A river watered the garden and then flowed out of Eden and divided into four branches. The first branch, called the Pishon, flowed around the entire land of Havilah, where gold is found. The gold of that land is exceptionally pure; aromatic resin and onyx stone are also found there. ~ Genesis 2:10-12
The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. But God warned him, "You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden – except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die." ~ Genesis 2:15-17
Eden was glorious. Rivers, vegetation that flourished, fruit that exploded with taste and beauty. Gems, fragrance, companionship and interpersonal dialog with the Almighty. Yet, in the midst of the perfection and beauty… boundaries.
God placed a perimeter around a tree in the center. It would have been much easier if this tree had been despicable. But I sense that this was a fabulous tree, with radiant and attractive fruit. Even the name of the tree was powerful and magnetic: “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” It might have been better if God had named it something like: “the death-delivering, life- sucking, relationship-destroying, God-separating weed.” But no, this was not His plan.
Everything about this tree was attractive, and to make matters worse, it was unavoidable… the middle.
I would guess that even the fruit tasted good. There was no allergic reaction, no instant vomiting, no repulsive sensation... just the poison of the soul, sin. This is exactly why sin is sin. It's often not hideous, in fact, it may be downright beautiful and accessible, but it’s also wrong. It's on the other side of the boundary.
The garden has so much that's right, so much that's glorious and life giving... but there is still the tree. The one beautiful tree in the middle. And with the tree, a whisper, the tantalizing promise, the lie… “You will not really die.”
The fruit on the tree in the middle of the garden is beautiful. It even tastes good. But it will lead to separation, and pain, and disappointment, and stupid little fig-leaf excuses for an existence… and to death. “Adam lived 930 years, and then he died.” ~ Genesis 5:5
The garden or the tree? Inside the boundaries or out? God's masterpiece turned loose to reject Him, or, to bring Him glory and to enjoy Him forever. When we start defending the tree instead of enjoying the garden then we'll know that we're really naked.
Reject the whisper... enjoy the garden.