Last Saturday, heading to breakfast at Burger King followed by a haircut, Augie (my eight year-old) and I were chatting…and…I can’t remember exactly why…but the subject of trees came up. That led to a question of the first tree, and Augie said the first one created by God was the Tree of Life.
What do you think? Was he right?
Now, the Bible doesn’t really say what the first tree was. Instead, trees were created at the same time as other plants:
And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so (Genesis 1:11, English Standard Version).
Assuming this part of Genesis is chronological (which it may not be), the Tree of Life came into the picture after man was created…which was after trees already existed:
And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:8-9).
However, I have to admit that Augie’s childlike view that the first tree was the Tree of Life appeals to me…and I think it makes sense. This is what was said by Paul about the God who created that tree…well, all trees:
This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:3).
Our Lord wants all people to be saved. Even after our original parents (and we) sinned, He wants us to live eternally. Personally, I think God always intended us to do so, and as such it would make sense that He’d have the Tree of Life ready from day one to help with that. It was only our rebellion in the Garden that prevented ready access to it.
Was the Tree of Life the first tree created? Probably not…but it wouldn’t surprise me given how much God has shown His heart for us from day one. Now, that’s a God I would like to live forever with!