Between 2 Trees
Updated: Feb 4, 2020
There is a scene in the office that is playing in my mind as I write this morning. Its that one where Andy is performing in a play at the local theater. You know, the one where Michael brings balloons because he is "being the bigger man, and balloons are bigger than flowers." Anyway, the scene is right before the play starts, Darryl and Michael are talking and Darryl says, "Sssshhhh, if we don't listen to the overture, we wont recognize the musical themes when they come back later."
The Biblical narrative is a lot like a musical. When we read through the opening chapters of Genesis we are supposed to be listening for the rhythms, themes, and design patterns that reveal to us key insights that will show up later. When we blast through Gen. 1-11 we fail to see how these stories set the stage for the rest of the narrative.
In Gen. 1, at the pinnacle of the creation account, the Lord God forms mankind. He gives man (in Hebrew adam) a very specific purpose. They are to be God's image bearers, holding dominion over the rest of creation. In a sense, mankind is to be God's representative, steward, and workmanship in his relationship with the rest of creation.
We were made for this, and this is our purpose. There is a sense of pride than can be found in this authoritative responsibility. It is important to note that adam was not created as a god himself, he was merely made to reflect the creator. This will prove to be a valuable distinction in a moment.
God positioned mankind in a garden called Eden. There are two distinct trees found in Eden, the tree of Life, and the tree of the knowledge of good and bad. Positioned between these two trees is a choice. Remember, adam has been given the responsibility of dominion over the earth. Seeking wisdom in this effort is paramount. In this garden, there are a couple of ways to gain that wisdom.
Mankind is faced with a choice that boils down to this; continue to rule in relationship with God by seeking His presence or man can seize this wisdom on his own terms and do what is right in his own eyes.
We know that mankind falls short of its calling when adam took of the tree of the knowledge of good and bad. Its important to note that this is not merely speaking of an intellectual knowledge. The word "know" in the Hebrew scriptures often times implies a sense of intimacy or experience with. So the implication might be that mankind knew or experienced good and bad in their fruit eating rebellion.
This account in Genesis 1-3 is the overture for the rest of the Biblical narrative. We see this very same choice put before the rest of mankind and we ourselves have the option to seize what we think is right in our own eyes or we can seek (know) God, his presence, and his wisdom.
The good news is, because of King Jesus, our separation from God is not permanent. We now have been given life through the blood of Christ! We are able to be in the presence of our Father, and come to know him. Then, and only then, can we full-fill our God given purpose.
If you have decided to indulge in some forbidden fruit, the gateway to the Father is wide open. Repentance is not a one time event. Repentance is a regular, minute by minute decision to run to the feet of King Jesus.
Special thanks to the guys at The Bible Project for their work on the Trees in Eden.
I love you all,