Driven out from rest

In Eden was a garden where Adam and Eve dwelt in communion with each other and with God. It was a paradise made by God for man.

Gen 2:8  The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. 
Gen 2:9  And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 
Gen 2:10  Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads. 

Can we even imagine the beauty of such a place? That first world was destroyed by the waters of the Great Flood in Noah’s time. God planted a garden! I think God would be the best most outrageous gardener of all don’t you? He made EVERY tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and to eat. Wooowwwww!!!!

Imagine all the many different types of fruits, vegetables and nuts in that place…and a river watering it all. God planted the garden and God made the trees to grow. He did all the work..Adam and Eve only needed to tend it. But God established it. That is always the hardest part  and that was done for them.

In other words the place speaks of RESTING in God. The River watered the garden, speaking of the River of Life that flows from God’ throne, which is inside our spirit if we have believed into Jesus.

The Tree of Life was in the mist of the Garden…..

Gen 2:15  Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 
Gen 2:16  And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; …..

Adam and Eve lived in utter rest and peace with God, in a beautiful plentiful garden of rich supply from their Father. They could eat of all that he created, even the tree of Life and live forever…..all except from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

The commandment came and I died

In God’s wisdom He inserted a negative commandment right there in the beautiful story of rest. Why did God bring into the story the choice to disobey Him? They could have stayed resting in bliss and eaten from only one tree…but now they are presented with two trees from which to choose from. Thousands of years later the Apostle Paul wrote,…

Rom 7:8  But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead. 
Rom 7:9  I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. 
Rom 7:10  And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. 
Rom 7:11  For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. 

The Serpent took opportunity by God’s commandment to not eat from the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Without that negative commandment Satan would have had no opportunity to temp Adam to disobey God. The commandment was to bring life!! Adam could have reached out and eaten from the Tree of Life which was in the midst of the Garden. But the Serpent intervened before Adam could make that good choice. The Serpent took his opportunity to get Adam to desire something else, something other than the Life God was offering him. Adam refused God’s Life for mere outward show and angelic wisdom. Adam ate from head knowledge instead of receiving heart knowledge. And so he died.

Driven out

What happened next after Adam had refused Life and chosen  knowledge was that he and Eve were driven OUT away from Life in God. They were driven out from the place of Rest in God’s provision for them. The were forced to leave Rest to go to a place of hard labour and working for their own provision….a place where things are not so easy.

Gen 3:17  Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life
Gen 3:18  Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. 
Gen 3:19  In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.” 

They were driven out away from Life where all was provided and all was easy. This speaks of God’s favour and grace as we continue abiding inside of Him through Jesus. Now they are subjected to futility, working hard in the flesh, the sweat of their brow, human effort to bring forth anything, always struggling against enemies–weeds choking out the very life of all that they attempt to do. And all they have to look forward to is death…the only way to escape the continual futility and daily grind of work, work, work!!

The way to the Tree of Life was now shut to them, for they had chosen to reject what God had offered them freely. They preferred to to believe the lies and to earn their own righteousness through their own fleshy efforts.

Such an idea will always drive us out from Grace–the place of His favour…into the howling wilderness where beasts and jackals roam.

Jesus came to bring us into a bountiful land of full and complete REST. He is the WAY to the Tree of Life…in fact He is the Tree of Life!! That if you believe into Jesus and abide in Him you shall bear much fruit. You become a branch upon which God causes His desirable fruit to grow. God does it….we simply REST in Jesus through faith.

We are His garden of renown….His sweet dwelling place….and His River of life flows out from us to water the nations with the grace and goodness of God.

We too are driven out from God’s Rest which He has brought us into inside of Jesus when we begin to try to obey God’s commandments. God brought us into Jesus by faith alone…not because we had earned that place. God made the garden and brought Adam and Eve into it. God did it. God saved you…and brought you into His Garden–Jesus Christ. Abide in Me.

We abide by being thankful, that though we are unable to please God in our flesh….He has made us able by putting Jesus inside us and us inside of Jesus.  We rest in Him and He in us.

Yet the enemy, will accuse us that we are nothing like Jesus, and must do something more to please God and be like God. So we begin to try to obey commands. The moment we do that we lose sight of Jesus and His grace.

Gal 3:10  For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT CONTINUE IN ALL THINGS WHICH ARE WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO DO THEM.” 
Gal 3:11  But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” 
Gal 3:12  Yet the law is not of faith, but “THE MAN WHO DOES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM.” 
Gal 3:13  Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE”), 
Gal 3:14  that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. 

The Curse that came upon the earth because of Adam’s choice is the same curse we come to slave under when we attempt to be justified before God by our own works. We have been driven out from life..and the way to get back to Life is to REPENT.

Turn away from trying to earn God’s favour and accept Jesus as your only righteousness. You are one with Jesus, and it is your faith in Jesus who lives inside you, that makes you righteous…nothing else! Turn around and see Jesus only…He is your life and your reward. Jesus brings you once again into the Garden where the rivers flow and the fruit does grow! Abide in Jesus…aaaahhhhh…rest…rest.

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Author: Dennis Rhodes

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