Genesis 2 – NOT GARDENING!
There’s an ugly looking weed that persists in growing in our garden and we are enemies. It has thorns. I have weed killer with a trigger that spurts out poison so I don’t even have to get near it.
I have always hated (my grandson says you shouldn’t say “hate”)…. I have always DETESTED gardening. Love the natural look but my wife doesn’t agree. Apparently God doesn’t either.
“Early in the first light of Saturday morning a man appeared, lying naked in the dust. His form is perfect in every way except there is no movement to animate his strong arms and legs, or smile to please his handsome face. Around him in every direction the sounds and smells of the forest in early spring fill the air with life, but here they fall upon senses that remain untouched.
“Oh God, He’s … dead!”
“No, not dead.” My senses rush at the sound of His strong clear voice and I am suddenly alert to every sound. “He has never been alive and he is not dead.”
The forest becomes silent as if in anticipation, and you draw back. Creation seems to be waiting for something momentous to take place. I can feel my face draining of colour. The world around me fades. His Breath floods through the trees and encompasses the strange figure in the dust with it’s touch.
My mind is still reeling with the first rays of understanding as Adam’s eyes open to the One who gives him life. His first moment is wrapped in the glory, love and spendour of His Maker. His first touch – the embrace of heaven’s welcome. The first words he speaks are those of worship and praise. And now the heavens respond with angelic voices echoing their shouts of pure joy that shakes the whole of creation with a tumultuous roar. At least, that’s how I think it might have happened. I wasn’t there, but reading about it stirs my imagination.
No sooner is he breathing and looking around and he is given a PURPOSE. Even before he is created from the dust of the ground, it says,
“no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was NO MAN TO WORK THE GROUND,” (Genesis 2:5 NLT)
He enters into the purposes of God. And I also have a purpose on this earth. It is clear from Genesis 1 and this passage that I am created to REPRESENT GOD on the earth – in His image (1:27), to EXERCISE RULERSHIP over God’s creation (1:28), TO SERVE AND WORK where God has placed me (2:8), to have a personal relationship with God and LISTEN AND OBEY what He has to say (2:16,17). I am also created with a need for COMPANIONSHIP (2:18-25). DISTINCTIVES of the Christian life. Things that give my life significance and identity. Things that Christ my Creator intended from the beginning, but which have been thrown out as religious wimp rubbish. Things like worship, companionship, discipleship, ministry. It is all here!
What does God do?…Adam and Eve are made RESPONSIBLE from day one of their existence. They are to “keep” (shamar) the Garden. This word means to watch over, to guard, to keep, to look after, to take care of.
No escaping it. I am created to be responsible – personally responsible – for the World in which I live and the way in which I live. Even the perfect, beautiful Garden of Eden has to be looked after and cared for. Adam and his helper Eve were…to cultivate the land and keep the garden from growing out of control (1:5), to feed and provide for themselves (1:16), to look after and care for the animals (1:19), to worship God and obey His commands (2:15), to share companionship and have children (1:28) and that’s an awesome responsibility in itself.
One thing is sure…God has given me a PURPOSE in life to fulfill. I am not made to be inactive and lazy. And somehow it relates well to gardening, as unfortunate as I may think that is.
“Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.” (Romans 12:11 NLT).
“Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.”" (2 Thessalonians 3:10 NLT).
The invitation is here for you choose to live in His purposes today. Like Adam and Eve, to have every need met by God physically and spiritually, to respond positively to Him and serve Him. To receive what He offers, to reject what He withholds or bear the consequences. An incredible opportunity to respond, worship, love and come under the authority of Christ. Chosen for a purpose (Now I’m starting to sound like the Blues Brothers – on a mission from God!). OK, OK, and to mow the lawn and keep the garden looking nice.