Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer;
 Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer;
you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you take away the yoke from your midst,
the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
 if you pour yourself out for the hungry
and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
and your gloom be as the noonday.
 And the LORD will guide you continually
and satisfy your desire in scorched places
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters do not fail.
(Isaiah 58:9-11 ESV)
Lord God, It’s amazing the life and beauty that comes out of a garden that is well taken care of. The fresh vegetables, greens, and fruit that come from a garden that has had the soil worked, weeded, and watered. From the beginning of human existence you had an epiphany for gardens. You promised a future of a new heaven and earth that will make the first garden seem like my back yard project (Rev. 21:1-22:6). The first garden you left into the care of your most prized creation, man. You blessed him with the call to be fruitful, multiply and subdue this creation masterpiece. You gave man authority to be the gardeners of it by releasing dominion over the fish of the sea, and the birds of the heavens, and every living thing that moves on the earth, every plant, every tree, every seed, and every thing (Gen. 1:28-30).
Then, Lord, you gave Adam and Eve the blessing of working, keeping, and enjoying the fruit of that garden (Gen. 2:15). It was theirs! That amazes me. This was the biggest real estate deal in the history of property management and acquisition. This deal would have messed Donald Trump’s hair up in amazement! The most beautiful garden in human history, and it was a free gift to man. A gift meant to me cared for, managed, modeled and shaped, watered, worked, and ultimately enjoyed. This was the original sanctuary of God’s presence and it was given to man!
And then, the fall of it all.
Tragedy met beauty for the first time as sin and selfishness took its place.
Darkness hovered and lurked. A scene yet to be witnessed but not welcomed.
Warm, perfect pure air that once warmed the heart and soul, now had a chill that soaked into their bones, and still soaks ours today.
Your deep, confident and loving voice Lord, now had elements of brokenness and sadness when you cried out for Adam,
“Where are you?”
in the garden that once modeled perfection and wholeness.
That was our first garden. The Garden of Eden now seems like a picture on the shelf of our imagination. Lord, is it possible that Isaiah’s words are your prophetic voice calling us to a new garden, a new kingdom on this earth, led by the model of your Son Jesus? Is it possible that we can get back to the wholeness and beauty that Adam and Eve once enjoyed? This passage says to us that it is still available. This passage says it’s to be found within us!
Lord, in the first garden you gave Adam and Eve fish, birds, trees, plants, seeds, and every creeping crawling thing to manage, care for, name and give purpose to. You gave Adam and Eve dominion and grace over your creation. That’s amazing, yet now you seem to step up the call to us with a set of “if’s and then’s”.
If… you don’t oppress people.
If… you don’t point fingers and talk maliciously.
If… you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry.
If… you satisfy the needs of the oppressed.
Then… The night, that covered the garden and brought a cold chill to our bones will give way to the light that rises at noonday.
Then… When you once felt the isolation and loneliness of your sin, now you will feel the Lord’s presence guide you CONTINUALLY and satisfy your desires and make your chilled bones strong again.
Then… YOU shall be.
Then… YOU SHALL BE.
Then… I SHALL BE.
Like a watered garden! Like a spring of water whose waters do not fail!
The garden becomes my soul when my greatest desires are serving, loving, and caring for your prized creation, which is man. Thank you that Jesus is the pinnacle model of how I do this in my life. Thank you Jesus that you left everything you are in power and purpose to me through your indwelling Spirit.
I love the birds, trees, and creative order of things, but I want to love humanity like you have loved me. So I repeat my first line: Lord God, It’s amazing the life and beauty that comes out of a garden that is well taken care of. Spirit of God, live within me that I might live deeply in the garden of your Kingdom on this earth.