Name of God - Geōrgos: The Gardener

Geōrgos: The Gardener

Daily Verse: “‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.”

☆ John 15:1 NIV

Let's Talk About It: When I started planning these names of God devotionals back in January of this year, I didn’t pay close attention to who was being assigned each name. In fact, when I look back, it seems random. Firstly, there are 100 names of God and I narrowed it down to 45 for us to do, with the help of the Holy Spirit, of course. Then, I took the first name and began to alternate between us both as I assigned them this past summer. It took months of planning for what you see poured forth; and such is the case with God. Much of what we see that He does, looks so marvelous yet simplistic, but like this study, so much work was involved behind the scenes.

This name of God is a Greek name. Since the Old Testament was written in Hebrew, the names are Hebrew, and since the original language of the New Testament was Greek, this name is Greek. Geōrgos is translated as gardenerin the English, and the literal translation is farmer or land-worker. It can also mean husbandman, tenant farmer or a vinedresser. The Mounce Dictionary says it means, “keeper of a vineyard.” Finally, it can also mean cultivator.

A tenant farmer was one who did work on a contractual basis. A contract is what we use to ensure someone keeps their word and fulfills an obligation, but in antiquity, all one had was their word, and so there were no contracts, but there were covenants. The easiest way to explain covenant is to think of it as a contract, though the steps were much lengthier than simply scribbling your name on a dotted line and rather than be jailed for not keeping one’s word, one was killed if they did not keep a covenant.

A husbandman was what someone was called who tilled the ground. It was considered one of the first occupations and the most honorable. This just goes to show you how backwards our society is since farmers are some of the least paid and many people turn their noses down on them, looking at their work as monotonous and unrewarding. However, Webster’s dictionary explains that there is a second meaning of husbandman – the master of a family.  

As believers, we have been adopted into God’s family and are known as daughters or sons of the Most High God. We understand He is our Father, and that He is master of this family. The Bible explains that the church is the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27) and Christ is the Head of the church (Colossians 1:18). Again, we get a sense here of the symbolism.

As tenant farmers given dominion over this world, we haven’t taken good care of it. We allowed sin into the world through disobedience and each one of us has a sin nature that leads us further from God so that we may indulge in our own selfish gains and pleasures. Because of this, Jesus became the perfect sacrifice. He laid down His life in order that the terms of the contract, or covenant, could be kept. This is because none of us could keep the terms ourselves.

Remember Kevin’s name of God yesterday, El Kanna? Each one of us has made an idol of something at some point in our lives, and we allowed that idol to interfere with our relationship with God. Due to this, we need Jesus to atone for our idolatry (sin) and renew our relationship with the Father.

Again, it’s ironic to me that I would end up with this name because I am not the gardener of the family, both in a literal sense (as Kevin gardens and has a garden right now) and a figurative sense (he is the master of our house). While I provide him guidance in gardening, he does all the hard work. He tills the soil. He cultivates. He plants the seeds.

However, while Kevin is a physical representation of such, God is the true Gardener. He plants all spiritual seeds and gifts. He tills the soils of our hearts. He helps us cultivate the gifts He has placed within us. He does all the hard work and is always working behind the scenes. We don’t always see Him laboring. In fact, we rarely do. However, we do see the harvest in many cases. We do feel the effects and reap the reward of His labor. All gory to God, the Gardener of our lives, our spirits, and our souls! - Crystal

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