Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.Genesis 2:15(NASB)
Each day of creation added more colour and beauty into God's perfect design, until our almighty Creator finally took some dust of the earth, and made man. He formed and fashioned it into the image and likeness of Himself. No surprise that God was satisfied with the work of His hand, and declared everything He had made was very good. And God rested on the seventh day.
The second chapter of Genesis gives greater insight into the finer details of certain elements of God's wonderful creative work. The broad brush-strokes that flung stars into the firmament, illuminated the earth with two great lights, and filled the world with a myriad of colourful birds, flamboyant fish, amazing animals, and creeping things, submitted to the precise elements of His creative activities.
We discover that the Lord Himself breathed His own life into the inanimate body of Adam, and that He made a special garden for the man He made. Indeed, we read of the meticulous care that the Lord took in designing a beautiful garden for the man He made. And then the LORD God took Adam, and put him into the garden of Eden, to cultivate and keep it. And God endowed man with a mind to think, and a free-will to make choices.
The Hebrew indicates that the man was 'set to rest' (nuah) in these splendid surroundings, in order to 'to serve' (abad) his loving God, Who had created all things well. God rested, and the man was to find rest for his soul in Him. The ground was well-watered by four shimmering rivers, and the Lord made sure that every tree that produced luscious fruit was growing in this idyllic place, for the man to enjoy.
God even placed the tree of eternal life within easy reach of Adam's fingers.. for all who eat of the Tree of Life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God, will never die. God placed eternity in the heart of man as well as a freewill, for God wanted Adam to serve Him of his own volition - not out of duty but out of love for his wonderful Creator. Would Adam pass the test of love and loyalty or would he rebel?
And so, the Lord also placed the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the centre of the garden, to test the man. God forbade Adam to eat of its fruit for He desired that man would freely choose to serve and honour Him, out of tender affection and a desire to reverence his Creator - Who would walk and talk with him in the garden and commune with Adam in the cool of the evening.
Man was created innocent, faultless, and without a sin-nature to prompt him towards evil, and the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. He was placed in the most lavish of surroundings, and provided with all that he could desire.. with one simple call to obedience - you shall not eat of that tree. But Adam failed! Adam disobeyed the Lord, plunging the human race into eternal condemnation instead of enjoying eternal rest. Adam's transgression put up a barrier between himself and the Lord, and from that point forward, Adam and his progeny were at enmity with God.
But God, in His grace, purposed to redeem His fallen race by sending a second man - the last Adam, Who would be the Word made flesh - the eternal Son of God. He would also be tested - but He would learn obedience by the things that he suffered, and would triumph, where the first Adam failed.
The Lord Jesus would be tested as we are, but He would not sin. He would willingly choose to obey God out of love for His Father.. whereas Adam disobeyed Him and fell into sin. Christ would readily submit to His Father's commands and live His life as God intended that all man should live - in utter dependence upon the gracious Creator - in humble submission to His Father, out from a heart of love that passes human understanding.
Just as all who are born into this world are Adam's sinful progeny, and identified with Adam's sin.. so all who are born-again, by faith in Christ, become part of God's new creation of humanity and are identified with Christ's, perfect righteousness. All who are saved by grace through faith in Him, receive His life and are given rest for their soul - for Christ is our Tree of Life, and that life is eternal.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the last Adam.. and has become the perfect, sinless, federal Head of a New Creation - and all who trust in Him become one with Him, through time and into eternity. Praise God that by faith we are transferred from the old creation in Adam, into God's New Creation in Christ - by grace, through faith in Him.
Heavenly Father, what amazing grace that Jesus would choose to come to earth to die on my account, so that I no longer remain under condemnation as a sinner, but am identified with Him and clothed in His righteousness. Thank You that You did not leave us in eternal condemnation, through Adam's sin, but purposed to redeem us with Christ's precious blood. I pray that I may live in willing obedience and thankful submission to Your leading and guidance, and thank You that in Christ I have eternal life, and will one day eat of the Tree of Life. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.