OceanSide church of Christ

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Living East of Eden
By: Dalton Gilreath

I.                The Picture

A.    There is an interesting picture of apostasy seen from the beginning of the scriptures

                                                    i.     When Adam and Eve sinned against God they “hid themselves from the presence of the Lord” (Gen 3:8)

                                                   ii.     The picture of being away from the presence of the Lord begins the symbolism of apostasy

1.     In fact, Adam and Eve are removed from the garden and travel east (Gen 3:24)

2.     What we notice is that the garden represents being near to God

a.     The further one goes east from the garden the further ones goes away from God

b.     Notice a few more examples with me

B.    Next we see Cain going out “from the presence of the Lord” and dwelling “on the east of Eden” (Gen 4:16)

                                                    i.     When Cain’s sacrifice wasn’t accepted and he killed Abel he was removing himself from God

                                                   ii.     Interestingly, The Spirit used the same phrase and picture of moving further east of Eden

C.    Another example is seen in the men who were building the tower of Babel (Gen 11:2)

                                                    i.     Notice they journeyed east and began to build the tower

                                                   ii.     Man was becoming unified in sin and continued falling away

D.    A last example we will note, although there are more, is seen in Genesis 13

                                                    i.     Abraham and Lot choose to separate because of their abundant need for land

                                                   ii.     Lot selfishly chooses the land to the east (13:11)

1.     Lot’s selfishness was contrary to God’s will

2.     He joined himself to a wicked place called Sodom

II.              The Application

A.    First of all, we notice Jacob as he searches for a Hebrew wife (Gen 29:1ff)

                                                    i.     He comes to the house of Laban and falls in love with Rachel

                                                   ii.     Laban deceives him into fourteen years of service before he finally gets to wed her

1.     This is a great lesson for young people living “east of Eden” today

2.     Don’t settle for someone who isn’t godly and who you don’t love as you ought

3.     There are spouses who are Christians if you are patient

4.     Even living east of Eden you can find a godly spouse

B.    Secondly, we see Joseph living east in Egypt (Gen 41:22-37)

                                                    i.     Pharaoh has a dream that 7 good ears of corn are eaten by 7 thin ears of corn

                                                   ii.     Joseph explains this dream represents 7 good years and 7 years of a terrible famine caused by the “east wind”

                                                 iii.     We can learn lessons from their decision to prepare

1.     First of all, they set up a godly leader

a.     We need godly leaders in order to plan properly for the future

b.     Churches are compromising the truth because of a lack of godly men leading them

2.     Secondly, we notice Joseph stored up for the future

a.     We must store up treasures in Heaven

b.     Don’t get caught on the last day storing up riches of this world primarily or only

C.    Finally, we see Job being called the “greatest man in the east” (Job 1:3)

                                                    i.     God’s angels and Satan appear before the Lord

                                                   ii.     Satan, notice, goes forth “from the presence of the Lord” (Job 1:12)

1.     But Job remains his integrity in the face of losing everything

2.     Even his wife tells him to curse God and die

a.     The lesson is that we can be faithful living east of Eden today

b.     We can still be great in the sight of God through Jesus Christ

c.     Are you living east of Eden spiritually?

d.     It’s time to spiritually head back to Eden!