Why
the
Tree?

    A fascinating
Answer to the age-
   old Question

THE OPENING CHAPTERS OF GENESIS,
     the first book of the Bible, claim to be a
     detailed, day-by-day, description of how
the world began.   Naturally, such a claim has
not gone unchallenged.

Genesis has received many
attacks throughout the ages as
each new generation of skeptics
takes its turn scoffing at the
creation account.
   And yet, while the scoffers
and nay-sayers have come and
gone, the Bible still lives on,
changing lives daily with its
revealed truths.   It is still the
number one bestseller of all times
-- a testimony to its supernatural claim to being
the everlasting Word of God.

One often-asked question . . .
Those who truly know God and His Word find
no discrepancies in the creation account.   But
there is one question that even born again
Christians in love with God's Word have always
pondered: Why did God put the tree in the
garden?

In other words, why would an all-knowing, all-
wise, future-predicting God put a tree containing
"forbidden fruit" in the midst of Eden, knowing
perfectly well sooner or later man would be
tempted to pick its fruit?

Furthermore, why would the same all-loving
God threaten man with dire consequences if and
when he partook of a fruit that God put there in
the first place?
   To many throughout the years, this scenario
has never made sense.   And yet, the most likely

answer to this question has such profound
implications, that after hearing it, many may
never view God the same again.

We begin prior to the creation, when there was
   only God and the angels.   We know
   the angels were around prior to
   man because, in the Book of Job,
   we find God asking Job the
   following:
      "Where wast thou when I LAID
   THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE
   EARTH? declare, if thou hast
   understanding.....   When the
   morning stars sand together, and
   all the sons of God shouted for
   joy?"
Job 38:4-7

"the sons of God" is an Old Testament term
for angels, and we find them shouting for joy
as God created our physical realm of three-
dimensional space, with its one dimension of
time.   No doubt, the angels were impressed.   You
would have been too.

The angels witnessed the all-powerful God
creating everything out of nothing.   But apart
from God's obvious power, how much more did
the angels really know about Him?   What other
aspects of God's character would be self-evident
to them or any other casual observer?

Man's hindsight can readily cite God's judgment,
His righteousness, His love, His mercy, His
grace, His longsuffering, His wrath, etc.   But how
many of the attributes just mentioned would we
or the angels know about, first hand . . .

. . . if there were no sin?

Even born again
Christians in
love with God's
Word have
had this one
question come
across
their mind.

NO ONE IS INSINUATING that God
      purposely introduced sin into the
      Universe.   Such a claim would be a gross
violation of Scripture.

It was man's yield to Satan's temptation that
started the whole sinful mess.   Perhaps, if man
had never partaken of the fruit, we would all be
living in Eden to this day.   God would never have
tempted man to sin.   The Bible clearly states:
   "LET NO MAN SAY when he is tempted, I
am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted
with evil, NEITHER TEMPTETH HE ANY MAN:
But every man is tempted, when he is drawn
away OF HIS OWN LUST, and enticed."
  James
1:13-14

And yet, ironically, to fully know God's
character and His moral attributes, sin must be
present.   Considering God's desire to reveal
Himself, one can almost say that sooner or
later, man's fall into sin was inevitable.   The
tree's presence served a purpose, after all.

No tree--no fall.   No fall--no judgment.   No
fall--no wrath.   No fall--no need of mercy.   No
fall--no need for grace.   No fall--no example of
God's love.

Without that tree, there would be no justifiable
opportunities for God to openly demonstrate
any of the aforementioned attributes.   Yes, God
could describe them to both men and angel, but
what would a verbal description mean to any of
us?

A mere warning rarely carries the same weight
as an open demonstration; Adam and Eve were
warned about God's judgment, but they sinned,
nevertheless.

No tree--no love . . .
It is in man's subsequent salvation that the
tree's presence revealed the greatest attribute
of God: His love.   The Bible says: "He that loveth
not knoweth not God; for GOD IS LOVE."
  1
John 4:8

At the risk of sounding blasphemous, perhaps
our love for God would not be possible without
sin's presence.   Ask yourself: did Adam and Eve
love God prior to the fall?   We sometimes assume
they did, and yet they blatantly sinned against
their Creator.

Granted, many who have loved God throughout
the ages have also sinned against Him.   But
remember, these people all had a sin nature,
whereas, prior to the fall, Adam and Eve did not;
They were sinless.   So why did Adam and Eve
sin?   Was it strictly the result of temptation?

