe threw out some 'non fleshed out' further questions to build on yours.