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Phone: (888) 602-3456
Phone: (888) 602-3456
“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).
WHO IS SPEAKING?
The Triune Jehovah is speaking. He said, “Behold, the man is become as one of us.” Father, Son and Holy Spirit speak as one God in the plurality of three divine Persons. But when we read of the LORD God speaking, we know from God’s word that it is Christ speaking. God has only spoken to man and revealed Himself in, by and through His Son, the Word of God. He is the image of the invisible God (Col 1:15-17).
TO WHOM IS GOD SPEAKING?
The LORD God is speaking to Himself. The LORD God Jehovah, speaking in the Person of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, says, “Behold, the man is become as one of us.” This is God bearing record with Himself. “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one” (1 Jn 5:7).
OF WHAT IS GOD BEARING RECORD?
The LORD God is bearing record to Himself of the covenant of grace in the Lord Jesus Christ. God said, “Behold!” Be amazed and astounded at this wonder of grace! – “The man is become as one of us!” In Christ Jesus, by the marvelous grace of our God, the man is become as one with the triune God. The word ‘one’ in our text means united or joined together. In Christ God has united Himself to man, in the totality of His being, as Father, Son and Holy Ghost, for the salvation of sinners by His grace. For in Christ “dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power” (Col 2:9-10).
“Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken” (v 23). Child of God, do you ever wonder why you are the way you are. Although God has revealed Christ in you, and robed you in His righteousness, you still toil under the corruption of a fallen, sinful nature. God revealed His grace in you, and then you were sent to till the ground from whence you were taken. God took you from the pit of sin, and hewed you out of the sinful mass of fallen humanity. He made you a new creature in Christ. But now you’re forced to till the ground from whence you were taken. God has yet to deliver us from the presence of sin and from this evil world. We’re forced daily to recognize the vanity of this present existence. We’re forced to live with a vile, sinful, corrupt nature of flesh (Ecc 1:1-9).
In our God’s wise, adorable providence, this is the way He has ordained it for the good of His elect. Why does the LORD God leave His people in this world to till the useless ground from whence we were taken? He does it that we might learn to trust Him, and find all our hope in Christ alone. “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33).
Christ our God, through the riches of His sovereign grace, has driven us to this place, just as He drove out Adam to till the ground. All the days of his life, Adam was forced to acknowledge that all his labor and toil in this flesh was utter vanity. He was a sinful, dying man with no hope in himself. But He was comforted by the coat of skin God gave Him (the imputed righteousness of faith), and by the sure promise of the woman’s Seed, the Lord Jesus Christ. He was forced, by the sweet constraint of grace, to rest in hope of Christ, Who is the Resurrection and the Life. He looked with confident hope to that flaming Sword of God, which kept and preserved the Way of the tree of life.
THE FLAMING SWORD
“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” (v 24). That flaming Sword is Christ, the living Word of God, in Whom all the law and the prophets were fulfilled, and the righteousness and justice of God were fully accomplished and satisfied. God’s holy Word is called the Sword of the Spirit, and Christ is the incarnate Word of God (Jn 1:14).
In Christ all the attributes of God’s holy character are glorified as a flaming Sword. In Christ the way of the tree of life was kept, preserved and consecrated for God’s elect. “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh” (Heb 10:19-20).
In Christ the flaming sword of God’s justice turned every way to consecrate the Way. It turned every way through the veil of His flesh. Our Savior suffered fully as the God-man our Substitute, in mind, body, soul and spirit. And from head to toe His flesh was broken open by divine justice, paving a holy way to God for sinners to come through His shed blood. Come to God by faith with confidence, through the precious blood of Christ! (Heb 10:21-25).
So then, what is the meaning God’s statement concerning the condition of Adam and Eve? – “Behold, the man is become as one of us to know good and evil.” By the sovereign grace of God in Christ, Adam and Eve were forever joined to God their Savior! As He is, so are we in this world (1 Jn 3:1-2; 4:17).
And in Christ God’s elect are made to know good and evil. Man by nature knows nothing of good or evil. Apart from the revelation of God in Christ, man is totally ignorant of good and evil. He calls good evil and evil good (Isa 5:20). But in Christ God’s elect are made to know the true evil of our sin, because Christ was made sin for us (2 Cor 5:21). And we’re made to know the true nature of goodness, because we are made the righteousness of God in Christ, by the sweet experience of God’s saving goodness and grace.
ALL THINGS FOR ME
Isn’t it amazing? – how the LORD God named that forbidden tree, “The tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” knowing that man would sin and fall, and knowing what He would do for chosen sinners in the Person of His Son. His amazing grace in Christ was foreshadowed in the naming of that tree. Surely, this truth made Adam to say as David said, “I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me” (Ps 57:2). Even the sin and corruption of our fallen nature is made to work for the good of God’s elect.
ONE LAST THING
Adam and Eve were to live out the days of their vanity, tilling the ground, and looking to with patient hope the flaming Sword that kept the way of the tree of life (Jn 17:17). Believers, we’re to live out our days on earth, looking to Christ, and hoping in His word of grace by the gospel. We walk by faith in the light of God’s flaming Sword, the written Word of God. “Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do” (Heb 4:11-13).
Adam and Eve had the promise of God’s word as to the coming of Christ, but we have far more. We have the complete record of God concerning His dear Son. We have the record of His finished work and the sure promise of life to all that trust Him. “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God” (1 Jn 5:11-13).