So I often wonder, “Why would the Lord even put the tree in the garden?” The Scripture doesn’t explicitly say this, but let me tell you why I think it’s there. I think the tree is in the garden and a simple rule is given to teach man the delight of humbling themselves before the Lord and walking in obedience. What could possibly be taken from Adam and Eve by, “Don’t eat the fruit off of this tree, but all the other fruit on all the other trees is yours”? This whole beautiful picture is about to go off the rails.
Genesis 3:1 “Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God actually say, “You shall not eat of any tree in the garden”?’
Translation: “It’s no big deal.” Verse 5. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Do you hear the lie? What’s the lie? The lie is, ultimately, “God is withholding from you a joy he doesn’t want you to have. God is withholding from you an experience that’s going to be the fulfillment of that longing in you, and he’s actually robbing you from something you’re entitled to so I have to take matters into my own hands.
Let’s see how our girl, Eve, responds to this. Verse 6. “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate…” Men, this next line is for you. “…and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.” The Bible, from here on out, will attribute the fallenness of mankind and the universe back to this act of passivity on this man’s part.
The Bible does not blame Eve for the fall. It blames Adam, because God had given to Adam care over Eve, for his wife, to love her. This boy who can shave is standing there while his wife is being lied to, while destruction is being laid out on all that is dear, and he does nothing. The sin of man, to this day, is predominately, in the spiritual arena, his passivity, his refusal to engage his wife, and his family, and thechurch of Jesus Christ like he has been commanded to.
Now don’t swing that into chest beating, “Do what I say. You better behave. I got this,” because that’s just as sinful. If you want to know the line, it’s found in Ephesians 5. Love your wife like Christ loved the church in that he loved her and gave himself up for her. How are you an un-passive, godly man? You lay down your life. You faithfully and patiently serve your wife day in and day out and allow your unmovable love for her serve as instruction. That was for free. It’s not even the topic.
We were never made to sin.. Yet we did. This immortality began at the tree. The only way we can be forgiven is through the Cross.
You are saved by God, through God. He owns it all, so you have nothing to boast in. You get to boast in nothing. You have no grounds on which to boast in anything. A gift has been given to you, and that gift is unmerited favor. That unmerited favor reveals the glory of God in saving you despite you. You have a gift you didn’t earn, a favor that was not merited by your behavior, and by God saving you despite you, God is glorified.
I really begin to see and believe God has not only forgiven me, but he delights in me, he’s going to empower me, he loves me, and he has joy in me, and I begin to feel that, and my heart actually begins to churn up something.
So I am done with the fig leaves, I don’t want to be hiding, and I don’t want to be doubting and fighting against a God leading me to the fullness of possible joy. But the gospel must be relentlessly preached to ourselves if we’re not going to drift into one of these two errors. We must constantly remind ourselves of the gospel. We must constantly remind ourselves of God’s delight and God’s forgiveness.
WE needed forgiveness starting at the tree in the garden. He brought us forgiveness through the tree carved out in the cross.