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How big was the garden of Eden? The truth, however, is that regardless of the scenario, God will always get a pass. What if there were all sorts of cool things in the house? If you were in danger, I would intervene for you, as you would for me. Thank you for the opportunity of dialog. Did he want to have an excuse to exile them from Paradise? If you don’t want to tempt them you never mention it—and make sure the temptation is not available to be yielded to (2000, emp. By eating from the tree of life, our original parents were to have the opportunity of expressing their faith in God as the One who provides and sustains life. Now, people often ask if there will be choices in heaven, or the possibility of sinning in heaven. Love can only be given freely. Question: "Why did God put the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden?" The Tree of Life stood in the centre of the Garden of Eden which elsewhere is called ‘ The Garden of the LORD ’.1 It was a real tree, to be sure, but let me suggest that it was also symbolic of the fact that God was, and is, the source of eternal life and blessing. In the middle of the garden were two special trees. To this end, God had bestowed on the tree a supernatural power. The spiritual world is similar. He could not force His love on us without it exterminating any hope for a loving relationship. But why was the divine prohibition regarding the tree of the knowledge of good and evil necessary? © 2021 Mama Bear Apologetics® Here's the opening live Q&A session that launched our online video training. Why Did God Make the Tree Good? The inspired writer James declared: “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone” (1:13, emp. But that tree of death was really a tree of life. My heart rejoices tonight in the thought that what was meant for evil God meant for good. Think of it more like contaminating a sterile environment, or decay. And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. 1. However, assuming that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was evil is the main error that a person makes while wanting (or not wanting, as the quotation above makes obvious) to understand God’s ways. September 7, 2012 | Written by Director Leave a Comment. ], I’d have to disagree. If the tree was not there, then there would never have been an opportunity to choose obedience to God over anything else. We don’t really know, but we can be sure that it didn’t have a 10-foot diameter. Something horrible happens? He created it ALL and then did with what He created His own perfect intention and will. They had the moral maturity of a one-year-old. Bible believers can be sure that, in our exercise of personal volition, God’s desire will be always our well-being. God creating creatures that can’t disobey is like us holding on to a stuffed animal; the most you can expect to receive is comfort, but not love. If God’s goal (as mentioned in the very first book of the Bible, and the very last) is to be with us (free-beings) forever, and not have us contaminate a perfect environment (i.e. Why? The tree of life in Eden must have had some role to play in maintaining the life of Adam and Eve (and possibly the animals). In spite of that, some still see the creation of this tree as a fundamental proof of God’s “dark side.” Yet we should not level such a charge against the God Who created a perfect world for man, endowed him with free will, and provided so much warning to keep man from sinning. But the thing is, the argument of evil is supposed to address exactly that, and presupposes it on its own. The beauty of Revelation 22:2 is that it shows that what was forfeited to them will be freely available to heaven’s residents. It’s real. The fact that you realize that there is so much wrong in the world tells me that you understand that we were not created for this. There was literally NO way to disobey God without the tree. The Creator’s masterpiece is a harmonious symphony that delights our ears. Skeptics often complain that God set Adam and Eve up to fail. God said, “I would love for you to stay with me here forever. He could not force His love on us without it exterminating any hope for a loving relationship. Couldn't Christ have been spared suffering if God had just nixed the tree? By locating this tree very close to the other tree, God reminded man that he had the freedom—and thus the option—to choose obedience over disobedience, life over death. He didn’t even create multiple trees, and make them remember where they were! The Tree Devotions. For many, the question, “Why did God create this tree,” is unanswerable, since they cannot reconcile the idea of a benevolent God with the fact of the creation of something that resulted in man’s fall. added). Second,God also placed the tree of life in the midst of the garden (Genesis 2:9). As you have already indicated, God warned them to not eat of the tree… Masters, Norman E. (2000), “Who’s to Blame for Mankind’s Fall in the Garden?,” [On-line], URL: http://www.pinn.net/~sunshine/whm2000/norm.html. “Out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. And the good news, is that He doesn’t plan on leaving it like this forever. Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window). added). Click To Tweet. He plans on creating a new proverbial “sterile” environment in the future. Romans 8:20-21. If I’ve read your 2nd response correctly, it seems that your argument is that we presuppose that the God of Christianity is true, and that we don’t have basis for that presupposition. All trees in the Garden were attractive to the eye and/or good for food, so it is likely that Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the Tree of Life while they lived in the Garden. That’s just the nature of nature. why did god create the tree of knowledge Home; About; Location; FAQ I’m an ex-Christian, but not necessarily because of the subject of evil. They were told that bad things would happen if they did (Gen 2:17). [citation needed] The ten points are known as Sephiroth or Sephirah, or the ten emanations or attributes of God.Kabbalah is an esoteric method, discipline and school of thought in Jewish mysticism. Because the tree was located in the midst of the garden, there was no way that man could eat of its fruit by mistaking it for another. It’s a reality that every Daddy has to face DAILY. It is the will of God, of course, that we choose life. Something wonderful happens? Hence, the question is bound to arise: Why did God create the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Very few of us reasoned our way into Christianity. He did not want robots, and he didn’t want dolls to play with. That makes him responsible for both the good and the evil. God did not want robots, and he will not force His love on us. The answer to the question, “Why did God create the tree in the first place,” is simple. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil wasn’t a bad tree. Once the door was opened, it was no longer a sterile environment, and anyone who has done science experiments knows that the longer you leave something contaminated, the worse it gets. Satan didn't do it...God did. I had the kids repeat a sentence with me multiple times. God could have prevented Adam and Eve from ever having the choice to rebel against Him, but again that’s not love, and God IS love. However, God had to give Adam and Eve a choice. God always wanted for man to keep His commands, and hence He used various means to facilitate such obedience. Answer: God put the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden to give Adam and Eve a choice to obey Him or disobey Him. If He did not know it then He was not wise, and if He knew it He was wicked (Alba, n.d., emp. Mama Bear Apologetics is a registered trademark. Actually, the situation has not changed much since then. The tree of life means that God’s intent for humanity was always life and not death. The argument is that if 1. there was a omnibenevolent God like the Bible teaches, then 2. evil shouldn’t exist, and 3. since evil does exist, 4. While it may seem that God created it like this, that’s only a symptom of not knowing our history. There is only one thing that squeaks in our eardrum—something that has impeded many from believing in the Creator—the creation of a specific tree. Are they still free? (1994, emp. There was literally NO way to disobey God without the tree. About this term, the Vine’s Expositive Dictionary notes: “Essentially, yada means: (1) to know by observation and reflection, and (2) to know by experience” (Vine, 1999, p. 65, emp. The tree was planted by God in the Garden of Eden: “The LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. Consider the following points. The Devil did not tempt Adam and Eve to eat of the Tree of Life because it was not prohibited. I think there will be, but nobody is going to take that door. Adam and Eve did not celebrate their life in God with full-throated praise. Consequently, a difference in the usage of these two terms can be found in Genesis 4:1, where “...Adam knew (yada—knowledge by intimate involvement) Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain,” and in Genesis 2:17, where God stated: “...but of the tree of the knowledge [da´at—distinction of the knowledge] of good and evil you shall not eat.” Certainly, this knowledge did not involve anything bad by itself, since it was not based in the experience of good and evil, but rather in the enlargement of the mind’s understanding to distinguish between good and evil. Even though by its very name this tree denoted something positive, man still would not have been excused if he had disobeyed a divine command not to eat its fruit.]. Various trees of life are recounted in folklore, culture and fiction, often relating to immortality or fertility. Jackson, Wayne (1994), “Does Human Suffering Disprove the Existence of God?,” [a tract] (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press). Love can only be given freely. No longer could he even contemplate eating from the Tree of Life. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil was there because God is holy and we are to obey him. Consider the child that has been subjected to unspeakable evil. The function of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is to make sure that the pleasures of all the other trees in the garden are supremely pleasures in God. I could overpower her for a little while, but she was obviously not into our little “snuggle session,” and the moment I let up, she squirmed her way out of my arms. We are not His robots. Now, since you haven’t offered any other reasons to doubt part 1 rather than any other argument, you’d need to either try a different approach or refute Hillary’s argument allowing for the existence of God and the presence of evil to coexist. [This term is used only twice in Genesis, and in both instances it refers to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil]. by Joel Tay. Vine, W.E. So, let me try to unpack that and explain how that is. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. I honestly don’t know how God could have made it easier to choose Him. The presumption that God was real was always there. As an atheist, I’ll attempt to share my thoughts on your question. added). It’s not punishment. Thank you so much for your comment. Who Made the Tree Good or Bad? No. What … The reason for this is that proper prayer involves focused concentration. Stating that God didn’t want a bunch of robots or that he won’t force you to love him or force his love on you does nothing to quell this cognitive dissonance. I was feeling down, and fluffy things are like opium for me. Wayne Jackson has noted: [H]eaven’s love was demonstrated in that humanity was endowed with free will; we were granted freedom of choice (cf. This providence is carefully placed within the account of Genesis 2—although it is a type of providence that many people cannot see (or do not care to acknowledge). When God prohibited man from eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16-17), He did not attribute anything bad to the tree per se. As for knowing if that God exists, there’s lots of good argumentation. If I leave the door open on my freezer, things will start to go bad. Eating its fruit gave a person an extended life span. Certainly, God provided the necessary means for man to obey His divine will. