“The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. And the Lord God said, ‘The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.’ So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.” Genesis 3:21-24
After our first mother and father sinned against God and repaid all His goodness with treachery, He chose to continue lavishing kindness on them. First, He let them live even though He warned them that they would die the day they ate the forbidden fruit (which was really good for the rest of us!). Second, He fashioned garments of skin for them to cover their nakedness. They had made leaf coverings for themselves, but God knew that leaves wouldn’t hold up in the harsher world they were about to enter outside of Eden. Isn’t He marvelous? He owed them nothing after their defiance and treason, yet He still cared for their needs.
As they were leaving the garden, the Creator decided that they must not be allowed to live forever, and so they must not be allowed to eat from the tree of life. To ensure that they didn’t find their way to that tree, He put cherubim (high ranking angelic beings who serve close to God’s throne) to guard the way along with a flaming sword. He allowed them to continue living, but He would not permit these corrupted beings to become immortals.
I’m revisiting this tragic part of our collective past with you, Disciple, because it reminds us of one of the gospel’s greatest promises. When mankind’s wickedness made the prospect of their immortality intolerable to the wise Creator, He did not give up on His vision of living forever with immortal humans. Instead, He put into motion the plan that would lead to humans from every tribe, people, nation and language having access once again to the tree of life in a renewed Eden (see Revelation 22).
Your Father is so incredibly good, Disciple! He has worked tirelessly and at great personal cost to give us the hope of eternal life though we, like our first parents, have proven ourselves unworthy. He is dealing severely with the corruption that is in us so that He can entrust immortality to us. Isn’t this at least part of the reason we’re told to put to death the things of the sinful nature so many times and in so many ways? We can now become truly righteous through our Master Jesus, His Word, and His Spirit so that the eternal life we were created to enjoy with the Father can actually be ours!
Grateful to our gracious Creator and Father with you,