In Genesis 2:8-9, we read
Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. The LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the groundtrees pleasing to the eye and good for food. The Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil were in the middle of the garden.
The story of God and the story of humanity begins in a garden.
With a vibrant array of vegetation, trees, and animals, this garden would serve as the focus point for Gods initial purpose of creating and establishing His family of image-bearers on the earth.
The Garden of Eden was a paradise created by God for His creation to enjoy and delight in. And this garden is the key to understanding Gods original intent for creation and His ultimate plan for redemption.
In Hebrew, the term Eden is defined as pleasure.
Imagine a place of complete perfection, lacking nothingwhere life abounds, and death cant be found. A place where peace flows like a river and anxiety is in an eternal drought.
This is the garden where the story begins.
In this garden, we meet the first two humans, fashioned by God in His image and likeness. God created Adam and Eve to walk with Him, tend to the Garden of Eden, and multiply the garden throughout the rest of the world.
God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.
Adam and Eve were created to partner with God to multiply what He began in the Garden of Eden.
This was the foundation for what it meant to be human. And this garden was the foundation for what God designed the world to be.
But the foundations were shaken as sin entered the story.
What Happened to Eden?
While the Garden of Eden was a place of perfection and delight, it became where sin entered creation, marrying God’s image and creating separation between God and His created world.
The place of pleasure and pure intimacy with Creator God was lost, and creation has suffered sin’s consequences from that day on.
Because amid this garden stood two trees: the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Both trees produced fruit, but only one was ordained by God to be partaken of.
And the LORD God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it, you will certainly die.’
The Tree of Life produced eternal fruit.
The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil produced death.
Although Adam and Eve received clear direction from God regarding these two trees, Satan comes to deceive, derail, and destroy God’s plan.
In a moment of doubt and temptation, Eve partakes of the fruit from the forbidden tree, gives some to Adam, and sin begins taking its toll.
Then the eyes of both were opened, and they realized they were naked; so, they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
At this moment in the garden, sin enters the story, and humanity begins to run from God.
A once intimate union between the Creator and the created is now torn apart, and the effects of this separation are still seen and felt today.
But the story doesn’t end there.
In God’s infinite wisdom, a plan was already in place.
A Messiah would come, God wrapping Himself in flesh and bone, to right what was wrong and begin the redemption process.
God Himself would step into the story to restore what was lost in the Garden of Eden and to reconcile the world unto Himself. In 2 Corinthians 5:18-19, it reads,
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. Now, we get to partner with God in reconciling and restoring all things to Himself. The calling to “be fruitful and multiply” still stands today as we participate in this ministry of reconciliation.
In Gods goodness and grace, He establishes not just another Eden-like Garden but an Eden-like world.
What once was a garden will one day consume all of creation, restoring Gods original design and purposes.
Why Is the Garden Important Today?
The question is: How does a garden in the Old Testament impact us today?
The Garden of Eden gives us a clear picture of God’s purpose and intentions for His creation.
It’s the garden that provides us with a framework for what it means to be human, as well as what it means to be God’s image bearers on the earth.
And when we become aware of God’s original design for us as His people and the world we inhabit, we can better partner with Him in establishing His kingdom on earth.
Next, the Garden of Eden points to a future day where all things will be made new. Through His redemption power and the blood of His Son, God has already begun restoring all things, creating a unique but ancient garden once again.
The Garden of Eden provides hope for today because we know that God, through Christ, is restoring all that was lost.
In his book, Supernatural, Dr. Heiser states:
From the very beginning, God wanted his human family to live with him in a perfect world—along with the family he already had in the unseen world, his heavenly host. That story—God’s goal, its opposition by the powers of darkness, its failure, and its ultimate future success—is what this book is about, just as it’s what the Bible is about.
A family of image-bearers in perfect union with their Creator is what God intended when establishing the Garden of Eden. Although that purpose was disrupted, it was not destroyed.
And through God’s power, He establishes that garden again daily.
Unseen Realm 102
If you’d like to dive deeper into the Cosmic Garden and its impact for today, check out our online course Unseen Realm 102.
In this course, Dr. Michael Heiser provides in-depth teaching on:
- The Mission of the Messiah
- How the Church, the Body of Christ, and its ordinances repurpose Old Testament concepts of sacred space, a holy priesthood, and cosmic geography
- The Restoration of Eden on a New Earth
When you purchase the course, you’ll have access to over 14 hours of video content, along with training modules, and receive a certificate upon completion.
If you’re ready to dive deeper into the topic of God’s cosmic garden and how it fits into the overarching story of creation, click here.
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