Tag Archives: garden of Eden

It Started in the Garden

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“And the Lord commanded the man, saying: ‘You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’….So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.”  Genesis 2:16-3:6

Disobedience is almost as old as humankind.  God created Adam and Eve and gave them only one restriction — do not eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  One commandment and almost immediately they disobey it!

Why?  The serpent sows doubt in Eve’s mind.  Maybe God didn’t really mean what He said;  maybe she misunderstood Him; maybe God has some ulterior motive that is for His benefit, not hers.  Plus, the fruit really looked good, and she was hungry.

Nothing has really changed. I know at times I apply the same faulty reasoning that Eve did.  It’s hard to discern God’s will;  times have changed, and some of God’s rules seem outdated and unnecessary;  that sin is really attractive, and I don’t see how it would hurt me;  and the big one — can I really trust God?

I think it all boils down to trust.  The Bible tells us:

“…for those who love God all things work together for good, …”Romans 8:29

If we trust in this promise, we’ll try to obey God’s rules.  They are given to us for our benefit.  The things that seem unclear, that seem unreasonable, that deprive us of what looks good or feels pleasurable will only hurt us in the long run.  Of course, like our first parents, we’ll still disobey.  We’ll fall short.  We’ll miss the mark.  God provided for that, too.

“Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness (Christ’s) leads to justification and life for all men.”  Romans 5:18

Disobedience started in the garden;  it’s results ended in Christ.  Trust God who works all things for our good.

 

 

 

 

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Free to the Max

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I couldn’t let the month go by without at least one book recommendation, so here goes.

While on vacation I have been reading, A Touch of Freedom-Meditations of Freedom in Christ, by Charles Stanley.  It’s a 30 day devotional on the subject of freedom.  Each devotion includes a Bible verse, meditation by Dr. Stanley, and a photograph(also taken by Dr. Stanley).  For those of us who are more visual, this is a real bonus.

 

Here’s a quote from a devotion entitled Maximum Freedom:

 

“Whereas our world teaches us that freedom is gained through throwing off all restraint, the Scriptures teach that the opposite is true.  Human being forfeited a great deal of their freedom in their attempt to gain absolute freedom.  As we begin to put two and two together, it becomes increasingly clear that freedom is gained and maintained by adherence to God’s laws.  Just as a good father sets loving limitations for his children, so the heavenly Father sets moral and ethical perimeters for us.”

 

The meditation makes the point that in the beginning, in the Garden of Eden, God gave man maximum freedom.  There was only one rule to follow:  other than that, the man and woman were totally free to enjoy themselves in loving relationships with each other and God.  When they broke that rule they became much less free—now they were slaves to sin and death.

 

If you want to spend more time in God’s word meditating about freedom, this book is a good choice.  Let us know if you like it.

 

A Quote from G.K. Chesterton

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This is a quote from G.K. Chesterton’s book, The Everlasting Man.

On the third day the friends of Christ coming at daybreak to the place found the grave empty and the stone rolled away. In varying ways they realized the new wonder; but even they hardly realized that the world had died in the night. What they were looking at was the first day of a new creation, with a new heaven and a new earth; and in a semblance of the gardener God walked again in the garden, in the cool not of the evening but the dawn.

I have to admit, I haven’t read this book, but the quote makes me want to read it.  What an interesting insight into the resurrection. In a recent Bible study we came to the following passage from Romans 8:19-20

“The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.  For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage of decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.”

Sometimes we forget that just as we were tarnished by sin, so was the entire world and everything in it.  So the resurrection does not just offer hope to us, but to everything God created.

Has anyone following the blog read this book by Chesterton?  What can you tell us?