Daily Devotional

January 3

THE LORD GOD PLANTED A GARDEN EASTWARD IN EDEN

by Henry T. Vriesen

Genesis 2

The place appointed for the residence of Adam and Eve was not an ivory house or a palace with spacious rooms and modern conveniences, but a very beautiful garden or field, adorned by nature. The heaven was the roof of this home, the earth was its floor. The shadow of the trees was the place for Adam and his wife to retire. Under them was their dining and living room. It was the most complete place of pleasure and delight that ever was seen. God himself had designed it for them.

We do not have detailed information about the particular kinds of trees and shrubs and vegetables and grasses that were growing in the garden. But we are certain that no place designed and planted by man could be as lovely as the garden of Eden. Without doubt it had the best and choicest trees. It was “pleasant to the sight and good for food.”

The garden had two trees of special significance for them. The “Tree of Life” was in the midst of the garden. This tree should be to Adam and Eve a sign and emblem assuring them of the good will of their Creator, offering them happiness and life. Of this tree they were permitted to eat. But there was another significant tree: the “Tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” This tree should remind Adam and his wife that there was a possibility that the state of bliss and happiness might be lost.

We are told, “The Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in that day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Obedience would mean continual bliss and happiness, but disobedience would bring death and all the miseries that attend it.

“And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed … to dress it and to keep it.” Adam was to be occupied in the keeping of the garden and in it he was to find his joy and happiness. “And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; and the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and onyx stone. And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.” As to the location of Paradise, we are told that it was Eden, which means delight, pleasure.

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