Genesis 4:8-16

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Genesis 4

8 Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. 11 And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.” 13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14 Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” 15 Then the Lord said to him, “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him. 16 Then Cain went away from the presence of the Lord and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

I have long loved John Steinbeck’s novel, East of Eden. I personally think it is better than The Grapes of Wrath, but that is just me. There is an amazing scene in the novel in which three men—Samuel Hamilton, a man named Adam, and Adam’s Chinese cook, Lee—discuss the story of Cain and Abel. They wrestle with trying to understand what it means.

“Two stories have haunted us and followed us from our beginning,” Samuel said. “We carry them along with us like invisible tails—the story of original sin and the story of Cain and Abel. And I don’t understand either of them. I don’t understand them at all but I feel them. Liza gets angry with me. She says I should not try to understand them. She says why should we try to explain a verity. Maybe she’s right—maybe she’s right.”

After getting a Bible and reading Genesis 4, the men discuss the meaning of it. Samuel Hamilton offers this explanation of God’s rejection of Cain’s offering and then Cain murdering Abel.

Samuel said, “There’s an advantage to listening to the words. God did not condemn Cain at all. Even God can have a preference, can’t he? Let’s suppose God liked lamb better than vegetables. I think I do myself. Cain brought him a bunch of carrots maybe. And God said, ‘I don’t like this. Try again. Bring me something I like and I’ll set you up alongside your brother.’ But Cain got mad. His feelings were hurt. And when a man’s feelings are hurt he wants to strike at something, and Abel was in the way of his anger.”[1]

It is a charming attempt at an interpretation—God simply preferring lamb to carrots—but as we saw last week the scriptures actually do explain why God rejected Cain’s offering (i.e., Cain not bringing his best, Cain not having the faith of Abel, Cain being self-focused). Even so, I suspect Samuel’s homey explanation of the murder itself is probably correct. Let us hear it again:

But Cain got mad. His feelings were hurt. And when a man’s feelings are hurt he wants to strike at something, and Abel was in the way of his anger.

Yes, perhaps it is just that simple: Cain got mad, Cain wanted to hurt something, and Cain’s eye fell on Abel. We can be sure that Cain’s wrath at Abel is stoked to a red fury by God’s favoring of Abel’s offering. So, he seeks Abel out and he kills him. Indeed, as Samuel Hamilton says, we carry this story around with us like an invisible tail. It does haunt us. It frightens us. Why? What is its abiding significance?

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Genesis 4:1-7

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Genesis 4

1 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.” And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.”

I am always intrigued by what people do NOT name their babies in America. You do not, for instance, meet many baby Adolfs here. You do not meet many Benedict Arnolds. You do not meet many Judases. Imagine if, at the child dedication service on Mother’s Day, we went down the line of beautiful little children and read these names: “This is little Charles Manson. And this is little Jezebel. And this is little Mussolini. He weighs 6 lbs and 7 oz.!” Can you imagine? Everybody would be thinking, “What in the world are these parents thinking?!”

No, there are some names that are just too damaged to be used. It is almost like an etymological curse hangs upon them. Most people would find the bestowing of these names on a baby today to be at least bad form and at most cruel.

Here is another name that I have yet to see parents give a child: Cain.I am not suggesting there is nobody named Cain today. For all I know you may know somebody who was named that. But I do not. At the least we can say that it has to be one of the more unpopular names, Cain.

So powerful is the imprint that misdeeds can leave on a name that I would wager many of you immediately had dark thoughts and feelings at the very mention of the name: Cain.

The story of Cain is a tragic story. There is some insinuation that Eve might have realized that Cain was going to be a disappointment in the way she named her second son, Abel. When Eve gave birth to Cain she said, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.” The word for man is ish: “I have gotten an ishwith the help of the Lord!” This is not the word that is used of baby boys. It is used here because of Eve’s astonishment and sense of overwhelmed amazement that just as God had created a man, Adam, now she had been privileged to assist in the creation of another ish: “I have gotten an ishwith the help of the Lord!”

Eve begins, then, with jubilation and astonishment! She has high hopes for Cain! However, in the very next verse we read the understated, “And again, she bore his brother Abel.” It is not just that the birth announcement of Abel is much less dramatic than that of Cain. It is also the naming of Abel.

The name Abel means “vanity or weakness” or “vapor,” something temporary, something doomed not to last.  Clyde Francisco has observed that some believe the name “Abel” may reflect Eve’s disappointment at realizing that Cain would not be the hero God had spoken of who would crush the head of the serpent when she realized Cain’s “stubborn nature even as a baby.”[1]Remember: she named Abel “Abel” obviously before Cain committed his great crime. This means that there was something in the boy Cain that led her to move from the elation of her initial announcement—“I have gotten an ish!”—to such a situation of despair that she called her second son “vapor.” Was calling Abel “vanity” or “vapor” a self-condemning statement of her own vanity in thinking that Cain could be the promised one or was the idea that of “weakness,” both her own, her children’s, her husband’s, and the whole human race’s, in the light of this frustration?

