Take Care of Your Garden Print E-mail
Written by Victoria Radin   

“And the L-rd G-d took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and guard and keep it.” (Genesis 2:15 Amplified)

While this was a literal directive to Adam from the L-rd, it has a broader meaning in the lives of all mankind. The Jewish sages teach that the Torah (the Bible) is the Tree of Eternal Life (Etz Chaiyim). Taking care of ‘your garden’, therefore, refers to our responsibility to read, understand, and obey G-d’s Word. We are also admonished to ‘guard’ G-d’s Word, being very careful not to change the words that G-d spoke to His prophets nor are we to interpret His Word in ways G-d never intended.

Most trees live beyond the lifetime of a single generation. Therefore, ‘tending’ or ‘cultivating’ our Garden relates to our responsibility to pass on its truths to future generations. Our children are seeds in our Garden. Children who are ‘fed’ from the Tree of Eternal Life grow up spiritually healthy. Then, they are able to ‘feed’ others from the Garden, thus helping more people to achieve eternity. We continue to plant trees, knowing that their fruits may be only for a future generation. So goes the cycle of Life as G-d intended.

“Write these commandments that I've given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-8; The Message)

We were meant to have a symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationship with the trees and all edible fruits. In order to have this desired interaction, we must reconnect daily to the Tree of Eternal Life the great and mighty cosmic tree of the Garden of Eden who we know as Jesus/G-d’s Word.

There are five fruits and two grains associated with the land of Israel (Deuteronomy 8:8) and the Tree of Life: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and dates (date honey).

The different types of fruits are said to express three types of relationships. Those fruits that have no pits on the inside nor shells on the outside are fully edible, symbolizing a relationship of deep trust and intimacy. Those fruits that have pits on the inside, but the outside can be fully eaten symbolize a relationship with some interpersonal contact, but a guarded private self. Those fruits that have shells on the outside that must be discarded represent a very guarded relationship, that of a stranger.

It is said that trees are symbols of men’s lives (Deut. 20:19). Likewise, the apostle Paul compares the fruit of trees with a man’s life as well. Good ‘fruit’ is the evidence of the indwelling Spirit of G-d in a believer: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance (Gal. 5:22). In order to ‘grow’ these fruits, one must connect to the Tree of Life, the Torah, the Word of G-d. In doing so, an individual will someday be able to enter Paradise, i.e. the Garden of Eden.

“You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Even so every good tree bears good fruit; but a bad tree bears bad fruit...Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down, and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” (Matthew 7:16-17, 19-20)

Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) represents the final harvest, when all believers will be rewarded by the evidence of fruit in their lives. Our fruits as they are revealed on Sukkot at the final harvest, will indicate the type of relationship we have had with the L-rd: one of deep intimacy; one with only some interpersonal contact; or that of a stranger. Knowing the L-rd is tantamount to having the intimacy pictured in the fully edible fruit connected to the Tree of Life by the Spirit of G-d.

Take care of your Garden!

Kumi Or (Let Your Light Shine)

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