Benefits of tree of life fulfills needs
Scripture tells us that God planted two trees in the center of Paradise, the Garden of Eden. One was called the tree of life, and the other, the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God told Adam not to eat the fruit of the second tree, but the tree of life had no restriction.
Neither Adam nor Eve sampled the fruit of the tree of life, which, if ingested, would have meant they would live forever. Instead they succumbed to the lure of the forbidden. We next hear of the tree of life when God declared it good that Adam and Eve had not eaten from this tree. God put a flaming sword at the garden gate to protect the fruit of this tree from our then-banished ancestors of long ago.
This tree provided the life system that overcame death. We next read about this tree in the book of Proverbs, and each reference prompts a deeper commitment from those who are part of the Kingdom of God. We learn that wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace wisdom and that those of us who so lay hold of wisdom will be blessed.
Proverbs also tells us the fruit of the righteous is a tree of life and that those who win others to God are wise. God's people bring life to our community and to our individual lives. The fruit includes a tongue or word of healing that stems from this life system. Indeed this tree provides the fulfillment of our longing to live forever and never die.
Think about this: The life system found in the tree at the center of Paradise fulfills your dreams and longings. The spiritually healthy long for the same things that God longs for. Spiritual wellness inhabits the Kingdom of God. Yet the first man and woman chose not to eat of the fruit of this tree. An amazingly poor choice!
Scripture closes noting that the tree of life is still in Paradise. It says that those who hear the voice of God, by that hearing, overcome the world and have the opportunity to eat from that tree. This tree now stands in the great city that will come down from heaven; the tree is planted on its riversides and yields its fruit every month. The leaves of this tree are for the healing of nations, and those among us who qualify shall go through the gates into the city and have access to the life system found in that tree.
I believe God longs for our presence in that great city yet to come. Much of mankind has made the wrong choice as sin and evil have looped down across the thousands of years that have passed since that wonderful tree was first ignored. I believe we can break the fetters of those choices, and the gate to this path might be narrow, but it will open for us.
The Rev. Murray Hohns is an associate pastor at New Hope Christian Fellowship.