(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
It all happened in a garden! Not a single garden, mind you, but what affected the history of mankind happened in different gardens! We will start with the first garden mentioned in the Bible, the Garden of Eden! As to what happened there, I begin with five verses from Genesis chapter two, verses 8 and 9, and verses 15 through 17:
The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. 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....Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 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.
The Garden of Edan was the perfect place that supplied abundantly all the needs of man:
- Food – “…the LORD God made every tree grow that is…good for food.” God provided a perfect vegetarian diet for our first parents! It wasn’t until after the flood of Noah’s time that the LORD added meat to the human diet (see Genesis 9:2, 3).
✡ It says of Adam and Eve in Genesis 2:25, “And they were both naked...and were not ashamed...,” implying that the temperature was constant and comfortable. ➔ This was perhaps achieved by a layer of water vapor covering the earth. Genesis 1:7 tells us, “Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament.” ➔ The waters which were above would have consis- ted of invisible water vapor such as make up the visible ice crystals of clouds. ✡ There was no rain yet, “...but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.” (Genesis 2:5). ✡ The animals of Eden were herbivores, as were Adam and Eve. ➔ Genesis 1:29 and 30: And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed...and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”.... ➔ It was when sin entered the world that carnivor- ous activity was introduced into the animal king- dom. Meat-eating meant the killing of animals! ➔ Isaiah 11:7 says that in the coming Kingdom where Edenic conditions once more reign, “The cow and the bear shall graze...the lion shall eat straw like the ox...,” a return to herbivorous living! ➔ But human consumption of meat didn’t happen until after the flood. In Genesis 9:3 and 4, God said to Noah, “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given all things, even as the green herb. But you shall not eat the flesh with its...blood.” ✡ All creation lived in perfect and peaceful harmony in Eden. Isaiah 11:6 through 9 describes some creature characteristics of the coming Messianic Kingdom, a return to the original conditions: The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leop- ard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down to- gether; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the vi- per’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.
- Manual labor
✡ Genesis 2:15 – “Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.” This implies meaningful and enjoyable labor! ✡ It was after their fall into sin that hard labor began! God told Adam in Genesis 3:17 through 19: Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the das of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth to you, and you shall eat the herb of the field, in the sweat of your face you shall eat bread....
✡ ...with another human being: ➔ Genesis 2:18 – “...the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.’” ➔ Genesis 2:22 – “Then...the LORD God...made...a woman, and He brought her to the man.” ➔ Genesis 2:23 – “And Adam said, ‘ This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man.” ✡ ...with God: We are told in Genesis 3:8, Adam and Eve “... heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day....” ➔ Many commentators with whom I checked suggest that this coming of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day was a common occurrence, even every evening! ➔ Our first parents had regular fellowship with their Creator!
All this, and so much more…
- …was lost through sin! Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden (see Genesis 3:23, 24) and lost all the Edenic good God had provided for them!
- …has been lost to all mankind because of the universal infection of sin! (see Romans 5:12).
- …is now REDEEMED (and will be fully restored) through the obedience of the second Adam, Jesus Christ! (see I Corinthians 15:45-49).
✡ The first promise of redemption was given in the Garden of Eden in Genesis chapter three, verse 15: To the ser- pent God said, “...I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” ✞ Redemption is described more fully in Revelation 21:3, 4, and 5:
And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away ev- ery tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful.”
Notice that the title of this Gem is Rule, Ruin, and Redemption! Obviously, all three words start with the letter R.
- And the first word is RUIN! Considering that which has been discussed above – what has it got to do with ‘RULE’? In Genesis 1:26 (1898 Young’s Literal Translation) we read:
And God saith, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness, and let them rule over fish of the sea, and over fowl of the heavens, and over cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that is creeping on the earth.”
- Man was to RULE over the earth as an ‘under-regent’ to the LORD God! But RUIN came when Adam lost that position by obeying Satan rather than God (see Genesis 2:16, 17; 3:6).
✞ In that one sinful decision, the RULE was transferred to Satan! That’s why the devil is called in II Corin- thians 4:4, “...the god of this world...” (see also Luke 4:5-7; John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). ✞ Since, in John 8:44 and 10:10, we learn that the devil is a murderer from the beginning, as well as a liar, and he only comes to steal, kill, and destroy – Satan’s RULE results in the RUIN of all the good things the LORD originally gave to man!
However, in Revelation 20:6 (International Standard Version), we have this promise: “How blessed and holy are those who participate in the first resurrection! The second death has no power over them. They will be priests of God and the Messiah, and will rule with him for a thousand years.” (see also Revelation 2:26, 27; 22:5).”
✞ This is the result of REDEMPTION! ✞ This is the work of Jesus! So...
Now…Let God RULE in your heart!
He will overcome the RUIN caused by Satan!
Then…You shall RULE and reign with Him!
For God has purchased REDEMTION through Jesus Christ!
We will delve more deeply into REDEMPTION in the next Gem called Redemption, Resurrection, and Radiance!