Simply the Bible Blog

Daily Devotion and Podcast

Paradise Again (Rev 2.6)

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” (Revelation 2.7, NKJV)

Cindy and I are packing our bags. We’ve been offered a trip to Hawaii, staying with my sister for a couple of weeks in Kauai–the Garden Island. It’s one of those offers you can’t refuse, and we can’t wait. But this paradise pales in comparison to the Paradise of God.

The danger of a verse-by-verse study is losing the forest from the trees, so let’s review what Jesus said to the Ephesians. He knew their works. In fact, He knew everything about them. They had done many commendable things–labor, patience and intolerance of evil. Nevertheless, they had left their first love. Jesus called them to remember, repent and redo their first works. But they had one more thing going for them: they hated the deeds of the Nicolaitans (conquerors of the people). Now the Lord concludes His letter with these words: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Better get used to the sound of that, because Jesus says it to each of the seven churches.

I tend to get mad when someone won’t listen to me. Recently I had a dispute with my cell phone carrier. Since we moved we were no longer getting adequate coverage, and I kept dropping calls: “Hello? Are you there?” The first customer service rep was very kind and told me how I could switch carriers at no cost. I followed his instructions exactly, but then they wanted to charge me a $400 cancellation fee! I explained what I was told to the second representative…and then his supervisor–all to no avail. He simply wouldn’t listen. I found my voice raising on the phone, and he matched me tone for tone. But Jesus isn’t that way…

It says of Jesus that He would not raise His voice (Isa 42.2). Instead, He simply says, “If you have an ear to hear, then hear.” Someone who is very confident that He has the truth can say that. Jesus knows that if a person isn’t willing to listen, then saying it louder won’t matter. Moreover, Jesus isn’t into forcing His message upon anyone. He whispers it to those who will listen…to those who want to listen.

In each of the seven letters Jesus gives a last word of hope to those who overcome. Even in the most unhealthy church there are always those who set themselves apart from the norm and overcome by their faith and faithfulness. They will be given the privilege of eating from the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God. You remember the tree of life. It was in the Garden (paradise) of Eden. There were two trees that God specifically mentioned: the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam and Eve could eat freely from the tree of life and live forever, but if they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they would surely die. We don’t know if they ever ate from the tree of life…but we do know about the other tree. After they sinned God expelled them from paradise and posted angels (cherubim) at the east side of the garden and a flaming sword that turned every which way (imagine the special effects!) to guard the way to the tree of life (Gen 3.24). God didn’t want them living forever in their sinful, fallen state.

But God is not done with us. He will restore the Paradise that man lost through sin. He will restore all that the locusts have eaten. And we see the tree of life again at the end of the book in the New Jerusalem:

“In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” (Revelation 22.2, NKJV)

“Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.” (Revelation 22.14, NKJV)

Take courage, my friends. Look up, for your redemption is near. Paradise is coming again. Only this time there will be no more sin, death or pain, and we will never be banished again. The fruit on the tree of life will be there for the eating. Papaya, mango, guava, pineapple, coconut…? Twelve fruits with a new crop every month and leaves that will heal the nations…and every broken heart. What a vacation! Are you ready to fly the friendly skies?

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Published by

One response to “Paradise Again (Rev 2.6)”

  1. A beautiful meditation, and it reminds me of the old quote that “faith is our spiritual optic”. A well worn saying of mine is: “The world screams, but God whispers”. You are dead on. There is no need to yell. I hear Paul and John imploring, wooing, inviting…

    Thanks Daryl. Nice way to start the Macman’s day.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: