Do you like snakes? Me, not so much. Whether it’s a “good snake” or a bad snake, I tend to err on the side of caution (especially with ladies in the house). After all, even the Garden of Eden had snakes.
Have you thought about Eve, standing there in paradise, conversing with a forked-tongued reptile with no eyelids? Ew!
But it’s essential we remember even Eden had snakes. Why should we think of that? Because many of us live our lives on a quest for the the Garden of Eden.
Eden had snakes. Here’s what to look for instead.
Looking for the Garden of Eden
Trying to find the literal location of the Garden of Eden speaks volumes by way of metaphor. The search has given Bible students and scholars an unending quest. Scripture describes Eden as “in the east” and in proximity to a river that became four rivers.
- Only two of the four rivers we know the locations of today (Gen. 2:8, 10-14).
- The Tigris and Euphrates rivers flowed through biblical Mesopotamia (modern Iraq).
But just because the location of the garden remains indefinite, it doesn’t mean we can put it anywhere we want. The best and most honest scholars put a question mark in the atlas beside the location of the Garden of Eden.
Searching for the Garden of Eden doesn’t end with its location. Many people live their lives on a quest for the delights of Eden—for an ideal life.
But that quest is just as futile as finding its literal location.
The Limitations of Delight (Including Snakes)
The Hebrew term eden means “delight” and suggests the ideal circumstances Adam and Eve enjoyed after their creation.
And yet, even a perfect environment had its challenges. Never forget:
- Adam and Eve had a tree God commanded them to refrain from eating its fruit (Gen. 2:16-17).
- Even in paradise, they still faced snakes—i.e. temptation from the devil to disobey God’s Word (Gen. 3:1-5; Rev. 12:9).
- They still had within them possibility of disobedience.
In other words, freedom of choice never included freedom from the consequences of our choices.
The Essential Element of Delight
The delightful surroundings of the Garden of Eden didn’t remove the need to obey God. It’s essential we remember this as we chase our goals in life.
What do we have to help us in this life? We have the same thing Adam and Eve had—God’s Word. In fact, the commands they had in basic form we have in completeness in the Bible.
Are you searching for the Garden of Eden? Instead of making our goal to find an ideal situation in life (an illusion), we should determine instead to remain obedient in whatever situation God places us.