To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. (Genesis 3:17-18 NIV)
The environment has to be right to enable the desired outcome.
If there’s no depth, there will be insufficient room for strong roots to remain standing when the storms come. If it’s too exposed the elements may do damage to it as it endeavours to flourish. If it is surrounded by weeds it’s likely to be stifled in its development and so never get to be as fruitful as it was created to be.
If it doesn’t get its nutrients it will wither and die. If it is not duly cultivated, it will not blossom as it should. If the necessary care is not given in ensuring it is the right environment the chances of success diminish rapidly.
Consumption of the bad fruit, put humanity in a very different environment. One of their own making. One with severe consequences for all essential relationships above us, around us and beneath us. Detaching ourselves from the source and covering ourselves up from each other also had a negative impact on the environment around us. In fact it is no surprise that the environment reflects the deterioration of those designed to cultivate it.
The good news of the good fruit we receive when Jesus walked the earth is that His plan didn’t just return us to right relations with God and others, it left creation itself eager and anxious for the sons of God to arise and richly replenish the earth as the initial creation mandate prescribed. It’s not just morally better people improving things, it’s the children of the Most High God liberating all of creation.
There’s a tendency to be eager to leave this earth to go to heaven for some reason, as if that was the plan of God from the beginning. It’s evident throughout scripture, however, that God’s plan was for us to have dominion over the earth, over this environment. That plan has not changed and the good news of the good fruit found in Jesus Christ invites us to be a part of that plan being enacted now, even as we anticipate the culmination of all things in the return of the Son.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden