Genesis 2:8-14: Trees and rivers.

Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground – trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.) 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Ashur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.” NIV UK

‘’They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendour’’ (Isaiah 61:3b).

Believers have been put on the earth to be fruitful and flowing.

 Like the fruit trees in Eden, God makes us beautiful and delicious. Somebody spoke about ‘the give-away life’ of the Christian. God grows the ‘fruit of the Spirit’ in us, so that others may benefit. They can sample this fruit and ‘’Taste and see that the LORD is good…’’ (Psalm 34:8). Although the fruit may be growing on us, it’s God’s fruit. It’s His work; His produce. A God-planted believing man or woman will be ‘’pleasing to the eye’’ and ‘’good for food’’. There will be something both beautiful and appetising about the lives they lead. There will be those people looking on who say, ‘I want some of that.’ (As someone observed: our lives should be commercials for the Kingdom, saying in effect, ‘If you like what you see, why not visit your local showroom?!’)

Also, like the rivers flowing out of Eden, the Holy Spirit who first refreshes us (10), comes to bring freshness to the dry world around. God gives us an outgoing life. It’s a life which produces fruit for others; a life bringing vitality to others. It’s a life that is meant to wind ‘’through the entire land’’, you might say. It’s not to stay locked up inside us, but is meant to flow out. This calls to mind Ezekiel’s vision of the ever-deepening river flowing from the temple (Ezekiel 47:1-12), and Jesus’ words about ‘’living water’’ (John 7:37-39).

PRAYER: Lord, you do not expect me to keep this Christian life to myself. It’s clear you want others to feed on it and to be blessed by it. May my life flood the world with yours!