Thursday, June 21, 2012
Living On The Edge...
“So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the tree of life” Gen. 3:23-24.
God created this amazing space of grace…paths that led to ultimate joy and benches that offered total spiritual contentment. This paradise was the crescendo of the Maestro’s greatest symphony. But evil played its sour note and the world has been off-key ever since. Within what seemed like moments after the birth of paradise, man fell to sin and creation groaned for it affected everything. The commentary in my NIV Study Bible states that ‘before Adam sinned, he had worked in a beautiful and fruitful garden. Now he would have to till undeveloped land and struggle with the curse of thorns and thistles.’
As I consider ‘tilling undeveloped land, thorns and thistles’ I am grieved for what we could have had, how we could have lived our lives, thriving and abiding in God’s original plan for each of us. The joys of strolling through paradise with the constant songs of God piped in to our hearts and minds. But as sin marred paradise requiring its removal, so did mankind. It seems as if God picked up mankind and placed him on the outside of paradise with it still in view from afar. He left us longing for our return to home, not the home we found for ourselves through sin but the home He originally intended for us. ‘I have seen the burden God has laid on men…He has also set eternity in the hearts of men;’ Eccl 3:9, 11.
Because our God is always motivated by His love for us, we weren’t banished forever but only while on earth. It is no insignificant fact we live hard and challenging lives as we till and toil through unchartered and rocky circumstances. We are aware that our situations are filled with thorns that prick and thistles that prevent the beauty of life. Thankfully, we have a God who is lighting the way home with His flaming sword, the Word. At the edge of paradise He placed the cherubim to guard the tree of life. 1 Samuel 4:4 states that that LORD Almighty is enthroned between the cherubim. He hovers and beckons…He woos and calls…He lights and guides.
We will each make our way home to heaven and enter into the paradise for which we were created.