Bible Ballistics: Vol. 10 No.24 Make Like A Tree???
Do you remember those days of childhood and silly ‘knock-knock’ jokes, and riddles and tacky puns that only children think are funny? One of those “funnies” came to my mind this morning as I was reading Genesis, and remembered the childish phrase, “Make like a tree and ‘leave’!” Well, this morning as I thought of God’s first family, Adam and Eve: those two who were created in perfection; who were given a perfectly prim and pristine environment to live in; who had an intimate relationship with God their creator; who were given productive work to do in tending to God’s perfect Garden of Eden, with only one proviso—don’t eat of the ‘Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil’! Only one rule—they were given moral responsibility in that one restriction, and Satan came and convinced them to doubt their God and friend, and to do that which God had forbidden.
“And God said,
Let us make man in our image,
after our likeness:
and let them have dominion
over the fish of the sea,
and over the fowl of the air,
and over the cattle,
and over all the earth,
and over every creeping thing
that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God created he him;
male and female created he them.
28 And God blessed them,
and God said unto them,
Be fruitful, and multiply,
and replenish the earth,
and subdue it:
and have dominion over
the fish of the sea,
the fowl of the air,
every living thing
that moveth upon the earth.
29 And God said,
I have given you every herb
which is upon the face of all the earth,
and every tree,
in the which is the fruit
of a tree yielding seed;
to you it shall be for meat.” Genesis 1:26-29
I love the creation account; it is so amazing to me, to see that Almighty God, who knew what we would do, created us in HIS image anyway! He knew we would sin against HIS commands, and created us anyway! He knew that we would fail HIM and walk away from HIM and HIS Word, but HE created us anyway! That is more patience, compassion and unconditional love than I can comprehend—yet God had and still has that kind of love for His master creation—mankind! He loves you and me so much, and Jesus loves us so much that He came and lived a perfect, sinless life so that He could die a perfectly sinless, substitutionary, atoning, sacrificial death for all who will come to Him in repentance and faith. That is such “Amazing Grace” that words cant’ express it, nor the mind of mankind comprehend it! He has done, is doing and ever will reveal His wondrous grace to those who will come to HIM.
“But we speak the wisdom of God
in a mystery,
even the hidden wisdom,
which God ordained before the world
unto our glory:
8 Which none of the princes
of this world knew:
for had they known it,
they would not have crucified
the Lord of glory.
9 But as it is written,
Eye hath not seen,
nor ear heard,
neither have entered into the heart of man,
the things which God hath prepared
for them that love him.
10 But God hath revealed them
by his Spirit:
for the Spirit searcheth
yea, the deep things
of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:7-10
All I can say is Amen and Amen—God has revealed Himself and His glory to us in Jesus. Because Jesus redeemed what Adam and Eve lost to Satan in the garden!!! And God knew it all beforehand.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who hath blessed us
with all spiritual blessings
in heavenly places in Christ:
4 According as he hath chosen us
before the foundation of the world,
that we should be holy
and without blame
in love:” Ephesians 1:3-4
“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed
with corruptible things,
as silver and gold,
from your vain conversation
received by tradition
from your fathers;
19 But with the precious blood of Christ,
as of a lamb without blemish
and without spot:
20 Who verily was foreordained
before the foundation of the world,
but was manifest
in these last times
for you,” 1 Peter 1:18-20
What an awesome God we serve!! But back to Adam and Eve, they were given perfection and the ultimate, intimate relationship with God, but they failed—why? A lie is why!
“And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying,
Of every tree of the garden
thou mayest freely eat:
17 But of the tree
of the knowledge of good and evil,
thou shalt not eat of it:
for in the day that thou eatest thereof
thou shalt surely die…….
22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man,
made he a woman,
and brought her unto the man.
23 And Adam said,
This is now bone of my bones,
and flesh of my flesh:
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken
out of Man.” Portions of Genesis 2:16-23
This was the ‘real’ perfect woman, brought to the ‘real’ perfect man, by the perfect, holy God who created them and established marriage—what a wonderful gift! But our focus isn’t the marriage, but the mess-up that came afterward! God provided for this precious couple by giving them productive work, a beautiful environment, and an intimate and rewarding relationship with Himself—but they fell for a lie! Yet even the privilege to choose was a gift from God– God who didn’t create us as ‘puppets’, but as free, moral agents to whom HE gave the privilege of choice/will. He wanted mankind to love and serve Him because they wanted to, not because they had to. And like I have often said, you are free to choose to reject God, go your own way, and sin all you want, but the choices you are free to make don’t grant you the freedom to choose your consequences! And just like God told us through the Apostle Paul:
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6:7
Adam and Eve chose to believe the “Father of lies” rather than their faithful, true and loving Creator God!!!
“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman,
Yea, hath God said,
Ye shall not eat of every tree
of the garden?
2 And the woman said unto the serpent,
We may eat of the fruit of the trees
of the garden:
3 But of the fruit of the tree
which is in the midst of the garden,
God hath said,
Ye shall not eat of it,
neither shall ye touch it,
lest ye die.
