by Christine Berglund
On the sixth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a gardener.” No, not “farmer,” although that came later. God didn’t have a farm in Eden, but a garden. The thorns and thistles and Bermuda grass had not yet invaded, and life was easier.
Technically, God didn’t need a gardener, or anything else from mankind.
“Nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things” (Acts 17:25, NASB).
There is a vital place for farmers today, as Paul Harvey pointed out. But Eden was a simple and beautiful garden. So God made a gardener.
Did God need a gardener to get up early plow straight and not cut corners; to seed, weed, and feed? No, but man needed to have something productive to do. So for God’s own reasons, he needed the gardener to do these never-ending tasks.
So God made the gardener. Gardening is hard work. And God smiles upon that work.
We can be certain that the gardener and his successor, the farmer, are some of God’s favorite people because he put so many parables and allegories in the Bible about them.
Scholars suggest that man was a vegetarian in the days before the Flood, so there was no need for hog-calling or chicken-tending. Adam probably called the hogs only once; when he was instructed to name the animals.
Farmers and gardeners know the agony of loss, and the feeling of “maybe next year” as they keep hope alive against all odds. And so God made a gardener so that he would understand how our Father feels when we fail him, as our crops fail us.
God needed to let man understand the pride in the loving nurture of tiny seed sprouts that will become beautiful plants, trees, and shrubs. What a thrill it must have been to make this amazingly intricate universe!
Our loving Father wanted to share some of the joy. So God made a gardener.
God, in his ultimate creative genius, placed an almost limitless supply of rich DNA material in that first garden, and needed to have someone unlock the combinations to create good food, medicines, and fantastic ornamental plants of every imaginable color. So God made a gardener.
Man has freewill to choose right and wrong, and live and die with those consequences. So much was given to Adam and Eve. Only one tree was off limits.
God needed to observe if man would keep that one simple rule, or be forever doomed so irreparably that it would cost the Father his only Son’s life, sacrificed on the Cross.
So God made these gardeners, and they failed Him. No sooner than they were caught in their sin and judgment was pronounced, the promise of salvation was also foretold. So God saved the gardener.
We may not all dig in our gardens in the truest form of the word “gardener.” Yet we are all Adam’s descendants and each of us do our part in “tending and keeping” the Earth as God directed in Genesis 2:15.
We all fall into transgression of the will of our Maker, and similarly we all have a hope in his merciful solution to our problem; his son Christ Jesus.
Finally, at the end of the Bible, we read of a new Heaven and new Earth, and a place with a Tree of Life in the middle of it all. It sounds like a garden to me. So God made the gardeners to live forever!