I am currently studying through the book of Genesis. I have chosen from my library, a dusty unmarked Bible to freshly explore the most foundational book ever written. I am stupefied every morning as God speaks to me through this magisterial work of art.
I am reading slowly, asking questions as I go, looking for new insights. It has been exciting to allow the Holy Spirit to freshly speak.
I am naming this blog, “Stewardship of Our Gardens” because of the second creation account of Genesis 2 (the first one is chapter 1), which goes into deeper detail in the creation of man and the garden. What we discover is that all of humankind was made for a garden.
Stewardship Principles from Eden
As I’m reading Genesis 2, I keep noticing the stewardship principles found in the relationship of God, humanity, and the first garden. Before sin, God laid out stewardship standards and insights that apply to our lives today and for all time. A few thoughts:
- Man was given a garden to steward (2:15-17). The word is “tend and keep.” We have all been given a “garden” to tend and keep. We have many gardens. Whether it’s our marriage, family, job, or relationships, all are gardens to steward with God’s help. The plan of God the Father was for all of us to properly and orderly steward our gardens.
- Man was given choices to make (2:17). Adam was given “every tree of the garden” to eat from but one. He was instructed “but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat.” Because He loves us, God gives us the free will to choose what’s good and bad, truth and error. The implications from our choices are clear: “[if] you eat of it, you shall surely die.” Our choices lead to life or death.
- Man was given a team to build (2:18, 20-24). God gave Eve to Adam. He never intended for the stewardship of our gardens to be done alone. She was “comparable to him” denoting mutual support and complementary in function. Equal in all ways yet different in many ways. We can’t steward anything without a team.
- Man was given authority to exercise (2:20). Man was given authority over all the animal kingdom through naming everything. That which one names, one has authority over. God has given us a stewardship through the power and authority we have received from God as His vice regents over the earth.
- Man was given a purpose to unify (2:24). Man was told to leave his father and mother, “be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” This is not just about sex and procreation. This is about one’s heart and purpose. Man and woman are to be unified in vision and destiny. Every garden has a purpose for its existence. Our job is to discover and steward God’s vision for that garden.
All of us have been given gardens to steward. Take to heart the opportunity provided by God to tend and keep His gardens for your life.