And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 2:9
Do you ever wonder what you would have done if you’d been Adam, enjoying the beautiful Garden, dominating animals and creation, having a soul-mate for a companion, and living with just one rule? All of this in the context of daily fellowship with his God and Creator…
Just one rule. Eat all the fruit from the trees that are pleasant to the sight and good for food, but don’t eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Life was good in Eden; there was total freedom; and there was no sin. It would be the only time in human history where we lived in a perfect environment. With just one rule.
And then the snake appeared. It deceived Eve, but Adam succumbed, apparently, with no resistance at all. Eve took a bite of the forbidden fruit, handed it to Adam, and he ate. Immediately, they felt the need to hide – their bodies and themselves. God appeared and asked one of the most acute questions of all time, “Where are you?” God knew where they were; it was Adam and Eve who were lost.
You know the rest of the story: the expulsion, the consequences, the lost fellowship. IF ONLY Adam and Eve had been obedient, as if God were surprised at their rebellion. But God had a plan all along (Gen. 3:15) to redeem mankind and all creation and to restore that which was lost in the Fall.
Fast forward to Revelation 22:1, 2: Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
At the beginning of time we saw sinless perfection in the Garden of Eden. Along with the forbidden fruit was the Tree of Life that could have sustained Man forever. IF ONLY Adam and Eve hadn’t forfeited that relationship with God through their sin… But God had a plan that culminates in sinless perfection. And in the eternal Garden, once again, the Tree of Life is offered.
Father, your omniscience is breathtaking. Your forethought is staggering to the human mind. Thank you for your redemptive power and your grace that reaches each of us wherever we are. Thank you that, because of Jesus, we don’t have to live with IF ONLY. AMEN.