November 02, 2009

Among the Trees

Genesis 2:4-25

The Lord God made all kinds of trees …
Genesis 2:9


God created all things good. Life in the Garden of Eden was very good. But things changed when people made a change in their relationship with God—all in relation to what God said about one tree in the garden.

Luscious fruit hung thickly from the innumerable trees God had planted in Eden. They were nourished by pure streams. There was plenty of food and water in God’s presence.

Adam and Eve were created to be at home in God’s garden presence. There they would enjoy God and know him forever. For all Adam’s joy in receiving Eve, life was all about God. We who are Adam and Eve’s descendants are no different. For all our joy in spouses, family, and friends, we need God above all. And we must take God seriously.

God told Adam and Eve: “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

How difficult could it have been for Adam and Eve to obey God? All those other trees were loaded with fruit, and all of it was very good. Life among the trees of the garden depended on following God’s instructions. Surely it would be easy to avoid the one tree among the many others in the garden. But then … what happens when you tell a child, “Don’t touch those cookies”?

Thank you, Lord, that you have found me, that you give me abundant life in your presence. Help me to obey you, knowing that you know what’s best for me. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

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