From the first verse of Scripture, God revealed how the Earth set the stage for the divine drama of history to take place (see Gen. 1:1). From its formless, void beginning, the Lord fashioned the Earth with intent in its details. From this ground, God made physical man a spiritual being in His image.
The Lord planted two trees in the Garden of Eden (see Gen. 2:8-9). Adam’s physical need required him to make a spiritual choice: From which tree would he eat? Would he obey God’s command not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?
God originally inspired the book of Genesis for a people about to enter yet another land He had prepared. That land would hold the direst of geographical conditions, placing them in a situation similar to Adam’s. Would they obey God’s commands? “I have set before you life and death,” God would tell them, “So choose life” (Deut. 30:19). Centuries later, Jesus also found Himself facing a similar temptation in this barren land—and He clung to God’s Word (see Matt. 4:1-10).
Whether in Eden or Canaan or California, our decision remains the same. The land where we live—be it lush or desolate—is the stage on which we act out God’s glory. Regardless of our location or influences, God gives us a choice each day from which tree to eat. In every case, life or death comes from our response to God’s Word.
As you commit to spending time in the Bible, commit also to obeying what your Creator reveals each day: “For it is not an idle word for you; indeed it is your life” (Deut. 32:47).
My Creator, whatever place I find myself this year, my duty remains the same: to choose life by obedience to whatever You teach me in Your Word and thus display Your image wherever You take me in Your world. I devote to You this year . . . and this day. Be glorified in it, O God.
Either the Bible will keep you away from sin, or sin will keep you away from the Bible.
—C. S. Lewis