January 8–An Extravagant and Generous Gift

Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden…And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

A river watering the garden flowed from Eden…

The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”

Genesis 2:8-10, 15-17

 Oh! I cannot even begin to imagine the beauty that must have been the Garden of Eden! Beautiful trees—pleasing to the eyes—laden with a never-ending abundance of food to eat. A river running right through this magnificent place to bring life-nourishing, refreshing, cleansing water to all its living inhabitants. The sights, the sounds, the smells, the tastes, the feel of that Garden must have been absolutely breath-taking to Adam and Eve! And why not? They had all been generously, lavishly, lovingly given by the One who had given them “the breath of life.” (Genesis 2:7)

The LORD God also gave His people the honor of working in and caring for this beautiful garden He had created. This place of perfection and peace was to be where God’s people found, fully joined together, their purpose, their sensual joy and their every life need supplied in over-flowing abundance.

This was not a survival of the fittest scenario. The Garden of Eden was given to God’s people from the generous heart of the Almighty, Sovereign God who is also the Loving and Intimate Abba. 

And the LORD God gave man another extravagant and generous gift: God gave the gift of CHOICE to His created people.

The LORD God had made His choice: He wanted His people to live—always and forever—in intimate relationship with Him. And to that end, the LORD God had placed the tree of life in the middle of the garden to feed His people and proclaim His love for them…and His desire for them to choose life.

And the LORD God had made His choice: He wanted His people to respond to His intimate love and to His sovereign authority by obeying His Word. And to that end, the LORD God had placed the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the middle of the garden.

Because true love and faithful obedience are only significant and real if there is a choice.

The LORD God had made both male and female in His image (Genesis 1:27) —and part of that meant that humans were made to be reasoning, thinking, living beings. They were not made to be robots hard-wired and intricately programmed to do only very specific, no-passion, no-choice actions. No.

The LORD God had given man that extravagant and generous gift of CHOICE.  

Because true love and faithful obedience are only significant and real if there is a choice.

We know our first ancestors made the wrong choice. Adam and Eve made the choice to act as if they were not subject to God’s Sovereign Authority. They disobeyed God’s command. They ignored, twisted and rebelled against God’s Word. They turned their backs on God’s gift of Life. They dismissed the Intimacy of God’s presence with them.

We do the same (at least I know I do)…in some way on a daily basis—even we who have already been redeemed by the holy blood of our Lord Jesus, who is the Word of God.  

Oh! May we each run into the arms of our Almighty, Sovereign LORD, our Loving, Intimate Abba! May we run into His life-giving, protective arms so we may seek His presence and obey His Word for every choice we make!

We won’t experience the perfection and peace—the full joining together again of our purpose, our sensual joy and our every life need supplied in over-flowing abundance—until we enter into God’s eternal kingdom.  

But! I am convinced that the more we make the very real and significant choice to love our God through seeking His presence, listening to and obeying His Word, the closer our lives and our very souls experience the intimacy and abundance that flows from the heart of God to His children…a little bit of Eden on earth. 

We have been given an extravagant and generous gift.

What CHOICE—what very significant and real choice—will you…will I…make to love and obey the LORD?

In love, peace and purposeful passion,                                                               Sylane