3 Trees in
Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil
The first tree mentioned in scripture is the Tree of the Knowledge
of Good and Evil. It appears in the second chapter of the first
book, Genesis. After God had made the heaven and the earth and
all the living things--including a person--that populated it, he
prepared a special environment for that person he'd made.
"Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden, and
there he put the man he had formed. And the Lord God made all
kinds of trees grow out of the ground--trees that were pleasant to
the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the
tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil"
God gave the garden to the person he'd made, "to work it and take
care of it." God knew that people need three things to survive:
food, structure and work. "And the Lord God commanded the
man, 'You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you
must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for
when you eat of it, you will surely die'" (Genesis 2:16).
He also knew that people need companionship, so he made woman
as a co-worker with man to be united with him in the work of the
But something about people makes us chafe at restrictions. Of all
the trees in the garden, there was just one that they were not to
eat, and that was the very one they were tempted to try. They
did, and lost both their innocence and their garden home. Life
grew harder after that.
Tree by the Water
Another tree in scripture is a tree
which is used to represent a
righteous person. It is the tree
planted by the water in Psalm 1.
This person is contrasted with the
wicked in the first verse. This
person delights in God's law and
meditates on it day and night.
"He is like a tree planted by streams
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers" (Psalm
The lesson for us is clear. We need to delight in God's law and
think about it constantly. Then we, too, will find a fruitful
freshness in life. And we'll be cared for by God himself. "For the
Lord watches over the way of the righteous" (Psalm 1:4).
Tree of Life
The final tree mentioned in scripture was
also mentioned at the beginning.
Remember the tree of life which God
placed in the Garden of Eden? When
Adam and Eve sinned, an angel with a
flaming sword was placed at the entrance
of the garden to keep them from eating
of it. But later, in the book of Revelation,
it appears again--this time doubled!
"Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as
clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the
Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On
each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve
crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves
of the tree are for the healing of the nations" (Revelation
Again, a wonderful picture of satiation, of provision, and of
healing. And that tree grows "for ever and ever."
There are many trees in
scripture, but three hold special
--one at the beginning, one in
the middle and one at the end.
They grow intertwined with our
lives, and represent some of
God's greatest promises.