Another Round in Genesis Brings Us Closer to our True Purpose
Thank you for joining me for another round in Genesis. Genesis, the Book of Beginnings lays much of the foundation for our lives today. We have a way to go in our study so let's dig in and see what we shall find in this lesson.
From Part 7
We read of Eden in Genesis 2:8-14, “And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. . . . And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.”
The original location of Eden has been disputed over the years. Many believe because of the mention of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. Eden was located in the Middle East, in present-day Iraq. Mesopotamia has long been considered “the Cradle of Civilization.” We run into a problem, however when we come to the mention of the Pison and the Gihon Rivers, thus confusing the location of Eden.
We can safely assume that these rivers were destroyed by the universal flood. Ken Ham says in his article, Where Was the Garden of Eden Located, “This is a major consideration that needs to be taken into account. The worldwide, catastrophic Flood of Noah’s day would have destroyed the surface of the earth. If most of the sedimentary strata over the earth’s surface (many thousands of feet thick in places) is the result of this global catastrophe as creationists believe, then we would have no idea where the Garden of Eden was originally located—the earth’s surface totally changed as a result of the Flood.”
The Jewish-Roman historian Flavius Josephus, at the beginning of his Antiquities of the Jews (1st century AD), identified the Pishon with the Ganges. The medieval French rabbi Rashi identified it with the Nile.
According to Wikipedia, “David Rohl identified Pishon with the Uizhun, placing Havilah to the northeast of Mesopotamia. The Uizhun is known locally as the Golden River. Rising near Mt. Sahand, it meanders between ancient gold mines and lodes of lapis lazuli before feeding the Caspian Sea. Such natural resources correspond to the ones associated with the land of Havilah in Genesis.”
There are many other theories regarding the location of Eden, but this we know for sure – there is no conclusive evidence one way or another. It is agreed by most scholars the Hiddekel River equates to the Tigris.
We are told in verse 8 of Genesis 2 that a river parted into four separate heads. If we look at the Tigris and Euphrates today, we see that the two rivers flow to join one emptying into the Persian Gulf. This is the exact opposite of what the Genesis account says. Here, the rivers become one. In Genesis, the one river became four.
Consider the Three Rivers Point in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Allegheny River meets the Monongahela River and both flow into the Ohio River. The Ohio River, in turn, flows into the Mississippi River which empties into the Gulf of Mexico. The rivers eventually flow into the one river. Again, this is the opposite floor plan of the Garden of Eden as one river ran into four. This was specially created by God.
Something else we must consider is that the Great Flood of Noah’s day would have destroyed the original rivers and their basins. We cannot be sure that The Tigris and Euphrates Rivers today are the same ones mentioned in Genesis 2. They may have simply been renamed for rivers Noah knew before the flood.
Moving on to Genesis 2:15-17, we see the purpose of man. We read, “And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
God had a perfect plan, and if the man would have followed it, we would not have the problems we do today. God put the man in the garden of Eden. The word put has to do with location. God had a specific location for the man to begin his existence. There are no surprises with God. He has a specific location for you as well. It has been said that we are to bloom where we are planted – and so be it.
Adam was placed in that location for a specific purpose. He was to dress and keep the garden. In dressing the garden, Adam was to work the soil, to labor, to bring to pass. In other words, his efforts would bring forth results that would bless him. In this way, Adam became a provider.
The Hebrew word shâmar is translated as to keep in verse 15. It means to guard and protect. Guard and protect what? We shall see that more clearly in chapter 3.
Although not clearly stated, I believe the picture God paints here in the garden can be likened to the garden we may find ourselves in today – the garden of family, and particularly in the position of husband/father.
So many husbands and fathers today have failed to complete their purpose in the role they find themselves. They have failed to dress their garden. They have failed to provide for their family. We see in I Timothy 5:8, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”
Again, in II Thessalonians 3:10 we read, “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” God’s plan is for the family to be provided for. We will see the purpose of the woman soon, but man’s purpose was to provide and protect. It is the job of the husband to protect his family from harm, from defilement, from abuse, from unsafe situations (either physical or spiritual). The list goes on.
I have no time nor respect for men who sit around all day and do nothing. I have no time nor respect for men who expect their wives to bend over backward to meet all their whims, send her out to work, and otherwise abuse the leadership position God has given them.
