Then the Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and guard it. He said to him, “You may eat the fruit of any tree in the garden, except the tree that gives knowledge of what is good and what is bad. You must not eat the fruit of that tree, if you do, you will die the same day (v 15 – 17)
We saw in Genesis 1 verses 26 to 28 that Man was created and tasked with governing and taking care of the earth, to look after it and the animals and other living creatures. In verse 5 it appears that man was needed to help with cultivating and working the ground.
He was allowed to eat from any tree – that included the tree of life. Notice later on in chapter 3 v 1 the snake (Satan) twists this saying “Did God really tell you not to eat fruit from any tree in the garden” to which of course the answer is “NO”. He is subtle and tries to place doubt in our minds by distorting the truth, we need to be alert to his schemes.
The instruction from God was very specific – it was only the one tree which they were not to eat from. Isn’t this the way with temptation though? We are told we can have anything we want except “X” so immediately we don’t want anything else but “X”. Because we are told we can’t have it, we then want it. If God had not said anything, they probably would not have even noticed it as there was clearly an abundant supply of everything they needed. When we “go on a diet” an decide to “ban” something, we then can think about nothing else but crave it until we give in and then feel guilty because we had whatever it was.
Man is told that he will die if he eats of the tree, but it is not the tree itself that caused him to die but his disobedience to God. He did not die physically but he died Spiritually in that he broke the perfect relationship that he had with God. He broke the trust that God had given him and again Satan twists this in chapter 3 v 4-5 making it sound like a good thing to do – that they would gain knowledge from it.
God was giving man a choice of life and blessings or death and curses (see Deuteronomy 30 v 19) and asked him to chose life.
It is the sin of disobedience that caused their death (Romans 6 v 23) but Christ has given us the way back to life;
But God loved the world so much that he gave is only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life (John 3 v 16)
So if you have not yet accepted this gift from God, you have a choice, so why not choose life?
All quotes from the Good News Bible