The following blog post was originally posted here: The Original Gardener…The Vineyard Parables pt 1
Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.(Isaiah 5:1-6)
This parable of Isaiah would be retold and even modified by the LORD Jesus many times, as he illustrated to Israel in his day and we who live today, of the intense preparation God has invested in all of us, and of the expectation of the Most high, for a return on his investment.
The “Well beloved” Gardener , is of course, God the Father. He is the original gardener and took great pains to plant in Eden a garden home for the human race. Every step was taken to incline the first couple to come to a point of fruitfulness;they would be given every advantage, and afforded every comfort and freedom they should desire.
Before they were even created, the Father had been planting, watering, preparing and fertilizing their garden home.
The Creation of Adam was similar to gardening in this sense, the Creator stooped over the ground which he had made, forming the human body from the dirt, getting his “hands “soiled in the process.All other Creation was by fiat, God spoke and it was, seas, ocean life, cattle, trees, birds, all came into being at the command of his voice.
But man is different; the Gardener stooped over the ground and formed Adam with his own hands, then he proceeded to breath into his nostrils the “breath of Life”. Man is special, unique to all of Creation and the pinnacle of Creation.
The Creation of woman is also unique, for after the LORD had created man, but before men fell, the Most High uttered the first “not good”, when He said “It is not good for man to be alone, I will make a help-meet for him…”.Woman was also fashioned by the Creators own hands, but this time out of a side which he had removed from the man. God formed her and shaped her with his own “hands” and she too received the breath of Life from Him.
Woman is special and unique , even to man. She was created after Him and unique to Him, she was formed out of His side, and bears also the Image of God.
Everything in the first couple’s environment was calculated to incline them to bear the fruit that the Gardner was looking for; their environment was suited towards that end, so also the comforts, advantages and tender care by which he tended to them, walking with them in the cool of the evening.
What was the ‘fruit’ He sought of the first couple?
He would have both of them to Love/Believe in Him. Faith and Love would be the spiritual fruit the gardener would receive from our first parents. What God wants is reciprocal Love from all of us. He wants our Loyalty(Faith-fulness), we are to believe in and to trust Him who has been so good to us.
Adam and Eve were allowed to live in a garden, given work which was meaningful and satisfying, and granted a tremendous potential future(“Be fruitful and multiply”), have and enjoy each there, their children and their work under conditions of almost complete freedom, saving one small detail.
They were not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That is, if they had any Love, reverence and trust in the goodness of God, they would love God enough to forswear any desire at all to eat of that one tree. Every time they rejected the tree, on the basis of LOVE for God alone, love would be re-inforced deeper and deeper into Adam and Eve’s heart, and the tree itself, so accessible would stand as a testament to the Loving acceptance of the authority of God over the first couple.
I wrote in my book CREATION<FALL AND THE HOPE OF REDEMPTION, of meaning of the forbidden tree in the garden,
The point of setting off one tree out of the thousands, and commanding Adam and Eve not to eat of it, had to do with loving trust, and loyalty to God. By refusing to eat of the tree, Adam and Eve were proclaiming to all of creation that they, the pinnacle of Creation, chose to remain under God the Creator as worshippers.
The tree was a limit set by God, by which Adam and Eve could have daily proclaimed before all and sundry, “Not my will,O God, but thine be done”, or “Not unto us O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory…”, it represented the sovereignty of God, the Holiness of God, and not touching it demonstrated loving respect and reverence for God.
God would have had them to know good and evil by simple trust in his Word to them, (the One commandment). They could have observed it out of a sense of grateful love. But when Satan challenged them to “know good and evil” for themselves, it was a call to personal experience of evil, and that based upon mistrust and false accusation of God.
Would Adam remain in a position of “exalted submission” under God, as a worshipper of God? Would he trust that God’s way was the best way ? Would Adam and Eve remain in Love with the one who created them and favored them so greatly?
When Adam reached out his hand to eat the fruit for himself, in the process he trampled under his feet love for God, trust, committment, loyalty and worship. He actually sided with the serpent, who also rebelled against God, usurping God’s very throne.
It was the principle of trust and love that was repudiated in the eating of the forbidden fruit. Taking that fruit was an act of rebellion, it was a rejection of God’s rule over the couple, for it was a bid for autonomy. Adam no longer believed that God’s way was the best way, or that he owed gratitude and worship to God. By taking the fruit for himself, he was proclaiming,”Not thy will but mine be done!”.