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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: pt 50 Where is Eden?

At the end of Genesis 3 it is written,

“therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.” (Genesis 3:23-24)

So, where is Eden? 

If it existed, and certainly it did or else the whole of Genesis is in question… Where is it? Surely it didn’t vanish. What happened to the angels guarding the entrance to it and what happened to the tree of life?

There have been films with heroes and villains searching for the holy grail, the elixir if life and yes, the tree of eternal life. But unlike the proverbial cinematic quest, the tree has never been found. Where is the garden?

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective.

GOD has given us our brains to question

It is vital that we question, probe, contemplate, seek answers and I wholeheartedly believe GOD loves our questions as part of our relationship with Him. And there is no question too shallow or too deep, in which He cannot take delight and that He cannot answer.

And so I challenge you as I was challenged recently, to look at the Cherubim — the angels; to look at the flaming sword which turned every way — the gateway, and ask: 

“LORD, where is Eden now?”

A very intriguing series of 4 online lectures, which leads to scientific answers, discussing angels, dimensions, and portals, offers serious and intriguing answers. The first is here.

This is not New Age stuff but a GOD loving and fearing speaker named Chuck Missler discussing how physics and faith meet the scriptures to reveal how what is unseen exists — both how and where.

Feel free to watch these, to dialogue with me at sarahtun@laruspress or on this platform in Comments below.

Every blessing,

Sarah

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY pt 44: Evil entices Eve

Evil entices Eve?

“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”

“And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” (Genesis 3:1-3)

The cunning serpent engaged with Eve and asked her a question. Innocent Eve engaged with him by answering. She shared her heart; he was keen to capture her heart. Motivation is key to what is good and what is evil.

Satan wanted to entrap Eve. Eve was Adam’s helper, and so it is reasonable to conclude that she wanted to help him. But she got distracted.

Let us not get distracted

Eve said she couldn’t even touch the fruit! This was an exaggeration. Rather than thinking it was a lie, I reckon Eve believed what she said: if she touched that fruit, she would die!

When Satan heard her exaggeration, and saw her intensity, he used it against her. He sowed doubt.

Genesis 3:4-5 says, “Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

I wonder that his voice wasn’t soothing (manipulative) and calm, stroking her with words that would entice her with his false gentleness in contrast to GOD’s awesome and frightening power.

Remember, “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) tells us we are made to fear GOD. 

Don’t touch!

Perhaps Eve touched the fruit. It’s logical to imagine that she looked, and touched it to test the danger. Then, when she didn’t die, perhaps she concluded the perceived threat was unfounded. 

When Eve “saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.” (Genesis 3:6)

Eve got distracted, thought and doubted the danger. Then in her attempt to be helpful, she put Adam first before GOD, inviting him to eat. 

The consequence of this was absolute mayhem!

The cunning serpent, who’s motive was to destroy GOD’s Creation, distracted Eve from her calling to help her husband and enticed her to doubt GOD. Eve, desiring to be helpful to Adam, tested GOD’s word and found it wanting. She chose to follow the voice of the serpent and her own inner desire, rather than to trust GOD’s warning.

Adam’s fall

Satan engaged with Eve; he set her up. Adam was present and allowed her to be deceived. He observed, he took the fruit and ate as she had eaten. 

What was his motivation? I think Adam didn’t want to lose Eve. Just as she prioritised Adam over GOD, so did Adam put Eve first rather than GOD. The rest, as the cliche goes, is history.

More about Adam next week.

Blessings and prayers for ourselves… Let’s keep ourselves on the mission the LORD has given us, without getting distracted from our major task which is to love and obey the Father of Life.

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY pt 36 Rivers!

Water Water Water flows…

Genesis 2:11-12 says, “The name of the first [river] is Pishon; it is the one which skirts the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good. Bdellium and the onyx stone are there.”

I’ve just been listening to this song: Let it Rain and if you believe the LORD sets up our circumstances to speak to us, then He’s talking to me about rain, waterfall, rivers…. I become thirsty and joyful just thinking about this!

Next, I think of the verse from Psalm 119:136,

“Rivers of water run down from my eyes, because men do not keep Your law.” This is so tragic.

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective. 

Water, Rivers, Oceans…

I believe the LORD loves water which offers refreshing: it is purity and clarity, it sustains life and washes away death. 

I believe the LORD knew where man would wander before He even created him. And yet, He created him nevertheless. 

I believe the LORD knew we would need refreshing and cleansing. So He built in the system physically and morally even before our immortality was established and then lost.

I believe the LORD knew He would rescue us: we would need it and He would offer it. The water is symbolic of this rescue just as much as it is symbolic of the Holy Spirit.

The River Water in Eden

Rivers are fresh water which flow naturally, unhindered, offering life wherever they flow.

The Pishon River went round the whole land, even where there was gold and jewels. How beautiful the scene must have been!

GOD’s Creation is Beautiful

There was and is perfection in everything GOD has created. The beauty and life of Creation are beyond words to share adequately. The detail is profound. We can only imagine… I am overwhelmed in the imagining of it!

