November 03, 2009

Outside the Garden

Genesis 3

So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden …
Genesis 3:23


Adam and Eve didn’t leave the garden on their own; God drove them out. And it was deadly. They began slowly dying outside of God’s presence. Why? They had refused to follow God’s simple, healthful instructions.

Imagine never doing your laundry, never cleaning your home, and never taking out your garbage. You may be able to put up with rotting garbage and legions of dust mites for a while, but eventually your home will become uninhabitable.

Adam and Eve’s disobedience brought contamination into God’s presence. Consciously polluting your only source of life isn’t a courageous act of liberation— it is folly. So the Lord evicted Adam and Eve from the only home they knew, the only place that could ever be their true home. A flaming sword blocked their return. Outside of God’s presence Adam and Eve were like fish out of water.

God banished Adam and Eve from the garden so they couldn’t eat the tree of life. As sinners, they were not ready for abundant life. But the tree of life has not disappeared. It continues to flourish in God’s presence (Revelation 22:2). One day Adam and Eve’s descendants will eat from it and live forever. But you can approach that tree only through Jesus Christ, Adam’s greatest Son. Believe in him and be forever home in God’s presence.

I need you, Lord; I need you every hour. By your Spirit give me new life in your presence. Feed me and shape me to be like Jesus till I am tainted by sin no more. In his name, Amen.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

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