And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.(Genesis 3:22-24)
Once we were happy, back in the garden, but a lie broke the stillness,and our hearts began to harden…Larry Norman
Adam and Eve were convicted and sentenced for their crime against God. They had broken faith with the One who had made them, and forfeited their privileged place in God’s Holy garden.
But in mercy , the guilty couple had also been given the gospel of deliverance through the “seed of the woman” and taught the importance of worship through the blood of an innocent substitute.
They must be driven out of the garden. God forcibly evicted them. They would have to live in a hostile world , suffering the consequences of the false wisdom they had opted for. Adam and Eve must toil and sweat, raise fallen children, and see the constant out working of their transgression, from generation to generation until death.
They had to go out of the garden, for should they now, in their fallen state, illegitimately eat of the “tree of Life”, they would be locked into the fallen state, forever. Their doom would be irrevocable. God’s love was severe in putting them out, but if He would save them He must do so.
But ever since then, the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve have sought to gain some kind of access back into the garden. the whole world of sinful experiences; mind altering drugs, sexual sin, euphoric false religion, the occult, all are examples of attempts to recreate the conditions of the garden, even if for but a few fleeting moments.
Fallen man would smash through the gates, or create his own (godless) version of the garden. Pagans and humanists alike lust either for the good old days tha once were, or the “golden age” that is just around the corner again, according to the rhetoric of the various political and religious messiah’s.
The Second Psalm warns us that the world’s masses are being prepared for the arrival of an ultimate “messiah” to inaugurate the new (godless) Eden.This is why the “Kings of the earth and their rulers” are busy eradicating every public trace possible of the West’s Judeo Christian past.
Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.(Psalm 2:1-3)
The fact that God put a turning sword at the entrance and deployed awesome living creatures, the Cherubim implies that if he could, fallen man may try violently to seize the garden for himself. The fallen sons of Adam would crash through the walls just to grasp a few minutes of Edenic bliss if possible.
This lust for something of Eden (without repentance) runs deep in men’s hearts. Isn’t that what our modern drug craze is all about? The obsession with illicit sex? As our troubled culture departs from God, many just want to feel better no matter what the cost.
Fallen man lusts for a respite from the sentence pronounced upon us by God in the fall, but never by turning in humble repentance to God.
On a larger scale consider the spectacle of the last century, atheistic Communism which sought by violence to create an earthly Eden, in the name of a promised Utopia. As Stalin once famously said about the massive slaughter, the artificial famine of his own people, and the violent repression he instituted,
“One death is always a tragedy, millions of deaths are a statistic”.
As human history has shown from the French Revolution, through the various Marxist revolutions, up to our own turbulent time, when fallen man wants to re-create Eden(Utopia), it always ends up looking a lot like Hell. Even if man could concoct a godless Eden he would only corrupt it, for man’s heart is not right.
The social and sexual revolution of the 1960’s was in the same vein, as this famous line from the song “Woodstock” attests,
We are Stardust, we are golden, and we have got to get ourselves back to the garden…Joni Mitchell
It was another naive attempt to cast off all of our traditional Judeo Christian restraints in an attempt to liberate mankind, hoping to get back to his natural state. Unfortunately they ignored the truth that since the fall, man’s natural state isn’t love, harmony and and peace, it is violent, selfish and grasping.
God drove Adam and Eve out of the garden, there will never be a return to Eden. God’s plan for man is not backwards looking, but forward. No, we can not ever recover “paradise lost” , but as pilgrims we look forward to the arrival of the “city whose builder and maker is God”.
By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.(Hebrews 11:8-10)
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.(Hebrews 11:14-16)