The Free Stuff Tree

Recently, with all the to-do about free birth control I came across a comment on Power Line Blog referencing what the commenter thought might have been a quote of Ayn Rand’s in her book, Atlas Shrugged. I couldn’t confirm or refute the claim, but it doesn’t matter because I’ve heard others express more or less the same notion. That is,

“You want free birth control? So go collect it. Pick it off the tree where you think it grows.”

Of course we’ve all heard many times the epigram that “money doesn’t grow on trees…. ”

Well, it hit me as I was considering these phrases that there’s a profound connection between the Free Stuff Trees and the Garden of Eden.

Because in the Garden, before the Fall of man,  Free Stuff Trees really did exist.

In the Garden the man and woman could go to any tree but one, pick off the free fruit and eat to their hearts’ content. At any time they wished.

Eventually, as we know, they disobeyed the only “rule” they’d been given, by going after the one tree whose fruit was not free — The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. There was a price to be paid for eating it — a rather steep price, in fact —  they died spiritually on the spot were kicked out of the Garden, shortly thereafter and eventually died physically several hundred years later. And nothing earthly has been free since.

Man’s curse was to work the ground to get his food. No work, no food. That curse has yet to be lifted.  I wonder if that might be why people keep yearning for stuff to be free, seeking after that provision they’ve lost.

Then again, it may be because in their depravity they are lazy and want only what they want when they want it…

The striking point, however, is that the only thing that’s really free in this life is salvation. Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.

You pay no coin, no dues of time or effort, do no work, keep no law… you have only to believe in the person of Christ and the work He did on your behalf and you will be eternally saved. It’s God’s free gift to us.

Free to us, but not still free. Someone had to pay the price for our sin, and that someone was Jesus Christ. He gave up everything for us: His position in heaven, His power, His glory… For thirty-three years He walked this earth, and not as one of the rich and famous surrounded by wealth and comfort. No, He lived as a lowly carpenter, the eldest son of at least six children, who weren’t always nice to Him as we learn from the passages where His brothers mock Him for His miracles…

More than all that, though, He gave up His very life for us, dying spiritually before he died physically. During the three hours of darkness on the cross, the sins of the entire world, of every person who ever lived or will, were poured out on him and judged. He who, like a lamb before his shearers had been dumb throughout all the beatings and whippings and mockery and even the ordeal of being nailed to the Cross, yet when the darkness descended on Golgotha and the sins were poured upon him, screamed,

My God, My God, Why have You forsaken me?

And then, after the screaming stopped and the darkness was lifted,

“It is finished.”

that is,


He did it all, the price was paid. And for us, salvation is Free.

2 Responses to “The Free Stuff Tree”

  1. 1 Kathy Johns September 12, 2012 at 9:43 am

    And since He did it all — paid the price for me and everyone else who ever lived or died, I desire to spend the rest of my physical life on this earth following after Him, giving praise to Him, trusting in Him, and obeying His laws — to love God with my whole heart, mind and soul, and to love my neighbor — anyone not me– as myself. The first 10 of His commandments show love to God, the remaining 6 show love to my neighbor. Of course they are not just the literal commandments, but now expanded to include our thoughts and words as well. Matt. (5:28) “If you love Me, keep my commandments” Jn 14:15 “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” 1 Jn 5:3 (all NKJV)

  2. 2 Rebecca LuElla Miller September 14, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Great post, Karen. I was struck with these two lines: First

    In the Garden the man and woman could go to any tree but one, pick off the free fruit and eat to their hearts’ content. At any time they wished.

    And towards the end this:

    Then again, it may be because in their depravity they are lazy and want only what they want when they want it…

    It strikes me as odd, amazing, really, that Adam and Eve had with no guilt attached or wrong motive behind it, what sin pushes us toward today. They had it legitimately; we never have it but want it illegitimately. I don’t have any point to make with that–just that the contrast struck me.


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