Eat and Drink Wisely!

8 Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing 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.
 (Genesis 2:8-9)
13 My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.

 (Jeremiah 2:13)
It is easy to understand why the Lord put the Tree of Life in the middle of the Garden of Eden. Genesis 3:22 explains that it was how God enabled the first humans to eat of his immortality and therefore to live forever. He put the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden as a reminder to Adam and Eve that eternal life flows from him alone.

It is perhaps a little harder to understand why the Lord put the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil next to it. Genesis 2:17 explains that it was how the Lord enabled the first humans to make an active choice about whether or not to follow him. We might have expected him to hide this second tree in an unexplored corner of the garden, but no. He planted it in a place where Adam and Eve would have to walk past it daily. The Lord wants to forge real friendship with us. He will not force himself upon us. Real friendship is a choice, so the Lord allows us to choose.

Sadly, Adam and Eve chose to eat from the forbidden tree and to go it alone, instead of partnering with the Lord. Equally sadly, we discover throughout the rest of the Old Testament that the people of Israel made the same choice to go it alone without the Lord too. Yesterday, we were reminded that the Bible describes the Holy Spirit as ‘the spring of living water’. In Jeremiah 2, the Lord laments that many of his people’s problems have the same root cause. They have rejected his Holy Spirit and have chosen to drink from faulty, manmade springs of their own.
1)   What manmade ‘springs’ do you think many people drink from today, to find life and fulfilment in something other than the Lord?

2)   Why do you think the Lord warns us so strongly that, ultimately, such manmade ‘springs’ can never satisfy us?

3)   Which manmade ‘springs’ have you become aware of during lockdown, either in your own life or in our life together as a church family? How have you/we been drinking from them?

4)  What would it mean for you/us to repent of drinking from those false ‘springs’ and to return to the Lord to drink from his ‘spring of living water’?
Father God, I confess how much my thirst for your Holy Spirit is blunted by my running after other, manmade things. I repent of drinking from the wrong places and I come back to your far better water supply today. Please help me start my life again as you intended. Help me to eat from the right tree and to drink from the right spring. Amen.
If you have time, consider carrying on your conversation with God using one of our helpful Prayer Pathways.
Today’s Everyday Devotions have also inspired a devotional video that you can watch on our YouTube channel.