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Enjoying Life as God Intends

2019 Advent Devotional – Day 2

A Beautiful Garden

Read Genesis 2:8-25.

Upon knowing that they are pregnant, many couples will begin to prepare the nursery for their newborn. They will start hunting for furniture for the room or start painting the room in the appropriate colours. The couple will start wandering down the baby aisle in their weekly grocery shop, and start buying baby things – diapers, clothing, bottles etc. They want to be ready and prepared for the coming of the baby, so that when the baby comes, they will come into a world whereby they are given all that they need.

Our God is no different from proud parents. In our passage today, we read of God meticulously preparing the Garden of Eden to be a place of supreme peace and beauty. There were all kinds of trees that “were pleasing to the eye and good for food.” In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. A life-giving river flowed from Eden, giving a sense of fertility and abundance. It was into this seemingly perfect world that God “took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden” with only one condition – that he must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God in his grace prepared a wonderful world for the first man.

However, “it is not good for man to be alone” so God made a helper suitable for him (v18). When he woke up from his sleep and saw her, he broke into song. He recognised that she was his suitable helper, but more importantly that she was his equal, unlike all the other animals. She is the one who will be his companion in helping him to work and take care of the Garden of Eden. They were both naked and felt no shame, because they had nothing to hide from each other. Life seems to be perfect in that world. The first man and woman were in a blissful and perfect world, free from the taint of sin, free to eat from any tree in the Garden of Eden, and free to live in perfect harmony with God and each other.

That was how this world was meant to be. However, we all know this is no longer the case. We will look at the cause of that in tomorrow’s devotional. Almost everyone on earth today will acknowledge that there is something deeply missing and corrupted in our world. What is worse is mankind’s penchant for inflicting harm to each other, despite what we were created for. No matter how hard we try or how far technologically ahead we are, there is a fundamental corruption within us. That has also severed our relationship with God.

It was for this very reason that Jesus came into this world – to restore peace between mankind, but more importantly, to reconcile mankind to God. As the carol goes, “peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled…hail the sun of righteousness, life and life to all he brings, risen with healing in his wings.” He has come to restore us back to the beautiful garden that God once prepared for us, only this time, it’ll be a perfect everlasting world where we will dwell with God forever. Praise God indeed for sending Jesus Christ to restore us back to him!

  • Pray and thank God for our restored relationship with him and with each other.
  • Pray that we will bring peace to this world, between mankind and God, and also with each other particularly with those who are yet to know Jesus.