Monday, October 22, 2012
dreams of Eden
And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.
This is a vision of the perfect future yet to come. A small rivulet streams out from below the altar in the temple in Ezekiel's vision. It becomes a pleasant stream as it leaves the Temple Mount. It flows southward through the Arabah, becoming a mighty river as it flows into what once was the Dead Sea. In a geologic miracle, the Dead Sea is transformed into a large, vibrant fresh water lake that eventually empties out into a salt marsh. But the new temple is so transformative that even the landscape and wildlife of the region are remade.
All along this river are orchards and gardens so verdant that a full year fruit season is the norm. The result of the lush garden is that the nation is fed by the stream whose origins start at the temple. And in the new "Living Sea" fishermen haul in nets full of fresh fish in abundance. It is an Eden reborn in Israel as they faithfully keep covenant with God.
Biblically, humanity began in the Garden that God planted. It was His desire that we walk with Him in a lush home of His provision. And this is what is recaptured in this scene of the new temple. Out of the worship of Yahweh in His temple literally flows a life-giving stream that makes this new Eden. And it is here that once again the beautiful garden is the home of humanity. This is the same picture we get in Revelation 22, where a new heavens and earth along with a new Jerusalem are transformed into a living Eden for all of humanity. It is what God originally made us for. It is what He wants for us. It is what our future will be.