The Garden and the Ground

Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil . . . therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken.”—Genesis 3:22–23 (NKJV)

Adam and Eve’s sin changed things, as sin always does. For one thing, humanity lost its innocence. Mankind now had a sense of good and evil that it didn’t previously possess. Again, sin changed things, and in response, God had to change man’s situation. 

For starters, we see that God took man and “sent him out” of the Garden of Eden. This is a razor-sharp contrast to what we see in Genesis 2:15 where it reads that God “put him into” the garden. There’s a bittersweet symmetry to this, even in the very language. To go from “in” to “out” is a painful thing in just about any setting, much less the paradise that God created for you.

We witness another effect of man’s fall. He was also appointed to “till the ground.” This is also in contrast to Genesis 2:15, where God had appointed the man to “tend and keep” the garden. Adam goes from tending the garden to tilling the ground, and there’s a vast difference between the two. 

In the garden there was lush life and it was filled with fruit. Goodness was bursting and abounding everywhere. The ground, on the other hand, was now filled with thorns and thistles (Genesis 3:18). It was a hardscrabble life from now on for Adam, and we can only imagine what he thought each time he had to dig a new furrow in the barren dirt. It was a reminder not only of what he had lost, but also of where he was going . . . the ground would become his eventual grave.

Sin will do that to a person. It will cause them to forfeit the Garden and grind them into the grave. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, the cross of Jesus Christ reverses the effects of Adam’s sin. Through the forgiveness of sin that’s offered by the cross, we regain the paradise that was once lost. We also gain victory over the grave because the cross also secured resurrection life for all who place their hope in Jesus—not only for what He did on the cross but also by rising from the grave.   

Much was lost by Adam when he was taken out of the garden and confined to the ground. But much more was regained by Jesus, the second Adam, who brought restoration and resurrection through the cross!

DIG: What did Adam lose as a result of sin?

DISCOVER: How has this loss been restored? Who needs to know this in your world?

DISPLAY: Reflect on Romans 5:19 (NKJV) today: “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.”

About the Author

Pastor Dan Hickling

Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.