A Devotion for 28 June 2023 Anno Domini
“And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. 10And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. 11The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; 12And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. 13And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. 14And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates. 15And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” (Genesis 2:8-15, all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
Men need meaningful labor in order to enjoy the fruits of God’s green earth. Labor is not a curse, but a blessing. Imagine being ensconced in a beautiful Garden teeming with life and fruits and, yet, not having anything but leisure to occupy your time. Adam was given the responsibility to dress and maintain the Garden. It was not a small Garden. It was one of glorious appearance, and there were four heads of a great river that flowed through the grounds of the Garden to water it. It contained every species of animal life. Maintaining such a Garden in its pristine form would have required much attention from Adam, its steward.
We are not told if Eve had similar duties, but it could be presumed that she did have since she shared in the life and destiny of Adam. Or, perhaps Eve became overly distracted by the lack of responsibility – so much so that she wandered in the Garden to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil that dreadful day.
The first Gardener also was the beneficiary of the first marriage in Eden. God had created Adam and Eve for the purpose of procreating and replenishing the earth. Such an objective could only have been morally accomplished through the union of one man and one woman, therefore was instituted God’s first institution of marriage. This union of marriage was the only model ordained by God for mankind and one that has been largely followed by all races and creeds since the first dawn in Eden. The Edenic marriage represented the greater institution of God – He only ordained two such institutions – of the Marriage that would exist between Christ and His Church. Any defilement of that model would constitute a sacrilege of the institution of marriage. Nature as well generally follows that model insofar as sensual attraction and procreation are concerned. Any other model violates, not only the law of God, but the law of His creation in nature as well.
Gardens are walled about to protect from incursions from without. Eden, too, was walled off as a place devoid of sin, and a place in which God walked in fellowship with man; but, the sin of Adam and Eve separated them from that fellowship with God that they had enjoyed prior to the Fall. God will not tolerate sin in any form and thus no longer walked with our original parents. As a result of that sin, Adam and Eve were exiled from the Garden. They had chosen the counsel of the Serpent over that of God. They rejected the Tree of Life which represented our Lord Jesus Christ.
The very moment of Adam’s disobedience, his spirit died within him. Though he retained a living physical body, the body cannot exist eternally with a dead spirit. So, Adam died spiritually, and began to die physically. God would provide a means of reconciliation to Himself through His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, in the fullness of time. The Personage was foreshadowed in the skin of the first creature to die in Eden which God had to kill to cover Adam’s sin and shame. There is no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood. “. . . All things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” (Hebrews 9:22)
Throughout the Old Testament, God reiterates that promise of a Redeemer to come in the fulness of time.
Many today are seeking to know where the Garden at Eden was removed. I believe that Paradise was removed to Heaven since there is not a place on earth devoid of sin today. It makes sense that the Garden would be co-located with the Tree of Life – and where is that Tree today? “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” (Revelation 2:7) and “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” (Revelation 22:1-2)
If you want to see that Paradise, you had best work on acquiring passage through the grace and mercy of God.