Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: God plants a tree in the Garden to begin His plan of Redemption

Genesis 2:4-17; 3:1-15

November 28, 2012

In the first chapter we saw that God made everything and called it “good,” but this third chapter changes everything; one act of disobedience subjects everything good to the curse of sin and death. If you’ve ever wondered why the world is filled with so much evil, all you need to do is read this account from Genesis:

These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, 5And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. 6But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. 7And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.8And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. 10And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. 11The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; 12And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. 13And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. 14And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates. 15And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17But 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.

Why does God plant this tree in the garden at all? Doesn’t He know they’ll eat from it? Doesn’t He know they’ll fall into sin and that every good thing will be ruined? This shines a light on the purpose of life and human history—God isn’t hoping by chance that some people will accept His free offer; He created the Garden and Adam and Eve, and He also created Satan and that tree. Satan had no access to earth unless God gave it to him, and God could have popped in at any moment to stop Eve or to remind her He was watching, but this all happens according to God’s specific plan (Prov. 16:4).

Why would He do this, and what possible purpose could it serve?

What if I said that human history is God’s proof of His love for us, His people? What if this is all to show us definitely that He will never leave us nor forsake us. Though we be dead, yet shall we live in Christ (Jn. 11:25)! Though we leave Him, yet He will find us (Lk. 15)! Though we forsake the covenant and break His laws yet will He be faithful (II Tim. 2:13) and write His laws on our hearts and in our minds, and He will be our God (Heb. 10:16)!

Think about it: God knows everything before it happens—He’s even planned and ordained it all. Why wouldn’t He just create everything in heaven from the beginning without Satan or sorrow? Why not just jump straight to the good stuff and skip all the bad? Was God too weak? Did He lack foresight?

No! But we see His love firsthand this way: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (Jn. 15:13). Eternity won’t be God trying to communicate His love to us because He’s already done that. Instead we’ll see what John saw: “a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 10And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. 11And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, 12Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen” (Rev. 7:9-12).

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