The sacramental trees – Part 1
Text: Genesis 2:8-17
When God created man, the Bible says God placed Adam in the garden called Eden. In the Garden of Eden, provision was made for man’s happiness. According to the Bible, the garden was well watered, fruitful and beautiful. Also in the garden, provision was made for man’s daily occupation. (Gen. 2:15) In God’s plan, work to man must be practical, healthful and helpful. In this garden, God also made provision for the spiritual obedience of man. God gave the man a command to obey and attached a penalty in case of disobedience.
The Bible says that God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. (vs9) The beautiful trees and the noble stream together must have made an exquisite scene in the garden. But there were two trees that stood in the midst of the garden that excelled all the rest (Gen 2:9, Gen 3:3). They were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. These were “The Sacramental Trees.”
The word sacrament actually means a thing of mysterious and sacred significance, such as a religious symbol. It is a symbol or sign of spiritual reality. Let us briefly consider these two trees and their significances.
The Two Trees
The two trees in the middle of the garden were no ordinary trees. They were sacramental and significant.
1. The Tree Of Life. This was a real tree, as real as any of the rest and evidently placed there for like purposes with the rest. The only difference was that it had peculiar virtues, which the others had not. It was a life-giving or life-sustaining tree. It was a tree of which, so long as a man should continue to eat, he should never die. Not that eating of it once could confer immortality, but the continuous use of it was intended for this. The link between soul and body was to be maintained by this tree. So long as man partook of this, that tie would not be broken. Under the gospel, Jesus Christ is the tree of life. A continuous connection to Jesus guarantees life eternal. Are you connected to Jesus?
2. The Tree Of The Knowledge Of Good And Evil. This is the second tree God placed in the middle of the garden. The fruit of this tree in addition to bodily nourishment was also fitted to nourish man’s intellect and sharpen the edge of his conscience. This tree was not ugly, not sour, not poisonous, but it was deadly. The tree of knowledge was designed to be the test of Adam’s obedience and the subject matter of his trial. The world with its desirable objects is the test of our obedience, the subject matter of our trial, whether we will make it our chief occupation or prefer to trust and obey God. The apparent qualities of the forbidden tree are, it seemed “good for food, fair to the sight and a tree to be desired to make one wise.”(Gen. 3:6) Three things must be noted here.
Rev. Dr. Israel Kristilere. Shepherdhill Baptist Church, (Sanctuary of Grace & Glory), Baptist Academy Compound, Obanikoro, Lagos.
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