Adam and Eve were chased out of the Garden of Eden.
Based on the literal meaning, ‘Garden’ gives a sense of protection; Eden means “Pleasure and Delight” in the Hebrew language. Eden is a region where streams abound, where they divide and re-unite, where alone in the Mesopotamia expanse or territory can be found the phenomenon of a single river parting into four arms, each of which is or has been a river of consequence.
There was the river called PISHON: which means a flow of current (gold and all manner of precious stones were found in this river). There was a river called EUPHRATES: which means fruitfulness and sweetness. There is another river called HIDDEKEL: which means sound and voice. Lastly, there was river GIHON: which means the valley of Grace. In other words mankind was surrounded by everything that would make the life in Eden delightfully satisfying.
The man that God created was surrounded by pleasure and delight coupled with heavenly protection. Man did not lack anything. Man glorified God and enjoyed Him. The food man ate in the garden did not depend on how much sweat he put in. Adam and Eve lived a life free of care and devoid of labour and sorrow. Old age was unknown, the body never lost its vigour; existence was a perpetual feast without taint of evil. The earth brought spontaneously all things that were good in profuse copiousness.
The Bible records that in the cool of the day God would come into the garden to fellowship with man and one can begin to imagine the grandeur and the splendour in this environment. Wow, everything was there. Think about anything, it was there. They had God, they had everything without issues. The general idea was for mankind to continue in this garden for life since it was all encompassing and nothing was missing. This was not the case.
Through the vehicle of imagination and reason, man transgressed and lost the fellowship with God because there is no sin in God. Man ate the fruit of good and evil. Consequently, man was able to know through reason and intellect and the likeness, which was the character of God, was lost. Like could not attract like anymore. As a result, Adam and Eve had to be sent out of the Garden into another life separate from that which they used to have.
From another perspective, the human race got off on a seriously wrong foot when Eve yielded to Satan’s lie, that more satisfaction was available if she took matters into her own hands. When Adam joined her in looking for life outside of God’s revealed will, he infected all his descendants with the disease of self-management.
Definitely, life in the garden was completely different from the new life outside the garden. The natural thing for man to do is to try and live in this new life trying to fill up for all that has been lost. Man became separated from God and because of this separation the experience of self-consciousness became a by-product. Man had no option but to try and make the experience in this new life look as though he is still in the garden.
All efforts by man to restore delight and pleasure to the soul became futile and since then we have always looked for ways to satisfy our deepest longing. Only God will fill that part of our lives and nothing can be compared to Him.
The most natural thing for us to do is to develop strategies for finding life that reflect our commitment to depending on our own resources. Simple trust is out of fashion. Self-protection has become the norm. We look out for SELF, we preach SELF and end up with SELF. That was what the devil did before God threw him out.
Two elements entrenched deeply in our heart can be discovered:
- The hunger or deep longings for what we do not have
- The dogged independence reflected in wrong strategies for finding the life we desire
It is with the understanding of these two fundamental components that we can prolifically explore beneath the surface of our everyday problems.
The first longing reflects our being human and all the dignity accorded to us as bearers of God’s image. We long for a quality of relationship and meaning that no other creature has capacity to enjoy. We are designed to richly enjoy the person of God as well as His provisions.
The second component, exists because we are sinful. Only foolish, rebellious, proud people would move away from the source of life in search of a fulfilment they can control – and that is what we have done – and still do.
Spouses, in order to make up for this separation will demand certain responses from one another as a condition for life. People require that they never get hurt again the way they once were in some previous trauma. We fabricate strategies and policies designed to keep us warmly involved with each other at a safe distance. We live to gain life from others and to protect ourselves from whatever we think is life-threatening.
There is always something missing from the whole picture and we continue to look for that satisfaction and eventually it never comes. Please read the following story:
Three men gained some inheritance and purposed to make five million pounds, thinking fulfilment and joy will come when they achieve their dreams. They were all unmarried, no responsibilities whatsoever.
The first, in the quest of looking for a way to achieve his desired goal, struggles from the beginning and in his difficulties, he feels marriage was what he needed to bring the happiness. So he got married and had two children, whom he has to cater for. He found out that he had to set the dream of making five million to one side facing reality because other expenses have come in. In his mind, there is something he has to achieve but unable to because the tide of life have moved him in other directions. Something is missing that he thought would bring satisfaction. He will look for opportunities that might set alive the dream again and little did he know that the dream of making that amount of money vanished into thin air.
The second, in the pursuit of his own dream gave up the idea of marriage and having children and decided to setup a business. He felt that would help him in his concentration and focus. He tried all sorts of measures, introduced many new technologies to help with his business. To his amazement, all did not work out. Every attempt to bring up new ideas failed and led to frustration. Soon he became very ill and despite the much varied illnesses, he continued in his chase for the dream. His experience taught him that considering all he had sacrificed, it became very evident to him that he was still very far from achieving the purpose of his dream and there is nothing around him that brought hope. He found out he couldn’t achieve that dream. Again, there is something missing in this life, something that he thought could have brought satisfaction.
The third guy, in the pursuit of his dream, invested in so many companies and eventually makes the five million pounds target. He buys the cars he’s been dreaming of, the house and the holidays, going from one country to another. One would think that he should be fulfilled and happy. Yet he soon began to feel this sense of “is this it”; is this what it means to be happy? He got what he believed would make him happy, and while he is more comfortable than he used to be, the emptiness in his soul is still there. It became a big deal for him because what he thought would fill the emptiness and separation didn’t do the magic and soon he will begin to find other things he feels might make him happy.
The three guys will discover that the path to their individual happiness will always give birth to another kind of lack one way or the other. Life outside of Eden can never make up for all we lost in Eden. Mankind will always need that which will bring satisfaction to the soul not to the body and mind in a different environment.
Drawing close to God by His Word will help the soul to be filled with that joy and happiness and we would be able to say, like Apostle Paul said when he was faced with different circumstances; that he knows that all things will always work together for the one who is called of God, and to them who are called in accordance with His purposes.