Our Daily Bread Devotional For October 20, 2023 : Topic – In the Garden
Bible in a Year:
The Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.
The garden imagery in Genesis 2–3—which includes “the tree of life” (2:9; 3:22, 24)—prepares Bible readers for the use of the phrase elsewhere in Scripture. Access to this unique, life-giving tree meant that partakers wouldn’t be subject to death (3:22). In the book of Proverbs, the expression is used metaphorically: “[Wisdom] is a tree of life to those who take hold of her” (3:18); “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life” (11:30); “The soothing tongue is a tree of life” (15:4). In Revelation (22:2, 14, 19), the future Edenic existence for believers in Jesus comes into view. Indeed, a beautiful garden-like existence awaits the people of God.
Message : My dad loved being outdoors in God’s creation camping, fishing, and rock-hunting. He also enjoyed working in his yard and garden. But it took lots of work! He spent hours pruning, hoeing, planting seeds or flowers, pulling weeds, mowing the lawn, and watering the yard and garden. The results were worth it—a landscaped lawn, tasty tomatoes, and beautiful peace roses. Every year he pruned the roses close to the ground, and every year they grew back—filling the senses with their fragrance and beauty.
In Genesis, we read of the garden of Eden where Adam and Eve lived, thrived, and walked with God. There, God “made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food” (Genesis 2:9). I imagine that perfect garden also included beautiful, sweet-smelling flowers—perhaps even roses minus the thorns!
After Adam and Eve’s rebellion against God, they were expelled from the garden and needed to plant and care for their own gardens, which meant breaking up hard ground, battling with thorns, and other challenges (3:17–19, 23–24). Yet God continued to provide for them (v. 21). And He didn’t leave humanity without the beauty of creation to draw us to Him (Romans 1:20). The flowers in the garden remind us of God’s continued love and promise of a renewed creation—symbols of hope and comfort!
Reflect & Pray
When has creation drawn you to praise the Creator? How do you see God in creation?
Dear God, thank You for the many reminders of You in Your creation. Thank You for beauty among thorns.