The BackDoor Bible Series
The Journey - Lesson 1
(The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil)
Once upon a time long, long ago there were two trees growing side by side in the center of a very beautiful garden. Now one of these trees was the most beautiful tree you could ever imagine. It was more beautiful than any other tree in the garden and its fruit was very delicious to eat. This tree was also very special for another reason. For if you ate it's fruit, you would instantly learn something. Think about that for a minute. A tree with fruit that can give you instant knowledge.
Now the garden these trees grew in was named Eden and the beautiful tree's name was Webster. The other tree that grew beside Webster also had a name but I will tell you about it at another time. Today I want to tell you about Webster.
Webster loved living in the garden because it was such a wonderful place. Everything there was just perfect. The weather there was warm in the daytime and cool at night. It never rained there and it never got too hot. All the flowers and plants there were always blooming and they grew much bigger than plants grow today. Yes, it was just like springtime all year-round there and Webster enjoyed every minute of it.
Now besides plants there were also a lot of animals that lived in the garden and they were really special too. All the animals were really friendly to each other and to the people who lived there. None of the animals ever chased each other or ate each other like animals do today. Nope, they were all friendly and ate plants for food. In fact, even the biggest lion was totally safe for even a child to play with. Yes, the garden was a wonderful place but the neatest part of all was that nothing in this garden ever died. That's right, even though its hard to believe, every animal, every bird and every fish was living forever.
Now as it happened, there were also two people who lived in the garden. One man named Adam and a woman named Eve. They were the first two people God had created and they lived in this garden and cared for all the plants and animals. They too, just like the animals, never got sick, never grew old and of course they were never going to die. You see God was there in the garden with them and he provided everything the people needed. Adam and Eve didn't even have to work. They just got to hang out there with God and enjoy their lives . Well anyway that's enough about the garden, lets get back to Webster.
One day Webster was doing his usual tree thing. He was growing a few new leaves and working hard to make his fruit really tasty when he suddenly saw Adam and Eve walking across the garden. He was used to seeing them every now and then because sometimes they would come by and eat some of the fruit that grew on other tree that grew beside Webster. Whenever they came by they would always stop for a minute and admire how beautiful Webster was. But no matter how much they admired Webster, they never picked or ate his fruit.
Now this might have really bothered a normal tree seeing as trees love to have people eat their fruit but it didn't bother Webster. You see Webster remembered the day when he watched God create Adam and Eve.. He remembered what happened just like it was yesterday. He remembered how exciting it was to see God make a person being right out of the dust on the ground. And he remember how God told the Adam and Eve that they could eat anything in garden they wanted except one thing. Can you guess what it was?
Yes, that’s right, they were told not to eat any of Webster's fruit. God even said that if they did, they would surely die. Brrrrrrr… a shiver went up Webster's trunk as he remembered God's serious warning.
Anyway Webster figured that this day would be the same as any other and Adam and Eve would just pass him by. But as they approached, Webster could see that something was different, something was wrong. …….. For it seemed that Adam and Eve were having a disagreement. While they were at a distance, Webster couldn't tell for sure what they were saying. But as they came closer he definitely heard them arguing. It also seemed that they were arguing about him for Eve kept pointing to Webster and Adam kept shaking his head.
In less than a minute both Adam and Eve were directly in front of Webster and this time instead of passing by, they stopped right there and Eve reached up and picked a piece of Webster's fruit. … I happened so fast, Webster almost went into shock. Noooooo he tried to scream. But of course trees can't talk, so nothing came out of his mouth.
Webster watched in horror as Eve took the fruit, ate some and told Adam. "I don't think we will really die, she said. In fact, if we eat this fruit we will become just like God. We'll be really wise and know all sorts of things about good as well as evil" Adam asked how she knew this and she relied, "Well, that what the serpent told me and he is the wisest animal here in the garden." Adam thought about this for a minute, then took the forbidden fruit and ate some. Webster started to cry.
Within a few seconds Adam Eve suddenly changed, instead of being happy and confident, a look of fear came over their faces. They looked at one another and then quickly turned away in embarrassment for suddenly they realized that they were naked. Just as this happened, Adam heard someone's footsteps coming. He turned back to Eve and said, "Hurry, we must hide, God is coming" and with that they ran and hid in the bushes. As they ran Webster cried so hard that his leaves began to shake. He was crying because he knew that once they ate his fruit, things in the garden would never be the same.
Webster was now visibly shaking as God came into the clearing and called to Adam. He said "Adam, Where are you." Adam came out of the bushes and faced God. Eve followed him out but both of them kept their faces looking down at the ground. God asked them why they were hiding and Adam told him that they were hiding from Him because they were naked. God asked, "Who told you this? Have you eaten from Webster here even though I commanded you not to." Adam said yes but then blamed it all on Eve.
God then turned to Eve and asked her, "What is this you have done?". Instead of admitting she had done wrong, Eve immediately blamed what happened on an animal called a serpent. She said it had told her that the fruit was ok to eat. God listened to her for a minute and then what He did next changed everything.
Webster watched with great sadness as God then told Adam and Eve's what would happen because they had disobeyed. First God cursed the Serpent and changed its body so it crawled on the ground instead of walking upright. He also promised that the serpent would always be a creature that women would hate. Next he told Eve that she would be changed and from now on would have lots of pain when she gave birth to children. He also told her that she would be ruled over by her husband Adam. Then at last he turned to Adam and spoke the words that had Webster wished he never heard.
God said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the this tree, Cursed is the ground because of you. You will have to work hard from now on to make the ground grow food for you and it will even produce thorns and weeds instead. It will take hard work and lots of sweat for you to grow your food until you yourself die and are buried in the ground, From the dust of the ground you were made and to dust you will return."
At that moment death entered the garden. Adam and Eve began to age and ultimately they would die. So would their children. The animals in the garden also began to age and the trees and plants began to fade. God then took Adam and Eve and made them leave the garden. He even sent a huge Angel with a flaming sword to guard the entrance to the garden so Adam and Eve could not come back. Webster cried for he would never see them or any other human being ever again. That day Webster felt the ground around his roots begin to tighten up. He flinched a little as the pure water he drank though his roots began to become bitter and slowly but surely Webster began to die.
* by David C Klem - Copyright 1998 *
Kids, We are Adams great, great, great, great, great, great, great, grand children and just like him we will die someday. We are all under the curse God gave to Adam that day many years ago. The Bible teaches us that each of us has a spirit that continues to live after our bodies die and are buried. It also teaches that God created a place called Hell, a place of punishment where a person's spirit will be sent after they die. Hell is called the "real death" because it is punishment of our spirit forever. .
Do you think you are good and have never done anything bad enough to deserve death? Remember, Adam and Eve were sentenced to death just for eating a piece of fruit that God said not to. You see God is a Holy God and cannot hang out with someone who has sinned. Every one of our disobedient actions is enough to sentence us to death and punishment hell. But God also provided a way that we can avoid hell. We need to believe that Jesus is God's only son and he died on the cross to be punished for us. We need Jesus, because God ays it’s the only way he can forgive us for our sins. Then if we believe in Jesus he will let our spirit go to heaven when we die instead to be with Him. You see the only way back to the way it was in the garden is though Jesus Christ.
Verse for this week -
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Rom 6:23 (NIV)