Trust me, I know that the Garden of Eden is only one chapter in one book of the entire Bible. I get the fact that Adam and Eve were kicked out of that Garden and that we live in a world that is, in many ways, vastly different from their original home. Once they ate the forbidden fruit, everything changed.
So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. (Genesis 3:23 NIV)
Since then, we work and eat by the sweat of our brow. This would have been painfully clear to the Israelites in the days of Moses. They worked for the Egyptians as slaves until God set them free. Once in the desert, they had to walk over to the rock where God provided them water. They would go out in the morning to get their frosted flakes (manna) off the desert floor. They would gather the quail in the evening for meat to eat. Oh, yeah..and they were living in the desert. It was really, really hot. They were working by the sweat of their brow.
The land you are entering to take over is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you planted your seed and irrigated it by foot as in a vegetable garden. But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven. It is a land the LORD your God cares for; the eyes of the LORD your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end. (Deuteronomy 11:10-12 NIV)
God was taking them to a new land, though. It was the land that God had promised to their ancestor, Abraham. It was a land flowing with milk and honey. It was a land that had to sound a lot like the Garden of Eden. They would reap what they did not sow. They would gather where they did not plant. God sowed the seed. God planted the trees. God watered them and gave them the right amount of sunlight. God had created this land, sustained this land, and was giving it to the Israelite nation. This was their return to the Garden.
So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today--to love the LORD your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul-- then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil. I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied. (Deuteronomy 11:13-15 NIV)
God really did desire a beautiful picture for their lives. He had a beautiful picture in mind from the beginning in the Garden. He has a beautiful picture in mind for us today.
How about you? Do you see God’s beautiful picture for your life? Do you see it more now that Christmas is coming soon? Does the season help you see?