Monday, December 7, 2015

Genesis 3:23

"therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken."  Genesis 2:7-8 tells us that God formed the man "of the dust of the ground," and then "placed the man" in the garden which the Lord God had planted. It seems that both the ground from which Adam was formed and the garden that the LORD planted were in the large region called Eden.
(see The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of The Bible, Vol. 2)

God had planted an idyllic garden that would sustain Adam and his family without the hardships described in Genesis 3:17-19. Having rejected God's plan, Adam would have to plant his own garden in a cursed earth by the sweat of his brow! Most importantly, as Matthew Henry points out, the man and his wife were shut out of that intimate fellowship with God that they had enjoyed in the unspoiled garden! "But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you..." (Isaiah 59:2)

The man did not go out willingly; he had to be driven out!  And God had to post cherubim to keep him out! (Gen. 3:24) Because of man's sin, God was now unapproachable! Yet in Christ, and only through Christ, the redeemed children of God are bidden: "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16)

There seems to be a parallel between the banishment from the garden and the giving of the Law at Mr. Sinai. For the first gracious giving, the LORD Himself provided the tablet and the writing. The people violated the Law, which they had heard pronounced previously, and Moses shattered those tablets at the base of the mountain. (See Ex. 20-24, 32) For the second giving, God commanded Moses to hew out two tablets like the first, and God would write on them the commandments. Those second tablets were to be kept in the Ark of the Covenant -- a figure of Christ, the only one who could and did keep God's holy law. (See Ex. 34:1-4; Deut. 10:1-5)

Where man's wisdom and efforts fail, God's grace prevails!  "Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more . . ." (Rom. 5:20 ESV)

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