Thread Bible Podcast with Chuck Quinley

Thread Season 4 Episode 17: How to Live When You've Been Exiled from the Garden of Eden

July 07, 2020 Thread with Dr. Chuck Quinley Season 4 Episode 17
Thread Bible Podcast with Chuck Quinley
Thread Season 4 Episode 17: How to Live When You've Been Exiled from the Garden of Eden
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Thread Bible Podcast with Chuck Quinley
Thread Season 4 Episode 17: How to Live When You've Been Exiled from the Garden of Eden
Jul 07, 2020 Season 4 Episode 17
Thread with Dr. Chuck Quinley

In this episode of Thread we learn about what comes after Adam and Eve openly disobeyed God's command, allowing evil to enter the world and spoiling the garden utopia. What can we expect from a life outside the perfect Garden of Eden?






Music by Ryan Andersen

Ryan Andersen is licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial License.


Thread Bible Podcast is produced and edited by Ross Schmidt and is brought to you by Medialightasia.com

Support the show (https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=RL4F28KKJPKWQ)

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of Thread we learn about what comes after Adam and Eve openly disobeyed God's command, allowing evil to enter the world and spoiling the garden utopia. What can we expect from a life outside the perfect Garden of Eden?






Music by Ryan Andersen

Ryan Andersen is licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial License.


Thread Bible Podcast is produced and edited by Ross Schmidt and is brought to you by Medialightasia.com

Support the show (https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=RL4F28KKJPKWQ)

Hi, I'm Chuck Quinley! Welcome back to Thread Season Four, Episode 17. In our last episode, we watched in amazement as the Creator God humbled himself to sow a tunic of animal skin as a covering for the nakedness of the first humans, after they had openly disobeyed his commands, allowed evil to enter the world, and spoiled the garden utopia. In this episode, we'll learn about what comes next as they begin to build a life on their own authority. What kind of life can we expect outside the perfect Garden of Eden? Stay tuned.

Well, today we're in Genesis chapter 3, verse 22-24, which could well be seen as the beginning of chapter 4. We said in our last episode, that in one ancient text, the Masoretic Text, chapter 3 ends with verse 21. And this is done to show hope, because verse 21, God is still involved in their lives actively, he's creating a garment to cover their shame, and he is committed to the welfare, and he's concerned about them. And then we move to chapter 22. And this is a new chapter, it's a new chapter in the story of God's relationship with humans. It opens with the words, "And the Lord God," (the Elohim, YHWH, in the Hebrew). "And the Lord, God said, 'See, the man has become like one of us in knowing (or participating) in tov, and rah'." So who's he talking to? This passage, once again, to me seems to be a reference to the government of God, the divine counsel, all these passages from this point on where God will say, "we" or "us". And this keeps going, you end up in the book of Job later, and there's this gathering of a counsel. And they're called the sons of God, and they are creatures that he has created, but they are his government in the heavenly realm. And to some extent they, their duties extend over the earth also; heavenly beings that he has created and given authority to. Now does YHWH the Elohim have to have their help? Well, probably not. He's omnipotent. According to the Scripture, he created this world and all of its micro fullness and macro fullness, and he made galaxies, the endless space above us. But you know, on the other hand, he doesn't need us either. But in both cases, it has pleased him to design things such that he creates beings to be his imagers in the heavenly and the earthly realms. And these beings will have freewill, and they will represent him and he will give them amazing abilities. And he will delegate authority, and he will rule his worlds through them, whether you're talking about heavenly beings, or humans. And we've talked about the divine council before at lengths, so I won't go into much detail on it, but I do want to note it. Now you could take this and say, "Oh, it's just God. It's the Father talking to other members of the Trinity." And that's fine. Many Christians see it that way. But you need to be a little careful of that thinking because you're pretty close to creating three Gods there. You would hardly think that God would have to talk out loud to hear himself and know what he is thinking, if the three persons of the Godhead were one united entity. You know, the description of the Bible is of our Creator as a complex being, he is not a big man. He's not like anything we've ever seen. There's only one like him. And this being is one God, but in three separate persons, each with their own personality, yet completely united in complete and perfect unity. So you can take that as this is just a Creator God, speaking within himself, but he seems to speak out loud. And there is action from the government of Heaven regardless, because the very first thing that happens is that he assigns a warrior spirit-world being to guard, and maybe it's more than one, to guard the tree of life and keep the humans away from it by killing them if needed with a whirling sword that hovers around this tree spinning endlessly.

