Two Trees: Two Ways To Live

Photo by Mudrik H. Amin on

I believe that there is a single choice running through Scripture.  It’s the choice that we find here in Genesis 2-3, it’s offered to the people of Israel at the end of Deuteronomy, it’s the choice that Christ makes at Calvary and we too are called to make that choice in response to the Gospel.

Read Genesis 2:8-9

At the heart of the Garden of Eden, God plants two trees.  We know a lot about one of them because it is the one that dominates the next chapter, the one that Adam and Eve are given specific instructions about, The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  This is of course the forbidden tree.  However, it’s not alone.  Alongside it is “The Tree of Life.”  If Adam and Eve were forbidden from eating from the Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil, no instruction or restriction was given concerning the Tree of Life.  We must assume that they were permitted to eat from it.  

We might therefore suggest that there was a choice in the Garden. One Tree represented law breaking, punishment, curse and death. The other tree represented God’s provision, protection purpose and present. It offered life. The choice was between blessing and curse, life and death. 

In Deuteronomy 11, Moses sets out a covenant ceremony for the people of Israel to observe when they reach Canaan.  He says:

26 See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse— 27 the blessing if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today; 28 the curse if you disobey the commands of the Lord your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known. 29 When the Lord your God has brought you into the land you are entering to possess, you are to proclaim on Mount Gerizim the blessings, and on Mount Ebal the curses. 30 As you know, these mountains are across the Jordan, westward, toward the setting sun, near the great trees of Moreh, in the territory of those Canaanites living in the Arabah in the vicinity of Gilgal. 31 You are about to cross the Jordan to enter and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you. When you have taken it over and are living there, 32 be sure that you obey all the decrees and laws I am setting before you today.

Deut 11:26-32

As with Adam and Eve, the people have a choice between life and death, blessing and curse, between safety and provision in the land or exile out of it. 

When we get to the New Testament, we find that Jesus chooses the curse of being hung on a tree. He chooses punishment and death so that we might have blessing and life.  Therefore, when we get to Revelation 21-22, The Tree of Life is mentioned again as present in the new Jerusalem which is also a new Eden.  However, this time there is no  tree that brings curse and death, only blessing and life. 

The question for me and you is whether or not we choose blessing and life in Christ or curse and death outside and away from him.

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