Summary: This looks at the original terms and conditions in the Bible and what happened when they were violated
Terms and Conditions in the Beginning
Until 1991 I don’t think I ever heard the words “Terms and Conditions”, at least not together, and then I installed my first software package and I had to “Click here”.
And over the past 27 years, I've probably clicked on a million Terms and Conditions boxes, I just made up that number. And you probably have as well.
So, what are terms and conditions? Well, here is the definition that we will be using over the next several weeks: ??Terms and Conditions: are rules by which one must agree to abide in order to use a service.
And the service might be software that you are installing, or a website you are visiting, or content you are downloading.
But regardless of what the service might be, there are rules that you’re expected to follow if you avail yourself of that service.
But have you ever stopped and read the Terms and Conditions that you are agreeing to? Probably not, after all not only are they daunting but they are quite voluminous as well. That means long.
When you clicked to agree to your iTunes account you were saying that you had read the 19,972 words of the contract and that you agreed with them. The iTunes terms and conditions are longer than Shakespeare's Macbeth.
But that pales in contrast to what you agreed to if you are a PayPal user. The PayPal terms and conditions, that you said you read and agreed to, are 36,275 words long, that’s the equivalent of 10 of my sermons and longer than Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
But those who wrote the PayPal terms must not have read Hamlet and if they did they must have missed the line from Polonius when he says, “Since brevity is the soul of wit / And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes, I will be brief…”
This summer, as I was about to click and agree to a new set of Terms and Conditions I realized that it’s not just with software, iPhones and websites where we are required to play by the rules. The Bible is full of examples of terms and conditions.
This morning we are starting at the beginning, which is usually a good place to start. The scripture that was read for us earlier today, lays out the Terms and Conditions that God laid down for the first couple in the Garden of Eden.
Let’s pick up the story in Genesis 2:15 The LORD God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it.
Remember the definition we started with, Terms and Conditions: are rules by which one must agree to abide in order to use a service.
So let’s start with The Service
What was the expected here? Well, if you know the story, God had created the first man and first woman, Adam and Eve. And they were placed into a perfect world to live and to have fellowship with God. God placed them in a perfect world and it would appear that in that perfect world God had provided everything the couple needed.
They lived in a beautiful garden in fellowship with their creator. We don't know exactly where the Garden of Eden is or was, although some have tried to guess
First of all the Garden was situated in an area called Eden, so the Garden was not all of Eden, It was just a part of Eden.
The garden we are told was filled with trees and not just any trees we are told they were beautiful, and they produced delicious fruit, which tells us that God wasn’t just concerned with the practical but also with the aesthetics.
And if we pull down a map here, we are also told that the Garden was watered by a river that eventually became four rivers, today we know about the Pishon and the Tigris and the Euphrates, we don’t know where the Gihon may have flowed but with the other three we can guess that Eden may have been about here.
However, with the changes that would have happened to the geography after the great flood, we really don't know. We're not even a hundred percent sure what the climate was like, but considering we are told in Genesis 2:25 Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame. We have to assume that it wasn't Nova Scotia weather.
As a matter of fact, we have a photo of what many people feel is the entrance to paradise. (show pic of Grand Manan)
And after God had created them he had given them pretty explicit instructions of what he wanted them to do he said in Genesis 1:28 we read Genesis 1:28 Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. . .”