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The Gardens of God 

Do you wish that you could have lived in the Garden of Eden?

Genesis 2.8–10

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • January 29, ad 2012

Scripture Reader and Reading: Lake – Revelation 21.1–5


  1. Do you wish that you could have lived in the Garden of Eden? 
  2. God’s plan was for us all to have lived there, or 
    1. at least throughout the rest of the earth,
    2. which was Eden-like, at least it was
      1. before God cursed it for man’s sin, and
      2. before God ravaged it with a global flood.
  3. Daily we try throughout the planet to recreate the Garden of Eden, but 
    1. while we accomplish much,
    2. all our efforts are doomed to fail, because
      1. God has cursed the ground, and
      2. the earth has been altered so radically by the Flood
        1. that the conditions will never be conducive to something
        2. similar to the Garden of Eden.
          1. Yes, we should take care of the earth, and
          2. make it the best we can,
            1. remembering that the Garden of Eden is gone forever,
            2. sort of.
  4. Let me show you some Gardens of God. 


  1. The Garden of Eden 
    1. God planted a garden!

      8 The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. 9 And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 10 Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads (Gen 2.8–10).

      1. God planted a garden eastward in Eden.
      2. God made trees that were pleasant to the sight.
      3. God made trees that were good for food.
      4. God put the tree of life in the midst of the garden.
      5. A river watered the garden.
    2. The simple life of the Garden of Eden,

      15 Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Gen 2.15–17).

      26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” (Gen 1.26).

      28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Gen 1.28).

      29 And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food (Gen 1.29).

      1. Man had to tend and keep the garden of Eden.
      2. Man could eat freely of any tree, except one.
      3. Man had dominion over all creation.
      4. Man had to reproduce.
      5. Man could eat freely of any herb and any tree.
    3. The Garden of Eden was not the only place on earth that was that beautiful.
      1. The Bible shows why Lot chose to dwell in the area of Sodom,

        10 And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere (before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar (Gen 13.10).

        1. The well-watered part sounds like what we saw in Genesis 2.
        2. Moses even compared the plain of the Jordan to the garden of the Lord.
        3. He also compared it to Egypt.
          1. These places existed even after the Flood.
          2. Yet, the place Lot chose no longer exists in such beauty.
        4. Egypt has faded in beauty.
    4. The Bible also uses the Garden of Eden figuratively.
      1. Isaiah 51 promises those who
        1. follow righteousness,
        2. seek the Lord, and
        3. look to Abraham and Sarah,
          1. that the Lord shall make Zion like the Garden of Eden, and
          2. the church shall flourish beautifully as the true Zion,

            3 For the LORD will comfort Zion,
            He will comfort all her waste places;
            He will make her wilderness like Eden,
            And her desert like the garden of the LORD;
            Joy and gladness will be found in it,
            Thanksgiving and the voice of melody.
            (Isa 51.3)

            1. This shows that the Garden of Eden was a place of
            2. joy, gladness, thanksgiving, and music.
      2. In Ezekiel 28, the Lord spoke to the king of Tyre of his greatness, affirming
        1. his Daniel-surpassing wisdom (vv. 3–5), and
        2. the Lord wanted Ezekiel to say this to the king of Tyre,

          12b “You were the seal of perfection,
          Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
          13 You were in Eden, the garden of God;
          Every precious stone was your covering:
          The sardius, topaz, and diamond,
          Beryl, onyx, and jasper,
          Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold.
          The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes
          Was prepared for you on the day you were created.”
          (Eze 28.12b, 13)

          1. Eden was perfect, full of wisdom, beautiful, and luxurious.
        3. Such language makes some people conclude this refers to Satan,
          1. as the serpent was in the Garden of Eden, but
          2. this is a metaphorical use of the Garden of Eden.
            1. The king of Tyre lived in Eden-like conditions, but
              1. the king let his wisdom, beauty, and Eden-like surroundings
              2. go to his head and make him think that he was a god.
      3. Ezekiel 31 presents an interesting picture of both Assyria and Egypt.
        1. The Lord reminded Egypt of Assyria’s greatness before its destruction,
          1. using the imagery of the tress of the Garden of Eden,
          2. which was located in the area that Assyria later occupied.
        2. So the Lord said this to Egypt about Assyria,

          7 “Thus it was beautiful in greatness and in the length of its branches,
          Because its roots reached to abundant waters.
          8 The cedars in the garden of God could not hide it;
          The fir trees were not like its boughs,
          And the chestnut trees were not like its branches;
          No tree in the garden of God was like it in beauty.
          9 I made it beautiful with a multitude of branches,
          So that all the trees of Eden envied it,
          That were in the garden of God.”
          (Eze 31.7–9)

          1. The Garden of Eden had beautiful, magnificent, and full trees.
        3. Starting at verse 10, the Lord spoke to Egypt,
          1. still using Assyria as an example, and
          2. still using the Garden of Eden as the imagery,

            15 “Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘In the day when it went down to hell, I caused mourning. I covered the deep because of it. I restrained its rivers, and the great waters were held back. I caused Lebanon to mourn for it, and all the trees of the field wilted because of it. 16 I made the nations shake at the sound of its fall, when I cast it down to hell together with those who descend into the Pit; and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, were comforted in the depths of the earth. 17 They also went down to hell with it, with those slain by the sword; and those who were its strong arm dwelt in its shadows among the nations. 18 To which of the trees in Eden will you then be likened in glory and greatness? Yet you shall be brought down with the trees of Eden to the depths of the earth; you shall lie in the midst of the uncircumcised, with those slain by the sword. This is Pharaoh and all his multitude,’ says the Lord GOD” (Eze 31.15–18).

