And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers. The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there. The name of the second river is the Gihon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Cush. And the name of the third river is the Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Ge 2:8–17).
Do you have a place that you would call “The Greatest Place on Earth?”
I have several. I like Disney World pretty good, especially when I get to take my grandson’s. I like Paradise Island, especially when my whole family gets to join us. I like Lake Tenkiller. It is a beautiful lake about an hour from me. It is built in the Cookson Hills of Oklahoma. The water is the clearest lake water I have ever seen. That is a great place. I really enjoy it when my whole family can get together on the deck of our lake house. I like Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The countryside is breathtaking. Your first glance as you land is rolling plush green hills. But I think it is the people who keep me going back.
Adam got to call the greatest place on earth “Home”. The Garden of Eden
“Come Adam, I want to show you around your new home,” The Creator beckoned the creation. He had created such beauty in the Garden. He had caused so many pleasing trees to spring up. The Creator had taken such care with each detail in this garden. Every tree was pleasant to look at. The colors of each flower spanned the spectrum. Adam could hardly take it all in. He couldn’t believe the Lord God had done all this. This was his home. Lord God had put him here. The Creator did everything with such purpose. Adam had to touch, he had to feel, he had to smell, and he had to taste. Every sense had been awakened at that first breath the Creator had breathed in to him. God took Adam to the Pishon River. He enjoyed watching Adam walk barefoot on the purest gold. Adam picked up a stone of onyx with such curiosity. The Creator laughed and shined it up for Adam to take with him. The pair, Creator and his creation, wound their way back to the center of the garden. They came upon two trees. “You may eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die,” The Lord God commanded Adam. God put Adam in this beautiful place to work it and to keep it.
Everything the Lord does has purpose. He sees the big picture.
I can’t even imagine what that very first walk around the garden must have been like for Adam. So much to take in. The beauty of it can’t even be described. Adam took a guided tour with the Lord God through Eden! He walked where the purest gold was just lying on the surface. He came across waterfalls and trees and flowers of every known species. God enjoyed His creation and He enjoyed His creature.
God showed Adam His great love.
God gave Adam a home.
God gave Adam food.
God gave Adam beauty.
God gave Adam a purpose.
And God gave Adam boundaries.
This is the Creator’s great care. This is how it was before boundaries were crossed and commandments broken.
So the Lord God caused another tree to grow up in a different barren garden, Calvary’s tree. This is the tree that would restore desolate places and mend the broken relationship between Creator and the creature.