January 13: Intimacy with God

Life is imaging. And imaging is both impact and intimacy.

God wants us to have intimacy with him and with others. Today let’s look at intimacy with God.

Genesis 2:8. And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 

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

God put the man in the garden. The word “put” in 2:8 means appointed like a job. The word  “put” in 2:15 means rested. God safely and gently placed man in the Garden where he would work and keep the garden, and this would be restful or peaceful. It would be shalom. Why? Because God himself would live there.

 

Stay with me…

More and more scholars are seeing the Garden of Eden as a form of temple in which God would dwell and man would be his priests. We have already seen that the words “work” and “keep” in 2:15 are words associated with worship and more specifically temple worship in the Old Testament. Genesis 13:10 and Isaiah 51:3 refer to Eden as the “Garden of the Lord.” Ezekiel 28 describes Eden as the “garden of God,” with cherubs, gold, and precious stones. All of these same things appear in the garden in Genesis. When the Israelites built the temple in Jerusalem, it was decorated like a garden with angels (1 Kings 6:29-30).

But why would God bring his heavenly temple, his dwelling place, down to earth?

Because he wants to live with us. He wants a relationship with you and with me. He wants intimacy between God and man. He wants to share his own life with us. If we are made in his image then we too would need and desire this level of life sharing. Living face to face with God, coram deo, in his presence in his garden throne room.

To live is Christ. Christ came to give us this intimacy with God back. He reconciles us to God and becomes the temple dwelling of God. Then he turns us into the temple dwelling of God. Our hearts are a garden paradise where we meet God and live fully alive in pleasures of his presence.

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