Getting Back To Eden
Read Genesis Chapter 3
Ge 3:23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After He drove the man out, He placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
I can imagine that Adam and Eve spent all their lives trying to regain the tranquility and comfort of Eden, that utopian garden from which they had been evicted. As they toiled with uncooperative soil and attempted to cope with the rigors and trials which were a part of their fallen world, many hours were likely spent dreaming about their former lives. Their first two children, Cain and Abel, no doubt were told stories of Eden and how idyllic life had been there. It is likely that these two sons also struggled with life in their fallen world and longed for that kind of existence.
This world is beset with imperfections because of the Fall. As man wrestles with the trials and tribulations of life, he is attempting to accomplish a return to Eden. Mankind struggles each day trying to gain a greater measure of comfort and ease in life. That’s why we work, play, accumulate possessions, develop relationships with others, etc. All that we do and work for is done for a purpose; a striving for a more pleasant life. The short term goal is for a better life now and the long term goal is for his return to Eden, a perfect life spent in eternity with God.
Eden can only be reclaimed by submitting oneself to God and His plan. Our enemy, the devil, wishes us to believe that we can have Eden here on earth if we will follow him. He says, “It’s over here, living a life of homosexual pleasure. You can get there by immersing yourself in power, possessions, binge eating, drugs, and alcohol. Come and get it.” God says, “Those are perversions of beautiful things which I created. Stay away from them. They will not bring lasting comfort and peace.”
As we personally discover that life is a struggle, we have two choices. The sons of Adam and Eve are polar-opposite examples of those two choices. Cain heard the stories of Eden, and how God had cast the family out of it. I’m guessing that his heart was turned against God as he thought about the “unfairness” of it all. “Why have I been punished because of the sins of my parents?” His grain offering to God was not rejected because it was not an acceptable offering. His offering was rejected because his heart was not in tune with God.
Abel presented an offering that was pleasing to God, because his offering was from the heart. Abel had somehow come to understand that the way back to Eden was through belief and obedience to God. He readily accepted the pathway to God which was his only choice. We truly have no other choice but to surrender to God and His ways. There is only one pathway back to Eden; that is to worship and obey our Creator. We should follow the example of Abel.
We who belong to Christ will definitely regain Eden someday. We have believed God and have begun that road back to Him, the narrow road to eternity which Christ came to show us. Our lives will go much smoother if we choose the way of Abel. We will encounter fewer obstacles through total surrender, doing so with a grateful, loving heart toward God. I know there isn’t a complete parallel here, comparing our journey to that of Cain and Abel. But the similarity is close enough for us to gain some Godly wisdom through it.
Prayer: We need reminders every day. We thank You for all the examples of obedience as well as disobedience given us in Your word. They are there to show us the way back to Your perfect world, where there is complete harmony with You and with others; where strife, turmoil, and struggles no longer exist. Thank You for including us in Your plan.