Advent Devotional | December 21, 2020
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. Genesis 3:8-9, 23-24
“The main feature of the garden of God theme is the presence of the deity. The divine council meets there and decrees of cosmic importance are issued.” – Daniel Wallace, Bible Scholar
Ancient readers of the Old Testament would have understood the Garden of Eden as the place where heaven met earth. Here was the Holy Mountain of God, where all the supernatural beings of God’s creation resided. The most infamous, as you know, is the serpent that tempted Eve to disobey God. Before the great fall of humanity, Eden contained an intermingling of the supernatural with the natural earth as we know it. What would shock us today was commonplace to them in their day. It was even said that Adam and Eve could hear the sound of God walking in the cool of the day! Eve and Adam ate the fruit, and as a result, they were cut off from heaven’s presence on earth. One of the defining problems with the world after the fall was the separation of heaven and earth.
Consider the Lord’s prayer for a moment. It is one that countless people of faith have memorized during their lifetimes. In the prayer, Jesus instructs His disciples to pray that God’s “Kingdom will come” for a good reason. A future that is set right, as God first intended, is a future where heaven is on earth like it was in Eden. John paints this picture in Revelation 21. Jesus’ first advent is the launch into His second. And that second advent will be one where all is set right. Heaven will be on earth; God will once again be heard “walking in the garden in the cool of the day.” All of this is set in motion through the birth of our Lord and Savior.
Sin is what plagues this world, but it is not the only thing troubling earth today. We are missing the dwelling of God with men as He did in ancient days. It was no mistake that Jesus as God came down to dwell with men. This should give us hope for His return and our redemption. Picture heaven much like a restored Garden of Eden. God lived with men once. Fortunately for us, He sent Jesus to begin the process of restoring that beautiful relationship between heaven and earth!
Pastor Dave Mergens