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5/2 The First Covenant and Hearing God in the Garden of Eden

Welcome back to our fifth series on Hearing God!  We have been investigating just How God sets about to establish a relationship with us, with His creation.  In our last post on God’s Great Rescue Plan, we saw that He spoke to individuals and gave Nine Major Covenants down through human history.   We talked about who He made the covenants with, the purposes for His covenants and the three important parts to every covenant.  

 Now we move onto the first Covenant between Creator God, Jehovah-Elohim and the Man in the Garden of Eden.  In our third post of this series, we shall see the second agreement between God and the Covenant He made with both Adam and Eve after they had been deceived and lost their inheritance by disobedience.

 

A.  SETTING THE SCENE FOR THE FIRST COVENANT 

Once there was The One who filled everything and was everything.  This entity we call ‘God’ began to think about having a people of His own who would share the vast expanse of reality with Him.  He began to plan, to stretch His creative abilities, thus starting the Greatest Story ever told.

First this God, the eternal Being, created realms of angels, beings of light and awareness, with three archangels to help govern and direct them.

Just when the seeds of pride and rebellion entered these beings of light we are not told.  However, the event certainly did not catch God unaware; He knew this must happen in order for Him to set in motion all the history to follow.  We continue the story:

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“The angels watched in wonder as their Creator took some dust from the Earth He had created and formed …. a man.  The new being called man, awoke, as simple as that, he just awoke.  The breath of his Creator, of Elohim, filled his lungs and breathing began.  The man stretched and looked around.  He felt the light, the warm sun, heard the sounds of birds and felt the soft wind in his face.  He breathed deep as this was the beginning of all beginnings for him and the human race.

Around him, he found trees full of fruit and low growing bushes with berries.  He stopped and ate and the juices ran down his chin.  He smiled and then he laughed.

The presence of Jehovah-Elohim was all around him, in him and through him.  Again he breathed in the feeling of fulfillment, an awareness of peace, love and gentleness.  The man felt ‘loved’ if he could have had a word for it then.

“We have things to do together, Adam,” he heard his Creator say.  “What would you call this….”….. and a beautiful, red and golden butterfly flew by them.    “….or this….?”  …and a gentle deer walked out of the forest.  Things were more complicated when long neck and legged animals were brought to him.  “I know”, he said to his Creator, “this is a giraffe!”

….and so it began.   The man’s first responsibility was to name all the animals, birds, reptiles and even the fish that he could see.  “Yes, My perfect creation, this was your first of many more pleasures to come.  You are to tend My Garden, this beautiful, perfect place you live in.  That means you are ‘to guard, guide and govern My creation’.  There is only one thing I require……”

When the man finished with this first project, he gave a sad little sigh.  Elohim saw the longings of his innocent, untried heart: ‘There was none found to be his companion’.    Adam had looked among the horses, the dogs, cats, birds and even the fish and there was none like him.

The Creator could feel the sadness of His perfect man.  He had created every species as a male and female so they could procreate.  Now was the time for the man’s helpmate suitable for him, his partner in life.  ….and so God caused the man to fall asleep and the Great Surgeon took one of the man’s ribs and made ….woman, another perfect yet very different human from the man. 

They were to be equals in all ways – mentally, emotionally and in their walk with Him.  The woman awoke and stretched.  The entire angelic world held their breath again as this was one of God’s finest creatures.  As the woman stood and walked around, her awareness of her Creator and the creation around her were also thrilling and fulfilling.  She belonged here! 

The women also saw the fruit trees and the bushes of berries.  Delicious, she said out loud as she licked the juices from her lips and laughed in her happiness.  As she followed the voice and presence of her Creator, He led to over a small hill to where the man lay sleeping.

God gently woke Adam and he stared….what was this?  There before him …….a creature more beautiful than any of the animals….or the birds.  “WOOOO MAN!” was his first comment and his heart became knitted with hers.

Adam showed her around what he already had discovered in the Garden.  When they came to a big clearing, a lion family grazed on the grass and quietly watched them. 