I certainly realize there are times when a man cannot work. There may be times of disabilities that would interfere with physical or mental work. I understand that, but the responsibility of providing for and protecting the family still falls to the husband/father. Be creative. In times of disability, you will still be able to fulfill God’s purpose for your life.
We'll look next time at the beautiful gift of marriage as we examine the first wedding. God, Himself is the officiant as He gives away the first bride. It is He who instituted marriage, so it behooves us to take a detailed look at His plan. Join us next time for Part 9.
- In the Beginning, God - Part 9
Why did God create Eve from Adam's rib? What does the Bible have to say about marriage? What about divorce? The answers are all in the beginning.
© 2018 William Kovacic
William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on September 02, 2018:
Hi, Jackie. I'm certain things to come will be more than breathtaking. I can hardly wait. Hopefully, it won't be long. Thanks for the visit.
Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on September 01, 2018:
I have always loved to think the Garden of Eden is still around and as you know, no matter what, that with God, all things are possible.
Really though with the beauty of the home our Lord is preparing for us we cannot even imagine, maybe Eden was just a sample of things to come.
William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on August 30, 2018:
Such a humble comment, Rodric. I wish more husbands and fathers would take the time to evaluate where they truly are. It might surprise many of them. Thank you for continuing to follow the series.
Rodric Anthony from Surprise, Arizona on August 30, 2018:
Reading through again, I must say that the photo at the very beginning of the article of the hand grasping the Earth is beautiful. It was well placed. The luminance of the Earth makes it appear as a jewel! That is what I feel we are in God's hands, a precious jewel that He wants to luster forever.
Reading over the portion where you mention your disdain for selfish men, I have made it my goal in life to reevaluate what my expectations are for my wife and family. If I am wrong, I want to admit it and change in view of my family so that it will know that I don't put myself above the truth. I have seven kids, and a grateful wife, which makes me an equally grateful husband. I hope and pray every day that I live up to what God expects me to do to take care of my family. So far, God has been doing all the work. I am just glad I am here to help.
William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on July 18, 2018:
Sorry to be so late, Rodric. Somehow I missed a slew of notifications. Anyway, thanks for being a part of this series. I look forward to your comments.
Rodric Anthony from Surprise, Arizona on July 03, 2018:
Oh, no. You did not mislead me. I should have been more clear with my comment. I, like you, believe that the earth was changed too much for people to make an educated guess where the Garden was. I think that God removed it from the earth or hid it so that we cannot see it. I believe He would have to reveal it to us by revelation. I just threw that little bit in there about where I believe the Garden was. Using the rivers in America for a juxtaposition to the ones commonly thought as the rivers to emphasize your point that things could have changed while underwater. I actually do not think the entire earth was flooded. I do not teach against a full flood but I think it is a partial flood. My thinking can change with more education.
William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on July 03, 2018:
Hi, Rodric. I apologize if I've misled you.in any way. I personally don't think Eden was in America. I don't think anyone really knows, nor can they because the Flood washed away all evidence. But I do appreciate your opinion. As always, thanks for stopping by!
Rodric Anthony from Surprise, Arizona on July 01, 2018:
I love your take on the Garden of Eden being in America. My personal belief espouses that take. When the world before the flood was one land mass the Garden was in what is present-day America. I also love your truthful statement of God having plans for all of us and knowing where He wants us placed. It is up to us to figure that out.
William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on June 25, 2018:
I heard about the satellite imagery as well, Lawrence., but I didn't know about the Persian Gulf. Thanks for the added information. I'll store it away for future use.
Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on June 24, 2018:
Some great analogies here. I read a while ago that using satellite imagery back in the 1960s the world's militaries identified two dried up river beds that could possibly be the two rivers of Genesis.
There's also evidence that the Persian Gulf itself was once forest that disappeared due to movement of the earth's crust and melting Ice at the end of the last Ice age (caused by the flood of Noah).
Jack Jenn from Nelson Bay NSW Australia. on May 30, 2018:
I have enjoyed our dialogue and I appreciate your kind approach and our differences of opinions won't stop me from following your hubs as I think others will benefit from them.
