Jul 4 2011 - E100.1d – Genesis 2, The Garden of God
In Genesis 2 we zoom in from the big perspective to see the fingerwork of God's creation. Man is formed by God from the dust of the earth – made of clay – before God breathes into him the breath of life. We are part of the very stuff of creation, but our life comes from God himself and we live in and through him; he is our life.
But it is not good for the man to be alone. God's creation of all that he has made is an act of his love; we who are made in his image are made to love and be loved, to embrace and be embraced.
In the homely language of Genesis 2, all of the animals come to see Adam and he names them. They do not fear him, they trust him and submit to his kingly care – the lion with the lamb; the bear with the young deer. But none of these can offer Adam the heart-companionship he craves.
So Adam is put into a deep sleep and God makes the first woman from one of his ribs. Adam delights in this new gift of God, bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh. This is one with whom he can share the life God has given and from the embrace of their love, new life will be created.
God planted a garden in Eden. It is his garden, the Garden of God (Genesis 13:10; Ezekiel 28:13; 31:8-9), planted for those he has made in his image to enjoy with him and tend for him. It is filled with fruitful trees, among which is the Tree of Life. It is a place of life and abundance, reflecting the character of its owner.
A river flows through the garden, separating into four streams which flow out of the garden to give life to the surrounding world. God himself is the source of life for all creation – a picture picked up later in Ezekiel's vision of the Temple (Ezekiel 47), and finally in John's vision of the new creation (Revelation 22).
This is the beautiful picture of Genesis 2, a picture that fills us with longing for a lost world – a longing for its renewal.
Father God, you are the source of life and love; help me to live in you and love as you love. Thank you for the heart-companion you have given me and with whom I share the life and love you have given. Thank you for family and friends and for the riches and blessing of human companionship. May your life flow through us and from us to renew a dry and dusty world.