MY recent studies with the Word of God brought me to a second look at the First Garden, The Garden of Eden.
Before there were resorts in Maui, Boracay, Bali and al the other exotic places in the world, there was the Garden of Eden. That was the resort to resort to! (Pardon the pun). The Garden of Eden was special for a number of reasons.
The Garden of Eden represents:
- PROVISION (which includes beauty, strength, relationship, life)
- PURPOSE (which includes identity, freedom, creativity)
- And most important of all, God’s PRESENCE. Because of this truth alone, The Garden of Eden was unlike any other garden on earth.
Throughout the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation we will discover God as a “Garden Planting God.”
We will see that “Blessing” involved being placed in a garden and the “Curse” was being removed from the Garden.
From earliest times, people have planted gardens for food, beauty, retreat and self-expression.
God created Adam from “Adamah.”The name “Adam” comes from the Hebrew Word “Adamah” (Ground or Land). This is why we have a special connection with the earth.
Most depictions of the Garden of Eden are like Paradise because of the Septuagint “Paradeisos” or Pleasure Park. The picture is that of an idyllic, carefree place where Adam and Eve whiled their time eating sweet fruit and frolicking with the animals.
The Book of Genesis paints a different picture: It is a plantation of Trees.
- Gen 2:9: And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
This verse describes a grove or orchard of beauty, sustenance, life and knowledge
The Garden is a place where humanity’s most basic needs and desires are satisfied.
It is where God provides for our need of beauty, physical nourishment, relationship with Him, and an understanding of how to live.
The fountainhead was so abundant that it could fill up 4 rivers.
It speaks of abundant provision for aesthetic, physical, and intellectual needs of the man so that He can fulfill the grand purpose to be God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27)
It also speaks of life in relationship with God and in connection with the world He has created.
Now Adam is created to care for, preserve, and release the potential of God’s creation. He is created to praise and worship God and He fulfills his purpose by naming the animals.
- Gen 2:18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” 19 Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature that was its name.”
According to Dr. Huntzinger from the book The Trees Will Clap Their Hands, Adam gained knowledge through observation, inquiry, analysis, establishing connections, looking at the past and what may yet exist in the future. C.S. Lewis says that “Knowing is studying everything that something can become”.
As Adam names the plants and animals, he was growing in his understanding of the Creator God. I can only imagine the conversations Adam had with God as they went through each animal in God’s creation and discussing all the aspects involved in its creation.
- Now here’s the takeaway: God wants to bring the Garden back to us.
When Adam and Eve sinned, they were banished from the Garden of Eden. God made a way through Jesus Christ. When we surrender our lives to the Lord, we will be brought back into a “Garden of Eden “experience with Him.
This reminds me a hymn entitled In The Garden. The first portion says:
“I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses,
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.
And He walks with me,
and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.”
Pastor Chito Cordero is Senior Pastor of Word International Ministries in Los Angeles located or WIN LA at 530 Benton Way in L.A. Ca 90057. For comments, please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. or wordinternational.com.