Did you ever stop to think about the trees in the Garden of Eden? We all hear about THE tree. The one that Eve took fruit from and shared with Adam. But what about the OTHER trees?
Take a look at Genesis Chapter 2: 9 – “And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground – trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”
Did you notice the adjectives that are used to describe the other trees: pleasing and good. Did you notice the placement in the Garden for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life? Why do you suppose that God put these two trees in the middle of the Garden? Why didn’t He place them in an obscure location, like maybe on a mountain? Why did He make them so easily accessible?
I think it is very interesting that in order to get to the two trees in the middle of the Garden, Adam and Eve had to pass by all the other trees. The ones that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In other words, those trees that they walked by were appealing to the humanness of the newly created man and woman. They were beautiful trees to look at and enticing for nourishment. There was no need for Adam and Eve to pass by them. They could have stayed on any of the perimeters of the Garden and been satisfied for life. But that isn’t what they did, is it?
Do you further notice that the Bible does not include the two trees along with the other trees when the words pleasing and good for food were used? The Bible talks about the two trees separately. I wonder why? Were they not pleasing to the eye? Hard to say. Were they not good for food? That I would say a definite no. The food that was offered from these two trees was not food for physical nourishment, but a different kind of food. Food for wisdom, food for life, food that would lead to death. These trees were never meant to be food for nourishment to the physical body. These trees had other purposes, and obedience and free will were tied to them.
Note that they co-existed in the center of the Garden. I have always wondered – why, after eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, did they not just turn quickly and eat of the fruit from the tree of life? They knew that God had told them that they should not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil “for when you eat of it, you will surely die”, and if God had told them they would die, wouldn’t the next natural reaction be to eat the fruit from the other tree that would give them life? The tree of life was so important that God, in Genesis Chapter 3:24, placed a cherubim with a flashing sword to guard it because He did not want Adam and Eve to partake of the tree after they had eaten from the other. But God did not do this until after he banished them from the Garden. So they had time to eat from the tree of life. So why did they not do it?
I further think that once they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they must have had some kind of a noticeable physical or mental change. Why do I say this? Because the Bible tells us in Genesis Chapter 3 verse 7 that “the eyes of both of them were opened and they realized they were naked”. I think this could be a partial explanation as to why they didn’t just turn to eat from the tree of life. I think they were frightened by the change they had just experienced. I think they ran away in fear. After all, God finds them hiding later that evening. So I can only imagine that something interrupted the thought process that would have logically said, “eat from the tree of life and counteract the death that God said would happen.” Or maybe it was God who caused the “fruit” on the tree of life to shrivel up. The Bible does not go into explanation. But one thing is for certain. When they ate from the tree that they were not supposed to eat from, it began the countdown to their death. Life for them would never be the same.