Genesis 2:8 The Confrontation Between East and West
(Ver 2.0) When you read the Bible and begin to understand that every word has significance and meaning, you start to pay much closer attention to which words God selected to describe the events within creation. Knowing that God is so much smarter than we are and that He could have chosen any words that He desired to convey His thoughts to us, we must realize that He chose these exact words found in Genesis to describe creation to us. Recently in my blogs I have been skipping around in Genesis 2 for no particular reason, just giving you glimpses into the variety of subjects found there. Today we are going to look at verse 8 of Genesis 2 and see what God says to us.
Genesis 2:8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
I often times wondered why God said that he planted a garden eastward in Eden. We can clearly see from the information in this verse that man or Adam came from or was created somewhere to the west of Eden. Isn’t that interesting? Why is this so important that God included this fact in the Bible out of all the information that He could have given us? We don’t know exactly where Eden was located; we are only given the general location of Eden using the names of 4 rivers which are said to have flowed through it. We can assume using the general information of the location of these four rivers given to us that Eden must have been somewhere in or near the area between Israel and Iraq or in that general vicinity. I don’t really feel that the exact location is that important, but I believe that the general principles and concepts surrounding them are very important to today’s lesson. We can also assume based upon this location that somewhere to the west, probably in Northern Africa, the Man was created and then moved to the Garden. So why is this significant? It is the first mention of any compass direction in the Bible. The first mention of any subject in the Bible always has significance. There are many implied truths given to us in this scripture. We can see that much clearer later when we get to what happens later in chapter 3 after the fall of man.
What I will tell you now is just some overall concepts of the differences between human civilizations and the developmental differences between the east and the west. If you’ve never thought of this before, it is very fascinating to see the spiritual implications of east vs. west. The Far East as it is called has always been dominated by spiritual darkness; religions of the mind, religions of the body and the religions of idol worshippers. All of these types of religions focus more upon worshipping creation and ignoring the creator. You can go to places in China, Japan, Indonesia and other places and see the temples and idols of gods that have dominated that part of world. These are gods made by the hands of men and worshipped by ignorant and deceived humans. As a result we can see the rise of communism and dictatorships of godless governments that do everything in their power to attempt to limit and restrict Christianity, the Bible and the spread of the truth. Nowhere else in the world is this so prevalent as it is in the eastern Asia.
Then we can see another conglomeration of religions centered around the region of Eden which are primarily dominated by Judaism along with Islam and some Christians. Moving to the west we see the rise of more dominate Christianity and free societies and governments. What we begin to see is a dividing line and a growing trend of a clash between the cultures of the east and the west. Of course we understand that we wrestle not with flesh and blood but the spiritual forces, the rulers of the darkness of this world (Eph 6:12). It seems that these spiritual forces while attempting to make inroads into the west have predominately through history have controlled more of the far eastern nations. In the book of Acts and in the Epistles there are a couple of mentioned times that Paul is not allowed by God to go to the Far East.
Acts 16:6 Now when they had gone throughout Phyrgia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,
Paul is directed specifically by God to go west only. In fact it specifically says God forbid them from going into Asia. I would assume from this that it was too dangerous and the people in those regions would have just killed them. If you look at the world today, the hardest places for Christians to go into and teach and preach are still predominately in areas of the Far East and the continent of Asia. In recent news articles there were several aid workers who were giving the people of Afghanistan free medical care; these good Samaritans were executed by the Islamic extremist. The claim was that they were preaching the Bible trying to get Muslims to convert. Isn’t that religious tolerance and freedom and the free will exercise of the people’s mind? Why is it that Islam wants to force you to become a Muslim and then once you are a Muslim they will kill you for leaving? There are no choices in Islam your decisions are made for you, is that your God? The control of people by fear seems to be their only message. Other than fear they have no message of salvation. They cannot stand up to the truth so they have to shut up those who try to teach it to others. What I want you to think about is how different the cultures are in these two parts of the world. Communism still dominates China and Russia. The country of India is dominated by people who revere cows. Between those three countries lies almost half of the world’s population. I cannot thank God enough for being born in the free country of the United States of America. We are not a perfect country but at least I can go to church without fearing that the Government will come in and throwing everyone into prison, at least today I can. I’ll bring out more information about east and west as we get into chapter 3 of Genesis, but I just wanted you to start thinking along these lines and notice what God said about it in chapter 2.
Posted on November 19, 2009, in Bible Study, Chapter 2, Genesis and tagged Bible, Christianity, Church, creation, Genesis, God, Holy Spirit, Interpretation, Jesus, Prophecy, Religion, Truth, understanding. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.