What Does Genesis 2:8 Mean?

The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed.

Genesis 2:8(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

Genesis is the book of beginnings, and in chapter 1 we walk through the 6 days of creation. All things in heaven and earth, both visible and invisible, were created by God Who spoke the world into being by the strength of His might and the Word of His eternal power. The entire universe was created from nothing in just six days, together with God-ordained laws and natural principles. Finally, on the sixth day, God formed Man from the dust of the earth and breathed into him the breath of lives and called his name 'Adam'.

Man was the pinnacle of God's creative work, and while chapter 1 outlines the process of God's creation, chapter 2 details the purpose of God's creative work. There are not two accounts of creation, but together, Genesis 1 and 2 provide a holistic view of God's creative work, which demonstrates two aspects of His character: Chapter 1 - His greatness and power. Chapter 2 - His tender care for humanity.

Adam, together with his wife Eve, were to be God's ambassadors on earth. They were to be fruitful and multiply. They were to have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth. Adam was to be God's appointed representative on earth who was to enjoy unfettered access to the Holy Spirit. 

This verse paints an intimate picture of a loving God Who not only provides for and nurtures the people He created in His own image, but a personal God Who chooses to have fellowship with us. And the Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden, and there He placed Adam, the man whom He had formed. What a powerful and precious reminder of our relationship with God and the world He has created.

What a tender-hearted God to plant a beautiful garden containing all that Adam could desire, and put him in the garden to tend and enjoy. This act of God demonstrates to us His care and concern for the person He formed in His own image and likeness. God in His kindness placed us in a special relationship with Himself - a relationship of love and responsibility.

The name of the garden was 'Eden' and is often referred to as the garden of 'Delight'. 'Eden' is sometimes translated as 'Paradise' or 'Royal Park' and must surely be regarded as a gift of love from God Who desired to provide all we need, according to the riches of His grace. The location of the garden of Eden was towards the east of the land of Canaan, which would one day become the Promised Land of Israel. Adam was placed in the most beautiful of places to inhabit, along with all that man could desire, and yet the day would come when Adam rebelled against the Lord.

Only a couple of chapters in the Bible were devoted to God's creation and the role that Man was to play in the plans and purposes of God, and yet the rest of Scripture opens up God's amazing plan of redemption which He purposed before the world was made: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that all who believe on HIM would not perish but have everlasting life." 

As we contemplate the beauty of God’s creation, the role he purposed for mankind, humanity's terrible rebellion against the One Who made us, and His amazing plan of redemption, let us praise our Heavenly Father for His goodness and grace, and strive to serve Him in all that we do.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for the beautiful world You have created and the truth of your Word. Help me to appreciate the beauty of Your creation, to acknowledge Your presence in my life, and to understand my role in Your divine plan. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

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