In The Midst of It All

By Rev. Jesse Starr

“And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. Gen 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 beginning God created our world. He placed the stars, He hung the sun, He created all things needed for human survival – air, vegetation, animals and climate. As is God’s way, He went above and beyond to create a beautiful paradise for mankind to live in. He created Adam and Eve and gave them the garden for their home. Then, in the midst of the garden, He placed two trees: the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In the midst of it all mankind was faced with a choice between the good fruit or the evil fruit.

This event is only a microcosm of true life today. We are faced with life on this earth and all of its trappings. Our day is a challenging day. Speeding deadlines, evolving morals, compromised family values, religions with no true Biblical compass. Even in the church there are challenges. Relevancy versus righteousness, Biblical principle versus human logic and reasoning. The list could go on, but while it seems so different today much remains the same. In the midst of our garden called life there is a choice to make between good and evil. In the midst of it all we must be sure to have the right principles in place to make the right choice. Let’s remember some observations:

1. Eve demonstrated unfamiliarity with God’s word. In Genesis 2:16-17 God told man he was not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In Genesis 3:3 Eve quoted that they were not to eat of it or touch it. She added to the Word. For whatever reason Eve misquoted God’s original command; it demonstrated that she did nor really know what God had said. This created an opening for Satan to work with. The only way to make a proper choice is to know the Word of God and obey the Word of God.

2. Human reasoning always has, and always will, get us in trouble. It was a tree that was pleasant to the eyes, and it was good for food, and it was to be desired to make one wise. When Eve saw all of this it seemed logical to partake of it. Yet as Solomon once said, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man but the end thereof are the ways of death. ” (Proverbs 16:25) In the midst of our life choices let us remember that not all that glitters is gold; not all that looks good really is good.

3. In Genesis 3:4-5, there seemed to be some question as to whether or not there really would be consequences should Eve partake of the forbidden fruit. Surely God is not that harsh! The echoes of that statement are alive and well today. Yet, God did indeed mean what he said. There are important and eternal choices we must make, and whether we believe it or not our choices have eternal consequences and must be made carefully.

There is hope. It seems that God chooses to hang out with humanity. Somehow in the hurry and flurry of human events God lingers near. He too, had an experience with a tree – He hung on it for our salvation. It was the Lord who said that wherever two or three are gathered together in His name that He would be in the midst of them. (Mt. 18:20) In the symbolism of Revelation the golden candlesticks represented the churches of that day. Amazingly, even though they were flawed and blemished, the Bible carefully states that he was in the midst of them. (Rev. 1:12-17)

While the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil introduced death and destruction to mankind, the Tree of Life is yet flourishing. Thank God for that hope. Even when all this earth has passed away with all of its corruption and sin, the Tree of Life will live on. Rev. 22:2 says that “in the midst of the street of it [the River of Life], on either side of it was the tree of life…

Thank God that in the midst of it all there is still the hope of eternal life, regardless of the day or the hour. Some day we can sit down under the shade of the Tree of Life and watch the River of Life flow by. Then perhaps we can be thankful for the right choices we made when we were in the midst of it all here on earth. AA’

This article “In the Midst of It All” written by Rev. Jesse Starr is excerpted from the Apostolic Accent a October 2007 edition.