Guarding the Way to God

Guarding the Way to God

So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life. (Genesis 3:24)

God created Adam, then He created Eve out of Adam. He gave them dominion over the earth, but they wasted that great privilege by yielding to Satan’s temptation, eating the forbidden fruit. Adam and Eve hid from God, but He confronted them, and pronounced a series of curses against the serpent (Satan), the woman, and the man. Then God clothed Adam and Eve with the skins of sacrificed animals.

Guarding the Way to God

God then sent Adam and Eve out of the garden of Eden. In mercy, God protected Adam and Eve from the horrible fate of having to live forever as sinners by preventing them from eating from the tree of life.

Not only did God prevent them from eating from the tree of life, but the Lord also sent them out of the garden of Eden. We don’t know if Adam and Eve wanted to stay in the garden. Perhaps they felt if they left the garden, they might never see God again because it was the only place where they had met Him.

God didn’t just ask Adam and Eve to leave the garden; He drove them out. On top of that, God placed a guard – several angelic beings known as cherubim – at the entrance. Cherubim are always associated with the presence and glory of God (Ezekiel 10, Isaiah 6, Revelation 4). When cherubim are represented on earth (such as in the tabernacle, Exodus 25:10-22), they mark a meeting place with God. Though Adam and Eve and their descendants were prevented from eating the fruit of the tree of life, they could still come there to meet God. This was their “holy of holies.” Therefore, it was important to send cherubim and a flaming sword to guard the way to the tree of life.

They guarded the way so that Adam and Eve could come before the Lord, perhaps at the entrance to the garden or the tree of life. This is the last historical mention of the garden of Eden in the Bible. We can speculate that God did not destroy it but left it to the effects of the curse and suppose that it generally deteriorated from its original condition, blending into the surrounding geography.

We can make an analogy, seeing that Jesus is the gatekeeper to the Garden of God. When Jesus promised the thief on the cross (Luke 23:43) that he would be with Him in Paradise, He used a word that means “Garden.” It is the same word used in the ancient Greek Bible to describe the Garden of Eden.

Jesus is the one who brings people back to God’s garden – no longer on earth, but in heaven (2 Corinthians 12:4, Revelation 2:7). Today, by Jesus Christ, you can come to the presence of God – Jesus guards the way.

Click here for David’s commentary on Genesis 3

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