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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Remember The Garden

When Moses spoke to the Israelites right before they entered the land that was promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, he encouraged them t remember what God had done in their lives.  He reminded them of the covenant agreement, relationship, and commitment they had with God.  Then he reminded them of the promises God had made.

If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the LORD your God will keep his covenant of love with you, as he swore to your forefathers. He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers… (Deuteronomy 7:12-15 NIV84)

When the Israelites went against God, they lost the fight.  God still provided air to breath, water to drink, and food to eat.  It wasn’t the most enjoyable of circumstances, though.  They had what they needed to survive.  They also had a constant reminder that their very lives are always sustained by God.

He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you. (Deuteronomy 8:3-5 NIV84)

What God offered them, was much more beautiful.  Some of God’s gifts are given just because God is good (air, water, food).  They are given to the righteous and the unrighteous alike.  Other gifts, however, are only offered to those who get on the same page with God.  In this case, they were offered to the Israelites as long as they were obedient to the covenant they had with God.  This was a promise for their own version of the Garden of Eden.

Observe the commands of the LORD your God, walking in his ways and revering him. For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land--a land with streams and pools of water, with springs flowing in the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills. (Deuteronomy 8:6-9 NIV84)

The same is true for us today.  Some gifts from God (air, food, water) are given just because of God’s goodness.  They are given to us whether we walk with God or not.  Others, though, are gifts that are only given to us when we join God and walk in His ways.  Those benefits and blessings create our own Garden of Eden experience.  That’s why I refer to it as A Garden Walk.

How about you?  Do you see the goodness of God in your life?  Do you join God and walk in His ways?  Do you enjoy A Garden Walk?