Adam pointed to the tree in the middle of the clearing.  “We are free to eat of any tree in the Garden but this one.  It is called ‘The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil’.  We must not eat of it or we will die.  This other great tree is called ‘The Tree of Life’ ”, the man told her.

With the blessings of the Creator, the man said to the woman: “You are bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh.  The Creator has called you, ‘woman’ for you were  taken out of me, the man.  For this reason, I will leave all others and we will become one flesh.”  Genesis 2:23-24

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B.  JEHOVAH-ELOHIM’S COVENANT WITH THE MAN IN THE GARDEN 

God had began His creation with the angels, continued with the Earth and man, and then completed the scene with the woman.  Jehovah-Elohim
began this chapter of the story by making a covenant, an agreement with Himself on behalf of all His creation, Genesis 1:26.

“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness and let them rue over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’ “

This covenant is unique among all the other covenants as Jehovah-Elohim gives us a glimpse of His purposes He had in mind for His creation before sin and rebellion entered.  His intent was to pour His blessings onto a fruitful, obedient people, inviting them to rule and reign with Him throughout eternity.  These are still His intentions – at the end of time for those who accept and follow His path.

1.  The location for the Covenant in Eden

We begin this part of our story with Jehovah Elohim, Jehovah-Eltham, the Redeemer-Creator God of Genesis 2:1, bringing life to the planet Earth and placing man in the Garden of Eden – a perfect living environment. 

2.  Jehovah-Elohim wanted to bless them abundantly

After the Man finished naming the animals,  Jehovah-Elohim remarks that “… it was not good for man to live alone …”, Genesis 2:18.  God created a fitting, equal partner / helpmate for him, a ‘woman’.  It was from this pair that Elohim planned on populating the Earth and perhaps also the heavens. 

It was also at this time that ‘the Man’ was called Adam as distinct from the Woman.   She was named ‘Eve’ by Adam, Genesis 3:20, or ‘ the mother of all the living.’

Man was made in God’s image, thus granting them a measure of God’s nature.   Elohim gave fruitfulness in both natural and spiritual reproduction.  They were to subdue and conquer any enemy in order to make the whole Earth like the Garden of Eden. 

Next, they were to have dominion or ‘rulership’ over creation, fish, birds and every living creature, with both spiritual and natural God-given authority. 

They had been given a variety of herbs and fruits for the body’s sustenance.  Adam and his Helpmate were to ‘tend’ the Garden, with Creator God.  The labour involved was more of a pleasant pastime, ‘recreational work’, Genesis 2:5-15.

3.  The terms of the agreement with the first man was created

The requirement to keep this covenant was simply to obey Jehovah-Elohim,  the name He used as their Creator.  Genesis 2:16-17 sets out the terms of the agreement with the man:

“You are free to eat from any tree in the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil …”

4. The consequence if the covenant was broken

Jehovah-Elohim also gave them the sad result if they did not keep the agreement, Genesis 2: 16-17: “…for when you eat of it, you will die”.  Disobedience would bring both spiritual and physical death, Deuteronomy 30:19, Romans 6:23, 5:12-21, 1 Corinthians 15:21-22.  As their descendants, we reap the consequences of their actions even today.

 

C.  THE THREE ASPECTS OF THE COVENANT 

 1.  The Sacrifice to ratify the Agreement, was the man’s donation of his own body to provide a bride – whom he named as Eve, Genesis 2:18-25.

 2.  The Seal of the Covenant:  The visible sign of the agreement was the Tree of life, Jehovah’s tree that gave fellowship with man and eternal life.  Adam and Eve were removed from the Garden to prevent them eating of the fruit of ‘ the Tree of Life’ and living forever. 

3.  The Mediator of the Covenant was Jehovah-Elohim Himself.

We have little comprehension of what life would have been like for the first couple.  To walk and talk with their Creator, in perfect harmony with the world around them – and with each other.  Sickness, death, disease were all unknown concepts to them.  Life was a complete paradise …… or was it?

 

Join us for the next post when we see the Second Covenant Jehovah-Elohim, Creator God made with Adam and Eve when they stepped into deceived rebellion and disobedience.

Susanne Fengler, Blog Author

www.hearinggod.mentorsnotebook.com/blog

 

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