So, to this council YHWH says, "See, the human has become like one of us now. He participates in tov and rah." And then there's this great -- in the original, it's a broken sentence, and some translations add a bunch of words here -- but this is an ellipsis. It's urgent. Okay, so he's looking at circumstance, the humans have now entered onto their side of this line, they were on the side of innocence and submission, and they were being groomed and slowly developing a moral compass, but now they've blown that whole process, and they've jumped across the line. And they also join the heavenly realms as moral beings, and they will now participate in doing things that are 'tov', they build up, and doing things that are 'rah', they destroy and tear down. And they don't have the moral resources for this, they're, you know, they're still, they're shown as moral children. They're not there yet. And yet, here they are. And so it's an urgent situation. And it's a huge problem. And the sentence, the next sentence that comes in the passage is just the Creator with a broken sentence going. "Now!", you know, exclamation point! Now, if you're on the heavenly side of that line, you already know what the stakes are. And you know what stands to be lost if action isn't taken immediately. So he doesn't even have to say what they need to do. It's just, "Now! Quickly!", you know, "Now that he's turned to be his own little god, the very next step is to go for the other tree. And that will be the permanent disaster, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat and live forever." And this would be disastrous, because at this point, death, whether, you know, whether humans would have died if they had continued on even in the garden; if they would have died without having that tree there, that they could add that tree to their diet, and by doing that, it would renew them and it would keep them alive. I kind of think that's what it was. Because that's the point of the tree being in the garden is, it's the tree that keeps you alive. And it's the first commandment in the Bible is God commanding the man eat and eat from that tree also. Only now he doesn't want them to touch that tree. Death is now the safeguard. You know, humans have been given freewill in their creation, and they've used it to rebel and bring darkness into this perfect world. And death will now begin to claim humans, as I think it has probably been claiming animals as part of the natural process of selection that keeps all the species stronger, but now death will be the failsafe. Humans can do damage, but only one lifetime's worth. Imagine if the Hitlers and the Stalins could live forever, and bear children in their image and fill the earth with unending horrors. Death is now the friend of the earth, because mankind is now the problem for the planet. The tree of life, their pipeline, their lifeline to YHWH, this tree of life would have kept them alive forever, repairing their bodies as life's work wore them down, renewing their strength as the Bible says, like an eagle, you know, that goes away, old and sick and tired. And they go into their cave and they come out of the cave, and they're alive and they're young, and they're good for 20 more years of useful life. We'll be right back.

You know what's kind of amazing, is that YHWH won't cut the tree down. He doesn't just say you know, "Kill the tree", or "I will kill a tree". It's too important for that. Man must be able someday, to return to the garden. Man must somehow now be cleansed of sin, he must be allowed to prove his loyalty to the Creator Elohim. And if he can prove his loyalty and be cleansed of his sin and join God's side again, he must be allowed to return to that garden, and be restored and re-installed as the co-regent under YHWH. And he must again have access to this wonderful tree, this tree that will heal their bodies and souls, and restore the life force within them. And this is the dream of God throughout the Bible. And it is ultimately fulfilled in the last book, the book of Revelation. If you go to chapter 22, we're gonna read verses 1-3, and it says, and this is a picture of the New Jerusalem, "And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb, and in the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore 12 fruits, each branch yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations, and there will be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it and his servants (humans), his servants shall serve Him." Beautiful, you know? That's the end game. And that's why this tree isn't destroyed. God intends to restore the garden and restore humans back to their original position and move on with his plan to live on this planet with humans, the spiritual world, and the material world finding a new place where they merge, and they live together.

Back to our text again, Genesis chapter 3 verse 23. "And the Elohim YHWH sent him away from Eden's garden, to work the ground from which he was taken." It seems like Adam resisted going, and this must have been a horrifying experience for him and for Eve. The next verse, in verse 23 the next line says, "and he, YHWH, drove the man out." And that word "drove" is the word for "expelled" the man, you know, like getting thrown out of a restaurant or something. He's being expelled. It's the same word for "put away". It's the same word for the concept of divorce. And so YHWH drove, you know, as Adam resists going, Eve resists going, YHWH pushes them out, they have no choice. They cannot, they've done what they've done, they made their choice. They've decided on this new way of living, the garden does not belong to them, they are not in any fit state to take care of God's holy garden, and to live within sight of the tree of life. One commentator wrote about how horrifying that first night outside the garden had to have been for them. Because they now had to fear tigers and other beasts of prey, they had to construct a shelter, and find wate,r and deal with human waste, and capture animals, and plant gardens, and continue their life. So I mean, they've got work to do, but just the horror of a night alone outside of God's garden, because before this, everything had been freely provided for them without much effort. And most of all, they had now lost the nearness of the Creator hovering over them, surrounding them with protection and provision and his presence. And they were now alone in the world that they had cursed through their own defiance. And they must have felt very alone and very vulnerable. They've now been exiled from the garden.