In Matthew Chapter 4, Jesus Christ was also
tempted.   He, too, was sinless.   He, too, was
tempted while alone (like Eve was).   He was
tempted by the same devil, and with the same
threefold temptation: "The lust of the flesh, and
the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life."
  1
John 2:16

So, all things considered equal, why did Eve sin,
when Christ did not?   Was it because Jesus
loved God?   Yes, His response to Satan clearly
demonstrates it.   During His temptation, Jesus
told the devil: "Get thee hence, Satan: for it is
written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God,
and HIM ONLY SHALT THOU SERVE."
  Mat.
4:10

Go back and read Eve's temptation account and
you'll find her blatantly violating the very

commandment you just read.   Adam and Eve had
no reason to love God.   They didn't know much
about Him.   And as we read earlier, "He that
loveth not KNOWETH NOT GOD; for God is
love"
(1 John 4:8).   Our love for God comes
from knowing Him, particularly from knowing
about HIS LOVE toward us: "We love him,
BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US."
  1 John 4:19

The Lord, Himself, taught this profound truth
when referring to the harlot's love toward Him:
"Wherefore I say unto thee, her sins, which are
many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to
WHOM LITTLE IS FORGIVEN, THE SAME
LOVETH LITTLE."
  Luke 7:47

No tree--no forgiveness
We love God because He first loved us.   His love
extends a hand of forgiveness to any sinner
willing to repent and trust Him as his/her ONLY
Lord and Saviour.

However, forgiveness has its price, a price we
would never know about without the tree's
presence.   The Lord Jesus Christ stated the price
of forgiveness when He defined the greatest
expression of love.
   The Lord said: "Greater love hath no man
than this, that a man LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR
his friends."
  John 15:13

No tree--no death, the
             greatest example of love

My friend, if God was going to demonstrate the
fact that He IS love, wouldn't He carry out the
greatest expression of love, as defined by
Himself?   This is exactly what He did:
   "BUT GOD COMMENDETH [PROVED] HIS
LOVE toward us, in that, while we were yet
sinners, CHRIST DIED FOR US."
  Rom. 5:8

"For God so loved the world, THAT HE GAVE
HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, that whosoever
believeth in him should not perish, but have
everlasting life."
  John 3:16

No tree--no knowledge of God
The "bottom line" for our existence is to know
God.   Our creation and subsequent reason for
living is to know and love our Creator.
   God tells us what our ultimate goal in life is:
"But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he
understandeth and knoweth me, that I
am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness,
judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in
these things I delight, saith the LORD."
  Jer. 9:24

As stated above, we are to understand and
know God.   And part of that knowledge
involves knowing that God exercises
"lovingkindness, judgment, and
righteousness, in the earth[.]"
  None of these
three attributes could be truly known--
experienced first hand--were it not for the tree's
presence.

My friend, no one has tried to glorify sin, or
imply that it is essential to our existence.   No one
is even suggesting sin is a necessary evil.   Sin is
wicked, an affront to a thrice holy God.   It is to
be avoided at all cost.   Sin cost God His only
begotten Son.

However, when we try to figure out why God
allows certain things, such as the presence of a
tree, it is important to keep in mind that often
the goal behind God's actions is His self-
revelation toward His creation.
   Perhaps the tree served that very purpose,
once man utilized it through his rebellion.

IF you were to die today, are you 100% SURE
you would go to Heaven?
  The Bible says
YOU CAN BE SURE (1 John 5:13).

BUT FIRST, you must realize that what keeps you
from going to Heaven are your sins, because:
"...your iniquities [sins] have separated
between you and your God,"
Isaiah 59:2.
In fact, in God's eyes YOU ARE A SINNER: "For
all have sinned, and come short
of the glory of God;"
Romans 3:23.

SECONDLY, you must realize that there is
NOTHING you can do to save yourself and earn
Heaven: "For by grace are ye saved through
faith; and that not of yourselves: it is
the gift of God: Not of works, lest any
man should boast."
  (Eph. 2:8-9)   Baptism, good
deeds, church membership, self-righteousness are
all examples of good works that cannot save you,
because, "Not by works of
righteousness
which we have done, but
according to his mercy he
[Christ] saved
us
,"
Titus 3:5.

THE ONLY WAY you can get saved is through
Jesus Christ.   He said: "I am the way, the
truth, and the life: no man cometh unto
the Father, but by me."
  (John 14:6)   THAT'S
WHY
: "...while we were yet sinners, Christ
died for us
."
  Romans 5:8-9

THEREFORE: You must REPENT (change your
mind
); admit that you are a Hell deserving sinner
and can't save yourself.   And call upon Christ, and
Him alone, to save you.   "if thou shalt confess
with thy mouth the Lord Jesus
[REPENT], and
shalt believe in thine heart
[TRUST] that God
hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be
saved."
  Romans 10:9

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