(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
We are still in the garden of Eden:
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man be- came a living being. And the LORD God planted a garden east- ward 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. (Genesis 2:15 through 17)
It was a place of perfection! For when God finished His creative work, we are told in Genesis 1:31, “…God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.” Four words or phrases stand out (referenced in Brown, Driver, Brigg’s Hebrew Definitions):
- everything – Hebrew, כּוֹל (pronounced kole) meaning “…all, the whole…totality, everything….”
- He had made – Hebrew, עָשָׂה (pronounced aw-saw’) meaning “…to do, work, make produce…act with effect…put in order….”
- very – Hebrew, מְאֹד (pronounced meh-ode’) meaning “…exceedingly, much….”
- good – Hebrew, טוֹב (pronounced tobe) meaning “…good, pleasant, agreeable…excellent (of its kind)….”
The idea being conveyed is, what God had created could not have been better! It was perfect for its intended purpose – to testify to the goodness, power, and glory of its Creator!
It says in Genesis 2:8 and 15 that within that perfect creation,, “The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden….Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.”
- According to Genesis 2:16, “…the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat.”
✡ The emphasis here is on food because that was the chief need of man. ✡ There was no need for clothes in that controlled environment (see Genesis 2:25). ✡ There was total peace among all created beings, shown by the reinstatement of such peace in the description of God’s future kingdom in Isaiah 11:6 through 9. ✡ Death and sickness were not yet experienced be- cause sin, with its deadly results, were not yet introduced into the creation! (see Isaiah 1L4-6).
- The LORD God had supplied in that garden everything that was needed for life and living! It was the perfect environment for humankind (man being God’s highest creation).
But Eden was also a place of testing human beings’ free will to choose – choosing between the LORD God and self! And there was only one prohibition given to Adam, in Genesis 2:17: “…but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
- Adam disobeyed and ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil!
...when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. (Genesis 3:6) ✡ Why is Adam blamed for messing up humanity with sin and not Eve? As Paul said in I Corinthians 15:22, “...in Adam all die....” ➔ Genesis 3:6 says that when Eve ate, Adam was with her! He saw the serpent tempt his wife. He saw that Eve gave in and ate the fruit. He did not stop her or intercede for her. He willingly ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil when Eve of- fered it to him! ➔ As it says in I Timothy 2:14, “...Adam was not deceived, but the woman...[was] deceived ....” Adam sinned with his eyes wide open! ✡ Eden was the place where sin and death were first manifested! But according to Genesis 5:3 through 5 Adam did not die for many hundreds of years! (I wrote concerning this in the Gem of August 23, called Getting High – II): When Adam, tempted by his wife, Eve (see Genesis 3:6) ate of that for- bidden tree, he died – spiritually! ➔ He didn’t die physically for many more years (see Genesis 5:5). ➔ But He died in spirit immediately upon dis- obeying God! That death is shown in Genesis 3:8, when, “...they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden...[they] hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God ....” ➔ Spiritual death is separation from the LORD God!
- Adam, being the federal head of the human race, passed that rebellious sin nature and the death that it caused (both spiritual and physical) to every son and daughter born since then! (see Romans 5:12). And if that dilemma is not rectified in this life…
✡ ...by the individual placing his or her faith in Jesus Christ as the only Savior... ✡ ...that one will be eternally separated from God in hell!
Eden is where the LORD God made momentous announcements!
- First to Satan (incarnate in the serpent) in Genesis 3:14: “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.”
✡ Apparently the serpent was originally an upright creature (or at least was mobile upon legs). ✡ The serpent was also an intelligent creature and could talk. For Eve was not surprised by its con- versing with her.
- Genesis 3:15 (also said to Satan): “And 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.” (This verse is referred to (in Latin) as the protoevangelium or the first mention of the gospel.)
✡ The seed of the serpent are those who are the offspring of Satan (every unsaved person – see John 8:44; I John 3:8-10)! That “...seed...shall bruise His [Christ’s] heel....,” not a blow unto permanent death, for Jesus rose from the dead! ✡ The seed of the woman is ultimately the Lord Jesus, who has victory over the devil! (see Hebrews 2:14; I John 3:8).
- Then 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 days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field, in the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return. ✡ Mankind has toiled for the necessities of life ever since! And... ✡ ...death has continued to plague all of the LORD God’s creation!
- Finally, the LORD God made this announcement to the other two Persons of the Godhead:
“Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil [but incapable of doing the good]. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever...” (Genesis 2:22).
Genesis 2:23 and 24:
...therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.
- Being banished from the garden of Eden (and from the tree of eternal life) is actually a manifestation of God’s grace! God forbid that human beings, now capable of the most atrocious sins, should live eternally (think of Hitler or Bin Laden)!
- Spiritually weaponized angels guarded the way back into Eden so that any human being who might try to make it back to the tree of life would immediately die!
The garden of Eden was likely destroyed by the Genesis flood (see Genesis chapters 6 -9).
We will not again experience an Edenic environment
until we are in God’s fully manifested kingdom!