Exile is a really important thing, and again, I'm assuming that the final form that this book has taken came in a period of the great exile of Israel. These stories are old stories, they have guided Israel, but coming together in this final polished form... I'm just assuming, because there's so many breadcrumbs, there's so much in this book about exile, you know, and let's talk about the exile one more time. They had once been a powerful, materially glorious nation with an elite military. They had an impregnable fortress capital. And now they had been humbled for their sins. And they had been crushed as a nation. Their spirits were broken, their national pride was humiliated, and Israel ceased to exist as a nation. And the Jewish people were largely driven from the land, and taken as slaves in the nations to the east. Exile is always to the east in the Bible. And if you noted in verse 23, it said, "he drove the man out, and to the east of the garden he posted the guard." So this theme is being traced from the garden's exile, and the consequence, it is a consequence of breaking faith with the holy Creator. He is merciful, and he is forgiving -- so forgiving -- yet, when we break our covenant with him completely, we will experience the absence of his protection, and his provision. And Tohu va Bohu, the chaos force will rush in and fill all the empty space and will be released into our life and into our society. So here we begin the tale of exile, which is the set of reading glasses we really need to understand the Bible's message.

I want to take a little side road here. Why do we need to explore the experience of being in exile? Why do we need to try to enter into life as a refugee? Well, I'll tell you why: Because, first of all, we're all living in a world exiled from the garden. Our hearts, no matter what your background is, your culture, what country you're from, what religion you have, our hearts tell us that people, they should be kind mothers, should be good fathers, should be noble, and our society should be just, and all things should be fair, and marriage should be bliss, and children and parents should have nothing but the deepest love for each other, and we should all be able to walk around barefoot and take long naps in the shade on a bed of soft grass. But it's not like that anymore. I mean, you can capture moments like this, thank God. And when you do capture them, even, I mean, Sherry and I've been married a long time, and there are times that we get it so right. I mean, our union is complete, there is total trust between each other, we have nothing but positive words, feelings and thoughts. And we both learned, celebrate those moments, drink that, settle into that, because it is so easy to get that thing upset. You know, one bump in the car, one attitude, one sharp word, it doesn't take much to mess things up on this planet. So we can have our moments where we, we kind of remember the garden. But the new normal for this planet is that there is pain in this life. And we and everybody else are now living in a competitive system. And some people are going to win, and some are going to win big, and others are going to lose, and some are going to lose and lose and lose. And there are predators in nature, and they're predators among humans. And there are sexual predators and people of violence and swindlers and liars and worse, because it's a fallen world we live in. And like Adam and Eve, sometimes we're gonna feel all alone and vulnerable. And the more we act like little gods, and pull ourselves independently away from our Creator, the worse this situation is going to be. And you know, even if we see ourselves as a member of the "good people's group", who still follow the Lord and obey his book, there's still exile coming our way, and we're still living in a fallen world. And actually, even the group of people who follow the Lord with all their heart, exile, further exile is coming our way too, just as it did to the Jews.

