Short and sweet. (correction: sweet to some) It is impossible to choose a favorite thought, verse, or line in the scriptures, but there is one in my mind that is certainly near the top. In this particular passage, there are two words that stand like Goliath among men, but for different reasons.
After creation and all things being good, in the process of time things went south, and we learn that God sent forth man from the garden, to till the ground from whence he was taken, but what follows is remarkable:
So he (God) 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.
We can stay here a long time discussing this text alone, but note the words ‘drove,’ and ‘cherubim.’ Surely you have heard of the cattle drovers and the image they paint, but here we see God is the first drover. This ‘driving’ was in a manner that there could be no return. ‘Out! Go!’ was the idea, and just in case, the flaming swords were a pretty good reminder.
There was a new land to dwell in, and while not maybe far in geography, it was absolutely far in character, where Mr. and Mrs. Adam would resume their lives outside of paradise. What did they know however of the cherubim? My guess is they knew quite well the nature and purpose of those beings, being somewhat familiar with the ‘other’ angel of light.
The cherubim are found rarely in scripture, and each time bring a fresh revelation of God’s ways, ending with their appearance in Revelation. There was an observation in Hebrews regarding the articles in the tabernacle where, in the Holiest of all was the golden censer, the ark of the covenant:
‘And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercy-seat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.
How many thousands of years later, and the writer says he STILL cannot develop the theme of these beautiful beings that represent the origin, purpose, and destiny of God’s ways with man. There is a depth of truth residing in the cherubims beginning with the ‘drover,’ unfolded to Moses, revealed to prophets, fulfilled in Christ, and kept for eternity; it’s no wonder he couldn’t go into detail to explain them properly.
Indeed God drove out man, and the driving reached its final destination at Golgotha’s hill, where man would understand that he falls short of the glory of God. Thankfully, God with equal regard pleads all today to draw nigh, to what the cherubims of glory recognize and sing praise to:
The intrinsic eternal perfection and everlasting mercy of God.
Yes, Adam did a bad thing, as did you and I, but what the Lord did was incomparable. The ‘driving’ proves this, our nature confirms this, and the cherubims agree. To say ‘no!’ to God is kind of foolish, and is quite an insult to He who has gone to such lengths to show such undeserving mercy.
Adam knew not to question or assault the drover. He was found out. Men today challenge God and it’s really not a good idea. Man points his finger at the Creator, and what is God’s response? Nothing, nothing but more grace.