Many people develop “gardening fever” in the spring, and the opportunity to work in their gardens again makes springtime many people’s favorite season. Ever since God planted the Garden of Eden, mankind has been planting seeds and enjoying the fruits and beauty of the many varieties of plants He created. Delicious vegetables created for nutrition, herbs for health and nuances of flavor, flowers for beauty and rich perfumes, nut and fruit trees—all to delight our senses. All were created for man upon this planet-sized garden we call Earth.
Contrary to a common saying, gardening is “the oldest profession.” It was Adam’s God-given task to “tend and keep” the garden (Genesis 2:15). Over the centuries, however, mankind has not done such a great job of this, as we see when we look at the world under our care. As in every other aspect of life, human beings have ignored God’s laws, only to reap the natural penalties. Man almost always seems to learn lessons the hard way, instead of obeying his Creator’s plain instructions. Even our agricultural practices, seeking to maximize short-term yield rather than preserve the health of the soil, have again and again destroyed the delicate balance and perfect harmony of the chemistry and interaction of the soil, flora, and fauna that God designed.
God gave us vital instructions for maintaining our gardens. For instance, God said to let the land rest every seventh year—called a “land Sabbath.” Most farmers, however, ignore the land Sabbath and suffer the consequences of deteriorated production. God also told mankind not to mingle the seeds—so, modern agriculture does exactly that, “playing God” by genetically modifying the very plants on which we depend for sustenance. People think they are improving upon nature, but severe consequences will inevitably come, just as they did when Adam and Eve disobeyed the Creator’s instructions and were essentially “fired” from the Garden of Eden—losing their job and home (Genesis 3:23–24).
This made necessary a pivotal event that occurred thousands of years later in and around another garden—this one called Gethsemane. Jesus often visited this garden, as He did on the night when He was betrayed and arrested (Matthew 26; John 18). He was also crucified with a garden nearby (John 19:41), and in that garden was a tomb belonging to Joseph of Arimathea, a disciple of Jesus. After His death, Jesus remained in that tomb for three days and three nights before He was resurrected, and then was first seen in that garden early in the morning by Mary Magdalene.
When Christ returns, He will make the earth like the Garden of Eden again, bringing the “times of restoration” the Apostle Peter spoke of (Acts 3:21). He will make the wilderness like Eden and the desert like the Garden of the Lord (Isaiah 51:3). He will restore the earth and comfort mankind after the end-time devastation. He will restore righteousness to the earth. “For as the earth brings forth its bud, as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations” (Isaiah 61:11).
Then, like a small seed planted in a garden, the Kingdom of God will grow to nourish the whole world (Luke 13:18–19).
May our spring gardens move us to meditate this year on such wonderful promises!