25. God removed Adam and Eve from the Tree of Life so they would not live forever.

And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” {Genesis 3:22}

After Adam and Eve sinned and ate the fruit from the tree God had told them to stay away from, He came to find them and discuss the problems that would be created by their choices. He also made a promise that He would personally come to deal with the serpent, Sin, and Death.

Then He did something else. He sent them out of the garden so they would no longer eat fruit from the Tree of Life. And the Bible says He did this for a specific reason: in order to limit the terrestrial lifespan of mankind. If they could no longer eat fruit from the Tree of Life, their bodies would eventually break down and send them into a special kind of Sleep that only God could awaken them from.

We have often looked at this Sleep as a curse, but it is actually a blessing. For once sin had taken root in the human heart, suffering was imminent, and a race of creatures who could perpetuate their evil without ceasing would quickly lead to more misery than we could bear. So God granted us the ability to enter into a temporary state of Sleep by removing us from the Tree of Life.

This Sleep has often been confused with Death, because to us, it looks and feels like Death. But is that true? Was God referring to Sleep when He warned Adam and Eve about the deadly consequences of eating from the forbidden tree? It would be centuries before the Bible writers were able to offer an answer to that.

If you want to dig deeper—
Genesis 3:22-24
Job 1:20-21
Ecclesiastes 8:8
Revelation 2:7
Revelation 22:2, 14, 19