What a glorious comparison between the dry and barren desert and the lush and verdant.
I always imagine Eden like a garden I visited on the Isle of Skye one year. Everywhere I turned, every crevice and corner was crammed full of wonderful vegetation. Mature trees gave shade from the sun, while exotic trees filled the rockeries and borders. The air was filled with the sound of birdsong and the sound of a waterfall at the centre of it all.
God’s Eden will be even better. Every corner will be fruitful. The sounds of the waterfall of His voice (Rev 1:15) ringing through the garden will be heard wherever you go. Every exotic plant and tree will give glory to God. (Isaiah 55:12). They will, as it were, exude the joy of His presence: the joy of being alive. There will be abundant life wherever you go (John 10:10). No plant will be damaged or carry disease, but all will be full of radiant life and healing (Rev 22:2). Every bird will sing His praise, and to be in the garden will bring indescribable joy. There will be green meadows to lie down in and still waters to rest the soul (Psalm 23:2). And best of all, there will be One walking in the garden in the cool evening who will commune with us (Gen 3:8). What perfection!
Compare all this to the far-stretching desert: as far as the eye can see miles and miles of hot shimmering sand. No sign of life. No place to rest. No shade from the sun. There is nowhere to stop and drink and refresh the soul. It will be a place that is continually arduous.
And so we look not for the desert but for Eden. This verse says, “He will make her.” It is not only our desire that will make this miracle happen, but it is the action of the Spirit of God. Let us pray throughout the year that every crevice and corner of our lives might be filled with fruitfulness that will bring Him glory, but let us remember it is the Spirit of God who will do it in our hearts. Whether we are the mature ancient trees in the garden with long years of Christian service or a tiny, humble flower hidden away in some small, insignificant corner, let us do our utmost to be part of the miracle that we might bring Him glory in 2024.