He provides in His word enough detail to enable us to imagine it all. He provides guidance through this Word: to keep the Law and then to walk in His fulfilment of it through Jesus. And throughout Biblical history there are those who mourn the weaknesses of humanity, calling us back to our centre: to our Creator. All of this is through the leadership of our GOD of love.

Today’s text

There will be theologians and Biblical historians who are much more learned and sophisticated than am I. They would guide as to the significance of this first of four rivers, the River Pishon. They would be able to illuminate for us the significance of Havilah, of the gold, the bdellium and the onyx stone. And praise GOD for these people.

However, I simply want to take in (and to share with you) the splendour, the detail, and the life-quenching power of this river and its surrounding environment. This says to me profoundly, GOD is our Provider and He will always provide for our needs: sustenance, beauty, and peace. He shares this truth with us through the poetry of Creation itself. In turn, this even encourages us to be poetic, to express our thanksgiving fully, freely, creatively.

Hallelujah! Let it Rain! GOD is with us and will never leave us nor forsake us.

Shalom and GOD Bless…

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY pt 33 Eden (part 2)

A Garden

The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” (Genesis 2:8-9)

The essence of this garden?

Every fibre in my being suggests, when I read reference here to Eden, that it is a quiet and peaceful place, full of trees, full of sunlight, full. It is eastward — but in relation to what that is westward? And why is it full of trees? Not flowers or waterfalls or animals are mentioned, all possible aspects of an idyllic world.

Why did GOD create Eden?

How spontaneous is GOD? Did He have a plan for man and Eden? Or did things just happen?

It is likely that Eden was special if not completely unique. The whole earth may have been damaged by the fall of Satan, which was “like lightning from heaven.” (Luke 10:18) Perhaps Eden was a part of the earth that had not been damaged or…. less likely, perhaps the LORD reestablished it to its Creation state at some point before creating Adam. In either case, Eden was unique: guarded by angels, full of trees bearing luscious fruit. And therein were two particular trees: one of Life, the other of Knowledge of good and evil.

In that beautiful garden was complete freedom, total bliss for every living creature therein. Eden is peace, Eden is rest, Sabbath Rest, daily today and for eternity. An Eden existence is what was intended for mankind; that is what we are drawn back to when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.

“Be anxious for nothing…” (Philippians 4:6)

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective. 

In Eden lies the future of mankind

Eden represents the opportunity for a peaceful mental state. In Eden is our spiritual place of rest. In Eden is our life — abundant life without strife, without antagonism, with harmony and grace, love, joy… and peace.

Eden was a real garden. It is also a symbol and a destination of the heart and of the mind. We are in a tug-of-war between our will and GOD’s, between our residence and Eden.

A friend recently said when she prays, she “meets Jesus in the garden.” That garden is the garden of our hearts! When our hearts are pure, we are as though we are in Eden.

Where Adam fits in

GOD created beauty. He created life. He created opportunity: eternal life or knowledge of good and evil; a walk with GOD or a walk without Him. Adam didn’t know the detail, he wasn’t given the detail. 

Adam was presented a choice: to remain in his current state, or to discover knowledge to be “as GOD” — he chose the latter and that, we shall unpack in the third and final part of our look at Eden

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

GOD’S STORY: pt 32 Eden (part 1)

A Garden, A Man and Two Trees

The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” (Genesis 2:8-9)

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective. 

EDEN: A Garden, A Man, two particular Trees

So, why did GOD create Eden, put in it a man, and two particular trees?

GOD gave Adam choice.

Did He know Man would choose to ignore GOD, follow the woman, who would follow Satan?

Here is the crux of the Creation Story

GOD created beauty. He created life. He created opportunity: eternal life or knowledge of good and evil; a walk with GOD or a walk without Him.

In Satan, long before the time of Man, came self-seeking, vanity, evil. So Satan fell from grace and took a third of the other angels with him. (See Ezekiel 28)

Then we have Creation, and Satan lures Man and Woman from GOD. 

And what does GOD do?

He sacrifices — kills to create clothing to cover Man’s shame. He allows Adam’s life to continue, albeit without immortality and outside the Garden.

Why?

Perhaps the best perspective I can possibly offer is that of a parent. GOD is Father, Adam is His son. And as a father, GOD gives grace to His son. Also like a wise and loving parent, there are consequences to disobedience. Adam failed to protect Eve and he failed to obey GOD. So GOD allowed pain and suffering to come to them; yet He spared their lives.

He sent them out of the garden, we will soon learn, ““lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken.” (Genesis 3:22b-23)

GOD wanted relationship but Satan wanted power.
GOD wanted relationship but Adam wanted Eve, and the knowledge of good and evil.

GOD wanted relationship but it would be a long pathway for mankind to come back to Him. 

We who are saved through Jesus — faith in Him and through His death and resurrection — regain that relationship…. through the Sabbath Rest He offered in Eden and offers to us today.

As we attempt to gain a glimpse of understanding of GOD’s reasoning, we have to reconcile GOD’s brilliance with Man’s failure.

My conclusion

It rests with choice: GOD wants us to choose Him. But we must be allowed to do the choosing.

Next week I hope to delve into Eden a little more…

Every blessing,

Sarah