“And God said, ‘Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to their kind, on the earth. And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:11-12 (ESV)
Catherine’s Garden 2011
As a gardener, I’ve often wondered what early earth was like, especially the Garden of Eden. I’m pretty certain there wasn’t any pollution in the garden air. No thorny weeds to scratch Adam and Eve as they plucked juicy berries from the bushes. I imagine the sun wasn’t too hot or the nights too cold. The bees probably ignored Adam when he reached into the hive for some honey. The water in the river they drank from was surely crystal clear. In short, it was a paradise. After all, God created it, and said it was good. What better guarantee of perfection could you get that that?
But somewhere along the way, Adam and Eve sinned and messed up that idyllic home. They disobeyed God and ate from the Tree of Knowledge. God punished them for their disobedience by throwing them out of the garden, and he set an angel at the gates to keep them from reentering paradise.
Once mankind sinned, God’s beautiful creation, outside Eden, was never the same again.
Thanks to Adam and Eve’s sin, thorns and weeds sprang up to crowd out the perfect landscaping God had created. Adam’s job description changed from tending the garden to toiling in the ground to provide for his family.
I understand tending a garden. It’s like reaping the fruit of someone else’s labor. You just go into the garden and fill your baskets with fresh fruit and veggies that someone else planted. Along the way, if they appear, you casually pluck out a few young, shallow-rooted weeds, or crush a tomato hornworm onto the garden wall and let a bird feast on it.
I understand toiling in a garden, too. That is the back-breaking work of tilling the soil; planting the seeds; watering; hoeing the deeply rooted, stubborn weeds; running away from the ground bees’ nest you disturbed; spraying for bugs and fungal infestations; chasing away the deer, cats, raccoons, and dogs; digging up the dead plants and weeds; and starting the whole process over again next spring.
When God set Adam and Eve in the garden, he gave them the task of being caretakers. That chore falls to us, too. We are stewards of the beautiful home God gave us in which to live our mortal lives. We may not be able to take care of it in the most perfect manner, because after all we are human and have our failings. But until God comes to take us to our new forever home, we ought to do the best we can to take care of our earthly home.
Tomorrow April 22, 2021 is Earth Day, the largest secular observance in the world, and it’s centered trying to protect our planet from harmful, manmade issues. This year let’s add celebrating God’s creation of our world to that list. Because “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” AND “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” Genesis 1:1 and 1:31 (ESV)
Prayer: God, we thank you for the magnificent world you have given us. We are so blessed to live among the beauty you created. Help us to be good stewards of the gift you’ve bestowed on us until that time when we will reside in our new forever home where the glory of your everlasting light will be more beautiful than any earthly gardens we can imagine.
In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Celebrate God’s Earth (© Catherine Hershberger 4/14/21)
About the Author:
Catherine is a member of Greendale First Church of Christ. She is also an award-winning author of sweet and inspirational romance under the pen name of Catherine Castle. Many of her devotions have appeared on various places on the internet. You can find her books on her Amazon Author page or at Barnes and Noble.