I can't speak for you, but I've wondered why God chose to put the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden. Why was it there if Adam and Eve couldn't partake in its fruit? The answer? Well, I do not know honestly.
There are many things in this life that I do not know or understand. But I do know this: We are still faced with temptation today. Many people have jokingly (or seriously) stated that once in heaven, they would give Adam and Eve a dangerous side eye.
And yes, while the first man and woman undoubtedly put all of mankind in an unfavorable position, the fall was inevitable. If you don't think you would've fallen into the temptation of eating the forbidden fruit, then please tell me why did you give into your temptation in the past or why might you still be giving into your temptation now?
No one is without sin. All have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) ... which is exactly why we needed and still need Christ. Since the very beginning, we all needed someone to cover our faults... and perhaps that's why God put the tree there... to show us just how much we needed a Savior to save us from ourselves.
And even with Christ, temptation is still present. There are so many forbidden fruit trees that are planted around us every day. The trees of anger, lust, pride, greed, and more are right in our backyards. Its branches wave at us in the distance, beckoning us to take a bite of its deceivingly sweet fruit.
We know not to partake. We know what is right. But sometimes, just like Adam and Eve, we fall. Praise God, that those who have accepted and follow Christ are forgiven and back in right standing with God upon repentance of our sins. Yet, if we are honest with ourselves, neither my fall nor yours had to happen. It could've been prevented.
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV
So then, dear reader, since we know the escape route is there, we need to make sure we set up perimeters for ourselves to take the way out instead of eating the fruit. Be aware that the fruit will likely look better than the escape route... Did you hear me?
I said the fruit will likely look better than the escape route.
But we've got to ask ourselves a simple question: Does the fruit look better than God? Though we'd hate to admit it, whenever we choose to eat the forbidden fruit, we are essentially saying "God, you look good, but this fruit looks better." That's why Adam and Eve were cast away from the presence of God. They chose the fruit over God.
And because of their decision, they were cast away from the presence of God. Likewise, when we choose the fruit over God, we are cast away from His presence. We are not as close to God as we should be when we are in sin. And we won't be close to God at all if we leave this earth while still partaking in what is forbidden.
Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
(1 Corinthians 6 9-10 NIV)
Listen, get from around that tree! Although you may see the forbidden fruit and may be tempted by it, go find you something else to do. Adam’s responsibility was to tend to the garden. Maybe if he would’ve tended to the business God gave him instead of giving attention to something God did not give him, life may have been better for us all.
Whenever that forbidden fruit lures you, tend to your business. Tend to your Father’s business. Your Father’s business could be whatever God has given you. First and foremost, God gave you Jesus. So, no matter the temptation, you can always go and tend to Jesus. Go read the Word (which is Jesus per John 1:1) pray and get away from the tree.
Your Father’s business could also be your home, your spouse, or your children. If you are tempted by adultery, go tend to your spouse. If you are tempted by laziness, go tend to your house. If you are tempted by wrath, go be intentionally kind to your children. Do these things and stay away from the tree.
Your Father’s business could be an actual business that He has given you. So, if you are tempted in any way, go work on some marketing or a new product/service. Your Father’s business could be ministry work, so go write a sermon, a lesson, or go check in on a fellow Christian or serve your church or community. Do these things and stay away from the tree.
But most importantly your Father’s business is you. Tend to yourself by choosing God over your temptation whenever it tries to sway you. It's either God or the fruit. Choose today which one you desire most.
I urge you to stay so far away from the tree that you don’t even know what the fruit looks like. Adam and Eve could’ve just stayed away from the tree. Why did they even go near it if they didn’t have to? And that is my recommendation for you. Although the tree may be in your midst, just stay away from it.
Get away from the tree.
That's all I have for you today. Be blessed! And for the last time ... get away from that tree. If it's the Lord's will, I'll see you next week.
Quin Arrington is a wife, mother of two children, and author of three books. Her literary collection includes both fictional and nonfictional works. Books can be purchased at the link listed below. Thank you for time and attention. God bless!