Posted by: Jim Black | January 21, 2008

Two Trees

Every now and then while I’m preaching I get the feeling that I’ve just lost some folks.  I got that feeling Sunday as I started out with a joke… not always a good idea!  It seems God came to Adam and seeing that he was lonely and downcast offered to make for him a woman.  This woman would be the most beautiful thing in the garden.  She would be witty and intelligent, warm and friendly, and always by his side… never condescending, or nagging, or hateful or flippant with him.  “Wow,” said Adam.  “That’s liable to cost an arm and a leg!”  God agreed that it would to which Adam replied, “Well.. what can I get for just a rib?”  Badda bum!
The joke worked… with some people.  Some actually laughed out loud (men not sitting with their wives.)  Some chuckled lightly  (not right to laugh in church).  There were some men who pretended not to think it was funny because their wives were sitting right next to them poking them in the side with their gentle elbows.  I guess it was the women mostly who were shaking their heads and wishing for a preacher who would just preach Bible.  But I couldn’t help it.  I’ve always been amused by the story of creation in Genesis 2.  Nobody can tell me that God doesn’t have a sense of humor!  He creates man… gives him a job to do (work & care for the garden) and then he creates woman to be his ‘helper’.  And they are so vastly different.  Then God tells them to live together in unity… in fact to ‘cling to’ one another and make more.  There’s a lot of humor there.  I had fun reveling in the story last week, partly because the story this week is so tragic.  Chapter three is not nearly as much fun as chapter two.  In episode three sin enters in to the camp… and things are never the same.  The love and harmony that existed in chapter two is shattered.  The peace is broken.  The relationships that the first man and woman had with God and with one another are twisted, distorted, perverted.  That’s why they hid and that’s why they went looking for clothes the minute their eyes were opened.  Its a sad tale… tragic and horrible.  But, that’s our text for this Sunday… Genesis 3.  We’ll begin by asking the question, “Why?…. why did God put TWO trees in the garden?”  More specifically, why did he put that one tree there and then tell us not to eat of it.  Didn’t he know that would only make it more enticing?  Read it again this week and then comment… tell me what you think.  Why TWO trees?
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