Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Praise ye the Triune God"1 (Lyrics)
Genesis 1:12 – The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. (NIV)
In recent months, I have started eating an apple each evening. As I thought about this delightful experience, a Google search broadened my knowledge.
- Though the forbidden fruit of Eden in the Book of Genesis is not identified, popular Christian tradition has held that it was an apple that Eve coaxed Adam to share with her. The origin of the popular identification with a fruit unknown in the Middle East in biblical times is found in confusion between the Latin words mālum (an apple) and mălum (an evil), each of which is normally written malum. The tree of the forbidden fruit is called "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" in Genesis 2:17, and the Latin for "good and evil" is bonum et malum.
Renaissance painters may also have been influenced by the story of the golden apples in the Garden of Hesperides. As a result, in the story of Adam and Eve, the apple became a symbol for knowledge, immortality, temptation, the fall of man into sin, and sin itself. The larynx in the human throat has been called the "Adam's apple" because of a notion that it was caused by the forbidden fruit remaining in the throat of Adam. The apple as symbol of sexual seduction has been used to imply human sexuality, possibly in an ironic vein.
The proverb, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away", addressing the supposed health benefits of the fruit, has been traced to 19th-century Wales, where the original phrase was "Eat an apple on going to bed, and you'll keep the doctor from earning his bread". In the 19th century and early 20th, the phrase evolved to "an apple a day, no doctor to pay" and "an apple a day sends the doctor away"; the phrasing now commonly used was first recorded in 1922. Despite the proverb, there is no evidence that eating an apple daily has any significant health effects.
While these are interesting facts, the exterior skin and the delightful pulp or flesh have taught me two lessons. Firstly, just like apples, every person is different on the outside. Each person is a different colour or shape or size or whatever. I am always amazed how God has created billions of people who may be similar in some ways but always different in others.
Secondly, although the exterior is helpful, much more important is the pulp or flesh that we enjoy after taking a bite of the apple. That enjoyment is normally a highlight of my evening ritual. Sadly, however, one evening, the bite was unpleasant. Even though the exterior was pleasing, the pulp was bad!
For both apples and humans, much money and time is expended to change and improve the appearance. However, I have never heard of anyone able to change the pulp of a bad apple.
Fortunately, for humans, the forgiveness of sins that Jesus bought for us through His death on the cross means that even bad interiors can be made whole again!
Psalm 32:5 – Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord" — and you forgave the guilt of my sin. (NIV)
Prayer: Father, help us to recognize the need to have our sinful nature cleansed by Jesus. Amen.