From the same material that he used to make man, he brought every good thing to eat. It’s interesting to notice that God, himself, is the first gardener, not Adam. Genesis 2:9a says, “And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.” Not all of the pleasant looking plants and trees are good for food. Maybe we should understand this verse to say “some are pleasant to look at,” while others are “good for food.” You might even say that some are both beautiful and tasty. Lange quotes John Calvin who said, “The description of the fruit of the trees: Captivating to the sight and good for food, is not without its purpose; it shows that inclination and the proof of sense in respect to food and drink should be guides to men.”[1] How can attractive, delicious food be a “guide” to us? Well, I think I have that!

One of the reasons, I like to argue, that I know God loves me and has my best interest foremost in mind is because of the many delicacies he’s provided for us as food. Wow! He created all the things that are “good” for food. Just think of it! Potatoes, carrots, corn! No, sweet corn! Cauliflower! I love me some Cauliflower. I even enjoy asparagus, broccoli, and best of all rutabagas!  Another great “guide” to God’s love for man is seen in the fact that the trees and plants were not only good for food but also “pleasant” to the sight. I know God loves me because he created all the colors in the world and gave me eyes to enjoy them all! Whether plants to just look at, or plants to just eat, or plants to eat and look at, they are all guides to show us God’s love for us.

James Jones has a great insight on the gardener picture. He writes, “God, the first gardener, sent his son, ‘the last Adam’ and the last gardener to inaugurate the new heavens and the new earth and ‘to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross’ (Colossians 1:20). It was the gardener, after all, that Mary saw, the one who in the Revelation to John, sits at the centre of the garden city of the new Jerusalem saying, ‘See, I am making all things new.’ Adam, the first gardener after God, cursed the earth; Jesus, the last Adam and the last gardener, blesses the earth—with his sweat falling into it, with his body prostrate on it, with his blood shed for it and for us all on the cross.”[2]

[1] Lange, John Peter, Philip Schaff, Tayler Lewis, and A. Gosman. 2008. A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Genesis. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[2] Jones, James. 2003. Jesus and the Earth James Jones. London: SPCK.