Bible Society of South Africa

God, the first gardener – 9 March 2020

By Hennie Symington

Bible text(s)

11Then he commanded, “Let the earth produce all kinds of plants, those that bear grain and those that bear fruit” — and it was done.

Genesis 1:11GNBOpen in Bible reader

8Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the East, and there he put the man he had formed.

Genesis 2:8GNBOpen in Bible reader

And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, according to kin, on earth”. Genesis 1:11

Gardens must be very close to the heart of God because that was the first thing He created on earth. When you open the Bible, one of the very first stories describes a desolate landscape. There is land and a stream to water the ground, but there are no plants or herbs. God then forms the first human being (adam) from this barren dirt (adamah). The Hebrew etymological connection, much like the English pairing of human and humus, tells us that our identity is irrevocably tied to the soil.

Then God does another astonishing thing. God plants a garden in a place called Eden (Genesis 2:8) and places the “earthling” in this “garden of delight”. It must have been breathtaking, because the adam having just come from the ground, now watches as God makes grow out of the ground every tree that is pleasant to look at and good for food. Viewed biblically, the day God ceases to garden is also the day we all shall perish. I have never heard a preacher say that, but it is true.

Prayer: We thank you Creator God for the beauty of the earth. Forgive us for stomping on your precious garden day by day. Teach us to live like you meant us to live, as keepers of the garden. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.18.11
Find us on