Friday, October 10, 2008

Better than Eden

But like Adam they transgressed the covenant;
there they dealt faithlessly with me.
Gilead is a city of evildoers,
tracked with blood.
As robbers lie in wait for a man,
so the priests band together;
they murder on the way to Shechem;
they commit villainy.
In the house of Israel I have seen a horrible thing;
Ephraim’s whoredom is there; Israel is defiled.
Hosea 6:7-10

But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man's sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:15-17

Lately I've been thinking a lot about Adam, I mean the first Adam. I've often wondered why God gave the command not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Or more accurately, I've wondered why he put the tree there in the first place knowing that Adam would disobey one day. Now when I want to know something, I ask God! At one time, I would have just ignored my questions and told myself there are some things I can't know, but now I feel free to ask any question I want assuming that God will reveal answers to me at some point.

I think I may be starting to understand the 'why' of giving one command. I think it was a test of faith. Without a command, Adam would have been in relationship with God more out of necessity or ignorance, it would not have been rooted in faith. But by giving the one command, God wove a trust factor into the fabric of his fellowship with man. Because of the command, Adam could only remain in unbroken intimacy with God as long as he believed in God's honesty, love, and goodness. There was a covenant between Adam and God that depended on Adam believing God. As we all know, Adam broke this covenant and as the representative of mankind he broke it on our behalf as well.

Since that time, God has always desired a restoration of the relationship with man, a relationship where he would be loved for who he truly is, where he would be believed in. He desired a new kind of covenant that would be unbreakable, but Israel was always asking for covenants they arrogantly thought they could keep...they had no desire for an unbreakable covenant that would never make use of their self-righteous efforts. But peppered throughout the history of God's people there are those who stand out as highly favored of God, men and women who simply heard God's voice and believed him. Men and women like Abraham , Moses, Deborah, Esther, David, Daniel...they even received revelation by foreshadow of a different kind of covenant and put their hope in the mercy of God.

In Abraham's life we see some of the most amazing foreshadowings of both the old and new covenant. He entered into a covenant with God that he did not ratify himself, but was ratified on his behalf by God (Genesis 15) which is a picture of the way the new covenant would be ratified. Also, in the story of bringing Isaac to be sacrificed in obedience to God's command, we see an amazing picture of the redemption that would come through Jesus and his sacrifice. Abraham even believed that Isaac would have been resurrected from the dead!

In the covenant of circumcision (Genesis 17), is a foreshadowing of the covenant God would make with Israel when he gave the law to them through Moses. Circumcision would later be commanded in the Law (Leviticus 12:2) but it becomes clear in Galatians that circumcision is no longer necessary in the new covenant.

"Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will punish all those who are circumcised merely in the flesh— Egypt, Judah, Edom, the sons of Ammon, Moab, and all who dwell in the desert who cut the corners of their hair, for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in heart."
Jeremiah 9:25-26

I believe God is speaking loud and clear in all of this:

TRUST IN ME!!!!!!!"

So I say all that to say this: we have it better than Adam and Eve. I know they were created without sin, perfect. But only one sin ruined it all for everyone. But in the new covenant we are born again into the perfection of Jesus Christ who will never never ever sin! We can never fall from the high place where we've been seated with Jesus! We enter in by faith, but even if we sin we will not be cast out.

There would be no need to cast us out, we have already eaten from the Tree of Life!

So stop dreaming of Eden and the good old days haha, we have it so much better now!


Alan Hiu said...

Shalom Julie,


A lot of wonderful truth is hiding in this post waiting for us to discover.

In your light, I see light... Chewing on this truth will bring nutrition to our spirit!

RJW said...

Good one, Julie.

This is a discussion we have had with friends. Many people say we have been restored to Adam's position in the garden. Not true; we have become the garden with Christ as the "husbandman." Much better to be kept, than to do the keeping of one's self. Thus the inherent flaw in preaching law; we cannot and were not meant to "keep it", except in Christ who fulfilled it.

jul said...

Alan, sometimes since coming into revelation of grace, I feel that there is so much more revelation swirling around me! I just get dazzled at times, wondering which one to grab onto and's very exciting! So true what you said about truth hiding here, I feel I've only just begun to understand a small part of what I was trying to say.

And how amazing will an eternity of ever discovering more and more precious living truths be?

Jamie, you're right! I used to think we had been restored, and in a sense there is some restoration in regards to the type of relationship we have with God (like Adam before the fall, there is no sin to interrupt our fellowship), but truly we have entered into a whole new realm as humans because of Jesus. Like Job, his 'restoration' far exceeded his original state!

dogimo said...

Indeed. Adam's unblemished sinless nature was just waiting for the one sin that would cast it down - whereas our new nature is impervious to sin; sin is no longer a stumbling block to those who are the living body of Christ on earth.

Innocence ≠ bliss.

Redemption = bliss.

lydia joy said...

I loved this post.............!!!

oh and HAPPY BIRTHDAY...........!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SLW said...

Very good Jul.

I don't know that we can say Israel really "asked" for the covenants they received (they did ask for a king), but your understanding of the centrality of faith and it's test in Eden is spot on. It always has been and always will be about a trusting relationship with God.

I like the notion of already having eaten of the tree of life. Got to meditate on that for a while, and see what God will show me.