Let's Talk About God's Gift

by Andrea Murdock

Genesis 3:23:

The LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to farm the fertile land from which he was taken. —Genesis 3:23

Commentary:

Each person probably has a different picture in his or her mind of the garden of Eden, but the basic idea is the same for everyone: beautiful and lush, with fruit and flowering plants everywhere. Even people who have little familiarity with the Bible have encountered cultural references to Eden and recognize the garden as the essence of perfection.

But the perfection doesn’t last. Adam and Eve, the humans whom God has placed in the garden to care for it, succumb to the snake’s trickery. Their shame when God appears that evening indicates that they are well aware of their wrongdoing. As a part of the man’s punishment, God assigns him the duty of tilling and working the land. This suggests that a productive landscape that provided food and filled the first humans’ lives with beauty was one of God’s greatest gifts to humanity.

Still today we have a responsibility to tend what God has provided for us, whether that means literally working in the garden or making the most of other gifts we’ve been given.

Questions to Discuss:

Why, do you think, did God place the first humans in a garden?

Have you ever tended a garden? What sort of work was required? What was most difficult about this work?

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