I hate weeds. It’s the bane of my life since my wife loves to garden without weed-killer. Do I have to pull weeds? Cheryl says yes. But that’s not really my question. I mean, “Why are there weeds for me to pull in the first place?”
And there you have it! Because in the first place there was supposed to be trust in the Lord’s provisions along with managing the ground. I once had it made in the shade. I once had the privilege of hard work without any opposition from the ground. But all that was forfeited when I said goodbye to God. Adam, our head representative of the human race, along with his wife, said adios to God in the garden. They wanted to live life on their own terms, make their own rules, supply their own need, sustain their own livelihood, and graduate themselves to the very top, declaring themselves as their own gods. Then what happened?
What do you get when you try to do life apart from the author of life?
“The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it (work came before sin, i.e., work is not the consequence of sin). And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” – Genesis 2:15-17.
Notice that God did not say, “you eat from that tree and I’ll kill you.” God said that you will die. Death is a just and natural consequence of trying to live without the giver of life. Man cannot take the place of God – he cannot be man and attempt to be God, to know and sustain fully all that there is to know and sustain about good and evil. But he tried. And trying, he died. Man went down and weeds came up. They came up against his sweaty face to tell him – “this is your fault”:
“. . . cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return” – Gen. 3:17b-19.
Both my body and the ground are cursed. Those wretched annual weeds remind me of this. But the curse of weeds will not be overturned by man. Someone must come along and live out the obedient, trusting, hard-working life that the first Adam abandoned. And that someone is none other that the weed-busting Jesus who is the bread of life. Adam got a hint of this when he was given grace and mercy to “eat bread” till he returned to dust. Bread does not come from weeds but from wheat. Jesus would undergo the curse as the bread of life – he would die my death, suffer my curse, but come up out of the ground without the infection of the curse, not like a poisonous and obnoxious weed, but as sweet satisfying bread. Weeds are man’s fault. Bread is God’s mercy.
So pull a weed today and eat some bread. Own one and give thanks for the other.