There are three main gardens in scripture that I want to bring to your attention. One of them is found in the beginning, one of them in the middle, and one of them at the end (at the end of a Man’s life).
The one in the beginning was the Garden of Eden. The word “Eden” means pleasure and delight. One can only imagine what it was like. As Watchman Nee once said, “We will never be able to comprehend the extent to which we and all of creation have fallen.” I mean think about it; Adam was able to name off 17,500 species of animals in one afternoon. His mind was able to look at an animal and calculate all of the information concerning this creature and then name it in seconds. If he did this in just under 5 hours, then that is an animal every second as they passed before him. Think of it!! Just try and imagine the mental acuity and spiritual creativity that he possessed. He was walking in the very creative powers of the Father at this time. It was limitless to him. Nothing was beyond his reach or too hard for him.
He was walking with God in the cool of the garden. He was perfect. There was no stain on his soul or on his spirit. He was eternal just as the Father was. The bible calls Adam “the son of God.” And here he is in this garden. A place made just for him by the Father. And the Lord tells him to tend and keep the garden. The Hebrew word for “keep” is guard. It is a military term. Now just why would God tell Adam to guard the garden? Guard against what? I mean everything is perfect…or is it? How about guarding against a snake in the grass? Ezekiel 28 speaks about satan being in Eden, and this chapter gives us a brief glimpse of the beauty of this garden. Just begin your reading at verse 13 and you might be surprised as to how beautiful this garden really was.
But we know that the way to the physical Garden of Eden is now prohibited to man, and human eyes can’t even see it. The Lord has hidden it from us for His own reasons. And Deuteronomy 29:29 says that the secret things belong unto the Lord our God. But this garden is very important to the Lord because this is where it all began; and this is where it all ended. The devil was in the garden and satan (I personally hate to capitalize his wicked name) is still in the garden. God loves gardens because He is a husbandman and the fruit can always be found in a garden.
The second garden of deep import can be found in the Song of Solomon chapters 4, 5, and 6. These portions of scripture deal with the heart of man as a garden. If you take the time to study this book and deeply reflect upon it, you will come to love this book maybe more than any other book in the bible. For you will find that this book deals with one theme and one theme only: a man’s spiritual pilgrimage and growth. You will see that it is a book of spiritual maturity. In the beginning we find the woman working and running, in the middle we find her waning and questioning, but in the end we find her walking and leaning on her Beloved in the garden. You will remember that the Holy Spirit said in 1 Cor. 3:9 that you are God’s garden.
Brethren, all the gardens in scripture represent the heart of man at different levels of maturity. If you will study this out and meditate upon it and ask the Lord for wisdom, He will show you so much that you will not be able to contain it all. You will begin to see the spiritual significance of the locations of the gardens, the names of the gardens, who was in the gardens (you will find Christ in all three), and much, much more. But these truths will only come to the hungry ones who have ears to hear and a heart to understand. For “it is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but it the glory of kings to search them out.” They have to be searched out, and sought diligently after. You have to desire spiritual things and their meanings.
But oh the riches to be found in all three of these gardens. Just a foretaste of one of the gardens: Gen 2:10 speaks of one river branching out into four heads. Compare these four rivers and their meanings with the four heads of Christ mentioned in Ezekiel and Revelation and the Lord will show you something very beautiful.
But the last garden is the one that most will avoid. For this is the garden of Gethsemane. And the word for Gethsemane means, “oil-press.” What does an oil-press do? It presses the oil out of the fruit (olives for example) so that the oil may be used for lighting lamps. And your soul –in particular your mind- is a lamp. And the lamp needs to be lit. And you need to be pressed out of you so that the oil of Christ (the Holy Spirit) might be pressed in so that your lamp never goes out.
You see, the five wise virgins came to this garden and they let deep inner transformation take place. They put themselves into subjection to the “oil-press” so that their self-lives might be pressed out. You see, oil and water don’t mix. The oil is heavier and will always come to the top. A lamp cannot be lit with water, it can only be fueled by some type of oil.
The five foolish virgins didn’t want the oil, they just wanted the water of their own self-lives, and they thought that was good enough. This is why they were foolish…for only a fool would think that water can light a lamp!! But the wise ones knew what it took to ignite a flame and keep it burning.
Are you willing to come to this same garden that our Lord came to? You see, Jesus died in the garden long before He died on the cross. His self-life had to be fully dealt with also. Just do the math: He prayed three times for this cup to pass from Him. He said, “not My will, but Yours be done.” Why would He pray that if His will were not different from the Father’s?
Just think about it and pray about it and the Lord will grant you wisdom to understand. Even the Lord Jesus had to have His own will dealt with fully in the garden. You’ll remember that He sweat as it were great drops of blood as He prayed. Sounds like something was being pressed out of Him. What was being pressed out of Him? His own will, that He might fully follow the Father’s will all the way through to the end.
Jesus didn’t shrink back from this garden. He knew and He remembered that it had all started in a garden. And you’ll even remember from John 19:41 that He was buried in a garden. Garden’s are deeply symbolic to the Father. They hold fond memories of an original creation, they hold tearful memories of a fall, they hold secret memories of the death of a Son. But they also hold tender memories of a deep relationship between you and He if you will only give Him all of your heart and seek for Him in the garden of His word. His word is the Garden of Eden. All life is to be found there. The tree of Life is there. All the answers to every question is there. The Son is there in the garden waiting. Can you hear His voice walking in the garden calling you? Adam, where are you? He’s looking, He’s seeking, and He’s calling your name. Are you hiding in the garden with FIG (Fear–Ignorance–Guilt) leaves on? He knows where you are physically. He wants to know your spiritual address.
(Insert your name here “____________________, where are you?” Where are you really today? Are you hiding from Him due to Fear of something you’ve done? Zacharias prophesied in Luke 1:74 that “we might serve Him without fear.” Are you hiding from Him because of Ignorance? Then find Him in His word; He’s waiting for you in the garden of His word. Are you hiding from Him because of Guilt? Repent of your sin(s) and allow Him to cleanse you and redeem you and reinstate you to your former glory in Christ. You were created to be so much more than just a pawn to be played at satan’s whim. Don’t believe his lies. He was a liar from the beginning and he is the father of lies. Whose report will you believe?