Now the Lord God planted a garden in the east, in Eden, and there he put the man he had formed…trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.
- Genesis 2:8-9
In the Genesis story, when God creates human beings, he doesn’t go bare-bones on the accommodations. He doesn’t skimp on the extras. He doesn’t put them in a 1980’s Soviet-era cinderblock camp.
He puts them in the garden of Eden. Paradise. A setting full of trees that were beautiful with fruit that was delightful.
The history of humanity in the Scriptures starts in a perfect garden and it ends in a perfect city. The original intent and the goal of all of history is summed up in one wonderfully generous word: enjoy.
God wants the people made in his image to enjoy all that he has made: to enjoy being with each other, to enjoy eating great food, to enjoy playing and working, and most of all to enjoy being with him forever and ever.
God, who creates out of a joyful super-abundance, willingly and generously places humanity in a perfect garden so that they might enjoy all that he has created.
When we forfeited the proper enjoyment of his wondrous creation, he sent his Son to lay his life down for us so that we might, again, share in the fullness of his desire to be generous to the people he created.
God is so committed to being generous with us that he starts us out in paradise and secures for us eternal joy at the sacrifice of his Son.
Does your understanding of God have generous love at the center of it?