Two Trees Are in My Garden
by Rich Wilbur
A Devotional Study of Genesis 2.9


Lately, Ive been wrestling with some issues.

The fact that even so devout a Christian as the apostle Paul went through much the same thing is clearly recorded in Romans 7.15-25.

From time to time you, me -- ALL of us --experience bitter battles between our old and new natures.

  • I took a sample of my own struggles and share them here with you.
  • Perhaps my experiences will help you zero in on resolving your own inner conflicts.

What I am doing,
I do not understand.

What I want to do,
I do not practice.

But what I hate,
THAT I do.
Romans 7.15

The Bible verse alongside states that God has ordained certain boundaries beyond which human knowledge cannot pass.

Some things in life are to remain a mystery.

Why is this so? The Bible doesn't say. Perhaps it is for the same reason that we don't teach 9-year-olds how to build nuclear bombs.

The secret things belong to the LORD our God,
but those things which are revealed belong to us
and to our children forever,
that we may do all the words of this law.
Deuteronomy 29.29

I personally enjoy the challenge of trying to ferret out Gods truth regarding *tough issues in life*.

The more controversial it is, the better I like it!

I enjoy writing and teaching about such things as election and the free will of man; tongues and the baptism of the Holy Spirit; evolution and creationism, and most of all, prophecy.

Yet some knowledge is not for man to taste. It is for God alone.
Why then do I wrack my brain trying to comprehend those things that are beyond my reach? Why am I not content with what IS within my reach?

Is it pride? Am I trying to be god-like through a cognitive function?

I know that I am spinning my wheels in trying to understand the infinite with my finite mind.

I also know -- for God has taught it to me -- that what I cannot gain by mere reason I CAN gain by compassion and affection.

And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.

The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden,

And the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Genesis 2.9

In a sense, I find myself in much the same situation as that which confronted Adam in the garden of Eden.

There were two trees in Adam's garden. So also are there two trees in my garden...

  • the *tree of life*
  • and the *tree of knowledge*

The tree of life I have merely nibbled on, but on the fruit of the tree of knowledge I have gorged myself...

  • I have eaten from the tree of knowledge until I am nigh on to bursting. So WHY do I feel unsatisfied?
  • Why do I crave the fruit of knowledge more than I desire the fruit of the tree of life?
  • Why can't knowledge and life be eaten together?

The answers to these questions, I think, are these...

  • Eating from the tree of knowledge seems safe. It gives me a feeling of independence.
  • On the other hand, eating of the tree of life seems risky, and encourages dependence upon God.
  • The tree of knowledge tends to take me away from people. The tree of life leads me to people.
  • With the tree of knowledge I help no one but myself, whereas from the tree of life I am helping others by giving of myself.

I am beginning to see it now Lord. Help me to change my eating habits!


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