Posted by: dhkrause | November 26, 2018

The Tree of Life

 

In Genesis 3 and in Revelation 22, the Bible speaks about “the tree of life”, and in many places in between we read about being trees of life.  The consistent theme is that God is calling all of us to be as branches connected to the “tree of life”, and in turn to become trees of life to others.

Adam and Eve broke their relationship with God when they followed the serpent’s advice to eat fruit from the tree “of the knowledge of good and evil” that God had commanded them not to eat.  Part of the consequence of their rebellion was that they were banished from the Garden of Eden and from the “tree of life”.

Genesis 3 (NKJV)
22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

Also in Genesis 3, God promises to send a Savior who will strip away the serpent’s usurped authority, and return it to humankind, declaring in verse 15, “He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”

Genesis 3 (NKJV)
14 So the Lord God said to the serpent:
“Because you have done this,
You are cursed more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you shall go,
And you shall eat dust
All the days of your life.

Genesis 3_15

15 And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.”

In Revelation 22, the “tree of life” is described as being comprised of multiple trees,  “on either side of the river of life”, “proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb”, each tree yielding life-giving fruit and leaves that are “for the healing of the nations”.

Revelation 22 (NKJV)
22 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.

Reve;ation 22_2

Connecting to the tree of life is made possible through the coming of the Savior pictured by David in Psalm 57 where he cries out to God for protection, and then declares in verse 2, “He shall send from heaven to save me … God shall send forth His mercy and His truth.” 

Psalm 57 (NKJV)
1 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me!
For my soul trusts in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge,
Until these calamities have passed by.
I will cry out to God Most High,
To God who performs all things for me.
He shall send from heaven and save me;
He reproaches the one who would swallow me up. Selah
God shall send forth His mercy and His truth.

Psalm 57_3

Psalm 85 gives an additional glimpse of this coming Savior with the declaration, “mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed”.

Psalm 85 (NKJV)
10 Mercy and truth have met together;
Righteousness and peace have kissed.
11 Truth shall spring out of the earth,
And righteousness shall look down from heaven.
12 Yes, the Lord will give what is good;
And our land will yield its increase.
13 Righteousness will go before Him,
And shall make His footsteps our pathway.

Connected with God through the Savior, the Spirit of God “will make His footsteps our pathway,”   so that we in turn become trees of life, as  described in Proverbs 11:30, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.”

John 1 declares that “grace and truth came through Jesus Christ,” the incarnate Word of God, as described in John 1:1, 14-17, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  …  14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.  …  16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”

John 1_17 (3)

We connect to the tree of life by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ, who declares in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  Jesus declares in John 15:3,You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.”  And He teaches in John 15:5, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”  

Being connected to the tree of life through Christ who lives in us, our lives increasingly express the fruit of the Spirit, as Paul describes in Ephesians 5:8-10, For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.”

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 11/26/2018, https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:
(1) http://www.1millionfreepictures.com
(2) https://wallpaper4god.com/en/background_genesis-315/
(3) http://daily-bible-verse.net
(4) https://reflectionsintheword.org
(5) https://newcreeations.org


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