            1. The kingdom of Egypt was spectacular at one time, but
            2. because of her self-exaltation,
              1. the Lord brought down Egypt,
              2. even as He brought down the literal Garden of Eden.
    5. In a reverse process, Ezekiel 36 prophesied of what the Lord would do to Israel,

      35 So they will say, “This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden; and the wasted, desolate, and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited” (Eze 36.35).
    6. Joel 2 used a locust plague to picture the devastation on Israel, both
      1. from literal locusts and
      2. from an army of men similar to locusts,

        3 A fire devours before them,
        And behind them a flame burns;
        The land is like the Garden of Eden before them,
        And behind them a desolate wilderness;
        Surely nothing shall escape them.
        (Joel 2.3)
    7. The Bible uses the God-planted Garden of Eden to picture awesome beauty, but
      1. while there may still be Eden-like places on the earth,
      2. none of them are truly like the Garden of Eden, and
        1. our first parents did not live there long, because
        2. they sinned by eating from the one tree in the Garden
          1. that God had said He did not want them to eat.
          2. Therefore, we read these sad words,

            22 Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— 23 therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 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 (Gen 3.22–24).

            1. They could never return to the Garden of Eden, and
            2. we cannot go there either and find it, for
              1. it was guarded by cherubim and a flaming sword, but
              2. now the Lord has destroyed the Garden of Eden.
    8. None of that means that God does not want us to live in a paradise.
      1. He planted the Garden of Eden, and put Adam and Eve there, because
      2. He wanted them to live in a perfect place.
        1. Our God still desires that for us.
          1. This is the point of the Bible.
          2. This is the point of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
        2. However, before we can enter another garden of God,
          1. someone else had to enter two of other gardens first,
          2. to clear the pathway to the Paradise of God.
  2. The Garden of Gethsemane 
    1. By the time the reader gets to John 18,
      1. the three-and-a-half-year-ministry of Jesus Christ was about over.
      2. John 13–17 chronicles
        1. His last words to His disciples
        2. on His last night on earth.
    2. When He concluded His final teachings and instructions,
      1. He, along with His disciples, took a walk,

        1 When Jesus had spoken these words, He went out with His disciples over the Brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which He and His disciples entered (John 18.1).
      2. Matthew and Mark show that this garden was called Gethsemane.
    3. Jesus chose a garden to be His final place of freedom, because
      1. shortly Jewish officers would arrest Him in that very garden.
      2. We cannot get to the Garden of God
        1. unless someone had gone to the garden of prayer for us first, but
        2. that garden led Him to another garden.
  3. The Garden of the Tomb 
    1. The love and devotion of Jesus Christ for man
      1. drove Him to the cross,
      2. where another garden was located in which they buried Him.
    2. In the Garden of Gethsemane, they arrested Jesus,
      1. brought Him to the Jews for trials, and
      2. then to the Romans for trials.
        1. The Romans caved-in to Jewish pressure to crucify Jesus, and
        2. after several torturous hours,
          1. He died, and
          2. His friends came and took care of His body,

            41 Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42 So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews’ Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby (John 19.41, 42).
    3. Then something wonderful happened.
      1. The world went from the darkest day in history
      2. to the brightest day in history.
    4. The next verse makes this startling announcement,

      1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb (John 20.1).

      1. An angel had rolled away the stone, and
      2. Jesus raised from the dead,
        1. walked out of the tomb, and
        2. appeared to many of His followers.
    5. By His resurrection from the dead,
      1. He became the firstfruits of our resurrection.
      2. Why was He resurrected for us, or why are we resurrected?
        1. We cannot go back and live in the Garden of Eden.
        2. He was raised from the dead that we might be raised from the dead
          1. enabling us to live in another garden God has,
          2. which is the true garden or paradise of God…
  4. The Garden of Heaven 
    1. As Jesus began to reveal to John the revelation,
      1. Jesus had John write to seven churches in Asia first.
      2. To one of the churches, He said this,

        7 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God” (Rev 2.7).

        1. The tree of life and the garden in which it is found
        2. were not lost with
          1. the exile of Adam and Eve and
          2. the destructive forces of Noah’s Flood.
    2. The true tree of life, and the true garden of God,
      1. are in heaven and
      2. what Adam and Eve saw were only copies of the true.
        1. If you listen to what Jesus said to the churches, and
        2. if you overcome evil,
          1. He promises to let you eat from the tree of life,
          2. that is located in the Paradise of God in heaven.
    3. Let me show you what God has revealed
      1. of the tree of life and
      2. of His paradise up there,

        1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him (Rev 22.1–3).

        1. If I said the peach tree grows in Georgia,
        2. you would not think there is only one tree, but
          1. that the state is filled with them,
          2. so it is with the tree of life in the Garden of Heaven.
            1. There are plenty of trees there for all of us
            2. to pick its fruit for food and to use its leaves for healing.
              1. Therefore, no curse exists there,
              2. as there now exists here because of Adam and Eve’s sin.
    4. Who can eat from the actual tree of life in the Garden of Heaven?

      14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city (Rev 22.14).

      1. If you do what the Lord says,
      2. He will give you the right
        1. to have access to the tree of life, and
        2. to enter into the gates of the holy city.


  1. Are you doing what He says? 
  2. Do you know what He wants you to do? 
    1. Here it is:
      1. Accept what Jesus did at the cross and from the tomb.
      2. If you accept that,
        1. you accept the fact that Jesus is Lord, the Son of God.
        2. Are you willing to verbalize that?
    2. If so, there is something else He wants you to do
      1. to begin your life of obeying
      2. all that He commands you.
        1. He wants you to submit to water baptism, and
        2. then He will forgive you all your sins.