Bible Geography Pt. 3
In the previous lesson, we took a look at the similarity between the Earth’s geography in the first and second chapter of Genesis and the geography in the book of Revelation, which describes the new heavens and the new Earth. In this lesson, we will take a look at the geography of the Earth shortly after man’s fall in the Garden of Eden.
Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
Genesis 3:23-24 (KJV)
In this verse, we see yet another reference to geography. In verse 23, the Bible does not reveal a specific location of Adam and Eve, instead it says that “God sent him forth.” Basically, God put Adam and Eve out of the garden of Eden after they sinned. In verse 24, however, we see a very specific reference to geography: “So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way to the tree of life.” Here we see that God placed man eastward outside of the Garden of Eden. God did not choose to place man westward. We can use geography to understand why God did this.
In this map I found online, we can see that west of Eden is a few rivers and basically desert. To the east, there are mountains and wilderness. The fact that God moved man eastward indicates the immediate separation that man felt from God, because not only where they spiritually isolated from Him, they were physically isolated from the place which God had prepared for them (i.e. imagine living in a bountiful, abundant, vibrant garden and suddenly being cast out into the wilderness!). This is only a small nuance of what God meant when he said in Genesis 2:17, “…thou shalt surely die.” This mean both spiritual and physical separation from Almighty God.
There is obviously a spiritual application to this lesson on Bible geography. We see that when man rebelled against God, it promoted separation between man and his Creator. We know this was never God’s desire to be separated from the things that He had created, because the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 6:16b, “as God hath said, I WILL dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” We can easily see from Genesis that this is how things were before Adam and Eve sinned. However, notice that 2 Corinthians 6:16 is not written in the past tense, it is written in the future tense: “I WILL DWELL IN THEM…” This verse is prophetic in nature. God’s desire to dwell with His people has already been fulfilled to some degree now with the gift of the Holy Ghost: “No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us….That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.” (1 John 4:12, 2 Tim. 1:14) However, the ultimate fulfillment of this prophecy will be at the Rapture, when Jesus comes to take his saints with Him once and for all: “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thes. 4:17)