Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Tale of Two Gardens-Submission Beats Sin

Garden of Eden - Sin and Rebellion
Creation began in paradise called the Garden of Eden and God saw that everything was good. Only one tree in of the garden of plenty was off-limits. God said so! He commanded Adam, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die” (Genesis 2:16-17). 

Most all of humanity knows about the defiance that followed. So why did Eve eat from the tree and offer some to her husband? Why were they disobedient to the one command of the Lord? Wasn’t there enough of everything to go around and around again and again? 

Some people might say human nature caused the disobedience, but Scripture tells us something different. First of all, in the very beginning, recorded in the first chapter of Genesis, God created man in His likeness, His image, the image of perfection, and He saw all of His creation as good. The Garden of Eden was God’s perfection, until a serpent meandered in. 

Ezekiel 28 tells us that he (the serpent, the devil) was a created being in the garden of God, in Eden. He was an anointed guardian cherub until unrighteousness was found in him (reference the following Scriptures for details of his character—Ezekiel 28:13-19, Isaiah 14:12-17, Luke 10:18, John 8:44, Revelation 12:9). 

In the third chapter of Genesis the serpent is described as more crafty (cunning, devious, tricky, calculating) than any beast of the field which the Lord God created. This serpent represented pride and rebellion. His name is Satan and his desire was (and still is) to be like the Most High God. So he slips into our lives (as he did in the Garden of Eden) to confuse God’s Word and cause sin to look delightful. He is pure evil!

Satan (that meandering serpent) twisted the Word of God with lies and desire. He captivated Eve into disobedience by saying she would be like God and have wisdom, if she ate the fruit of the tree (Genesis 3:4-6). So she ate, gave to her husband, and he ate—they did not resist the temptation. Immediately they realized their sin and hid from the presence of the Lord—the same Presence they enjoyed abiding with earlier in the garden. Promptly they were punished and sent out of the garden. The serpent too was punished yet God declared the first prophecy of the coming Messiah to the serpent. God told the serpent:

“Because you’ve done this, you’re cursed,
    cursed beyond all cattle and wild animals,
Cursed to slink on your belly
    and eat dirt all your life.
I’m declaring war between you and the Woman,
    between your offspring and hers.
He’ll wound your head,
    you’ll wound his heel.”
Genesis 3:14-15 (MSG)

Two thousand years and many prophecies later, Jesus the Messiah came to earth. After His baptism and wilderness encounter with the devil, He visited His hometown where He stated clearly His mission through the reading of the prophets (Luke 4:18-19, Isaiah 61:1-3). He came to earth to preach the good news to the poor, release the captives, open the eyes of the blind, and set the oppressed free. In other words, He came to earth to right the wrong done in the Garden of Eden, to fulfill the prophecy in the third chapter of Genesis. 

Garden of Gethsemane - Submission and Obedience
Jesus knew His purpose and understood what He must do to redeem His people. Sin had been committed in the Garden of Eden, but in the Garden of Gethsemane submission would save. Paradise ended in the first garden because of selfishness. Because of submission eternal paradise would be offered through redemption in Christ Jesus. Jesus’ submission and obedience to the will of His Heavenly Father in the Garden of Gethsemane overcame Adam and Eve’s submission to Satan and disobedience to God in the Garden of Eden. Praise God for His victory!

Satan, the ruler of this earth, desires to imprison all people with sin. He especially enjoys binding up those who have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior. If He can distract us, tempt us, create busyness and worry in our lives, or do anything to make us take our eyes off of Christ Jesus, He has been successful. Don’t allow him to get a foothold into your life.

Remember—Jesus conquered death after Calvary. The grave wasn’t His end—He lives forever, eternally the victor over Satan. Through belief in Jesus the Messiah, you too can overcome the power of the devil. Turn your eyes to Jesus and stay focused on Him. Whatever you’re going though, Jesus is present to forgive, strengthen, encourage, and empower you to live for Him. He empowered His disciples and He’ll empower you as well. Believe and receive in His name His own words into your soul!

“Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:16-20 (NIV)

AMEN! And one day when your life has ended, He will say to you as He said to one of the thieves on the cross beside Him, “Today you shall be with me in Paradise.” Life will then be as God intended it to be in the Garden of Eden.

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