So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life. (Genesis 3:24)
As we stated yesterday, Adam’s disobedience led to his exile from the garden. He would live out his days tilling the ground from which he was taken, which is to say prophetically — among the nations.
Furthermore as a result of his disobedience, God was compelled to place cherubim at the east of the garden to block the path that led him back to the Tree of Life. Later, God would instruct Moses to have cherubim woven into the veil that would separate the Holy of Holies from the rest of the Sanctuary, no doubt, connecting it to what happened in the beginning.
Let’s look at this way: God had to station the cherubim to guard the way to the Tree of Life because Adam didn’t. Remember, Adam had been given the responsibility to “tend (work) and keep (guard)” the garden. In effect, Adam functioned in the role of Priest and was responsible to safeguard the holy place. The fact that the serpent gained access to the midst of the garden (corresponding to the Holy of Holies) proves that Adam failed in his duties to guard that which had been entrusted to him. So again, God had to place the cherubim there because Adam failed to fulfill his responsibilities.
His failure accentuates the importance of what the last Adam, the Messiah, accomplished on our behalf. Because He rectified the situation that the first Adam helped to create, the cherubim that guarded the way to the Holy of Holies and the Tree of Life were removed when the veil of the Temple was rent in two. Because of Christ, our Heavenly High Priest, we may boldly approach the Throne of Grace (Hebrews 4:16).
Even as we rejoice in the knowledge of this truth, let us be steadfast in our commitment to guard what has been entrusted to us. To fail in this duty has the potential to lead disastrous consequences. Thankfully, we have One who empowers and enables us to do what He has instructed us to do.
Blessings and Shalom,