This is the first year that I’ve tried growing a garden. I helped my dad here and there in his garden when I was little, but this is the first time where I had to take care of everything. Although I knew how much work my dad put into the garden I never experienced it for myself. I use the time in the garden to meditate and organize my thoughts and over the past week I’ve really spent some time thinking about the most famous and significant garden in the world: Eden. Events which transpired there have had lasting effects. Just thinking through the obvious ones:
- First man and first woman were created and lived there.
- First human disobedience occurred.
- First curses placed on the earth, humanity, and everything else which was created.
- First promise of a “seed” which would crush the serpent’s head was given.
My thoughts recently have focused on the effects of the curse especially as it relates to growing things. Adam’s purpose as given by God is that he would subdue the earth. He was uniquely created as a God’s vice-regent by virtue that he was created in God’s image. ((Eugene H. Merrill. Covenant and the Kingdom: Genesis 1-3 as Foundational for Biblical Theology. Dallas Theological Seminary.)) However, this exercise of authority over the earth was not independent of God’s authority. This dependence upon God’s authority is what made the forbidden fruit so destructive to humanity. In choosing to eat of the fruit, Adam and Eve asserted their authority over God’s. Thus, Adam lost the privilege of exercising authority over the earth. He was still responsible for subduing it, but he must now subdue it through hard, tedious labor.
This hard labor is frustrating because the earth does not submit to our will. Weeds grow where we don’t want them and good plants become infested with bugs and disease. Rain and sunshine come and go as they please, not as we desire. It’s an interesting connection between the first Adam and the second Adam, Christ, since Jesus was able to subdue storms with a word or destroy a fig tree with a curse. While these miracles are often ascribed to Christ’s deity (and rightfully so), there also seems to be an aspect that Jesus himself is subduing the earth in ways that humanity, which was patterned after him, should have subdued the earth back in the garden.
Praise God that his plan is “to unite all things in him [Christ], things in heaven and things on earth” (Ephesians 1:10). Jesus is the ultimate king over the cosmos as he subdues everything perfectly.