In Genesis 2:8-9, 15-17, we read these interesting words, “The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. 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.” Then in verse 15-17, “Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’”
There were two trees in the Garden of Eden – the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and I’d not be in any fear of exaggeration to say that these two trees challenged the course of the entire human race. Throughout our lives, we’ll have to choose from which tree we want to eat from because between them lies the focal point of the dichotomy between the Kingdom of God and this present evil age. This present evil age is built on the wisdom that comes from the Tree of Knowledge. But the Kingdom is built on the wisdom that comes from partaking the fruit from the Tree of Life.
The two trees are also symbolic of the two spiritual lineages in the Bible. We often refer to lineages as family trees. The Bible, if you understand it, is a history of two family lines, and one of these two lineages will rule and have ascendancy over the rest of the human race. And the epic battle in Scripture is between the sons of God versus the sons of the evil one and there’ll be a climactic battle at the end of the age when both comes to full maturity. Understanding these two lineages can help us understand the most common errors besetting the human race, including those that have continually misled the Church.
Now we’re told in Genesis that there are three things the woman saw. She was: 1) That the tree was good for food; 2) That it was pleasant to the eyes; 3) That it could make one wise. Understand that these three things God had already given to them.
All the other trees in the garden were good for food and pleasant to the eyes, and God Himself was going to teach them wisdom. But the temptation has always been to do it ourselves. We don’t need God. We are gods. So from these three things come all the perversion, which is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. On these three things is every temptation known to men. When a temptation comes, it’s to test us on one of these three things.
Now when Satan tempted Eve with the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, it wasn’t just because the Lord said, “No, you cannot eat this.” He tempted her because the source of his power was rooted in that tree. And this is what we want to unpack this weekend – understanding where the conflict really lies will open up new victories for the Church.
Pastor Yang Tuck Yoong