Even so, Cain falls far from Eve’s initial grand hopes and becomes for us a chilling cautionary tale of what happens when we turn from God.

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Genesis 3:14-24

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Genesis 3

14 The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. 15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” 16 To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.” 17 And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” 20 The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.21 And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. 22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24 He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.

A few days ago my brother sent me a picture of a large snake slithering across the dirt rode down which he had been traveling. It appears to be a Kingsnake. My brother observed that he had stopped his car to watch the snake cross the road in front of him. I observed in reply that, if I were him, I would continue to watch the snake from inside the car!

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It was a poignant reminder for me as I prepared to preach on our text. Adam and Eve have sinned against God. Eve gave ear to the devil, who, in the garden, came to her in the form of a serpent. And Adam had listened to Eve. Thus, they fall.The Fall is one of the most crucially important truths of all scripture. The Dutch theologian Herman Bavinck put it in these terms:

…the Fall is the silent hypothesis of the whole Bib[lical] Doctrine of sin and redemption; it does not rest only on a few vague passages, but forms an indispensable element In the revelation of salvation. The whole contemplation of man and humanity, of Nature and history, of ethical and physical evil, of redemption and the way in which to obtain it, is connected in Scripture with a Fall, such as Gen. 3 relates to us.[1]

I could not agree more. The Fall is indeed “the silent hypothesis” of scripture. It is perhaps no surprise, then, that the Fall is one of the most attacked and dismissed doctrines in the church today. This is a tragedy, for if we lose the doctrine of the Fall we lose a key component of the overall message of scripture. For this reason we should pay special attention to what scripture says about the result of Adam and Eve’s sin.

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Genesis 3:7-13

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Genesis 3

7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. 8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

If you think about it, questions have their rightful place in a relationship, but when they are present in abundance it usually means that something is wrong. The greatest moments in any relationship tend to be declarative, not interrogative: “I love you.” “I am happy to be with you.” And, of course, “You complete me!”

Imagine, however, if you went to a wedding and the preacher said, “Do you take this woman to be your lawful wedded wife?” and the groom responded with, “What do you mean? Why? What does lawful mean? And what is this about wedded?” Or imagine the preacher says, “I Bubba take thee Oree…” And Bubba says, “Where do I have to take her?”

Yes, sometimes questions mean that something is wrong. This fact is demonstrated in Genesis 3 and the immediate aftermath of Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit. When God confronts them hiding in the garden, He peppers them with questions. In fact, He asks four questions right out of the gate:

“Where are you?”

“Who told you that you were naked?”

“Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”

“What is this that you have done?”

These questions, all rhetorical in one sense since God knew the answer to them all, served a vital purpose: they were intended to get Adam and Eve to own what they had done and see the significance of their crime. I would propose that these questions maintain their significance in our own day and always will. They are the questions that we all must answer if we are to see rightly our broken relationship with God and if we are to put ourselves in a position to be restored and saved by God.

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Genesis 2:25-3:7

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Genesis 2

25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

Genesis 3

1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

All scripture is inspired by God and authoritative. Even so, there are certain sections of scripture that communicate key and foundational doctrines, doctrines upon which the rest of scripture hinges and in the light of which the rest of scripture makes sense. The beginning of Genesis 3 is one such section of scripture. I am not exaggerating when I say that if you get Genesis 3 wrong you will get John 3 wrong. Indeed, if you do not understand the entry of sin into the world, you will not be able to understand the cross and the empty tomb.

The chapter/verse distinctions in scripture are oftentimes muddled. Remember: the chapter/verse distinctions were added many many years after the writing of the Bible. One may criticize them in good conscience! The separation of Genesis 2:25 from the first seven verses of Genesis 3 would be one such occasion for criticism! Genesis 2:25 and Genesis 3:7 form an inclusio, a bookended section that begins and ends with a common image and whose verses are defined by the bookends. Look at the first and last verses of our section:

Genesis 2

25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

Genesis 3

Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

Do you see? The bookends have to do with (a) the nakedness of our first parents and (b) their understanding of that nakedness. In Genesis 2:25 we see innocence. Adam and Eve are naked but “not ashamed.” They have nothing of which to be ashamed in Genesis 2:25. But in Genesis 3:7, they are naked and know they are naked. Thus, they feel shame and seek to hide themselves.

Were one to situate these two verses on a graph, one would put Genesis 2:25 in the upper left corner of the graph and Genesis 3:7 in the bottom right corner with a sharply descending line going from the former to the latter. On the line one would write, “the fall.”

