September 02, 2023

Our First Home

Genesis 2:8-23

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

—  Genesis 2:15

In the beginning, there was no reason to leave home because humanity lived in paradise. The garden God had created provided everything needed for human flourishing. Even work in the garden was fulfilling and comfortable. The Bible pictures God’s extravagant care as a free gift of grace for his creatures.

From the world’s beginning, God offered us human beings a place to live in his presence with everything we needed. We could delight in God’s being with us, and we could enjoy being at home with ourselves before God.

So why would we ever leave? As the Bible portrays it, one essential element of our sense of home is contentment, an ability to rest in God’s care for us. So when God sets limits, such as a tree from which we may not eat, can we trust that this is for our good? As we will see, humans find it difficult to be content. We prefer instead to make our own way, to find a place where we can follow our own desires. And we forever run away from the perfect home with God.

But ever since we left the garden, we have been spiritually thirsty, longing for those rivers overflowing with God’s created goodness. Only in his Son, Jesus, does God offer a return to contentment. Will you follow him home today?

Lord, we find it hard to rest in your extravagant grace and provision. Forgive us. Help us to be content. Give us rest in the finished work of Christ that brings us home with you. Amen.

About the author — Joel Vande Werken

Joel Vande Werken has been a pastor since 2007, serving churches in Sussex, New Jersey, and in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Brandie, have five young children.

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