We can only imagine this ideal world. Possibly a moment from our most surreal remembrance of a perfect summer evening as a child with God's creation all around us and a "Walt Disney" view of life within us.
What a paradise Paradise must have been! The Garden of Eden I mean. Where it all began. God's perfect start for the human race.
God created the heavens and the earth, divided the light from darkness, divided the waters above and below, made a dry place for human activity.
Grass and trees followed, and the two great lights.
This was good. God saw to it.
Living creatures in the water and living creatures on the earth. Then man, made in God's image. And woman. Male and female he created them. And he gave them sovereignty over his created order.
Not stopping there, God planted a garden, the Garden of Eden. There he put the man whom he had formed.
Yes, Paradise was indeed paradise.
Life as God meant it to be.
Until. . .(Don't you just hate to ruin a good story with the reality of it all?)
Until, with the help of a snake, they (the man and the woman) began quibbling over God's words -- "Did God really say. . .?" Twisting his meaning and doubting his goodness, they disobeyed their Creator.
And if ever there were a time to say it: The rest is history.
Fast-forward a few thousand years later. A much different earth by now, but still God's earth.
Moses and the nation of Israel stand the width of a river away from the Promised Land. Not the Garden of Eden but a paradise in its own right – hand-picked by God himself for this group of people, a land flowing with milk and honey.
And the words of God were given to them so they might experience life as God meant it to be.
Moses speaks to a people who stand a stone's throw from Paradise II.
So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD (Deuteronomy 8:3 NKJV).
The message that followed was simple. Live by the words of God and enjoy the fruit of the land and the blessing of God.
Keep the words and live life as God defines life.
Here we are. Our world has a few more miles on it but basically the same setting – God's earth, people, the words of God, as spoken by Jesus the Son of God, teaching us how to live.
But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God'" (Matthew 4:4 NKJV).
Much has changed since Paradise I (the Garden of Eden) and Paradise II (the Promised Land).
But some things haven't. If we want to live life as God defines life, as God meant it to be, then we must live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
And that, my friends, is what this study is about. Learning how to live as God defines living.
Jesus said he came "that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10 NKJV).
"They" is us. You. Me.
We have all earth history behind us. We have the examples of Paradise Lost, I & II. Quibble over the words, change the meaning God intended, doubt his goodness and purpose, disobey, rebel, die lost.
Or not. Decide instead to find life in the words of God.
We have the hope of heaven in front of us. And the same admonishment. Live by the words of God and live.
The intent of this study is to help us to see the value of the words, to learn them, to understand them and to live them.
To live as God intends for us to live.
Blessed May We Be as we travel together this Path of Jesus!
Excerpt from new study
"Living by the words of God"
INTRODUCTION to PART ONE: Living as God Defines Living!