Tag Archives: Gardening Genesis

Separation from God

 The Word of the Lord

 Genesis 2.8-14: Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.) The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Ashur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

Meditation

 God planted a garden, the Garden of Eden, and placed mankind in it. The Hebrew word for Eden means “delight.” The Garden of Delight was a place of pristine natural beauty. All types of plants, i.e., trees, flowers, grains, etc., grew there. A river watered Eden. After leaving Eden, the river flowed through the land of Havilah, where bdellium (an aromatic resin tree) grew.

Perfume was made from bdellium tree resin. The resin seeped through tree bark after horizontal cuts were made on the tree. Ancient Egyptian women carried bdellium pieces in cloths which they lifted to their nose in foul-smelling surroundings or used to release a pleasant odor from their bodies.

Bdellium comes from the Hebrew word “bâdal,” which means separate, or distinguish from. The bdellium tree symbolized the separation between the Garden of Eden and outside lands. Eden included plants for beauty and food. In contrast, Havilah was notable for  only one plant—the bdellium tree which produces a sweet-smelling resin.

Living with Christ is like living in Eden;  life is beautiful, fertile, and satisfying. Separated from Christ (outside of Eden), life is flat and unproductive. Our surroundings  and our actions are a stink in our nostrils despite attempts to cover them over with perfume.

 Many times what we don’t do is as important as what we do in our effort to have a meaningful relationship with Christ.

At this time, my country is experiencing a pandemic. Churches are closed. By not having a set time each week to worship God, do we put space between God and ourselves? The best we can do when we can’t leave home is watch church services on social media and read biblical literature, such as devotionals.

Reflection

How do you put space between you and Christ?

Copyright 5/30/2020

Instinct in Us

The Word of the Lord

 Genesis 1.29-31: Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

Genesis 2.8-9: Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.

Meditation

 Most of us don’t need to grow vegetables and fruit. We buy them in stores and markets; yet, many of us have gardens. There is joy in enriching the soil and nurturing seeds to full growth. We delight to see our own flowers grow and bloom, crave succulent fruits from our trees and yearn to stimulate taste buds with fresh-grown herbs. There is something inherently satisfying about gardening.

I have always lived in rural areas where almost everyone has a garden. Yet, I know urban dwellers have gardens. They use raised beds and tub gardens on patios and balconies. Individuals’ gardening instincts shouldn’t surprise us. Our spiritual father, God, was a gardener, the producer of all vegetation and fruits on earth. Gardening is in our genetic makeup.

God’s plan for us is to live with plant creation. God wants brightly colored flowers and leafy trees to delight our eyes and soothe our spirits.

The value of plants goes beyond food and beauty. In both Testaments, plants were teaching tools, i.e., illustrations in warnings, parables, miracles.

What do you see when you view your garden (and plants)? Do you go beyond looking at them as a whole and focus on the beauty of each? Do you imagine the produce you will have from them and how yummy it will taste? Alternatively, are you thinking about the myriad of challenges in your life so that you don’t see the beauty in front of you?

Reflection

Think about plants in your garden or in your home. How do they give you joy in addition to their beauty?

Copyright may/30/2020

 

God’s Plan for Creation

The Word of the Lord

 Genesis 1.9-12: And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1.29: Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.

Genesis 2.5: Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground.

 Meditation

On day three of creation, God caused the dry land to appear on earth and spoke plants into existence. Plants include trees, shrubs, herbs, bushes, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses, and flowers. God gave plants to mankind for food and beauty.

Initially, there were no plants on the dry land because there was no man to work the ground. God’s earliest plan was for man and plants to interact, i.e., man to tend plants and plants to give food to man.

God intended mankind to have a different relationship with animals than with plants. God gave Adam dominion, supreme authority, or absolute ownership over animals. In contrast, God told Adam to tend, guard, and keep plants. Tending means taking care of, i.e., a caretaker. Guarding is defending against danger and/or destruction.  The archaic meaning of keep is “to protect.”

God entrusted plants and plant growth to mankind. What an awesome responsibility then and now! God’s trust encompasses being good stewards of the land and resources given to us by God.

Think about your feelings when you ponder your garden or the space around your home. God gave you this portion of his creation. You are its custodian. You have a responsibility to tend, guard, and keep the plants in your garden and surroundings.

Many of us, if not most of us, don’t think about responsibility to plants. We barely have time to take care of our children, spouse, home, etc. The notion that God gave us plants to protect, guard, and care for is beyond what we think about, even want to think about; it’s just another responsibility.

Reflection

 Does faithful stewardship of plants include plants in your community? What about in your state, nation, or world?

Copyright: May 30, 2020

Gardening Genesis

Colleagues, this is my latest book. It contains 40 meditations on the symbolism of plants in Genesis. As always, the focus is how to live a more productive Christian life. Visit my website: http://www.CarolynRothMinistry.com to purchase.