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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Vision of the New Covenant, #3
And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. (Genesis 2:15)
The task of the first man and woman was to take care of the garden, a garden on an earth that yielded its fruit joyfully and in which there was neither weed nor blight.
There were no tears nor sorrow nor pain nor death in the garden of Eden.
Adam and Eve had need of nothing. Everything anyone could desire was present. Man's desire for Heaven actually is a longing for the restoration of Eden.
All these that we have described were the things God created and placed under the charge of man.
The Scriptures, Old and New Testament, are the Divinely given vision of the restoration of all things, that is, of the restoration of all things spoken by the Prophets.
Adam and Eve lost nearly everything, as God knew they would. But God has promised to restore all things to man.
The story of restoration is, perhaps, the most fundamental of all stories. It is the story of the prodigal son, of Samson, of the Christian Church, of Israel, of mankind, of every one of us.
We seldom appreciate what is given to us. We cannot hold it securely. Whatever God gives us we waste, supposing it proceeds from an endless source. Also, we tend to despise those who are less richly endowed, imagining that somehow we deserve better treatment than our neighbors.
After we lose our inheritance the road to regaining it is long. If we ever do regain our gifts we are wiser in the use of them.
The comforting thing is, God knows. He knew Samson would neither appreciate nor hold his strength. God knew the early Christian Church would lose the Glory of Christ. God knew from the creation of the world (for that was when His works were finished) that you and I would make the mistakes we have made in our lifetime.
God knew Adam and Eve had no way of evaluating the desirability of Eden and that they would not be able to resist the tempter.
God knows everything about every human being and has designed history in advance according to His foreknowledge. All has been restored—in vision. The work of restoring what has been lost was finished from the foundation of the world. After having done that, God rested. We are to enter the "rest" of God, into the stream of His Word that is bringing about the restoration of all things.
The pattern of human history is as follows:
1. Man is given an inheritance.
2. Man loses the inheritance through lack of experience.
3. God gives the vision of the restoration of what has been lost.
4. The work of fulfilling the vision takes place.
5. Man receives an infinitely greater inheritance.
We have already described the incredibly marvelous inheritance of Adam and Eve. We do not know how long they enjoyed Paradise before the tempter appeared. We do know the hope of every human is to find somewhere, somehow, that land where all is rest, peace, beauty, glory; where there is no suffering, no deferred hopes, no parting from loved ones, no death.
To be continued.