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. I hope this helps answer your question. added). Even in the animal kingdom, love cannot be forced. How could Adam and Eve have failed? The Creation account of Genesis is one of the most sublime narrations recorded in the Bible. Janet, Genesis 1:31 records: “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.” Scriptures clearly declare that everything God had created was not only good, but “very good.” Exodus 20:11 records that everything was created in the six days of divine creative activity; thus, nothing was created after those days. One in particular was, “Why did God create the tree in the first place?” (Another student asked “Why couldn’t Adam and Eve eat the fruit,” so I lumped them together in one answer. Simultaneously, of course, having the command in place paved the way for the possibility of freely choosing to either obey or to disobey such a command. However, He did point out the tragic consequence of eating from the tree, which was not a result of the tree’s intrinsic nature, but of disobedience to God’s command. Instead, they sought satisfaction in the forbidden tree. Love can only be given freely. However, if you want to leave, that is the door.” Adam and Eve were told not to eat of the fruit. added, italics in orig.). This would have been God’s just punishment for such a presumptuous sin, not merely a ‘magical’ effect of the Tree of Life. He didn’t want to create robots. He didn’t deny them food, and then punish them for eating. Click To Tweet. Our God is not an authoritarian type of God. Adam, as has every man after him, enjoyed the free will that would allow him to choose to do right. The Tree of Life is a popular and universal symbol that represents multiple different things across various cultures and religions. God wanted a relationship with us! Hillary Morgan Ferrer is the founder of Mama Bear Apologetics. In today’s world, we find that plants often have some healing properties (e.g., aloe). It didn’t initially appear as if the first one went through. When Moses wrote about the “knowledge” contained in the fruit of this tree, he used the Hebrew term da´at—which implies discernment and distinction, but does not imply necessarily intimate involvement. In a more brazen way than the first man—who charged the woman directly, and God indirectly, when he said: “The woman whom You gave to be with me...” (Genesis 3:12)—many today have puffed themselves up with pride to set God up as the initiator, promoter, and instigator of the tragedy in Eden. The symbol does not belong to one specific culture as it has been used all over the world for centuries. Praise the Lord that we serve a wise and merciful God who loved us so much that He sent His only son to redeem us from our sins! The tree of life was in the midst of the garden” (2:9). No. Couldn't Christ have been spared suffering if God had just nixed the tree? Mankind lost access to the tree of life after disobeying God’s command to not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Let’s pretend that we made it the perfect environment where they didn’t want to leave. Now, God is charged not only with creating something “dangerous” for man, but also with not providing any prevention and security system in order for His creatures’ safety. Click To Tweet. Deem, Rich (2004), “Why Wouldn’t God Want Adam and Eve to Have Knowledge of Good and Evil?,” [On-line], URL: http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/tree.html. God Himself subjected the creation to the present futility. Adam was in a sinless state and was warned by God not to partake of the tree. However, these men simply have not wanted to retain God in their lives (Romans 1:28), and in their efforts to find some peace in their licentious actions that impute their conscience, they have involved themselves in a deliberate search for a kind of intrinsic evil in the Divine nature. Something horrible happens? 2. He didn’t force them to sin. For instance, there are many things we do for “love,” even though we recognize before we do them that there will be times when things will not always turn out for the best. In fact, God went to lengths to guard Adam and Eve from ever getting near the tree again (Gen 3:22-24). A good way to illustrate this concept for kids is by using the windowless-doorless house analogy. He chose the world that we currently reside in. Everything that God made, including the tree, was “very good” (Genesis 1:31). That is a real, trusting relationship. If something made the fruit of this tree not ideal to eat, surely it had nothing to do with the nature of the tree itself (since everything God had created was “very good”), but instead had to do with God’s command and prohibition. You cannot disobey someone if there are no rules. "And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. God told him: “For in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17). It’s not like he said, “All your days, you shall eat brussel sprouts and asparagus, but the chocolate pudding in the middle of the garden, you shall not eat.” No. If we put them in a house that had no windows and no doors, and then said, “You can go anywhere you want,” have we given them free-will? Those who trust in Jesus Christ by faith will live in the restored Eden and partake of the tree of life. Why did God prevent Adam from eating from the Tree of Life after he had sinned? Joey asks "If God knew that Adam & Eve would eat off the Tree of Knowledge, why did he put it in the Garden of Eden?" It's not like God said, 'Thou shall only eat broccoli, but the the chocolate, you may not eat. Give God the credit. Jesus death and His subsequent resurrection gives us the hope of an eternally glory filled life! Moses