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Jo’s Journal: Weeding the Garden

Jos Journal in Mustard Seed Sentinel
Credit: Jen Theodore in

Weeding the Garden

Not Allowing Sin to Take Over

by Joanne Troppello

I check our garden each day to see if the vegetable plants are producing any vegetables and if the soil is dry and needs to be watered. Heavy thunderstorms came through our area yesterday and it rained for several hours. I knew that the soil would be saturated so I wouldn’t have to water the garden today.

I was going to weed the garden but noticed that some poison ivy had started to grow among the vegetable plants. I didn’t have the time to deal with the poison ivy that afternoon, but it’s a project my sister and I (we’re neighbors and share the garden) will tackle this weekend.

Seeing the weeds in the garden reminded me of the story of Adam and Eve and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden—and how Jesus became the savior of the world.

Don’t Let Sin Take Root

“The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible.” – Dwight L. Moody

That is a powerful statement. You can allow God’s Word to take root in your heart and help you in times when you’re tempted to give in to sin. If you let sin take root in your heart, the communication lines between you and God will be ruptured.

I’ve mentioned this word picture before from Genesis chapter three, but it applies to this situation and is worth repeating.

“And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.” – Genesis 3:8 (NKJV)

According to catholic priest, author, and speaker Father Dwight Longenecker, “In ancient Jewish tradition, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was a fig tree. Adam and Eve made loincloths out of the fig leaves. In an ancient non-Biblical Jewish text – The life of Adam and Eve – we learn that they made their skirts from the same tree from which they had eaten.”

After Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they knew that they sinned and hid themselves from God. It’s interesting to me that they made loincloths from the same tree that they were forbidden to eat from.

This word picture from the Bible has come to mind many times in my life when I’ve allowed sin to take root in my life. Yes, I’m saved. I have been a Christian for 33 years. However, when I allow sin to take root – doing something I know the Holy Spirit has nudged me not to do – I move further away from intimacy with God.

The longer I stay in that sin, not listening to the Holy Spirit, the further I move away from God and an intimate spiritual relationship with Him that I cherish. I imagine Adam and Eve felt similar emotions rushing through their hearts when they ate the forbidden fruit and experienced that separation from God.

“So the Lord God said to the serpent: ‘Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.’” Gen 3:14-15 (NKJV)

After God called out to Adam and asked where he was, the blame game started. Adam blamed Eve for making him eat the forbidden fruit. Eve blamed the serpent. In verses 14 and 15, God cursed the serpent.

“To the woman He said: ‘I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.’” Genesis 3:16 (NKJV)

God spoke to Eve and told her how childbirth would be hard for her and future generations, and that she would desire her husband, but he would rule over her.

“'Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.” Genesis 3:18-19 (NKJV)

God told Adam that he’d have to toil and work hard now in his labor over the land. He’d get by with sweat and hard work. Verse 21 states that God made tunics of animal skin for Adam and Eve so they would be well-clothed.

“Then the Lord God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever’— therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.’” – Genesis 3:22-24 (NKJV)

God did not want Adam or Eve to take the fruit of the Tree of Life and live forever, so they were sent out of the garden to toil and till the ground. Cherubim (winged angelic beings) were sent by God to guard the entrance to the Garden of Eden. A flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

That’s another powerful word picture of angels guarding the garden and a spinning flaming sword guarding the way to the Tree of Life.

Sin took root in Adam and Eve’s heart. The rest is history. Jesus came (John 3:16) and died for all the world to freely give the gift of salvation—bridging the gap to humans and God.

Have you accepted God’s gift of salvation? Will you be spending eternity with God in Heaven?


About the Author

Joanne Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel. Connect with Joanne on Twitter. You can find Joanne on these social media channels—Twitter, Facebook, Parler, Spreely, and Clouthub—with the same username, @JoanneTroppello—and @joannetroppello.mseedsentinel on Instagram. Visit the Mustard Seed Sentinel YouTube Channel. Check out MSS Live Well Corner.

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