That I Would See...
Your faithfulness in all of the green
Song: The Garden by Kari Jobe
Growing up, my father had an amazing yard. He would spend hours out in the yard perfecting the look. Mowing, weeding, pruning, splitting and replanting… you name it, he did it. Even to this day, when he is camping he will manicure his “yard”. Here are some of the images of his yard from years past.
My family recently went to Central Park in New York City. The images at the end of this blog are from there. It was unique to be the only ones there due to the rain, and our tour guide was shocked by how few people we saw. The place was beautiful. Like my father’s yard back home, Central Park was perfectly manicured. Flowers pruned nicely, weeds pulled, grass mowed… the people taking care of this park/yard/garden obviously cared enough to put in A LOT of work.
GOD loves gardens probably even more than my dad, and the people who cared for Central Park. HE created one for man to live in. JESUS went to one to pray. JESUS was buried in one. Here are a few quick lessons from gardens in the BIBLE. If you make it through all the reading… there are images from Central Park at the end. ENJOY!!!
1. Gardens Are Beautiful...
The Garden of Eden had to have been a beautiful place. Created by GOD especially for us to live in. A place where we could walk with GOD daily. A place of eternal life. However, even in this beautiful garden, the DEVIL was still present, looking for ways to ruin it. The DEVIL found an opportunity when the woman was away from GOD, to tempt her. Eve saw that the fruit was delightful to look at… She was distracted by the beauty of the world. She lost her focus on GOD, and how wonderful HE was. Lesson: When we aren’t with GOD, totally focused on him, we can be led astray by the beauty of this world.
Then the LORD GOD formed the man out of the dust from the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and the man became a living being. The LORD GOD planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there HE placed the man HE had formed. The LORD GOD caused to grow out of the ground every tree pleasing in appearance and good for food, including the tree of life in the middle of the garden, as well as the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
The LORD GOD took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to work it and watch over it. And the LORD GOD commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.”
Then the LORD GOD said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper as his complement.”
So the LORD GOD formed out of the ground every wild animal and every bird of the sky, and brought each to the man to see what he would call it. And whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all the livestock, to the birds of the sky, and to every wild animal; but for the man no helper was found as his complement.
So the LORD GOD caused a deep sleep to come over the man, and he slept. GOD took one of his ribs and closed the flesh at that place. Then the LORD GOD made the rib HE had taken from the man into a woman and brought her to the man.
Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the LORD GOD had made. HE said to the woman, “Did GOD really say, ‘You can’t eat from any tree in the garden’?”
The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit from the trees in the garden. But about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, God said, ‘You must not eat it or touch it, or you will die.’”
“No! You will not die,” the serpent said to the woman. “In fact, GOD knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like GOD, knowing good and evil.” Then the woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD GOD walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and they hid themselves from the LORD GOD among the trees of the garden.
2. Gardens Are Peaceful…
The night JESUS was arrested he took his disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane. How peaceful of a place it must have been. JESUS could go away to pray and not be disturbed. HIS disciples could sit back, relax, and fall asleep (Even though asked to stay awake) Just like JESUS’ disciples, we too can be lulled into a feeling that we are at peace, when we are really in the midst of temptation. We must remember to always be vigilant… never unprepared… always ready… so that we won’t be caught unaware by the mob that intends to harm us.
HE went out and made HIS way as usual to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed Him. When HE reached the place, HE told them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” Then HE withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and began to pray, “FATHER, if YOU are willing, take this cup away from ME — nevertheless, not MY will, but YOURS, be done.”
Then an angel from heaven appeared to HIM, strengthening HIM. Being in anguish, HE prayed more fervently, and HIS sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground. When HE got up from prayer and came to the disciples, HE found them sleeping, exhausted from their grief. “Why are you sleeping?” He asked them. “Get up and pray, so that you won’t enter into temptation.”
While HE was still speaking, suddenly a mob was there...
3.) Gardens Are A Place To Rest…
After JESUS death on the cross, he was buried in the Garden of Golgotha (John 19:28-42). He was at rest… or was he. While it is tough to know exactly what was done after he died, there are a few verses that might give us an idea. Perhaps HE went to Hades (Acts 2:31). Perhaps while there he proclaimed HIS message (1 Peter 3:18-19). Perhaps HE went and gathered those in paradise and led them to Heaven (Ephesians 4:8). I’m not sure, but it would appear HE didn’t just rest. And we need to learn that while rest is good, we should always be willing to do the work that GOD has planned for us.
After this, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of JESUS — but secretly because of his fear of the Jews — asked Pilate that he might remove JESUS’ body. Pilate gave him permission, so he came and took HIS body away. Nicodemus (who had previously come to HIM at night) also came, bringing a mixture of about 75 pounds of myrrh and aloes. Then they took JESUS’ body and wrapped it in linen cloths with the aromatic spices, according to the burial custom of the Jews. There was a garden in the place where HE was crucified. A new tomb was in the garden; no one had yet been placed in it. They placed JESUS there because of the Jewish preparation and since the tomb was nearby.
Seeing this in advance, he spoke concerning the resurrection of the MESSIAH: HE was not left in Hades, and HIS flesh did not experience decay.
1 Peter 3:18-19
For CHRIST also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that HE might bring you to GOD, after being put to death in the fleshly realm but made alive in the spiritual realm. In that state HE also went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison
This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, HE took many captives and gave gifts to HIS people.”