“Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden, and there he put the man he had formed….” Genesis 2:8
Just to see the word there makes my soul exhale a little. I have seen some beautiful places on this earth, where mountains rise into the sky, or the sea laps gently at the shore, and even lovely gardens, and yet in my heart, I know those things are just a shadow of the beauty that must have abounded in Eden.
In just six days, God created everything we know as the physical world. The earth, and the sea, and sky. The sun and moon and stars. The trees and plants, the animals and fish and birds. And us – mankind. And as if creation itself were not enough, God prepare a special place for us to live, an earthly paradise where Adam and Eve walked daily with Him.
To understand everything else God has to say to us about food in the Bible, we must begin here.
What do you see when you picture a paradise? A lot of times, I think we picture Adam and Eve frolicking naked in the garden, with no work, no cares, and no needs. But that is not how it was.
Adam and Eve had work to do. “The Lord God took the man and put him the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it…. Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:15, 18)
And Adam and Eve still had needs. Even in paradise, they were human beings who needed food, water, and air to survive. David Platt points out, in his book, Follow Me, “The garden paradise where Adam and Eve lived was not a place where humans had no needs or desires. Instead it was a place where all their needs and desires were met by the God who created them.” (p.107)
Adam and Eve were very much like you and me, they just lived in a world untainted by sin. Adam and Eve even had rules to follow. One, actually:
“And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:16-17
But did you catch what God said at the beginning? Adam and Eve were free to eat.
What in the world happened to us?
This post is part of a 31-day series. A list of all the other posts in this series can be found here.