8 The Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he placed the man he had formed. 9 The Lord God caused to grow out of the ground every tree pleasing in appearance and good for food, including the tree of life in the middle of the garden, as well as the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
10 A river went out from Eden to water the garden. From there it divided and became the source of four rivers. 11 The name of the first is Pishon, which flows through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 Gold from that land is pure; bdellium and onyx are also there. 13 The name of the second river is Gihon, which flows through the entire land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is Tigris, which runs east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
15 The Lord God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to work it and watch over it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.”
The Lord God planted a garden. It was to be man’s first home and it was a beautiful place. Out of the ground grew “every tree pleasing in appearance and good for food.” The Garden of Eden was fertile and fruitful and produced everything needed for life. More important even than the natural beauty and provision of the garden, was the fact that it was the place where man could meet with God. The Creator “was walking in a the garden in the cool of the day” (Genesis 3:8).
As I read through the opening chapters of Genesis in recent days, my mind was drawn to the closing chapters of the Bible in Revelation 21-22. There are many similarities between the Garden of Eden and the New Jerusalem. God’s presence was evident in the garden, and His presence will be evident in the city. Sin separated man from the garden and the presence of God. Salvation reconciles man to God and includes the hope of the eternal city.
The tree of life was in the Garden of Eden and it will be in the New Jerusalem. The river of life was in the garden and will be in the city. Precious metals were in the garden and precious metals are used in the city. God’s glory was present in the garden and will be present in the New Jerusalem!
These are just a few of the parallels between the two. T. Desmond Alexander wrote, “By providing a closely matched beginning and end, the opening chapters of Genesis and the final chapters of Revelation undoubtedly frame the biblical meta-story” (From Eden to the New Jerusalem). Can you imagine what the Garden of Eden must have been like before sin entered the world? Can you imagine what the New Jerusalem will be like after sin has been permanently vanquished? I long to see the New Jerusalem that awaits the children of God. The only way to do so is to place your faith and trust in Jesus!