Years ago when my daughter (now 12 years old) was a crawling baby, I was in the kitchen and I made a ridiculous mistake. I was making rice and had a glass casserole dish similar to this one
I heated up my butter and sautéed my rice on the stove. Everything was going great. Kids were playing toys and everyone was happy.
Then I added the cup of water....to the hot pan.....and it shattered. (Rookie)
Glass went everywhere and cut my legs and arms and covered the floor and counters. The kids were speechless and couldn't figure out where the loud sound came from.
Once they figured it out they all wanted to run and crawl into the space. I was yelling at them to "stay out, keep the baby away, Do not come in here."
Everyone was upset and did not understand that I was doing this for their safety....I was not being mean but protective because I loved them.
Fast forward a few months and we are in January and like many other Januarys, I decided that this would be the year I finally started...and finished my - bible in a year - reading. I started in Genesis - as I always do. I have read it a thousand times.
This time was different. This time it changed my life.
In Genesis 3:24 says " After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life"
Ok so this is good so stay with me.
When I have read this in the past, my first thought would always be "that seems a little harsh God....why so permanent....why not a warning....?"
When I read it this time, I saw love and protection. I saw my story of the glass shattering and me forcing my kids to get out until I could make the place safe for them again.
I saw in the garden the two trees - the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Adam and Eve were allowed to eat the tree of life because they were alive, it kept them in the living state that they were, it kept them connected with God. They were not allowed to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil "for when you eat of it you will surely die"
The enemy even tried to twist this fact in verse 4 of chapter 3. He tells them they won't die. He is pointing out a physical death. He was right about that but God was talking about a spiritual death.
Going to genesis 3:22 God says " he must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat and live forever."
God loves us so much that he knew if he gave us that second chance, if he allowed us to stay in the garden, he knew we would still eat from the tree of life. Since we were in a spiritual death, separated from him, and then eat from the tree of life we would be forever separated from him.
How heart breaking to be forever separated from our Father??
God had to force mankind out of the garden, he had to protect us for getting hurt until he could clean it up.
We would be eternally separated from God if we ate from the tree of life. God sent his Son and in John 14:6 "Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
In the past I thought God was harsh and cruel to remove us from the Garden of Eden. I now see God as a loving parent who wants his children protected from the harm. He made a way for us to enter back into fellowship with him.
For that revelation I am so thankful. For God's love I am eternally grateful.