“He will make her wilderness like Eden.” Isaiah 51:3
The promise of restoration by God gives great hope and relief to the ones who are experiencing time in the dark and terrible experiences in their pilgrimage in this world. God is in the restoration business. Through the prophet Isaiah, God promised Israel their land would be restored “like Eden.”
What did the promise for Israel to be “like Eden” mean? We know the garden God created for man and woman was void of not just sin but the knowledge of sin. Not only did sin not exist, the understanding of what sin was had not entered into the hearts or minds of mankind.
Satan told Eve if she disobeyed God’s word her position would progress from a creation to a creator:
“For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (Gen 3:5)
Satan was and is a liar and only part of this claim made by Satan was indeed true and came to pass. Knowledge of good and evil became a part of the thinking process of humanity. However, there was one aspect Satan did not reveal to Eve. God indeed did know about good and evil but he was not subject to the power that the knowledge of evil would hold over Adam and Eve and all of their descendants.
The Bible makes this proclamation about God’s knowledge of evil:
“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.” (Jas 1:13)
In the garden, God was not only the creator but He was the rightful owner. Adam and Eve did not create nor were they owners of anything.
Their place in the garden was as caretakers:
“And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” (Gen 2:15)
It was with God’s privilege as creator and owner to limit access to anything that was His. It was the responsibility of the “dressers and keepers” to respect the will of God.
James explains why God is immune from the effects of sin with these words:
“But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (Jas 1:14-15)
Eve did not own the tree – God did. What God owns He has the power to regulate. God set aside this tree from the dwellers in the Garden not to limit the “keepers” but to protect them from the lust that would lead to sin. Eve’s natural desire to eat fruit became unnatural and she lusted after the forbidden fruit. Her lust led to her sin and her sin led to her death.
God is the creator and owner of all of His creation. There exists nothing He lusts for. God can never sin nor is He a “tempter” of sin but it is your natural desires that lead to lust and lust gives the power to sin and sin empowers death.
For us, there is a promise of “Eden.” We are promised a home in the Father’s house that we are not “keepers” of but owners. Followers of Jesus have been adopted into God’s family and have become inheritors of the Father’s Kingdom.
These words of Apostle Paul to the church that was in Rome bare out this truth:
“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” We, just like Jesus, call the Creator of the Garden of Eden Father! But wait there is more! “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.” (Rom 8:15-17)
When the prophet spoke, at this time during the history of Israel, it was dark and ugly. It was in a time of great distress and discomfort for the people of God that He made, “her wilderness like Eden.” God, through His prophet, gave the promise there would be a restoration and renewal for His people.
Are you are walking in the shadows of trouble and despair? Has your life become a difficult and troublesome path? If so you have hope! Jesus’ love for you never fails. Let me offer you words of comfort from Jesus your brother, Saviour, Friend and God:
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.” (John 14:1-4)
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