Today’s passage of Scripture is Genesis 2:15-17 which reads: “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
Allow me to share with you some commentary on this passage from the Reformation Study Bible edited by theologian R.C. Sproul: Man was to find fulfillment, not in idleness, but in a life of rewarding labor in obedience to God’s command. The Hebrew behind the term “keep it” also entails the notion of protecting it against enemies. God’s first words to man assume his ability to choose and his moral capacity and responsibility.This unique exclusion — “thou shalt not eat of it” — is an exception to man’s dominion over the creation, confronted him with the Creator’s rule over him.
Today’s quote about the Bible is from Charles Haddon Spurgeon. He said: “Some people like to read so many [Bible] chapters every day. I would not dissuade them from the practice, but I would rather lay my soul asoak in half a dozen verses all day than rinse my hand in several chapters. Oh, to be bathed in a text of Scripture, and to let it be sucked up in your very soul, till it saturates your heart!”
Our topic for today is titled: “The Relationships of Creation (Part 3)” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.
We have made three observations about the world as it was originally made.
- It had a temperate climate.
- Adam and Eve had a vegetarian diet.
- Adam and Eve did not fight weeds, thorns, and thistles.
Here are 3 more observations about the world as it was originally made:
1. Adam and Eve had a close relationship with God. Apparently every evening, they walked through the garden with God. I sometimes try to imagine what one of those walks would have been like, and the best I can come up with is Adam and Eve telling God what they had seen and learned that day. In my imagination, their times together had the freshness and excitement of a five-year-old telling her daddy what she learned in school.
2. Adam and Eve had a close relationship with one another. Eve was designed to complement her husband perfectly. Their strengths meshed and supported one another — and they knew it. As a result, there was no jealousy or competition as they worked together to do the job that God had given them.
3. Adam and Eve managed only a small part of the globe. How big was the garden? That is a question for which I have no answer. The text clearly indicates that it was a section of the world that had been specially planted in preparation for Adam. The implication was that the management zone would increase as the world population increased. The text also suggests that there were special animals in the garden that Adam named, but again we are not sure what this means. Clearly the garden was finite and relatively small, because after the Fall, they were expelled and the gates were guarded by cherubim. Given the extensive global remodeling implied by the Flood, I suspect the location of the garden is now a moot point.
When we look at the Fall, we will find that it points to four key areas of relationship that were broken. These broken relationships have left the world in the miserable shape we find it in today. Our attempt to understand what the world was like before those relationships were broken is somewhat analogous to our efforts to appreciate the beauty of classical Athens based on piecing together in our minds the ruined remnants. They will be unsatisfactory at best.