Greetings MOL Family!
Welcome back to our class on the Eden Life. Our opening text today is Deuteronomy 11:18-21. Now the climax is in the last line, but we need what goes before us so that we will appreciate the last line.
God’s Ideal Plan
Therefore shall ye lay up these My words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates: – Deuteronomy 11:18-20
Now what’s all this for? It’s teaching the children, day by day, around the clock, the Word of God. What’s it for?
That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth. – Ibid., verse 21
You remember we read, in our last lesson, from Volume 7, “Heaven is to begin here.” In fact, the only people who will ever go to Heaven are those who have let Heaven come down to them here in this world. The Garden of Eden that was established before sin entered, and the Garden of Eden to which we are going in paradise above, alike testify to us of God’s desire for us to be happy and the way to be happy.
You remember, last week, we noted in the book Education, page 250, that on the Sabbath, more than on any other day, it is our privilege to live the life of Eden. On this day, more than on any other, it is possible for us to live the life of Eden. Well, I promised you to study with you what we could do on the other six days of the week, for while the Sabbath is wonderful, it doesn’t last all week; it wasn’t intended to. Some people think it would be nice if we could have Sabbath all week, but it wouldn’t be at all; any more than it would be nice to eat all the time, but it has nothing but dessert within it. No. The Sabbath commandment deals with all time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God. – Exodus 30:8-10
Notice that six/sevenths of the commandment deals with, not rest but what? Work. And the Eden life which we are to share with God includes labor as well as rest. It includes work as well as worship. And so, if we are to experience the Eden life and live the Eden life on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, we will carry out the instruction of the fourth commandment and do what? Labor. “Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work.”
Someone says, “That doesn’t look very much like Eden to me.” Like every other gift that God has given man, this gift has been perverted by the enemy. He has sought to minimize, or neutralize, or destroy the blessings of this wonderful gift of labor. He has various way of doing it. One way is to get people to overwork. And just as overeating loses the blessing of eating, so overwork loses the blessing of work. So, Jesus said there on the Mount of Olives, looking down to our time:
And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. – Luke 21:34
The work that God gave Adam in Eden was a happy work, a joyous labor. It was in the garden. Last lesson, we noticed the great triangle of the Eden life – the Sabbath, the family, and the garden. In the garden, man found his home, where he lived; he found his shop, where he labored; he found his church, where he worshiped; and he found his school, where he studied and learned. All of these were in the garden. Am I correct? That’s right. And the more we learn to appreciate the wisdom of God in that and goodness of God in that, the more we shall understand how to live, today.
Now in all this, of course, we must be very practical. In the wintertime we can’t go out and live under a grapevine. And there are many other things that make it impossible to do precisely what Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden. Recognizing that should keep us from being visionary and fanciful, and impractical. But, recognizing it should not lead us to throw the blueprint and the pattern all away and say, “Oh well, we can’t do this and that, so what does it mean. We’ll just have to figure out what to do.”
You’ll notice in our opening text, God says He has given us some words, and if we will listen to them and lay them up in our heart, and teach them to our children when we go in and come out and sit down and rise up and carry out His instructions, then our days will be multiplied in the land which the Lord has sworn to give us as the days of Heaven upon the earth.
If we want the Eden life we can have it, friends, but we will have to follow the directions concerning the Eden life, as made practical in the situation in which we find ourselves because of the results of sin.
Tell me: Did God leave Adam and Eve when they sinned? When Adam and Eve had to leave that beautiful garden when they sinned, it wasn’t because God was angry with them; it wasn’t that God was trying to get even with them; it wasn’t that He was trying to punish them. It was a special reason (but we’ll study that perhaps another time). My point is that when they had to leave the garden, God went with them from the Garden of Eden, but He still had them in a garden.
Am I right? Because He told Adam he was to do what?
Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. – Genesis 3:17-19
Was Adam still to work? Yes, he was to work harder than ever. He was to work to the point of perspiration and sweating. “In the sweat of thy face.” We hear quoted sometime about the sweat of your brow, but somebody who’s supposed to know tells me that it takes harder work to make the face sweat than it does the brow. It may well be. The point is that Adam was to work hard, and the thorns and thistles made it necessary for him to do that. But God went with them out into that thorn-cursed, earth, and He’s been with us ever since, hasn’t He? Yes. And He says if you’ll just listen to what I say and live as I tell you, then you can have here on earth the days of Heaven. Let’s do it. What do you say?
We noted last night the Sabbath, the family, and the garden, and that’s still God’s program. They are linked together. And not only are we to have God and man linked together, the family and the garden and the Sabbath linked together. When we come to the end of the week, all week long we are to work with God as we rest with Him on the Sabbath. And in all this, we are to approach as near as we can to the ideal of the family as the great unit. This is God’s ideal plan.
Join us next week, as we seek to truly understand that Heaven begins here, on earth! Invite a friend, and we’ll see you then…
Did you know that we have more online classes available (and posted daily)?
- Country Living
- Courtship & Marriage
- The Christian Home
- Child Guidance
- Army of Youth
- The School of Health
- Other Present Truth Studies
* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.