Back to Eden

Back to Eden.jpg

“For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.” Isaiah 51:3

Déjà vu,  is a French expression meaning “already seen” is used to describe a phenomenon that happens when we have a feeling of re-experiencing an event from the past, without any tangible reference points, other than the present moment. There’s no consensus among scientists as to why and how this phenomenon occurs. Some researchers suggest it’s a glitch in the operations of the short term and long term memory, while others in the field of parapsychology, believe it’s related to a past life experience.

Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, as a result, we have inherited his sin nature. However that’s not all there is to know about Adam’s life. The Bible says that after God created Adam, He placed him in the garden in Eden; Eden meaning delight or pleasure. Genesis 2 describes the garden where Adam was put as a place of beauty, and abundance. I believe besides his fallen nature, God allowed the descendants of Adam to carry a remembrance of Eden. Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us that God has ”put eternity into man’s heart”. A child is born with the capacity and the propensity for evil, but he or she also innately seeks out and responds to pleasurable sights, sounds and sensations. Human’s heart’s pursuit of beauty, tells me we remember Eden.

The reference to Eden is not just about its physical form, but as it applies to us, it’s mainly about its spiritual meaning. Eden is symbolic of:

  • Purpose

God created Adam to work the ground in Eden (Genesis 2:5,15), not for God’s gain, for He is not served by Human hands (Acts 17:25) but it was for Adam’s benefit (Genesis 2:16). The root of all earthly pursuits is the search for meaning; until we find it in God, we remain restless.

  • Intimacy with God.

In Eden, God talked and walked with Adam. This quote by Blaise Pascal, often paraphrased, very  well expresses this truth: we are made to be in a personal relationship with God.

What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him,… though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable…God himself”

  • Privilege

God gave Adam dominion over His creation (Genesis 1:28-30). Everything was given to Adam to exert his authority over, to possess and to enjoy. The riches of God’s glory in Christ Jesus, are reserved for those who have redemption through His blood, and the forgiveness of their sins. Privilege comes with position.

  • Bountiful blessings

God made provision so Eden would be a prosperous place for Adam, that he would take pleasure in the beautiful sights, enjoy the soothing sounds of the flowing rivers, and be satisfied by the abundance of food.  It has always been, and it is still God’s plan to bless His children. “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Sin casts us out of Eden; out of fellowship with God, stripped of our authority, lost in search of meaning, and toiling to gain what cannot satisfy. But the Good News according to the Bible, is that “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself…” (2 Corinthians 5:19). While Christ has gone to prepare a place for us,  we don’t have to live in a state of melancholy waiting for the “sweet by and by”. We can experience intimacy with God, find our purpose in Him, operate in the power and authority of Jesus Christ and enjoy the riches of His glory. As Rabbi Pesach Wolicki puts it:

“The earth [God] gave to humanity…it is man’s job to reveal Godliness. To create a second heaven here on earth. Our task on this earth is to…transform the physical realm into a spiritual place. This is the kingdom of God.”

 

In Him,

Aline

Hope in darkness

dove-2486513_1280

“And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”Isaiah 35:10

Once again, we were confronted with the reality of evil after the horrific event that claimed the lives of many in Las Vegas earlier this week. With broken hearts, we were driven to our knees in prayer, mourning with those who mourn (Romans 12:15), and seeking refuge in the arms of the One “who comforts us in all our afflictions” (2 Corinthians 1:4).

While we may not have the answers we seek to explain these tragedies, our pain reminds us of the hope that comes through faith in Jesus Christ.  The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 1:3-4: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.”

This hope is not passive, but rather, it’s an active hope that compels to 1) look up to God, through prayer and intercession, calling on the Lord for His presence, His power and His grace. He says in Isaiah 45:22: “Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.”

Our hope also moves us 2) to reach out to others, sharing the love of Christ and pleading with the lost, to “be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20). Finally, our hope compels us 3) to look in, and purify ourselves, that we may be ready to possess the promise to come (2 Corinthians 7: 11 John 3:3).

When darkness falls, God does not want us to be overwhelmed, feeling hopeless or helpless. Through His Son Jesus Christ, He has revealed His plan for us, so that we may have understanding, and have peace in His promises.

 

In Him,

Aline