I should also admit that I was a pre-trib believer up until a few years ago but that's not to force my views on you and I will say we will have to agree to disagree on that point.
Again with my very best regards,
William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on May 30, 2018:
Hi Jack. I started to respond to your objections but had to come to the conclusion that the circle could go on forever using the same verses to prove our different views. I certainly do believe you are sincere, but must respectfully disagree with your conclusion. I know you're passionate about this topic so I commend you for that. God will sort it all out in the end. I'm looking for that Blessed Hope that will deliver me from the wrath to come.
I'm open to many things. For instance, I discovered after years of teaching the people in my church that John wrote the Gospel of John that I was wrong and had to correct that teaching as the teaching is traditional, not biblical.
In this case, I've already reached a conclusion as did you. I've not blindly come to that point but had to look at what God has shown me in Scripture. Why He has shown you something different, I don't, but I stand on the pre-tribulation rapture.
Although the topic of this hub has nothing to do with the timing of the end-time rapture, I do appreciate your comments and concern. Regardless of when it takes place, we both must carry on to the end. So carry on, Soldier.
Jack Jenn from Nelson Bay NSW Australia. on May 29, 2018:
Thank you for your response to my post, to which I must add mine with due respect.
"We both know that the church is not Israel" and I do agree with that, the third sentence is also true - at first.
This is when Satan in the anti-Christ's body will vent his anger on the Jews simply because he knows the Jews are God's chosen people, even though they are a long way from Him at this point in time, which is why God steps in to rescue the remnant and brings them swiftly to a place of refuge for the remaining 3.5 years.
We know in the beginning of the second half of Tribulation the false prophet causes the building of the image of the beast (by non-believers) and also causes the mark to be introduced, eventually by force disallowing ALL to buy and sell worldwide as the whole world to some degree will be under the control of the anti-Christ. That alone proves the anti-Christ's hate for the world's believers. If it were pre-trib, why are believers still here through the first half and in the second half?
Revelation 19: 7 - 9 in conjunction with 11 - 16 does not hold water to prove a pre-trib rapture. I think you are mistakenly reading that supposition into it. Nor do any of your following verses give credence to a pre-trib view.
The armies, in verse 14 are referring to the armies in heaven i.e. His angles, the dead in Christ from Adam along with the recently departed and those of us risen at His return.
If anything, verses 15 & 16 are referring to the destruction of the anti-Christ's armies at the end of Tribulation.
Of course Bill, it isn't the full story and I will leave it here so as not to take up your space.
Again my very best regards,
William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on May 29, 2018:
I would add this, Jack, to my reply below. The Tribulation is about judgment. My sin has already been judged at the cross - no need to be judged again.
William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on May 29, 2018:
Hi Jack, Glad to hear from you. I appreciate your concern on my behalf. I confess I did not finish reading your hub basically because of a lack of time, yet I understand the frustration you feel. I apologize. As a pastor, I only have a certain amount of time to examine literally thousands of topics so I must choose what will benefit God’s people (in my church) the most.
That being said, please understand that I don’t have the time to go into deep detail to answer your inquiry, but I will list the basics.
First, I believe we both know that the church is not Israel. They are very clearly two different entities. The tribulation is directed toward God’s chosen people, the Jews.
John 14:1-3: Jesus promises to take us to be with him (that where I am, there ye may be also) – Clearly, this is not referring to the 1,000-year reign nor the New Jerusalem.
Revelation 4 – We don’t see the church mentioned again after Revelation 3:14. God’s plan shifts completely to recalling his chosen people.
Revelation 19:7-9 – The marriage supper precedes the second coming of Christ (Revelation 19:11-16). We will be returning with Him at this time. I see no reason to think that at this time we will be raptured, make an immediate u-turn and return to earth as the Bible clearly describes the rapture and the second coming as two separate events.
I Thessalonians - we will “meet the Lord in the air” at the rapture.
II Thessalonians 2:7, 8 – then the antichrist will be revealed after the removal of the Holy Spirit in the believer.
Noah is an example of being removed from judgment as is Lot.
This is not a complete study by any means, but if I don’t stop soon, this will be too long to post in the comments section. Again, I appreciate your earnest zeal and love for the Lord. Have a wonderful week in the Lord!
