This Christmas season, the so-called Christmas tree is in high demand. We may find people frantically running around looking for the tree of their liking. The evergreen tree, or its limbs, have become an integral part of Christmas decorations. We can have arguments for and against this: whether we should observe Christmas or not; if it is okay to use Christmas decorations/trees; if we following an ungodly, pagan tradition, etc. A majority of the so-called Christians may not care. A minority of Christians have strong oppositions to this. Whatever be your position, we can all agree on the following facts:
God created the trees for our enjoyment.
The Garden of Eden was full of fruit trees (Genesis 2:9).
The trees declare the glory and majesty of God.
Two trees are highlighted in the Garden of Eden: the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge.
In the New Jerusalem, we are going to see more trees -Trees of Life on either side of the river that flows from the sanctuary. They will be bearing different fruits each month (Revelation 22:2).
Adam and Eve were allowed to eat of all the fruits of the trees in the garden except from the Tree of Knowledge. The Tree of Knowledge was very good looking and the fruit there was very attractive and edible. Nothing was wrong with this tree as far as we can tell. The only thing holding back the original couple from eating of this tree was what God had told them- “Do not eat of this tree.”
Satan painted a very beautiful picture for Eve:
Eve found out that it is good for food. Nothing is wrong in eating something good for food. But if it is defying God’s word, it becomes the lust of the flesh! She also found out that the fruit was peasant to the eyes. Now there is nothing wrong in enjoying the beauty of God’s creation, but when it is against the expressed will of God, it becomes the lust of the eye. Getting knowledge is good. But if it is by dishonoring God, trumping His unchanging word, it becomes the pride of life –detestable to God, blatant sin! Trusting in our limited knowledge over the Word of God is prideful sin.
To summarize, the Tree of Life provides eternal life and the Tree of Knowledge keeps you away from the life of God. The Tree of Life promises a life with God and the Tree of Knowledge promises knowledge rooted in disobedience -worldly wisdom questioning the wisdom of God. Obedience drives you to the Tree of Life and disobedience drives you to the Tree of Knowledge. Enjoyment of the Tree of Life will keep you in the garden, but enjoyment of the Tree of Knowledge will drive you out of the garden.
Our destiny is determined by our choices. The Tree of Life represents the promise of eternal life available to us. When we are obedient to the word of God and pursue this with all our heart and mind, we become eternal partakers of the Tree of Life. The Tree of Knowledge, on the other hand, drives you out from the eternal life with God. A lifestyle of disobedience to God’s eternal Word is a life of darkness and shame. It is a lifestyle of self-reliance motivated by lust of the eye, lust of the flesh and pride of life.
The two trees represent two destinations. The question for us is which one are we going to choose. Every day we see around us things which are attractive, enjoyable and promising. We make choices depending on so many factors. A simple question might help us to make the right choice: Will it drive me to the Lord or away from Him? It is my prayer that we may always choose those things that will drive us towards the Lord.
I pray that the Lord may guide, protect and empower you all.
Pastor Dr. AK George
Ozark Christian Tabernacle
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