There's a concept, if we had time we could really unpack it, but I just want to touch down on it, and we're going to call this kind "Constantine-ism", because Constantine was the end of the persecution of Christians. For the first 300 years of the Christian movement, they were persecuted, horrible, horrible tortures. I won't go into it, but just trying to destroy this movement, and it just wouldn't die. It suffered a lot. And then, lo and behold, the top general became a Christian, and then, in a great battle, defeated the other generals of Rome and became the Emperor himself. And Constantine made a new place for Christians. All of a sudden, Christians were, for the first time ever, top dog. Just like Jews had been under David, they became the dominant ones, in power, and in culture. And, and after you get used -- and we've known this now for thousands of years -- Christian nations, quote, "Christian nations" have been top dog nations all over the world. Europe rose, and you can look at it however you want to, but a lot of people see it as they were blessed, and so rose up, began to expand a lot of business interests. And, you know, this is where the gradual watering down of the truth starts to come in, you start to mix money in, and it goes on. But I don't want to go there right now, we could have a whole talk about that. I'm talking about, when a people who are following God is suddenly elevated, and they become the top people, it starts to carry with it an assumption. An assumption that we need to be in charge of the culture to grow and flourish as a people. That we need to own lands, and we need to build spaces, and we need, we need a lot of stuff. And we need to be in control of politics, and the economy. And we start talking a lot about, you know, Joshua as a role model. And you know, taking the land, establishing, killing the giants. Like, David is another big role model in making Israel ascend. And you become more powerful, and more prominent, and more dominant, and you take that Promised Land, and you tear down the walls, and you take over all the top positions. Here's what's wrong with it. Our history, once we achieve such positions, is not positive. Charles Garcon said something, it just burned its way into my mind, I've never forgotten this sentence. He said, "The church is always seduced by the culture in which it is embedded." And so once Israel had climbed to the top of the mountain and became the, the top nation in the region, and other nations had to pay them every year protection money, and David passed that on to Solomon, one generation later, Israel never held dominance in the world again. One generation! And Christianity seems to be headed in that same direction, though, Christian nations have had a couple of thousand years now, to be on top, and some can't imagine life as a Christian without being on top. You know, they can't imagine what Christians are like in a nation -- because they are historically "Christian nations", and so they're watching, we're all watching the erosion of Christian authority, the erosion of respect from the culture, looking at Christianity as, and leaders of the Christian faith, as wise people and noble people, and that's going away, it's if it's not already gone. And a lot of people just have no idea what to do in a circumstance like that. Now, some of you are from nations where Christians are such a minority, like half of 1%, and maybe none of this makes any sense to you. But in every society, there is a dominant force. They're the dominant people in religion. They're the dominant people in culture. And a lot of people really do have the sense that that's, that's, like, God's plan for everybody who follows him, you get the blessing, you know, and you gotta be on top. You gotta have all the money, you gotta have all that. We just don't do very well in positions like that. We tend to become perverted. And we very soon start doing the same things that the people who don't know YHWH start to do. Stay tuned.

Well, what happened in the Old Testament era, and still happens today, was war would come against your nation. And when you were defeated by your enemy, they would take your men to be their slaves. And these men would go back to the conqueror's land and build their empire, and your women and children would be taken away. And you know, it wouldn't be like slaves all living in a slave campground, and the families live as families. They would take your wives and take your children, and they would go to be spoils of war for the soldiers, and you would find yourself now, in a foreign land, stripped of material power, you would have no land, you would have no wealth, you have no status, you have no more majority privilege, because privilege is in every country, in every culture that has ever existed, and it always goes to whoever is the majority group. And you'll find yourself in those circumstances now stripped of the security of your majority religion. And if you're going to survive this, as Israel had to learn to survive it, you have to enter the way of the exile and acknowledge that you have lost your status, and you have lost your power. And this loss often lasted your entire life. Now, you would think that such a, such an experience would just destroy your soul. And it'd be the end of your life, the end of your potential, and you just curl up in a ball and die. But Israel found that it wasn't true, that they actually continued to have a mission, that God had a mission for them as exiles. And they didn't have to be overwhelmed by this catastrophe. But that God had a calling on them to be what scholars called the "wisdom warriors". And so now we have these high points in the Old Testament, stories of the prophets, you've got the three Hebrew men in the fiery furnace, and they are facing the king, most powerful man in the world. And then you've got the story, in the same book of Daniel, of Daniel now in the den of the lions, and it's Daniel facing the power of other government leaders, and the old line, old elite families within Babylon. And they just want to crush this Hebrew. And God is using Daniel, he is a bright and shining light, because YHWH loves Babylon. And YHWH loves Egypt. It's not that God only loves Israel. Israel is the light to the nations, but the nations are his delight. And Jesus in the end, he's bringing it all back and saying, "go to all the nations and tell the nations I love them. I'm reaching out, I'm bringing them back to the Creator.", You got Hebrew boys in the furnace, you got Daniel, you got Esther standing before the king to save her people, and none of these leaders stood as conquerors. They weren't like David. And they didn't gather a group like Joshua. They just, they're alone, they're stripped, they have no power. They have no money, they have no, they got nothing. They don't have anything that makes them a threat. They're not a threat to power, and yet, how powerful their lives! They live prophetic lives. We become the light of the world when we accept that we are buried in the darkness and that we live in Babylon, and that we must now learn the way of the wisdom warrior. And the wisdom warrior throughout -- there's a whole collection of stories in the Old Testament of a child of God in the presence of pagan kings, and those with power. And so there's just a... from the Joseph stories in Egypt, you've got Moses, you got... this just keeps on going. It's a theme in the Old Testament. And there's two sides to it. When you are under the thumb of the monarch, who is against YHWH, you have two things that you're called to do. And the first one is be loyal. And that was the shocking words that Jeremiah wrote to the people in Babylon, and they expected him to say, you know, "gather weapons, start making your plan, start sabotaging everything you can, break things in Babylon!" You know, "Start fires, do things to hurt Babylon!" But that isn't what he says. He says, "Thus says the Lord, 'Be a blessing to Babylon.'" You know," if Babylon prospers, you'll prosper too. Build a house there, get married there, plant fruit trees, you know, take care of Babylon, and you'll be blessed while you're there, because I'm not letting you out of this. You're going to stay an exile until I'm finished with you there."

So the first thing about the wisdom warrior is you got to learn to be loyal, loyal, in exile, loyal to the world around you, and the leaders of that world, loyal to the government, whatever king is over you. I mean, you're slave for life, and you don't want to be there. And God says, "bow down, become loyal to that king. Work to make the world better where you're at." And you'd say, "That's it? We just sell out?" And it's like, "No. Now there's a second thing that you have to do. And that is you have to subvert Babylon." "What do you mean, you know, am I going to lead an uprising?" "No, you subvert by having high morality, you draw a line, you speak clearly about the relationship you have with YHWH, you explain to them the ways of your way, and what you cannot do, because you follow your way. And there are times, you know, as long as you stand there trying to be a light to them, all you really have is your integrity, and your voice, you have to live an alternative life, a shining life. Not a hidden light, but a shining light. And it's your life, and you're living among people, and they live in the shadows of the Fall, just like you, and you'll have very few assets. But if you add value to people, and you add value to the society around you, you'll be wanted. And over time, they'll listen to you. And then when you get your chance to speak, you need to quietly and forcefully use your mouth, use your voice, speak passionately about the ways of the Lord, and you got to be willing to suffer great loss rather than cross any forbidden lines, lines that your conscience tells you you can't do. And lines that Jehovah God told you, you cannot do." 

Jeremiah's words, we'll close with that, Jeremiah 29:5-7, "Build houses and dwell in them, plant gardens and eat their fruit. Take wives and beget sons and daughters and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands so that they may bear sons and daughters. And that you may be increased there and not diminished and seek the peace of the city, where I've caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to YHWH for that city. For in its peace, you will have peace." And so again, the story that we study right now the story of Adam and Eve. It's not for the benefit of Adam and Eve. They were dead thousands of years before these words were written. These words are written for people in exile. And I don't know if you've gotten it yet, but you're in exile. In the New Testament, Peter writes to believers, and he says, "I write to the exiles in Babylon." And everybody he writes to is still, most of them, living in their hometown. He says "you realize that, I hope, that you are in a new kingdom, you serve a new king and you are in a dark place as an exile. You're just going to have to live it out." And you know, two thirds of all Christians were slaves in those days anyway. And that was their life. There is a way to shine without being top dog, without having to own as we do. You don't have to own the university and own the TV station and own the satellite. You don't have to own it all. You can have a voice, God will give you a voice and that's why we're studying this. Here are Adam and Eve, and they are forced to go live the rest of their life in exile. And there's a way to live in exile where you still you still have a house and you've got fruit trees and your kids got married and you're so excited about your grandkids and and God says, you know, "Even though you're in exile, you can have these, you know these sweet things that are in life, but you are in exile. And you've got to learn to shine, use your spiritual authority and shine the light."

Well, we'll watch this story continue to unfold, but this lesson was about entering exile, being banished from the perfect life, the wonderful garden of Eden. I don't know, maybe you had life all figured out at some point, and maybe it all turned upside down for you. I know this year has ruined a lot of people's plans, but God has plans for Babylon. He has plans to bless you and to prosper you and to give you a good life, even in Babylon, but don't forget you're in Babylon. And keep your expectations anchored to being a light in a dark place. Look, we've got something to help you do that. We have a course, and if you just go online, go to medialightonline.com, we've got a course there called "The Church Leader's Digital Survival Course". And we're going to teach you how to create a one minute encouraging video devotional to post on your social media account. To do this, you're going to have to out yourself as a believer of Jesus, but if you are willing to do that, we're going to teach you how, and you don't need to be a Bible scholar. It actually works better if you're not. One minute encouraging video. I have had thousands of people tune in to mine, I get great feedback on what messages do for them. We give you a template to follow, you just exactly follow that line. There's only a little part in the middle of it where you have to add something of your own. We make it so easy for you to become a voice in the darkness of Babylon.

My friend, people need encouragement today. And God's Word has power and authority to make the changes that matter in people's lives. So take this free course today and open your mouth and use your voice and speak for God in Babylon. Till next time, expect God to use you today because you are the light of the world.