Why have we been spending so much time in Genesis? Isn’t this blog supposed to be about living from Christ’s life? Yep. But to understand how Jesus’ life in us restores human life in us, we must first understand life (got it?). And the best way to understand what the basics of human life are is to keep exploring Genesis…so here we are again.
Genesis 2:15. The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.
Yesterday we looked at how we image God through work (abad), and how it is connected to worship.
Today let’s look at the word “keep.”
This is the Hebrew word shamar. This word means to guard, or protect. Here’s a couple more examples from early Genesis:
Genesis 3:24. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.
Genesis 4:9. Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?”
So humans were created to guard and protect creation. And this images God:
Psalm 121:5-7. The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
God protects and guards us. We protect and guard others and creation.
But, like abad, this word is also connected to worship:
Numbers 3:8. [The Priests] shall guard all the furnishings of the tent of meeting, and keep guard over the people of Israel as they minister at the tabernacle.
1 Chronicles 23:32. Thus they were to keep charge of the tent of meeting and the sanctuary, and to attend the sons of Aaron, their brothers, for the service of the house of the Lord.
*Note: both of the above scriptures use the same two words from Genesis 2:15 (abad and shamar) to describe temple worship.
The Sign of Life
So what is the sign of life? It is not only to work in God’s garden but also to keep, protect, or guard God’s garden. Cain’s question above “am I my brother’s keeper?” is a sign of death. Living as your brother’s keeper and guardian is a sign of life.
This is the life that Jesus Christ is restoring in us through his indwelling life. If “to live is Christ,” then Christ is working and protecting us as we become workers and protectors.