4 And the serpent said unto the woman,
Ye shall not surely die:
5 For God doth know
that in the day ye eat thereof,
then your eyes shall be opened,
and ye shall be as gods,
knowing good and evil.
6 And when the woman saw
that the tree was good for food,
and that it was pleasant to the eyes,
and a tree to be desired to make one wise,
she took of the fruit thereof,
and did eat,
and gave also unto her husband
and he did eat.” Genesis 3:1-6
Adam and Eve fell for the lies of the devil, as he bombarded Eve with subtle lies and stirred up doubts about God’s love and faithfulness to them. He is still working the same way today—he causes people to doubt that what God says is true. He tries to convince people today that God is less than honorable toward us—and that, my friends, is still a big, fat lie!!! But on the man-ward side of this equation, Eve didn’t handle what God had said with integrity—she kind of stretched what God had said: while God had told them “thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die”, Eve told the serpent that they weren’t to touch it or they might die! It is absolutely imperative that we know The Word of God, and know it for what it is—God’s Word! We must study it, and learn to understand that God means what He says, and says what He means! And while this first couple didn’t die physically immediately—they did die spiritually immediately—and eventually they died physically; and that death was passed on to all men, until Jesus came to pay for sin, and overcome sin, death and hell! Amen!
But what does all this have to do with “Make Like A Tree”? A lot, but to see that we’ll need to dig a little deeper:
“And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. 8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. 9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? 10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. 11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? ……… 15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Portions of Genesis 3:7-15
These two ancestors of all mankind, brought sin, death and hell into the lives of all who would come from them, yet God had a plan for our redemption—the One who would come and bruise (defeat totally) the head of the serpent, by His own bruising (on the cross). But in the mean time, Adam and Eve tried to cover their own sin, with their own devices; they sewed “fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons”! And the ‘buck got passed along’! Now let me put a little ‘southern’ perspective on this picture.
I am from the Deep South, and there are a lot of fig trees in the south, and they do have “LARGE” leaves, so a few would cover a lot of ‘skin’! But fig leaves are scratchy—real scratchy!!! Not something you’d have expected them to miss–“knowing” about the ‘itch’! After all, Satan had promised them that they would be as smart as God! NOT!! Not then, not now, nor anytime in between. Man caused a problem that only God could resolve—and the resolution would cost Him His Son. Yet the man and his wife tried to hide from The God who sees and knows all; they tried to cover their nakedness with their own wisdom, just as we talked about in 1 Corinthians 2—the wisdom of man isn’t sufficient to save anyone! Only Jesus can save. And not only did they try to solve a sin problem with a wardrobe solution, they tried to “Make like a tree, and leave” God! No one can hide from the God who holds it all together, the God who had already made provision for our redemption–for them and for us—through The Redeemer who would come and pay for man’s sin and give ‘eternal life’ to all who would come to Him in repentance and faith!
“For God so loved the world,
that he gave
his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him
should not perish,
but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world
to condemn the world;
but that the world
might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him
is not condemned:
but he that believeth not
is condemned already,
because he hath not believed
in the name
of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation,
that light is come into the world,
and men loved darkness
rather than light,
because their deeds were evil.” John 3:16-19
So will you “make like a tree” and “leave” God, and His salvation, or will you draw near to Him and receive the saving grace that Jesus Christ provides at Calvary? I pray that you will choose wisely—there is a test at the end!
“Come unto me,
all ye that labour
and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you,
and learn of me;
for I am meek
and lowly in heart:
and ye shall find rest
unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy,
and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Jesus will take your burdens and give you “life” not “lies”, as the enemy of your soul will do. You can become a son of God or remain a child of the devil. Not easy to say, but it’s the simple truth. Who will you believe and trust?
“Why do ye not understand my speech?
even because ye cannot hear my word.
44 Ye are of your father the devil,
and the lusts of your father ye will do.
He was a murderer from the beginning,
and abode not in the truth,
because there is no truth in him.
When he speaketh a lie,
he speaketh of his own:
for he is a liar,
and the father of it.
45 And because I tell you the truth,
ye believe me not.” John 8:43-45
Believe the One who died for YOU! Don’t “leave”!!!
“Submit yourselves therefore to God.
Resist the devil,
and he will flee from you.
8 Draw nigh to God,
and he will draw nigh to you.
Cleanse your hands, ye sinners;
and purify your hearts,
ye double minded.” James 4:7-8
Come to HIM or leave? Truth or lies? The choice is yours. I’m praying that we will all recognize the truth in Jesus! And you can belong to HIM!!! No leaving!
“My sheep hear my voice,
and I know them,
and they follow me:
28 And I give unto them eternal life;
and they shall never perish,
neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29 My Father, which gave them me,
is greater than all;
and no man is able to pluck them
out of my Father’s hand.
30 I and my Father are one.” John 10:27-30