Lesson 2 -- third quarter 1999
June 13, 1999
© Copyright 1999, Christian Light Publications
"What a perfect place to live at!" Perhaps you have heard people say that on various occasions and for different reasons. When people say that, they often speak with regard to a house, a community, a climate or a setting. But in our generation (and for many generations prior to ours), nobody has ever been able to say that accurately about any earthly place. The perfect place on earth has long vanished.
However, our lesson today is set in that perfect place. And in that place there lived perfect animals, plants and people. What a place to live! But many people today would not have enjoyed it for long at all, maybe not at all.
You see, even in this perfect place, these perfect people had to do some things that some folks today do not include in a perfect picture. Can you guess what alleged "perfection spoilers" I'm referring to?
WORK. "And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it." Of all things! Isn't part of perfection not having to do anything even remotely resembling work? Especially manual labor! Nevertheless, there you have it in Genesis 2:15--work. Some would have us conclude that work is part of the curse. My friend, the opposite is true! Work is part of the blessing. What a privilege to have a responsibility to meet and a task to accomplish. Work is a vital part of life. May God open our eyes to see and accept the satisfaction and fulfillment that comes from faithfully working...as unto the Lord.
OBEY. "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it." As though work weren't a rude enough jolt...! Just as labor isn't part of the curse, neither is obedience. They are both blessings bestowed on mankind by a loving, wise, generous Creator. Those who know how to obey, and enjoy it, know how to live...and enjoy it. I'm certain God wants to pry open our eyes and our understanding on this as well.
LEAN. "And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him." Those who lean are dependent. The problem is, all of us go through a stage during which we resent and resist the notion of not being independent. (Some never outgrow that stage!) We want to be our own boss, make our own decisions, live our own lives, do our own thing. We don't like to be reminded of our need of others. We think ourselves complete in ourselves. The notion of needing help militates against our ego-centric notions of perfection. But we must come to the place of realizing that those who lean, live.
Ah, these four-letter words can really trouble us! So let's think about this: work, obey, lean--real good life. Whenever you yearn to live in a perfect place, remember all these four-letter words!
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