Summary: God created man and planted a garden for him in Eden. What lessons can I learn about what God expects of me from what God did for Adam?
Someone once wrote a poem about their garden:
"Our radishes are puny things;
Our peas and beans are dying;
And as for the potatoes, well, those things aren't even trying
And that's the way our garden grows -
I tell myself, "Who needs it?"
But down inside, it hurts to have it bite the hand... that WEEDS it."
APPLY: I once read that more money is spent on gardening than on any other hobby! People seem to like the idea of growing something with their own bare hands.
I’m not one of them.
I don’t like to garden.
The idea of having to contend with weeds and bugs... and rabbits and deer and coons, is more than I want to mess with.
But.. as much as I am not into gardening, I think I would have enjoyed the Garden of Eden. I believe I could have enjoyed tending that paradise. Because this wasn’t your normal garden.
Before the fall, this garden would have been enjoyable experience. And I know that because - after Adam and Eve sinned – the Bible tells me things changed for them. When they lost the garden they came under a curse, and God told Adam part of the curse was this:
"...cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field." Gen. 3:17-18 ESV
In other words: Before the Fall, gardening was pretty much a piece of cake for Adam and Eve. The ground “cooperated” with them. There were no thorns or thistles... no weeds to mess with. I’m suspecting they didn’t have to worry about things like mosquitos and black bugs and other things that could bite them.
In addition: The word EDEN meant “pleasure” because Eden was literally a garden of pleasure.
I can picture how life was in the Garden of Eden.
· Collecting food for lunch or dinner.
· Putting down their bowls once in a while to pick a strawberry here... or a blueberry there for a treat.
· Pruning a few branches from the branches and trees as they walked along.
· Maybe taking a swim in a lake fed by a small waterfall.
· Perhaps playing hide and go seek with a few of the woodland animals.
· And then as evening came on... walking and talking with God as they made their way thru the garden.
That would have been a pleasurable existence.
But there was work that had to be done.
Genesis 2:15 says
“The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”
In other words, there was more to being in the garden than picking berries and playing with the woodland animals. Adam was placed in the Garden to WORK. To be productive. To do something worthwhile with his life. Adam was called by God to take care of something that was important to God.
With that thought in our minds, I want you to turn to Ephesians 2:10
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Now think about this:
1. God CREATED Adam in His own image
Ephesians 2 says that when we became Christians we became God’s workmanship CREATED in Christ Jesus.
2. God PREPARED a something for Adam to do.
And Ephesians 2 says that God has PREPARED in advance good works for us to do.
When I read Ephesians 2:10 I have this image in my mind. I visualize God preparing a secret garden just for me. It’s a garden filled with all kinds of good things for me to do. And I have the key to the gate.
And I know that when I do those good things my life is productive. It has meaning. And I know I’m doing someting that is important to God.
Just as God prepared the Garden just for Adam and Eve each of us has a garden of good things designed JUST FOR US that gives life meaning! This garden is designed specifically for you. God created these good works with you in mind – for your personality, your character, your particular strengths and weakenesses. And no one else can do those good works quite like you can... because THIS garden was created just for you. And you have the key.
And there are lessons I can learn about MY garden from things I can learned about the Garden of Eden.
The 1st thing I learned was this – God never gives me more to do than I can handle.
Genesis 1:27-28 tell us
“God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’"