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 from it you will certainly die.” (Genesis 2:16-17 NIV)
Not all fruit is good fruit.
A fruitless situation is one that will lead to negative outcomes because of the absence of life. A bad fruit situation will lead to negative outcomes because of the presence of that which will corrupt. We can suffer because we lack something, but it’s even worse if we suffer because we actively initiated and brought about that outcome.
Part of the narrative of the beginning of all things in Scripture is about the consequences of man actively disobeying the instruction of God and subsequently consuming bad fruit. It was not bad fruit to look at, it wasn’t even bad fruit in terms of its texture and taste, but it was certainly bad fruit for humanity because of the outcome. Which is to say some of the decisions we make in life could appear perfectly reasonable and indeed present itself as attractive and substantial, but as long as it veers away from what is right in God’s sight the outcome won’t be pleasant at all.
We live with the consequences of bad fruit. Every day we are given an opportunity to avoid it and every day in some way we see a reflection of our inability in ourselves to avoid it. If the story ended with the inevitability of us living with the consequences of bad fruit the meaning of life would be … fruitless. Thankfully, there were two trees highlighted. One that had what turned out to be bad fruit for us and the other was something that would turn out to be very good fruit for us indeed. One consequence of the bad fruit was being banned from access to that good fruit, but in the fullness of time the plan of God gave humanity access to that tree of life again. That access would counteract the consequences of the bad fruit.
In the light of the good news of the good fruit, in upcoming series of blogs within this bigger Fruit Series, I am going to explore some of those consequences of the bad fruit as well as consider how the tree of life counteracts those consequences.
Something that remains abundantly clear, however, is that awareness of the goodness of God should be exalted to help deal with the consequences of the bad fruit. As we do so, it will be a big help in fulfilling our call to be fruitful.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden