Dear Gardeners, I hope you have had a cozy and glorious Thanksgiving with your family and friends. On such a holy day, I don’t have much to say—our national tradition of being thankful to God for His goodness to us speaks for itself. Though I do have a simple question to ponder, in the magnificence of the feast today: What if the Garden of Eden was a garden named for Jesus?
After all, God the Father has told us that His delight is found in His Son.
And there came a voice from heaven: This is My beloved Son. I take delight in Him! Matthew 3:17 HCSB
And along with the Spirit, a voice: “This is my Son, chosen and marked by my love, delight of my life.” Matthew 3:17 The Message
And a voice from heaven said, “This is my one dear Son; in him I take great delight.” Matthew 3:17 NET
For example, we were eyewitnesses when he received honor and glory from God the Father and when the voice of our majestic God spoke these words to him: “This is my Son, whom I love and in whom I delight.” 2 Peter 1:17 NOG
This is my cherished Son, marked by my love. All my delight is found in him. 2 Peter 1:17 TPT
Enter into that feeling of beaming pride and joy, the deep endearment we hold for our children when we pause and linger in the essence of who they are. And our moving affection is only a small measure of the Father’s love and communion with the Son. Sheer delight!
A Garden Named for Jesus
Then remember that inimitable moment when the Lord God planted a garden:
And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed. Genesis 2:8 RSV
One translation of the name “Eden” means “delight.” According to Strong’s Dictionary of Hebrew of the Hebrew Bible*, H5731 ‘Eden, “the region of Adam’s home,” is the same as H5730, ‘eden, “pleasure:—delicate, delight, pleasure.”
So if all of the Lord’s delight is found in Christ the Son, and the name of the garden that God planted is “delight,” do you suppose that the garden was named for Jesus?
O Lord, thank You for the blessings You put in our lives—beginning with living in a nation whose tradition is to thank You. From before our founding, the people settling here gave thanks to You, acknowledging that Your protection and provision was the sole reason they could carry on. We agree, apart from You we can do nothing (John 15:5). Father, You are gracious and compassionate despite our sinfulness and falling short. You watch over us even when we take our eyes off You. In the lost moments when we withdraw from You, You are faithful to us. Thank You for the holy way of Yours to forgive us when we turn to You. It is Your intention to bless Your people, always to bless. Thank You that this day which celebrates bounty and abundance reflects the Garden of Eden—the full spread of fruit trees you gave to Adam and Eve for food and the delight You share in being with Your people. Prepare us for the eternal feast we have with You as we celebrate this day now with our families and friends. Amen.
Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. Isaiah 42:1 ESV
*Definitions taken from A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Hebrew Bible by James Strong, S.T.D., L.L.D. originally published in 1890. Thank you to the Blue Letter Bible website for your handy reference of Strong’s study tools.
Photo Credits: cover image – dictionary definition “snipped” from BlueLetterBible.org; ©2023 Shelley S. Cramm Crabapple tree at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
ESV denotes Scripture quotations taken from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®). ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. The ESV® text has been reproduced in cooperation with and by permission of Good News Publishers. Unauthorized reproduction of this publication is prohibited. All rights reserved.
HCSB denotes Scripture quotations taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
The Message denotes Scripture quotations taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries.
NET designates Scripture quoted by permission from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996, 2019 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.
NOG denotes Scripture quotations taken from The Names of God Bible copyright © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group, 6030 East Fulton Road, Ada, MI 49301. All Rights Reserved.
RSV denotes Scripture quotations taken from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
TPT denotes Scripture quotations taken from The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017, 2018, 2020 by Passion & Fire Ministries, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ThePassionTranslation.com