Was the 'tree of the knowledge of good and evil' in anyway related to first fruits? Why did God forbid man to eat its fruit?
What the 'tree of knowledge of good and evil' was, is revealed when it is compared to the 'tree of life'.
We must also remember that the Old Testament is a type and a shadow which points to Christ....as revealed in the New Testament.
Consider that the garden was filled with thousands of trees....all of them acceptable to eat from because God had made them and they were GOOD. (The tree of the knowledge of good and evil could therefore NOT possibly have been a 'tithe'....and it certainly was not the 'first' because the 'tree of life' was named first)
There were two trees in the middle......this speaks of God giving man a choice. Man is not without freedom to choose how he will live. God's way...or his own way?
25 There is a way that seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death. NKJV
This was not a way of doing something 'wrong'....it was the way where we do what we think is right....without considering God's way ...
One tree, however, was one that God strongly warns man about.....it will cause him to die. God in his love warns man. He does not suggest directly that man should eat of the tree of life...it sounded so good that surely man would know which one to choose. Surely man would not want to die....surely LIFE would be a more attractive option. This is something man would logically conclude IF he accepts that God loves him and wants what is best for him.
Man has a choice ...
Does he believe that God is GOOD?....and that He is concerned about man coming to harm if he partakes of the 'bad' fruit?
Is God BAD....and trying to deprive man of the 'good life'? Are His ways selfish and impure or are they a demonstration of His holy love for us?
Man is faced with a choice...Does he in simplicity walk with God? ...trusting His love for us. ...Or does he do what he thinks is right? The tree of LIFE is on offer. What is life you ask? Simply this is defined by Jesus
3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. NKJV
The tree of life represents the offer of relationship with and walk with God in simple faith....and to have all our sins and failures covered by the provision of God for us in Christ Jesus.
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. NKJV
53 Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. NKJV
1 John 1:1-3
concerning the Word of life — 2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us — 3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. NKJV
Should man, however, decide that God is not pure and holy and GOOD in his intentions towards us...(bringing us to doubt this the primary work of the devil)...man will seek an alternate basis to walk with through life. A life lived outside of a relationship with God is death.
Satan's suggestion....and the way which appeals to the 'self-righteous' flesh of man is religion. It is when man decides he will seek out special knowledge and find a set of rules which he will abide by rather than living out of a direct and personal relationship with God. It is man in pride saying to his creator 'You cannot be trusted'....'I will rather set my own rules and trust my own works.'
And, effectively saying ...'I will be my own god' (This is the heart behind many religions including mormonism, scientology, etc)
Religion and legalism caused man NOT to enjoy life more but rather to lose something. Man lost his direct relationship with God (Gen 3:10 and 3:23)...and Man lost his covering (Gen 3:7). Apart from God's glory and goodness covering us we are naked and want to hide from God. Man under religion and the law finds himself living under a sense of condemnation and guilt. Only coming back to God and accepting His unconditional love and provision for us....ie trusting Jesus as our righteousness... will rectify this problem and reconcile us (2 Cor 5:18-21).
To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God NKJV
'Forsaking your first love' for God (the mistake of the Ephesian church Rev 2:4-5) is to go back under the Law....under religion....and try again to earn our own salvation. It is to 'fall from grace' (Gal 5:2-4). It is eating from the 'tree of knowledge of good and evil'.....rather than in wonder continuing in faith....in God's awesome GRACE....and eating of 'the tree of LIFE'
Is it any wonder that pride is the greatest sin in the bible and that 'unbelief' is what will take you to destruction?
The national anthem of those who are perishing and all atheists is...'I did it MY way'
God is GOD....and He is incredibly GOOD.....His heart is full of love for you.....He has made a way for you to walk with Him.... Won't you trust Him?
The atheist is dead but does not care
The religious person is dead.....and in delusion thinks his own works will save Him
The believer alone lives ....and experiences the life of God which comes from trusting in God's love and provision in Jesus...and abandoning any belief that his own works contribute to his righteousness.
In religion there is only bondage and condemnation and death
In relationship there is freedom and life
Are you eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil....or the tree of Life?
Only knowing how much God loves you will bring you to a place of surrender to the will of God! (Eph 3:14-21)