In the Beginnig, God - Part 8
Another Round in Genesis Brings Us Closer to our True Purpose
Thank you for joining me for another round in Genesis. Genesis, the Book of Beginnings lays much of the foundation for our lives today. We have a way to go in our study so let's dig in and see what we shall find in this lesson.
From Part 7
We read of Eden in Genesis 2:8-14, “And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. . . . And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.”
The original location of Eden has been disputed over the years. Many believe because of the mention of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. Eden was located in the Middle East, in present-day Iraq. Mesopotamia has long been considered “the Cradle of Civilization.” We run into a problem, however when we come to the mention of the Pison and the Gihon Rivers, thus confusing the location of Eden.
We can safely assume that these rivers were destroyed by the universal flood. Ken Ham says in his article, Where Was the Garden of Eden Located, “This is a major consideration that needs to be taken into account. The worldwide, catastrophic Flood of Noah’s day would have destroyed the surface of the earth. If most of the sedimentary strata over the earth’s surface (many thousands of feet thick in places) is the result of this global catastrophe as creationists believe, then we would have no idea where the Garden of Eden was originally located—the earth’s surface totally changed as a result of the Flood.”
The Jewish-Roman historian Flavius Josephus, at the beginning of his Antiquities of the Jews (1st century AD), identified the Pishon with the Ganges. The medieval French rabbi Rashi identified it with the Nile.
According to Wikipedia, “David Rohl identified Pishon with the Uizhun, placing Havilah to the northeast of Mesopotamia. The Uizhun is known locally as the Golden River. Rising near Mt. Sahand, it meanders between ancient gold mines and lodes of lapis lazuli before feeding the Caspian Sea. Such natural resources correspond to the ones associated with the land of Havilah in Genesis.”
There are many other theories regarding the location of Eden, but this we know for sure – there is no conclusive evidence one way or another. It is agreed by most scholars the Hiddekel River equates to the Tigris.
We are told in verse 8 of Genesis 2 that a river parted into four separate heads. If we look at the Tigris and Euphrates today, we see that the two rivers flow to join one emptying into the Persian Gulf. This is the exact opposite of what the Genesis account says. Here, the rivers become one. In Genesis, the one river became four.
Consider the Three Rivers Point in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Allegheny River meets the Monongahela River and both flow into the Ohio River. The Ohio River, in turn, flows into the Mississippi River which empties into the Gulf of Mexico. The rivers eventually flow into the one river. Again, this is the opposite floor plan of the Garden of Eden as one river ran into four. This was specially created by God.
Something else we must consider is that the Great Flood of Noah’s day would have destroyed the original rivers and their basins. We cannot be sure that The Tigris and Euphrates Rivers today are the same ones mentioned in Genesis 2. They may have simply been renamed for rivers Noah knew before the flood.
Moving on to Genesis 2:15-17, we see the purpose of man. We read, “And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
God had a perfect plan, and if the man would have followed it, we would not have the problems we do today. God put the man in the garden of Eden. The word put has to do with location. God had a specific location for the man to begin his existence. There are no surprises with God. He has a specific location for you as well. It has been said that we are to bloom where we are planted – and so be it.
Adam was placed in that location for a specific purpose. He was to dress and keep the garden. In dressing the garden, Adam was to work the soil, to labor, to bring to pass. In other words, his efforts would bring forth results that would bless him. In this way, Adam became a provider.
The Hebrew word shâmar is translated as to keep in verse 15. It means to guard and protect. Guard and protect what? We shall see that more clearly in chapter 3.
Although not clearly stated, I believe the picture God paints here in the garden can be likened to the garden we may find ourselves in today – the garden of family, and particularly in the position of husband/father.
So many husbands and fathers today have failed to complete their purpose in the role they find themselves. They have failed to dress their garden. They have failed to provide for their family. We see in I Timothy 5:8, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”
Again, in II Thessalonians 3:10 we read, “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” God’s plan is for the family to be provided for. We will see the purpose of the woman soon, but man’s purpose was to provide and protect. It is the job of the husband to protect his family from harm, from defilement, from abuse, from unsafe situations (either physical or spiritual). The list goes on.
I have no time nor respect for men who sit around all day and do nothing. I have no time nor respect for men who expect their wives to bend over backward to meet all their whims, send her out to work, and otherwise abuse the leadership position God has given them.
I certainly realize there are times when a man cannot work. There may be times of disabilities that would interfere with physical or mental work. I understand that, but the responsibility of providing for and protecting the family still falls to the husband/father. Be creative. In times of disability, you will still be able to fulfill God’s purpose for your life.
We'll look next time at the beautiful gift of marriage as we examine the first wedding. God, Himself is the officiant as He gives away the first bride. It is He who instituted marriage, so it behooves us to take a detailed look at His plan. Join us next time for Part 9.
- In the Beginning, God - Part 9
Why did God create Eve from Adam's rib? What does the Bible have to say about marriage? What about divorce? The answers are all in the beginning.
© 2018 William Kovacic