Why Did God Place The Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil in The Garden of Eden?

Bible Study

When people hear about Adam’s committing sin and its result, they might have a question as follows: “Why did God create the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the first place?” Then, he would not have committed a sin, so that he would not have had to receive the punishment

1) Adam and Eve could not feel anything like true happiness in the Garden of Eden

The Garden of Eden was very beautiful and abundant beyond your imagination. God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground. They were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the Garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:9).

Why, then, did God place the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the middle of the Garden along with the tree of life so that it would be seen well?

God had never intended to drive them into the way of destruction by tempting them to eat of the tree. There was a providence of God to let us understand relativity through the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and become His true and spiritual children who can feel His heart.

While people experience tears, sorrow, poverty, or diseases, people may think that Adam and Eve must have been very happy in the Garden of Eden because they did not experience pains like tears, sorrow, poverty or diseases in this world. However, people in the Garden of Eden know neither true happiness nor true love because they had not experienced the relativity.

Let us take an example. There are two boys. One was born and grew up in poverty, but the other was born in abundance and enjoyed it. If you give each of them a very expensive toy as a gift, what kinds of response will each of them make? On the one hand, the boy who has grown up in affluence will not be so thankful because he seldom feels the value of the toy. On the other hand, the other boy who has grown up in poverty will be very thankful and regard the toy as very precious.

In the same way, those who experience relative things of freedom or abundance know and enjoy true happiness or true freedom.

2) True Happiness comes through experiencing relativity

If you wish to know and enjoy the true value of anything, you must experience its relative things. You cannot realize its true value fully until you experience its opposite aspects.

For example, if you wish to know true happiness, you must experience unhappiness. If you wish to know the value of true love, you must experience hatred. You cannot realize the value of your health fully until you are in pain because of diseases or bad health. You will not realize the value of eternal life and will not be thankful to God the Father who prepares for the good heaven until you understand there are surely death and hell.

The first man Adam enjoyed whatever he wished to eat and had the authority to manage all things in the Garden of Eden. He gained all of them without painful toil or the sweat of his brow. For that reason, he did not express gratitude for God who gave all of them nor did he know His grace and love in his heart.

3) Unlike the Garden of Eden, there are many relative things in this world.

Later, Adam disobeyed the command of God by eating the fruit. He was a living spirit until then, but after he sinned, his spirit died and he became a man of flesh. He and his wife were driven out of the Garden of Eden and came to live on this earth. He began to endure what he had never experienced in the Garden of Eden: tears, sorrow, diseases, pain, misfortune, death, and so on. At last, he came to experience all that are opposite of happiness of the Garden of Eden.

In such a process, Adam and Eve could understand and feel what happiness or unhappiness was like and how valuable the freedom and abundance that God had given them in the Garden of Eden were.

4) God cultivates men with parental love to gain true children

If men live without feeling true happiness, what is the meaning of their lives although they live in comfort? Rather, even though we have to suffer for a short time, if we can realize happiness through the short suffering, that life would be a valuable part of life.

Physical parents do not raise their children only in the house even though they love their children so much. Outside the house, there are temptations of bad friends and such dangers as traffic accidents and contagious diseases. But, because the children can become fully grown-ups after going to school and experiencing this society, the parents send their children out into the world.

It is the same with God the Father. It would be good if Adam could realize happiness in his heart and give thanks to God as a child who loved God. But unlike God the Creator, a creature, such as man, cannot realize the relativity of things unless he himself has experience. That is why God placed the tree of knowledge of good and evil, to let man experience unhappiness and pains, so that he could genuinely understand relativity [and not concept of it in his brain.]

Through painful experiences, they could finally understand true value and meaning of those things one by one in the depth of their hearts.

Because they will have known and felt true happiness through the human cultivation, God’s children will not betray God again unlike Adam did in the Garden of Eden no matter how long the time goes by. Instead, they will love Him more and more greatly, become filled with joy and thanks and give greater glory to Him.

5) God’s children will enter the everlasting heaven and enjoy perfect happiness eternally.

God’s children who have experienced tears, sorrow, pain, diseases, death and so on in this world will enter the everlasting heaven and enjoy eternal happiness, love, joy and thanksgiving there forever. They will feel the joy of perfect happiness in heaven.

In this fleshly world, everything rots and dies, but there is no rotting, death, tears, and sorrow in the eternal heavenly kingdom. Gold is considered most highly in this world but all roads in New Jerusalem in heaven are made of pure gold. Heavenly houses are made of very beautiful and valuable jewels. How wondrous and beautiful they are!

The apostle Paul could make his rough way to the end with joy and thanks, because he saw the third heaven God showed him in a vision (1 Corinthians 12:1-10). He had to endure tremendous hardships as an apostle for the Gentiles. God showed him the great beauty of heaven and encouraged him to go his way to the last in the hope for heaven. He was beaten with rods, flogged severely, stoned, imprisoned frequently, and shed his blood while preaching the gospel of the Lord (2 Corinthians 11:23-27). Despite all this, Paul knew all those things would be rewarded greatly beyond description in heaven. In the end, all his hardships were for great heavenly blessings.

Men of God do not hope for this world. They long only for the heavenly kingdom. This world is a moment in the sight of God, but life in the heavenly kingdom is everlasting. There are no tears, or sorrow, or suffering, or death in heaven. So they can always live joyfully hoping for the great prizes God will reward them in heaven according to what they have sown or done.

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