Genesis 2:8-17 – Gardens, Trees, and Rivers - Part 1
So, God planted a garden!! With His artistic skills, I can’t even imagine the beauty of what it may have looked like. Every plant that would be needed and useful, every plant that would be enjoyed - the texture, the taste, the color, the fragrance - every detail a loving God thought out and put there for man to enjoy in the Garden of Eden.
Notice the text says: “every tree that is pleasant to the sight.” He is the God of beauty and created certain things for us simply to enjoy looking at!! And remember, this was before the curse of sin upon the earth, and long decades of sin, mankind, and pollution. I don’t even think we could imagine what it could have been like!
And if you think you are “detail” person, we definitely KNOW God is!! He certainly didn’t allow the details of the garden to “work themselves out!”
Jesus told us that he notes the fall of every sparrow. Even the wildflowers, the lilies of the field, were colored by the Lord Jesus. Look at the beauty and majesty of all the plants and trees that are upon the earth, each unique and beautiful in their own right.
Psalm 65:9-13 tells us how God waters the earth and looks after the details: “You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly. The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it. You drench its furrows and level its ridges; you soften it with showers and bless its crops. You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance. The grasslands of the wilderness overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness. The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing.”
And Psalm 104:11-14 tells us: “They give water to all the beasts of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst. The birds of the sky nest by the waters; they sing among the branches. He waters the mountains from his upper chambers; the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work. He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate— bringing forth food from the earth:”
Oh, what infinite capacity for beauty and for attention has our Creator who made and sustains all things!!!
And there were trees in the garden! There was the Tree of Life. Man could eat freely of that. Maybe it had some marvelous quality that did wonders for the body! Filled with vitamins an antibody for every infection, and antidote for every disease??
And we will see that again once we are in our resurrected bodies when we gather near the City of Gold and by the “pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb!” (Rev. 22:1). And we will find in the midst of the street in Heaven and “on either side of the river” the Tree of Life which bears “twelve manners of fruits,” new fruit every month; “And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations” (vs.2).
After Adam and Eve sinned, an angel with a flaming sword kept them from the Tree of Life lest they eat and live forever in their sin.
And there were rivers. One river went out of Eden to water the Garden. It could be that the Garden of Eden was irrigated by water soaking through the soil and spread everywhere so the plants could get all the nourishment they needed. Remember, as of yet there was no rain, but Gen. 2:6 says: “There went up a mist from the earth, and altered the whole face of the ground.” But that one river went out and divided into 4 heads: Pison, Gihon, Hiddekel and Euphrates.
The names are interesting and worth sharing. Gihon was the name of that pool that runs along the city wall of Jerusalem. It is the place where Solomon was crowned king. Other names here are familiar - Euphrates, Assyria, Ethiopia.
I don’t believe that any of the land or cities or rivers before the Flood were left as they were after the mighty convulsions that destroyed the whole earth in the Flood and in the years following. But maybe it’s likely that men carried over these names from before the flood into the civilization that followed; and so Assyria and Ethiopia became a nation and the river was called “The Euphrates.”
Join us next week for part 2 where we will get into depth and learn more about this famous “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.”
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