These two verses show the radical devastation wrought by what Christians call the fall of man, by which we mean humanity’s descent from innocence to shame, from guiltlessness to guilt, from holiness to sin, and from a right relationship with God to a fractured relationship with God. Indeed, the fall of man refers to the entry of death into the world, for this is ultimately what Adam and Eve’s sin brought into the world: death.

The question becomes, then, “How did we get here? How did this happen?” And to answer this we can turn to a close examination of the verses between our bookends, Genesis 3:1-6. They are not only a record of what went wrong. They are also an explanation of what goes wrong every day in your life and in mine and the lives of all human beings when we sin. This is the story of humanity and our fall into shame.

How did this happen? How did our first parents fall?

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Genesis 2:21-25

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Genesis 2

21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

At this point in our nation’s ethical and moral history, it should be clear that Christians are faced with two very clear and contrasting choices: either we will allow the scriptures to shape our views of gender, marriage, and human sexuality or we will allow the culture to do so. I would compare these two choices to, respectively, a lighthouse and a sea-bound ship. The lighthouse does not move. It is unchanging and it gives light and, when heeded by those at sea, life as it steers us away from the deadly rocks. The sea-bound ship of the culture has set its back to the lighthouse and is speeding with narcissistic confidence into the great unknown of the deep. Those on this ship are calling out to those in the lighthouse to abandon the set light of scripture and to join them in the thrilling wilds of adventure. And many, tragically, are swimming frantically out to sea hoping to catch up. Others in the lighthouse remain inside, but only just so, and feel deeply conflicted. “Are those on the boat right after all?” they wonder. “Are we in the lighthouse out of touch and outdated?” Then there are others—and we would call these orthodox, biblical Christians—who realize that the lighthouse is very different from the seabound ship, but who believe that the light of the lighthouse is truth, that it is God-given, and that it is indeed the path to life and joy!

Our church wants to be a lighthouse church. Even now there are water-logged survivors of the speeding ship of culture who are climbing back onto shore after being thrown into the chaotic deep by the instability of the boat. These survivors are announcing that what was promised at sea was not what was actually at sea! Others on the boat remain defiant.

Even so, the church is a lighthouse and a lighthouse we must remain. We are founded on Christ. Our light is the gospel. The scriptures are our guide, for they are God-breathed. Therefore, when it comes to these crucial matters of gender and sexuality, we are fully aware of their unpopularity but fully convinced at the same time of their truthfulness.

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Genesis 2:18-23

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Genesis 2

18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”

As we work through Genesis 2 we are building a case for the social realities of human beings as revealed by scripture. We began by noting the fundamental fact of the social nature of human beings as evidenced by God’s words in Genesis 2:18, “It is not good that the man should be alone.” We will now consider the maleness and femaleness of humanity. We will next consider the specific reality of marriage and all of its astonishing implications.

As we turn to Genesis 2:18-23 I am struck by the fact that probably for the first time in the history of the church are pastors in any widescale sense having to say the things I am going to say today regarding the human sexes and gender. There are few areas where there is more confusion and more hostility and more outright attacks on biblical truth than in this area. We may thank God, then, that He has not been silent on these vitally important issues.

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Genesis 2:18a-b

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Genesis 2

18a-b Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone…”

Last week forty-three of us spent spring break on a mission trip in Chicago. It was an absolutely amazing and powerful week. God moved mightily, the team was unified, and great work was done! It is always interesting to me to observe the community dynamics at play in a trip like this. You take a large group of people, almost all of whom attend the same church, and put them together in close quarters for a week and tell them to figure out how to do life and ministry together. In the case of last week, what happened was truly awesome. One team member commented that she expected to get along with everybody but did not know she would come to love everybody as she did. It was telling to me that one of her takeaways from that amazing week of ministry was the great work that God did in binding us all together. There is something profound about the experience of authentic family and community in the midst of our fractured age.

Our age is indeed fractured. Oddly enough, through the advent of social media, we are more connected than ever before and simultaneously more isolated. We have more contacts but less real relationships. We have more access to others but less deep and healthy friendships. Because of this, the book of Genesis, and, specifically, Genesis 2’s account of the creation of Adam is more timely than ever.

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Genesis 2:4-17

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Genesis 2

4 These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens. 5 When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, 6 and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground—7 then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. 8 And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 10 A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there. 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Cush. 14 And the name of the third river is the Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. 15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

My wife and I love Frances Hodgson Burnett’s beautiful story, The Secret Garden. The Wikipedia article on the book offers a nice summary of the story.

…Mary Lennox is a sickly and unloved 10-year-old girl, born in India to wealthy British parents who never wanted her and make an effort to ignore the girl. She is cared for by servants, who allow her to become a spoiled, aggressive, and selfish child.

