Bible Society of South Africa

Gardens are for people – 20 January 2021

By Hennie Symington

Bible text(s)

6The woman saw how beautiful the tree was and how good its fruit would be to eat, and she thought how wonderful it would be to become wise. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, and he also ate it.

Genesis 3:6GNBOpen in Bible reader

In planting a garden God showed his long-term commitment to the earth and the people who live on it. He gave them a garden scaled to their level where man could not only cultivate food to sustain him, but also enjoy the beauty of the garden. Even more wonderful was that he chose to keep company with the creatures he had made in his own image. He knew them intimately and his presence filled the garden.

Sadly our memories of this idyllic garden are reduced to “… once upon a time, eons ago I had a garden. It was like heaven on earth. But I lost it because I was looking for something better …”

Yet we seem to recall an “Eden” in our memory as that place where God walked with us. How does this memory sustain us in the wilderness of today’s world where inner gardens seem like the last thing that people are concerned with? We look with horror on the destruction of the rains forests and the animals helpless before this conflagration. Where is the garden now? We look at our world where the ice caps are vanishing before our very eyes and ask ourselves: what is God’s creation coming to?

Yet we are called to honour our agreement with the Creator as the caretakers of his creation. If we live in a sustainable way by being satisfied with enough and not always wanting more, and bigger and better we could make it heaven on earth once more.

Prayer: Lord, help me to keep my desires in control. Teach me not to be tempted to constantly grab hold of things rather than being satisfied with your constant love. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.14.1
Find us on