“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.” Genesis 2:16, 17
Studying the book of Genesis, I notice something interesting. When God placed man in Eden, two special trees were in the center of the garden. One was the tree of life and the other was the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God told them they could eat freely of every tree in the garden, including the tree of life. All the trees were pleasant for food but one was forbidden. Only the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was forbidden to them, with the caution that if they did eat the fruit from it, they would surely die. God was offering them life, if they obeyed, or death if they disobeyed.
Then isn’t it interesting that the serpent tempted them with the one leading to death. The tree of life was equally appealing to the eye, but the serpent could only offer death. There is no life in him. Jesus said the thief (referring to Satan, called the serpent in Genesis) “…does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” (John 10:10)
Only God can offer life and He has offered it to us from the beginning. Deuteronomy 30:19, 20 says “I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live and may love the Lord your God, obey His voice, and cling to Him. For He is your life and the length of your days, that you may dwell in the land…”
God calls us to choose life. He has provided a way for us to have life. Jesus said then, and is saying to us now, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
The choice is ours. Life of death. I believe I’ll choose life. Thank You Jesus for giving me life, a fulfilled life on here on earth and when it’s done, eternal life with You in heaven.
Peace and blessings in our Lord Jesus Christ,
All scripture quoted is from The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
“My soul is deeply grieved, even to the point of death. Remain here and stay alert.” Mark 14:34
How do you handle disappointments? People don’t always behave the way we expect or need them to behave. Even our closest friends or family members let us down. Things happen that we have no control over cause us pain and disappointment. What are we supposed to do with those feelings? Who can we turn to in those times?
Jesus suffered disappointment in the Garden of Gethsemane. He took Peter, James and John, the inner circle of the twelve men He’d called to follow Him, His closest friends, into the Garden to watch and pray with Him. One of the twelve had already deserted Him and was going to betray Him.
“Then they went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Sit here while I pray.’ He took Peter, James, and John with him, and became very troubled and distressed. He said to them, ‘My soul is deeply grieved, even to the point of death. Remain here and stay alert.’” Mark 14:32-35
“Remain here and stay alert” Jesus asked them, but when He returned they had fallen asleep, not once, but three times. When He needed them the most, they were sleeping. (See Mark 14:32-42)
David wrote in Psalm 31:7 “I will be happy and rejoice in Your faithfulness because You are aware of how distressed I am.”
God notices our pain, emotional as well as physical. He is aware of our disappointments. But He does more than just notice and be aware. David goes on to say, “But I trust in you, O Lord! I declare, ‘You are my God!’ You determine my destiny!” (31:14, 15a)
Keep trusting God. He knows what happens in your life, and He has a plan for you. Other people do not have final say in your life – God does!
Verse 19 says, “How great is your favor, which you store up for your loyal followers! In plain sight of everyone you bestow it on those who take shelter in you.”
When your friend lets you down, when your spouse disappoints you, when you get passed over at work, pull into Jesus. He knows your hurts and He understands them as no one else can.
“Therefore since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest incapable of sympathizing with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way just as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace whenever we need help.” Hebrews 4:14-16
Jesus suffered disappointment without letting it cause Him to sin. He forgave and continued to love those who had let Him down. He held to the plan that after His resurrection, those eleven men would be the leaders and take the gospel to the world. Forgive without being asked, keep loving those who hurt you and hold fast to Jesus.
David closes Psalm 31 saying, “Be strong and confident, all you who wait on the Lord!”
Be strong. Be confident. Wait on the Lord.
Peace and blessings in our Lord Jesus Christ,
References: New English Translation (NET)