Summary: The Garden of Eden was ruined by the power of sin.
Ruining the Garden
October 2, 2005
When I was young my family would plant an annual garden. We started on Labor Day and cared for it all summer long. One of the jobs that was essential to having a good garden was weeding. I thought that pulling weeds was kind of a fun job because you got to tear stuff up. I took to the task with great enthusiasm. I would rip those weeds out with an absolute vengeance. They would be sorry that they were a part of our garden.
I will never forget one of the times that I was allowed to help pull weeds. My cousin thought it would be funny to show me the “right” weeds to pull. Unfortunately for me, what they showed me was not a weed but the actual plant. So I went down the row and pulled out virtually every one of the plants. Before I knew what was happening my uncle was yelling and trying to get me to stop. I was told that I was ruining the garden. At the end of the day, I was no longer pulling weeds and my cousin was replanting all of the “weeds” I had pulled up.
Why did I ruin the garden that day? I was tricked into doing it. I was told a lie and I believed it. I did something totally stupid just because I believed what was false. I wish I could say that was the only time I was deceived into doing something dumb. If you’re being honest with yourself, you’ve done some dumb things before too.
There are many ways that we get tricked
* A few drinks never hurt anybody
* No one will ever know
* It’s ok as long as no one gets hurt
* Try anything once
The sad part is that far too often we hear lies and believe them to be the truth. Lies that cause us to stumble are nothing short than demonic.
The Old Testament tells us of another lie that ruined a different garden. If you have your Bibles open them to Genesis 2:15-17
God’s Word is absolute and true
15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." Genesis 2:15-17
God had created Adam and placed him in the Garden of Eden. Eden was a place of spectacular beauty and is considered to be the best place on the entire earth. Eden would be as close to paradise as one could get.
Adam was placed in this ideal setting for two distinct reasons. The first was to work the garden. This means that Adam was to labor and make the garden his home. The second was to take care of it. The New King James translates this phrase as to keep. The Hebrew word actually means to guard or to protect. Why would Adam need to protect the garden?
Verse 17 gives us our answer. Adam was to protect the garden from the Tree of Knowledge. This was the only tree in the entire garden that was restricted from Adam. In fact, this was the only thing that was off limits to Adam. God provided everything Adam would ever need and gave only one condition for being in the garden.
God also clearly tells Adam what will happen if he disobeys: You will surely die. This is strong language but what exactly is God saying here? After all dead is dead. You cannot die more than once. God is saying that Adam would die a double portion of death. There would be two different deaths that Adam would experience. There would be a spiritual death that would end the relationship that Adam had with God and this would be immediate. The second death would be a physical death later. God is clear here, Adam would die spiritually and physically. It was the total death experience.
Never trade God’s truth for a lie
1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, `You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?" 2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, `You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ " 4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." 6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Genesis 3:1-6