“And the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden
to tend and guard and keep it.” Genesis 2:15
The Creation story from Genesis chapter one, is one we’ve probably all heard. God created our world: complete with sun, moon, stars; day and night; oceans and land; land and sea animals; vegetation and man. But THEN God shifted His focus in Genesis chapter two. His focus was one born of great love.
I recall the time I shifted my focus to providing my daughter with a surprise birthday party. Because her birthday is near Halloween, she had never had a huge party due to holiday conflict. My husband and I wanted to go all out for her: make it a memorable day she would never forget. We secretly planned for months. I gathered ideas…logged many hours on detailed planning… re-purposed items to create a nice shabby chic decorated yard. We worked on prepping our yard every weekend for two months. We invited guests, shopped, cooked and decorated. My husband and I were determined to make this a special day for her. We worked hard to cross every ‘t’ and dot every ‘i.’ We put our heart and soul into this endeavor. We were so excited!!! We couldn’t wait to surprise her! All this extra planning exclusively for our daughter was fueled by our love for her. I imagine God had the same excitement as He planned His gift for Adam.
He already created the world, but God wanted to give something exceptional and extraordinary. God specifically chose a location; then planned, prepped and planted a beautiful garden with all the amenities. After all the work was done, He presented the gift to Adam. Then God invited some special guests: every animal that He had created. He let Adam choose their names. What an incredible honor. For the after party, God created another special gift: Eve. Adam had received God’s exclusive attention; God’s very best!
Adam and Eve were all about that Garden life. EVERY day, God Himself would visit them, and walk in the garden with them! It was euphoric! Perfect! No worries, just right! YET God had given them a job; a mission; and a purpose.
To Tend: have care of or look after; manage or run
To Guard: watch over or shield from danger or harm; protect against a challenge or attack
To Keep: retain rights to
Wow, this raises a few questions for me like: How could they lose rights to the garden….to the gift that God had given them? Protect it from WHAT danger…..wasn’t everything euphoric and perfect?
Like Adam and Eve, God has given US many precious gifts like:
Salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Spiritual Gifts (1 Corinthians 12:4-11) (Romans 12:6-8) (1Peter 4:10-11)
Ministries (I Timothy 1:12)
Children (Psalm 127:3)
And we have that same mandate because the enemy is waiting for any opportunity to steal what God has given us, just like he did Adam and Eve. Each gift from God has a purpose! WE have been given the responsibility to tend to these gifts; to guard them; and more importantly, to retain the rights to them! These gifts were intended for us, and belong to us! Let’s keep them, and use them for His glory!