The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.
In Genesis 2:8 we are introduced to the location where our first parents were placed by God. God planted a garden for the first humans to learn, live, develop and work in. The name of this location—Eden—provides a description of what it was like. Eden means “pleasure” (Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon) or “paradise” (NIV Study Bible, p. 10). This garden was apparently located in the area of modern Iraq (east of Jerusalem and near the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, Genesis 2:14).
The Garden of Eden was the perfect environment for humans to live in. The climate would have been finely tuned to be perfect for humans to live without clothing—it would not have been too cold (requiring covering) or too warm (resulting in heat stroke or heat exhaustion).
The garden was filled with vegetation that was designed to provide perfect nutrition (verse 16) for impeccable human health. At this time, all animals were tame and designed to live at peace with human beings. Adam was given the task of naming all the animals (verses 19-20). Adam’s regular job was to “tend and keep” the garden (verse 15).
This garden represented perfect peace and safety for the first human beings. There was no danger, worry, violence, sickness or stress.
Why was life so idyllic and perfect in the Garden of Eden at this time? The answer is because God’s presence was directly there and sin had not yet entered the human realm. God’s government—with the preexistent Jesus Christ as the leader and God’s laws in place as the perfect standard—ruled the garden.
The Bible reveals, “God is not the author of confusion but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33). Perfect peace, order and innocence characterized life for the first humans because they were initially only influenced by God, and for a short time they obeyed Him (that, of course, later changed).
Studying Galatians 5:22-23 and James 3:17-18 provides a beautiful description of what life is like under the perfect guiding influence of God’s government and law. Until the first humans made the decision to go a different direction, they enjoyed the blessings and benefits of living in a perfect world, under a perfect God who oversaw and implemented a perfect government based on perfect laws that resulted in a perfect environment.
Tomorrow, we will read about the two trees that were placed in the garden—which represented the two broad choices the first humans beings had to choose between.
Tomorrow on the Daily Bible Verse Blog: “The Two Trees.”