April 18, 2016
Field Time: Browning, MT
IGNITE CLASS 10
Inductive Bible Study (IBS)
A Tree of Life
“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.”
– Proverbs 11:30 (NKJV)
When reading this verse, the phrase “a tree of life” jumped out at me, and immediately brought to mind the original tree of life that was placed in the Garden of Eden that God planted for Adam and Eve to live in shortly after He created the world. Going back to the account given in Genesis explains the setting. Starting in chapter 2, verses 8-9 it says, “8The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He Put the man whom He had formed. 9And out of the Ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” To me, this indicates there were possibly two sacred trees in the Garden, rather than my previous thoughts that there was only the one tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Jumping down farther down to Genesis 2:17 tells of God’s instructions to Adam regarding the Garden’s trees, firmly saying, “…but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in that day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Unfortunately, as the account further tells, Adam and Eve decided to disobey, creating severe consequences for themselves, and the rest of the world. One of these consequences was death. Originally created in the perfect image of God they would have never experienced this, and God may have manifested this to them in the form of creating the tree of life. There is no way for me to fully confirm this, but Genesis 3:22 indicates that this could have been the case: “Then the Lord God said, ‘“Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever.”’” Only God has the answer to that one.
That all being said, this also made me think of the Old and New covenants, and how the tree of life that was in the Garden represents the Old, which was destroyed when God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, down to earth to establish the new covenant and become that Tree of Life which we could once again enter in to full, un-hindered fellowship and true life with the Holy and Living God. Jesus Himself says in John 14:6, “…I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Because He is the new Tree of Life for me and the Savior that I serve, I am to do everything according to the model that Jesus set in place when He was on earth. One of those things is what Proverbs 11:30 says, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.” I had to ask myself the question then – what does it look like for me to be a tree of life to those around me? This is best described in Psalm 1:1-3 – “1Blessed is the man who walks not in the way of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. 3He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does he shall prosper.” Being a tree of life as Christ is for me means shunning everything sinful without neglecting the sinner, constantly marinating in the Lord’s word and being filled with His presence so much so that it spills over to all who see it.
Application: Today, I will take the scriptures used in this IBS and study and meditate on them.