Trees of Life
(Genesis 2:9) And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. In the Garden of Eden, God planted a tree of life to which man had access until sin entered. Once Adam sinned, man was barred from the tree of life (GEN 3:22-24) and its existence would seem to have been terminated with the global Flood of Noah's day. But it was apparently removed to the glory world as a provision for the health and life of the redeemed in the new heavens and earth (REV 2:7; REV 22:2-14). Whereas we presently cannot access the tree of life, God has left us with some succulent substitutes for its vital fruit which promote life and health for us today while giving us a foretaste of eternal life in glory. In PRO 3:18, wisdom is described as “...a tree of life to them that lay hold on her.” God's word is our wisdom and understanding in the sight of men (DEU 4:6). If we would meditate therein and forget it not by keeping its statutes and principles, “...length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee” (PRO 3:2). Certainly, the wisdom of God's laws can save us from the consequences of all manner of sin and folly which trouble and shorten our days. A heartfelt investigation of God's wisdom in the word will invariably direct us to Jesus Christ Who is, “...the power of God, and the wisdom of God” (1CO 1:24) in Whom “...are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (COL 2:3) and Who is “...made unto us wisdom...” (1CO 1:30). They, who through walking in the wisdom of God's law in this life, who by “...patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality...” (ROM 2:7) show that they have a part in Christ Who promises to give them “...to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God” (REV 2:7). We are told that, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life...” (PRO 11:30). From a personal perspective, godliness (which is a fruit the righteous should be producing, 2PE 1:6) has “...promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (1TI 4:8). Further, as Matthew Henry observed, “...the righteous are as trees of life; the fruits of their piety and charity, their instructions, reproofs, examples, and prayers, their interest in heaven, and their influence upon earth, are like the fruits of that tree, precious and useful, contributing to the support and nourishment of the spiritual life in many; they are the ornaments of paradise, God's church on earth, for whose sake it stands.” The fruit of knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (2PE 1:8) which the righteous advance is a tree of life to those whom they improve and so (as the rest of PRO 11:30 says), “...he that winneth souls is wise.” “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life...” (PRO 15:4) and verily, if a man would “...love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile” (1PE 3:10). James says, “...If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body” (JAM 3:2). The tongue of the learned should know how to speak a word in season to them that are weary (ISA 50:4) and “...a word spoken in due season, how good is it!” (PRO 15:23). Let our speech be “...alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (COL 4:6), a tree of life to those around us. “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life” (PRO 13:12). When that for which we have long hoped is finally realized, what a boost and joy it is for us! If Jacob's years-long hope for Rachel was amply compensated for by the joy of finally receiving her (GEN 29:20-30), how much more shall we rejoice and be filled when “...the desire of all nations shall come...” (HAG 2:7), that is, shall come again, our better hope (HEB 7:19) and Tree of Life!