After a cholera epidemic kills her parents and the servants, Mary is discovered alive but alone in the empty house…[S]he is sent to Yorkshire, in England, to live with Archibald Craven, a wealthy uncle whom she has never met, at his isolated house, Misselthwaite Manor.

At first, Mary is as rude and sour as ever. She dislikes her new home, the people living in it, and most of all, the bleak moor on which it sits. However, a good-natured maid named Martha Sowerby tells Mary about the late Mrs. Craven, who would spend hours in a private walled garden growing roses. Mrs. Craven died after an accident in the garden, and the devastated Mr. Craven locked the garden and buried the key. Mary becomes interested in finding the secret garden herself, and her ill manners begin to soften as a result…

As Mary explores the gardens, her robin draws her attention to an area of disturbed soil. Here Mary finds the key to the locked garden and eventually the door to the garden itself. She asks Martha for garden tools, which Martha sends with Dickon, her 12-year-old brother. Mary and Dickon take a liking to each other, as Dickon has a kind way with animals and a good nature. Eager to absorb his gardening knowledge, Mary tells him about the secret garden.

One night, Mary hears the cries once more and decides to follow them through the house. She is startled when she finds a boy her age named Colin, who lives in a hidden bedroom. She soon discovers that they are cousins, Colin being the son of Mr. and Mrs. Craven, and that he suffers from an unspecified spinal problem which precludes him from walking and causes him to spend most of his time in bed. Mary visits him every day that week, distracting him from his troubles with stories of the moor, Dickon and his animals, and the secret garden. Mary finally confides that she has access to the secret garden, and Colin asks to see it. Colin is put into his wheelchair and brought outside into the secret garden. It is the first time he has been outdoors for years.

…Colin and Mary soon spend almost every day in the garden, sometimes with Dickon as company. The children and Ben conspire to keep Colin’s recovering health a secret from the other staff, so as to surprise his father, who is travelling abroad. As Colin’s health improves, his father sees a coinciding increase in spirits, culminating in a dream where his late wife calls to him from inside the garden. When he receives a letter from Mrs. Sowerby, he takes the opportunity finally to return home. He walks the outer garden wall in his wife’s memory, but hears voices inside, finds the door unlocked, and is shocked to see the garden in full bloom, and his son healthy, having just won a race against the other two children. The servants watch, stunned, as Mr. Craven and Colin walk back to the manor together.[1]

It is a profoundly biblical notion: a garden in which a death occurred is reduced to a wilderness. In time, the garden is restored and begins to be a place of life instead of a place of death. The weak are healed, the bitter are given joy, and the despondent are given hope. I could not help but think of The Secret Gardenin reading our text. We live between the two gardens: the first Eden that has been lost because of our sinfulness and the death it brings and the new Heaven and new Earth in which God will have His garden once again.

In The Secret Gardenthe garden is restored through the tenacity of Mary Lennox and her friends. But, of course, in reality, God’s garden is being and will be restored through the person and the work of Jesus Christ. It is important to understand the significance of the garden of Eden and what it tells us about who we were created to be and who we can become again in Christ Jesus the Lord.

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Genesis 2:1-3

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Genesis 2

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

I have long had the feeling that most Christians simply do not know what to do with the seventh day, the Sabbath, the day on which God rested from His labors and called us to do the same. I have both felt and seen this inner tension in Christians most of my life. Many of us have in fact grown up with a kind of schizophrenic legalism surrounding this day which leads us (a) to think of this day in terms of what we can and cannot do on it and (b) inevitably to feel inconsistent and unsure about our own behavior in light of this assumption. For instance, when I grew up it was not ok to mow your grass on Sunday but it was ok to go out to eat and pay somebody else to work on Sunday. It was considered bad form and inappropriate—maybe some of the hardliners would have called it sinful—if a man went to the office on Sunday, but not bad form or inappropriate if he watched a football game. This kind of inner conflict has followed me to this day. For instance, every now and then it turns out that I need a haircut and Sunday afternoon turns out to be the best day for it, or so I tell myself. If ever I get my haircut on a Sunday I feel deeply conflicted about it. Have I violated the Sabbath? But then I did it on Sunday and not Saturday, right? But how does thatwhole dynamic work? Is Sunday the Sabbath or is Saturday? Etc. etc. etc.

These are the kinds of inner dynamics and psychology that many of us who have grown up in church have dealt with when thinking about the Sabbath. But what if this is all profoundly wrong-headed. What if reducing the Sabbath to these kinds of legalisms misses the main point of the matter in spectacular ways? I would like to suggest that it does and that the account of the seventh day, the Sabbath, in Genesis actually provides us with a profound and powerful and rich picture of our great God and of what life with Him looks like!

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