The Abundance of Eden

The Garden of Eden—even the name suggests abundance, everything lush and beautiful.  The romantic view is that the Garden was a tropical paradise, replete with flowering plants and with jungle-like, untamed greenery both wild and wonderful.  Kind of like Costa Rica, only better. 

Sorry to pop your bubble, but Costa Rica and even Hawaii aren’t anywhere close to what the Garden of Eden was in Genesis.  Technically, it’s not even the Garden of  Eden, as if it was the sole garden of a proper noun place called Eden like Longwood Gardens of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.  The very word Eden is in the semantic range of enrich or make abundant resulting in the Garden of Eden conveying meaning as Garden of Abundance. 

What was so abundant?  The streams arising from within the earth—Eden, the very source of water for sustaining life—made God’s Garden well-watered and the perfect place for perfect life to be perfectly introduced.

Genesis 2:4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created. When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens– 5 and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground, 6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground”

God had not sent rain and even when no man was yet to work the ground, the water was so abundant in Eden, it could not be contained.  It didn’t pool deeply in the Garden, but was meant to water entire areas outside of the Garden (Genesis 2:10-14). 

This was not rain water—a gift of the sky.  It emerged up from Eden, from within God’s abundance.

I wonder if Jesus had this life-giving, life-sustaining, arising from God’s abundance idea in mind when Scripture records this imagery, John 7: 37 “On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.’ 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.”

Food for thought:

Read Jeremiah 2:12-13 about God’s people having rejected the spring of living water.  In what ways do we dig our own cisterns instead of trusting God in current culture?

About the day of reckoning, again we see living water.  Zechariah 14:8 “On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in summer and in winter. 9 The LORD will be King over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and His Name the only name.”

In John 4:4-14, Jesus talks to a Samaritan woman about living water saying, John 4:10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” 11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?” 13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”.

In what ways might these be connected as imagery, recalling Eden, God’s abundance—living water—giving and sustaining life?  In what ways is water necessary for life?

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on January 7, 2018

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