February 04, 2006

East of Eden

Genesis 3:14-24

[God] placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword ... Genesis 3:24


The Heidelberg Catechism, a historic creed of the church, describes our core problem as misery. But what does it mean to be miserable? Is misery a matter of living in a squalid hut in a poor country? If so, many of us are anything but miserable. Some drive new cars, others eat in good restaurants, and a few take cruises on the Caribbean every January. Yet none of these things really satisfies. Deep inside, no matter where we live, we sense we are out of synch with life's design. The original German word for "misery" in the Catechism literally means "homesickness." That names our problem. Our true misery isn't an inability to amuse ourselves with the best the world has to offer. Our true misery is that we have become a people without a country. We are cut off from our native land and are longing to go home. Meant to dwell in God's Garden, we've been banished "east of Eden." "East of Eden" is not a pleasant place to live. "East of Eden" is a place filled with "thorns and thistles." "East of Eden" we work hard but find that the problems of life still choke our joy and satisfaction. We need to get back to the Garden. We need to go home to God. And the only way back is by way of Christ, the Savior, who now rules from God's throne (Ephesians 1:20-23; Revelation 22:3).

Lord, we desperately want to go home. By your Spirit, make us citizens of your kingdom. Help us show each day our true commitment to Christ. In his name, Amen.

About the author — Bob Heerspink

Dr. Robert Heerspink was director of Back to God Ministries International from 2006 until 2011, when he passed away. He had previously pastored several Christian Reformed churches. Bob loved to write and was a frequent contributor to the Today devotional.

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