Cultivating and Guarding the Garden (Part 2)

 

 

Cultivating and Guarding the Garden (Part 2)

 

Blessings everyone, I apologize in the delay in getting this next message out later than usual as I was away celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot in Hebrew) for 8 days straight, so I took some time away to focus on the Lord as well as other brothers and sisters that were also present to meet with God on His yearly appointed time. It is always an amazing time full of many blessings and if you would like to learn more about our Heavenly Father’s holy days please read/listen to the message titled “God’s Holy Days”.

God’s Holy Days

 

This message is Part 2 of a 2 Part message, if you haven’t read/listened to “Cultivating and Guarding the Garden Part 1” yet please start there and come back and read/listen to this message afterwards.

Cultivating and Guarding the Garden (Part 1)

 

As always, I want to encourage you to read along with me instead of only listening to help increase your reading recognition skills as well as to help you to better retain information. All Scripture that I reference that isn’t already shared in this message will be included at the bottom of this article as well as with every article on this website.

 

Ok, let us begin Part 2.

 

The Hebrew word that is translated into English as “garden” in Genesis 2:15 is the word “gan” which also can figuratively mean a bride, a man’s wife. Which can refer to a husband’s wife or the bride of Yeshua/Jesus (whole community/body of Messiah). This makes sense when we look at the functions of a husband and wife. The husband plants his seed in his chosen garden (his wife) as a result it (she) brings forth the fruit, and in the case of a wife it’s the fruit of the womb. The word origin of the Hebrew word “gan” (garden) comes from the Hebrew word “gawnan”, which literally means: “to defend, to cover, to surround and to protect”, as one should do when they are properly cultivating and guarding a garden! Keep all this in mind as we discuss the events & actions of Abram in Genesis chapter 12.

 

Also, I want to note other spiritual pictures that will be presented & suggested as you may have heard me present previously if you have already listened to the first 2 messages that have been shared on this site:

Egypt: is a spiritual picture of the world, the place where God’s people are caught up in the bondage of sin and ruled by pharaoh (satan). And God’s people have to have enough faith to apply the blood of the spotless lamb on their doorposts and then follow the cloud (Holy Spirit) out of Egypt (the world) in order to be freed from their bondage/slavery to Egypt (slavery to the things of the world).

Pharaoh: is a spiritual picture of satan/serpent as both were/are the highest, most powerful and feared rulers of this world. As pharaoh/satan loves to keep God’s people in bondage.

 

Keep these spiritual pictures in mind as we continue through this message.

 

Let’s read Genesis 12:10-20, “Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. 11 When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, “I know that you are a woman beautiful in appearance, 12 and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me, but they will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake.” 14 When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. 15 And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. 16 And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels. 17 But the Lord afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. 18 So Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife; take her, and go.” 20 And Pharaoh gave men orders concerning him, and they sent him away with his wife and all that he had.”

 

When we cultivate (right relationship with God/wife/community) and guard (submitting to God and protecting our heart/wife/children/community) the garden (our heart/wife/children/community) it will produce much fruit (fruit of the ground/fruit of the womb/fruit of the Spirit). We know that the Word says good fruit is:

Godly thoughts, desires, words & actions as the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23) As well as our obedience to His Word which also includes His law as we can see in Deuteronomy 28:1-7, “1 And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. 3 Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. 4 Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. 5 Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. 6 Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. 7“The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you. They shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.”

 

The question I want to ask you is did Abram (as his name wasn’t changed to Abraham yet) properly cultivate and guard the garden at first (being his heart, his wife and family & whole community)?

We know there became a famine (lack of fruit/produce) in the land and he went into Egypt, which I believe is a spiritual picture of leaving the garden of the promised land and going back into the world. I believe the famine in the promised land (garden) and the actions of Abram that followed immediately afterwards gives us a clue as to why I believe the answer to this question is “no”, Abram did not properly guard his gardens.

 

Why didn’t Abram cry out to God to provide? Who is Abram’s (and our) provider? Who causes the plants to increase or decrease? Who brings the rain to water the plants? Who causes the land to give forth bread?

Only God is able to do all those things! I believe Abram was not cultivating & guarding his innermost garden (his heart), and relationship with God and when he should’ve repented (turned back to God) and cried out to God to till/clean his garden (heart) so the land would provide, he instead chose to leave the garden and go back into the world (Egypt) to “save” his life as well as everyone else’s in his family. (see 1 Kings 8:35-40)

 

So, who is the savior in this picture?

Abram tries to be his own savior!

 

Abram instructed his wife Sarai to lie in order to protect himself, to protect his flesh. We read in Matthew 16:24-27, “24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will repay each person according to what he has done”.

