Although it rained and hailed late yesterday afternoon, I took a little time out this afternoon to water the garden. I run two hoses as we have a borehole. Whilst the one hose runs a sprayer for the lawns, I hold the other to water the pots and garden. You might recall me saying I did some weeding yesterday. Well, whilst watering today, I weeded a little more. Some weeds are so difficult to pull out. You need a tool or as I did … lots of water. Within a short space of time I filled a refuge bag with weeds. Lots of weeds, some came out easy and others needed persuasion in the form of lots of water. Some weeds grow in the open and are easily visible. Others grow in between or under plants and are more difficult to identify. Every time a Christian works in the garden and comes across weeds, he or she needs to recall God’s words to Adam after he sinned.
Ge 3:17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”
My motivation tonight is not to get into the mechanics of Adam’s listening to Eve and how he fell into sin after he was warned by God not to do so. You’ll recall
Ge 2:15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
In between this and God’s curse upon man in chapter 3, we have
Ge 3:1 ‘Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ” 4 “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.’
Where one could argue that Eve was tricked … Adam ran into the “fall” wide eyed. He knew what the probationary commandment said in chapter 2 and willing and easily fell into rebellion. It was by choice. This is why God’s punishment upon Adam is severe. With Eve, her punishment is pain in child birth and submission to her husband because of her sin … and it affects all women because she was the representative wife / mother to be … but Adam as the representative head of the race received a far harsher punishment that not only affects all men, it affects all people … wives, mothers and children plus all of nature. The entire earth is affected … and the proof is:
Ro 8:22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
So every time you see weeds, remember the fall, remember our first parents and remember they were our representatives in the Garden, especially Adam. And when you remember this, remember that if it were you or me in that Garden, we would have done the same. We too would have been hoodwinked and fallen into sin. Now think of weeding. Sometimes it is easy, yet other times it is difficult.
This is true with sin as well … or should I say “spiritual weeds”. Spiritually speaking this is what the Proverbs says
Pr 24:30 “I went past the field of the sluggard, past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgment; 31 thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins.”
This is the impact of sin upon our lives, especially when we lack spiritual judgment … “thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds” … or … “our souls are covered with spiritual weeds”. We must not confuse the Parable of the Weeds with our situation as Christians. That parable deals primarily with believers and non-believers. (Parable: Matthew 13:24-30 and the explanation: 13v36-43). Rather as believers we face a daily struggle with sin. Those Christians who don’t struggle with sin are those who lake judgment (Prov 24:31) … but those with discernment are people who understand the magnitude and effects of Adam’s sin upon their lives and daily find the needs to fight because the soul’s enemy entices and lures in the attempt to captivate us. This is the reason that we need to spend serious time searching our hearts … and asking God to do the same!
Ps 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Unless intentional prayer petition is made to our Father, we might never know the vastness of spiritual weeds in our souls that influences the heart, will and actions. The tragedy then is that we live with them without realizing their influence upon us. We are then like a four cylinder motorcar operating on only two or three cylinders. Our spiritual power is reduced and we cannot function as God wants us to. Spiritual weeding will include what Paul says to the Church at Rome:
Ro 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Dear Lord, thank You that Your Word exposes all our intentions to live in sin or dip into sin. Grant us the will, by Your Spirit to put off the sin that so easily entangles, keeping our eyes fix upon Jesus so that our walk might be Gospel. Lord we so want to live holy lives … please come to our assistance, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.