"Then the LORD God said, 'Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever--' therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life." - Genesis 3:22-24 ESV
There are a few mysteries in this passage aren't there? This morning I am thinking about banishment and change. Life is filled with endings and forced beginnings.
We can only tell from the context of the passage but it seems that eating from the tree of life would have been bad for Adam in some way. Living forever doesn't sound bad but it would have been bad for Adam. There is one mystery.
Then there is the flaming sword 'that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life'. How was that manifested?
There is no biblical record of anyone returning to Eden. Adam's children must have known it's location. The world changed after the flood but what about the time before the flood.
We aren't going to get these answers here. I for one am planning on consulting Heaven's library to find some of these things out.
But banishment... perhaps we can all relate to that. Things end and disappear. The way back, if there is one, is guarded by a flaming sword.
Haphak (Strong's H2015) is the word translated 'turned every way' and it could have also been translated 'transformed itself.' Whatever it was... It was an adaptive obstacle.
Excuses are adaptive obstacles aren't they? They stop us from heading down a certain path but then they adapt and turn in a different direction.
"A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit." - Proverbs 15:4 ESV
"Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates." - Revelation 22:14 ESV
"...and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book." - Revelation 22:19 ESV
Interesting. Change the book and access is blocked. Clean robes is a qualification for entrance.
"Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool." - Isaiah 1:18 ESV
That excuse that blocks your path... Oh, You know the one I'm talking about. The one you don't want to think about. The one that keeps you on the outside. Reason with God about that very thing. Ask Him. Look in the scriptures. If you use the scriptures to support the excuse you alter them in subtle ways and the obstacle is just reinforced.
Is it guilt? Is it fear? God washes us as He reasons with us. In truth if we know Him he has washed us. It is our dirty feet that stop us from passed over the threshold.
Jesus. Here we are. Wash our feet. We surrender to Your process. Change our minds. Give us the way around our well reasoned excuses. Engineer circumstances so that we will not be stuck in our faults. You are the Savior of the world. We trust you to save us from our own thought life and elevate us to know your mind. Give us courage Lord. We know we will need it for what lies ahead. We trust You. We Worship You.
Thank You Jesus.