Posted by: Terry | August 24, 2011

Reflections of the flaming swords

So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 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. (Genesis 3:23-24 NIV)

How long did Adam and Eve live in the light of those flaming swords? How many nights did they lay in bed watching the flames in the distance reminiscing about what their life once was and all they had lost? How long did it take for the events that led to their expulsion and present labor to cease as the main topic of conversation over each meal?

How many times would they explain the flaming swords to Cain and Able, Seth and all the other children? How often would they repeat “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." How often would they talk of the promise that one day God would make it all right again, the flaming swords would be removed and they would walk with God as in the past?

In our quiet moments when we reflect on the past, the present, what really matters, we experience a kinship with Adam and Eve. Though admonished to forget the past, we cannot help but wonder about what might have been, feel twangs of remorse of what was. In those honest moments we consider what is really important in life and the world as Adam and Eve must have done; the fleeting vapor of so many things that occupy our worry and time contrasted with the graciousness of God, the mercy so undeserved.

David said it best, Adam would have understood, and for us it says it all:

Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
(Psalms 73:25 NIV)



  1. This isn’t always easy to do, but we must remember every day that God is in control and what happens now is worth what will happen later.

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