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  • Writer's pictureRhovonda Brown

*That One Tree

When my son was between the ages of 2 and 4, it seemed like he got into everything. He was so busy! So curious! He wanted to touch everything. Even when we said, “No, don’t touch that.” He would touch it anyway. When we told him not to climb something because it was not safe and he might fall, he wanted to climb it anyway. He was an explorer and very inquisitive. It’s like he gravitated to touching things, climbing things, pulling things down, picking up things that were dangerous and harmful for him. He definitely kept us on our toes, making sure he was safe!

One day, while visiting a family member, my son wanted to touch something interesting…. hot curling irons. This family member had a salon inside her home, and was closing up her shop for the day. Now, she had toys, among other things, that would keep a little boy safe, satisfied and preoccupied; however, the one thing that looked more appealing than those toys were the hot curling irons.

Several times, my son was warned about those curling irons. He said, “Hot?” We’d all say, “Yes, very hot. DO NOT TOUCH.” But our son kept looking at the table where the curling irons were; he was so intrigued by them (Although, I don’t know why!).

Soon, it was time to go, and as we were saying our goodbyes, my son wanted to see if the curling irons were really as hot as we said they were. He ran and touched the curling irons, and found out that we were right! Yes, they were hot! Very hot! Bless his heart! His little right hand was burned pretty badly; he had to wear bandages over his hand for several days, but thank God! His hand healed perfectly!

But of course, that little hiccup didn’t stop my son at all. Before long, he was back to his inquisitive self again! He continued to pick up things, climb up things, and touch things that were more harmful than good for him.

The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And 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. Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’

-Gen. 2:8-9;15-17, NKJV

In today’s passage, our Creator has planted a beautiful garden in Eden for His creation to eat and enjoy. In a warning, God commands Adam to enjoy everything that He has made, but from one particular tree, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, he could not eat. If he did eat from that tree, Adam would die.

God placed the Tree of life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil right in the middle of the garden. Out of all the other trees, how could that one tree, the one that would bring death, seem so desirable? How could one tree, the tree that Adam was warned not to eat, be so appealing? Why couldn’t Adam and Eve enjoy the Tree of Life and live a satisfied life forever?

Why would God place that one particular tree in the middle of the garden if He didn’t want Adam and Eve to eat from it? Perhaps God put that one tree there to give Adam and Eve free will, a free will to choose. Maybe God wanted Adam and Eve’s one decision to teach us the importance of making the right decision, which is obeying God’s command.

Whatever God’s reason was, Adam and Eve were given a choice, and they chose to disobey God by fulfilling the desires of their flesh. Their one disobedient choice resulted in separation from God and ultimately, death.

For our own good, God tells us, “Don’t touch!” but we touch it anyway. He tells us, “Don’t go there!” but we go anyway. He warns us not to speak, but we speak anyway. He commands us not to do, but we do it anyway. Whatever God’s reason may be for giving us those directives, He wants us to obey them. That one wrong decision could do more harm than good.

What is it that you keep gravitating to? What is it that you keep picking up? What is it that you keep holding on to, going back to? What is that one thing that you just won’t let go?

God has told us to leave it alone, drop it, don’t touch that, stay away from it, be quiet, but we’re not listening!

Why won’t we listen?!

The serpent convinced Eve that the fruit from the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil was more desirable than the fruit from all the other trees including the Tree of life (Gen. 3). Sisters, we can’t allow that one thing that seems so desirable to us cause us to disobey God. Let’s listen, obey, and serve God, so our days will be successful!

If they obey and serve Him,

They shall spend their days in prosperity,

And their years in pleasures.

(Job 36:11, NKJV)

During your Quiet Time, meditate on today’s scriptures and walk in your freedom.


*Originally posted 12/6/12.

If you’re in the Houston, Texas areas, I want to invite you to the Walking in Freedom! Workshop. Learn more 

Rhovonda L. Brown is speaker and author of two bestsellers, Walking in Freedom!: A Thirty-Day Devotional Journey for Women and At Least Say, “Thank You!”: An 8-Day Devotional Plan for a Grateful Heart. 

Copyright ©2010-2016. Rhovonda L. Brown. All Rights Reserved.

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