Jack Jenn from Nelson Bay NSW Australia. on May 28, 2018:
I am enjoying your writings thus far - in this article I particularly like that you say God has a purpose for each and everyone of us, even if we don't yet know what that purpose is and persistent prayer will answer that. Also that He purposely puts us where He wants us, which as you say, we are to make the most of any and every gift bestowed upon us. Of course, the trick is knowing what gift it is and some may be given more than one.
To digress a little - over the short period of communicating with you through these articles, I remember that you told me after reading part of my END of DAYS article, that you were pre-trib. That worries me.
Did you stop reading when you found my stance is post-trib - or was it because you said the article was too long?
I really wish you would have continued reading at least until you came to the end of why I believe in the post-trib view as I think there is enough information there to perhaps change your mind on that - at least to consider it again. Truly Bill, if it does play out to be pre-trib I won't be disappointed and I'll have to breathe a sigh of relief but what if I'm right? You may have a preparedness of mind to carry you through it but thousands, if not millions won't simply because they won't be prepared for what is coming - thinking we won't be here.
If I could just say this: You cannot read Matthew 24 without concluding that Jesus placed the 'catching away' immediately after the tribulation of those days. For those who believe in a rapture that comes before Tribulation, they should look again at the scriptures that contain the word Tribulation, the O.T. uses it 3 times, the N.T., 19 times. If the rapture comes before Tribulation, shouldn't one of those 22 passages teach us something about the rapture happening before Tribulation? But in all the 22 instances, there isn't one verse which says the rapture happens before Tribulation. There is however, very clear verses which says it happens after the Tribulation - Matthew 24: 29 & 30.
With respect to yourself Bill, could you show me the verses that causes you to believe in a pre-trib view with your explanation of why you believe it.
My best and sincere regards Bill,
William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on May 21, 2018:
You're welcome, Dora. The misplaced rivers seem to be a free invitation for doubters to reject the Bible as a whole. Whether we know where they were, or are is really beside the point. The point being - they were there. Thanks for coming by!
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on May 21, 2018:
Never gave much, if any, thought to where the rivers could be. I appreciate the in-depth reflections.
William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on May 20, 2018:
I'm afraid, in general, Tammy, we've strayed so far from where we need to be. It's a battle I face every day, and unfortunately, lose sometimes. Thanks for visiting and commenting. I'm always glad to see you!
Tamarajo on May 19, 2018:
I liked your comparison of the garden assignment of Adam connected with the family. How far we have all strayed from the beginning mandates of imaging.
Enjoying the series.
William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on May 19, 2018:
We all have weeds, Bill. Uprooting them is our purpose. Give me a second to get my gloves and I'll join you.
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 19, 2018:
I'm afraid my garden has a lot of weeds in it. It may take the rest of my time on Earth to pull those weeds, fertilize the soil, and grow something to be proud of. Let me go get my gloves. I have a lot of work to do. :)
William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on May 18, 2018:
Hi, RTalloni. So nice of you to stop by and add your thoughts. Sin certainly has a stronghold in so many lives today. And we're helpless against it. Only the power of the living God can set us free. Thanks again for stopping by.
RTalloni on May 18, 2018:
Drawing from Eden to align the picture of a garden with a family is a lovely picture to ponder. To be given the understanding that we (and all the earth) were created to glorify God is a great gift. Embracing it and going forward His way (in dependence on Him) is to have a life plan that brings peace and joy.
Yet, all around us we see the blindness of sin holding people in the grip of worshiping self, animals, and the earth. Flinging His way back in His face is to deny oneself and one's family His blessings and help. It is very sad to see it work out in lives.
Recently another man was disturbed that his wife had an affair with someone at work. He wanted his wife put in the workplace so they could enjoy more materially. She agreed because it gave her a chance to give her home responsibilities over to nannies, schools, and domestic workers. Neither sees what the root of the problem is, but are both blaming each other and refusing to give up their lifestyle for the sake of their family.
It is a story repeated many times over every year, though all have their own details. This story is now the norm and few are willing to step back and accept God's counsel on the issues they face. The effect on society is profound, but no problem is bigger than God. Oh that couples, before they become fathers and mothers, would seek out the vision of the amazing grace God wants to work in and through their lives!