urged the people of God: “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19). A lot of people think of evil like it’s just God’s divine judgment for not doing what he says. God doesn’t. I can pick my cat up and force her to snuggle with me like I did last night. (1999), Diccionario Expositivo de Palabras del Antiguo y Nuevo Testamento Exhaustivo (Colombia, Editorial Caribe. Adam was also given a simple law to obey. This location was strategic. He was very upfront about the whole Death thing. As an example, we bring children into this world with the foreknowledge that they will get sick, make wrong choices, suffer, be hated, get old, get weak, and die. The truth of the matter is that love requires free will—and free will, for its consummation, requires the possibility that a choice one way or the other can be made. “And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. So wouldn’t it be a net-win for God as well? I guess the question I would ask you is how you can be so certain that what you believe in is true? It is probably because with the knowledge of good and evil comes the knowledge of sin. But perhaps they will help you. The tree of life is represented in several examples of sacred geometry and is central in particular to the Kabbalah, where it is represented as a diagram of ten points. Click To Tweet, This is fairly intuitive to most people, regardless of age. As a Christian, I think I would have agreed with you on all of your points. In the same way that Adam had to choose between life and death, you and I are called to make our own choices. You and I are engaged in a discussion. Eating of the tree of life (Genesis 2:9, 3:22 - 23) symbolized having faith in the Eternal and deciding to live based on his judgments and rules. I wanted to snuggle with my cat. I asked the kids today, “Can you force someone to love you?” I didn’t get a single confused look, or accidental head nod. Rampant evil. First, God placed the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the midst of the garden (Genesis 3:3). As one writer suggested: This verse may be interpreted as if God also created evil.... Often believers affirm that all good comes from God, and evil comes from man, [but] it seems that at the moment of reading the Bible they forget that the same God who created the good, also created evil.... [W]hat necessity did God have to plant this tree whose fruits were fruits of evil? In both it symbolizes ongoing provision for physical life. [D]id God set a trap for his creations? Adam and Eve had every reason to trust God. If He hadn’t put the tree there and given Adam and Eve the rule to not eat from it, they wouldn’t have disobeyed, and our world wouldn’t be in the mess it’s in today. It really is as simple as “I’m the boss, and I say X. He didn’t want to create robots. To partake of the tree would have been to seek not only the knowledge of good but also of evil. That’s the mental gymnastics required to make sense of things. Required fields are marked *. However, I feel like regardless of the scenario, God will always get a pass. It is most satisfying when she comes to me of her free-will and wants to sit on my lap, be petted by me, and engage in whatever level of relationship in which cats are capable. God gave me a silly little illustration last night. Norman Masters, in answering the question, “Who’s to blame for mankind’s fall in the garden?,” emphatically declared: The “Lord God” is the “Tempter” in Eden in Genesis 2:17 when He says, “...but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die”.... Tell a child or juvenile not to do something and you’re immediately establishing the temptation to do it. Hillary, thank you for your thoughtful response. That alone should have been enough to keep man away from this tree. Without free will to choose, Adam and Eve would have been mere puppets. (see Ebon, n.d., emp. Now, approaching the subject as an atheist, I’ll attempt to share my thoughts on your final question. It was one tree, right smack in the middle. The wonderful Tree of Life, discussed in the two "book ends" of the Bible, Genesis and Revelation, is one of the most fascinating (yet enigmatic) subjects in all the inspired word of God. The source of trouble in this story is Adam and Eve as well as the serpent, not the tree. The truthful and unavoidable conclusion, then, is that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was in fact “very good.”. Supreme Pleasure in God. [citation needed] The ten points are known as Sephiroth or Sephirah, or the ten emanations or attributes of God.Kabbalah is an esoteric method, discipline and school of thought in Jewish mysticism. Could it be that we would make better life choices if we un… The Tree of Life stood in the centre of the Garden of Eden which elsewhere is called ‘ The Garden of the LORD ’.1 It was a real tree, to be sure, but let me suggest that it was also symbolic of the fact that God was, and is, the source of eternal life and blessing. What's love got to do with it? The argument about not knowing which God exists isn’t relevant here, since sentence 1 is required for the rest of the argument to work. I think the freewill argument fills the gap because we started with the endpoint that the Christian God is the one true God and worked our way backwards to the freewill premise. Adam would “live forever,” even in his fallen condition, if he had eaten the tree of life after his sin. Is there obedience without choice? Should a friendship ensue, I would support you, and you would support me. Rich Deem has discussed these very questions. '. As a Christian, I don’t think I would have disagreed with any of your points. God allowed Satan to tempt Adam and Eve to force them to make the choice. The answer to the question, “Why did God create the tree in the first place,” is simple. The attraction of every tree in the garden represented a fundamental piece intended to distract any possible craving that man might have for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 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