I believe Abram was focused on trying to save his own life instead of being focused on the One that provides life and protection. Abram also did not guard (protect) his wife as she was taken by pharoah (a spiritual picture of the ruler of the world, satan/serpent) but God intervened before the pharoah (satan/serpent) planted a physical seed in her, in Abram’s garden. A man is not able to cultivate and guard the garden of his wife if he isn’t first properly cultivating and guarding the garden of His own heart through his relationship with God!

 

What would’ve happened if pharoah would’ve taken Sarai (Abram’s garden) as his wife and consumated the marriage?

We know that pharaoh never consummated the marriage, he never successfully planted a seed but to answer the question this would be a picture of pharaoh/satan or the serpent successfully entering the garden of Abram which was to bring forth the covenant seed, and satan’s seed (a tare) would’ve been planted in the garden and brought forth death and destruction instead of the covenant which was to bring forth life.

 

I repeat, when the garden of our heart is not cultivated & guarded neither will the garden being a man’s wife be cultivated & guarded. Abram left the promised land (garden) after it became barren and then allowed for his wife (garden) to be jeopardized. I believe this was a clue that Abram was not walking in right relationship with God and therefore he was experiencing a famine of the fruit of the Spirit as this point in his walk which eventually led to the famine in the promised land (garden)!

What happened with Abram here is also a prophetic foreshadow of what would later happen to Israel as they would also experience a famine in the land and would go into Egypt. The Word clearly reveals that Israel also did not cultivate & guard their gardens. This is also a picture of what happens to each of us individually, as a family and as a community when we do not cultivate & guard our gardens! Keep in mind that Israel as a whole was also the wife (garden) of God which helps to give us a spiritual picture of the roles/relationship between a husband and wife as He is the bridegroom and we as a whole are His bride if we remain faithful and submitted to Him.

 

Praise God for His protection & interventions when we have the heart to worship and follow after Him but fall short as Abram did. This is another witness to God’s amazing love and grace to those that love Him but are sometimes weak in our flesh. May He help us to keep the consequences of our failures to a minimum as well as we mature into a more bountiful and fruitful garden for His glory! Amen!

 

Becoming a husband or accepting a marriage proposal (covenant) of a husband-to-be is a very serious decision that comes with great responsibility to make sure that the husband-to-be is prepared and capable (already in right relationship with God) to properly cultivate and guard his gardens, which are his relationship with God first, then with his wife and possible children as well as with his community congregation/church). And it is the responsibility of man to choose a soft and fertile garden (wife with a good heart) that is already being cultivated & guarded, meaning she is in right relationship with God as well.

 

In part 1 of “Cultivating and Guarding the Garden” I made the following statement that may have seemed strange or even outlandish to some when I said “I believe if Adam would’ve done a better job of cultivating and guarding the garden (of Eden, Eve and his own heart), the serpent would’ve been resisted and caused to flee from the garden and Eve wouldn’t have committed the first sin!”. I hope after going through part 2 of this message my statement doesn’t seem too strange or outlandish but makes sense to you now. I also want to make it clear that I wasn’t claiming that Adam sinned first as we know that Scripture is very clear that it was Eve who sinned first. I believe Adam was just lacking in his role (function & purpose) of cultivating and guarding his garden (Eve & Eden) which brought about negative consequences to both.

 

In the beginning, the creation account is a picture of God cultivating & guarding His garden (Eden & man) before handing over the stewardship to man. I believe God’s Word is a love story that reveals that in the end both man & the garden will be restored back to perfection as God has provided us a mighty & perfectly capable Man (Yeshua/Jesus) Who flawlessly cultivates & guards His gardens (His bride and the promised land)! May we all continue to abide in Yeshua (Jesus) Who is the only way and perfect example of how to cultivate & guard the garden to bear much fruit! (John 15:1-7) Amen & HalleluYah! Praise God!

 

I pray this message has encouraged you and helps to guide you to better cultivate & guard your garden(s) in order to protect and bring about His blessings in your life and relationships, as well as to bring our Heavenly Father glory and honor!

Until next time, The Lord bless you and guard you.

 

 

Scripture References:

 

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” (Genesis 2:15)

 

“22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

 

35 “When heaven is shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against you, if they pray toward this place and acknowledge your name and turn from their sin, when you afflict them, 36 then hear in heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel, when you teach them the good way in which they should walk, and grant rain upon your land, which you have given to your people as an inheritance. 37 If there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence or blight or mildew or locust or caterpillar, if their enemy besieges them in the land at their gates, whatever plague, whatever sickness there is, 38 whatever prayer, whatever plea is made by any man or by all your people Israel, each knowing the affliction of his own heart and stretching out his hands toward this house, 39 then hear in heaven your dwelling place and forgive and act and render to each whose heart you know, according to all his ways (for you, you only, know the hearts of all the children of mankind), 40 that they may fear you all the days that they live in the land that you gave to our fathers. (1 Kings 8:35-40)

 

‘“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”’ (John 15:1-7)

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