Saturday, October 15, 2011

Cherubim, Part 3 in this series

Gen 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
Gen 3:23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
Gen 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life (KJV).

As we see in this passage from Genesis, cherubim are human size or larger guarding angels given an assignment to guard the entrance to the Garden of Eden from which man had been cast out after the fall. Man sinned by listening to Satan's lies, falling for his deception and disobeying God who told them NOT to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Cherubim is plural for two or more cherubs and they are one type or category of angelic creatures. This is not meant to be a lengthy study of angels for much as been written and published already on the topic. Today I just want to provide some insights into their purpose from a few of the scriptures and why God needed to use them.

Before the fall, Adam and Eve were enjoying all the other fruit and nuts from the many trees located in the Garden. God gave them a bountiful supply of food for their enjoyment and blessed them with not having to work the soil themselves. They were blessed with divine health and a long life fellowshipping with the Lord God in the garden He had made for them. They were enjoying the fruit from the tree of life which produced life, health and immortality in them. All the work of their hands was blessed! They were God's agents in the earth given the divine benediction to be “fruitful, increase in number, fill the earth, subdue it and have dominion over all living creatures.” They were given only one commandment-- do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

However, Satan disguised as a serpent, subtly convinced them that they needed to partake of  the forbidden fruit because they would not surely die as the Lord God had said, but their eyes would be opened and they would become like gods themselves, knowing good from evil. Eve was deceived by his cunning words and Adam allowed her to influence his thinking and deliberately disobeyed what God had told him not to do. This is a picture of man's continual struggle today, even Christians who have chosen to make Jesus their Lord and Savior. Satan and his agents are waging spiritual warfare on the people of God hoping to destroy their faith in God and in His eternal plan for them.

Mankind in his fallen state was forbidden from re-entering the Garden of Eden and cherubim or warring angelic beings with a flaming sword flashing back and forth guarded the entrance. “The sword of God's judgment still stands between fallen humanity and God's garden. Only through God's redemption in Christ do people have access once again to the tree of life” (NIV Study Bible, 2008, p. 11, notes).

In Moses' tabernacle in the wilderness, cherubim were embroidered on all the linen curtains in blue, scarlet and purple yarn that encircled the outer court and the inner court. (The next post will discuss the significance of these particular colors.) A pair of cherubim with two wings were carved out of olive wood and placed on top of the ark of the covenant that was placed in the Most Holy Place. All the furnishings were overlaid with pure, hammered gold to signify God's glory, authority and holiness. Scriptures tell us that the Lord Almighty was enthroned between the wings of the cherubim on the ark. The angels cried, "Holy, holy, holy is our God." For He is a Holy God and commands His people to be holy. (For a more in depth look at cherubim see Ezekiel chapters 1 and 10, and Rev. 4 where they are described as the four living creatures.)  To be continued.

PS- While I do not take the time to include the scripture references for all the points I cover, I will be glad to provide them for anyone who inquires about a specific idea. If you are a serious student of the Word, you will recognize the scriptures I am paraphrasing. Thanks. 

1 comment:

  1. Just noticed a mistake I typed earlier about the tree of life. It has now been corrected.