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"The Mountain of the House of the LORD
Will be established as the chief of the mountains,
And each of them shall sit under his
Vine and under his fig tree
With no one to make them afraid."
The Nature and Purpose of Man in the Garden of Eden included the following.
in Harmony with Nature
The scientific task described above was accomplished as man lived in harmony with the animals. The Animals were not afraid of man and man had no reason to fear the animals.
In Eden, before the Fall, there was no death (Romans 5:12). Animals were not "wild," and Adam was able to study and name the animals without fear (Genesis 2:19-20). But man's rebellion resulted in terrible changes throughout the earth. The nature of animals was altered, so that they became a threat to the peace and safety of man. Nature had cruel dominion over man, and man could not exercise benevolent dominion over nature.
In Christ, however, man's dominion has been restored (Psalm 8:5-8; Hebrews 2:6-9). Thus when God saved His people, this effect of the Curse began to be reversed. He led them through a dangerous wilderness, protecting them from the snakes and scorpions (Deuteronomy 8:15), and He promised that their life in the Promised land would be Eden-like in its freedom from the ravages of wild animals: "And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid; and I will rid evil beasts out of the land" (Leviticus 26:6). In fact, this is why God did not allow Israel to exterminate the Canaanites all at once: the heathen served as a buffer between the Covenant People and the wild animals (Exodus 23:29-30; Deuteronomy 7:22).
On the other hand, God warned that the Curse would reappear if the people turned away from His Law: "I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number" (Leviticus 26:22; cf. Numbers 21:6; Deuteronomy 28:26; 2 Kings 2:24; 17:25; Ezekiel 5:17; 14:15; 32:4; Revelation 6:8).
When the Prophets foretold the coming Salvation in Christ, they described it in the same terms of Edenic Blessing as spoken of in the Law: "And I will make a Covenant of Peace with them, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land; and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods" (Ezekiel 34:25). "No lion shall be there nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there" (Isaiah 35:9). In fact, the Prophets go so far as to say that through the Gospel's permeation of the world the wild nature of the animals will be transformed into its original Edenic condition:
The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice's den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my Holy Mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:6-9; cf. 65:25).
Throughout the Bible, almost like a fairy-tale, the Restoration of Edenic Conditions is spoken of as the Blessing God wants to give to those who believe His promises and obey His Word. But in our day, "The Edenification of the Earth" is not a trendy theological phrase. Those who claim to believe the Bible read modern "scientific" concepts of "progress" and industrialization into the Bible, because they don't really want its promises to be fulfilled. They would rather be friends to the rich and powerful than servants of the poor and uninfluential. (The rest of the population [unbelievers] have already abandoned to Bible entirely, and don't care about Eden at all.)
At present we can look around us and see the evolutionists and those who resist a God-governed Garden encouraging God's judgment. We may expect "natural disasters" in the form of "animal kingdom disturbances." Unquestionably, Gospel progress is not straight-line, and it may be hard to believe the wondrous promises of Isaiah are actually being fulfilled. But we must remember to "walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7). If our reaction to these "natural events" is anger and bitterness because our agenda of progress has been disturbed, we then lash out at others. This conflict provokes further disharmony with nature, which can make us more angry, bringing more conflict, disharmony, and a downward cycle into cultural self-destruction (Proverbs 8:38)
Rushdoony, Bastiat and Mises on "The Harmony of Interests"
Predestination and Animal Behavior
Wendell Berry on the Paradise Archetype
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(29) earthfirst!ers deny that people serve these Covenantal purposes. They appear to feel that the planet would be better off without human beings.
(30) On those rare occasions when someone has challenged the "Vine & Fig Tree" motif as being a "heretical innovation," or "adding to Scripture," and then (here's the rare part) proceeded systematically to read the Bible from cover to cover, they have inevitably been surprised to find how often Edenic concepts recur; even the very phrase "Vine & Fig Tree."
(31) The "killer bees" were a popular example of this in the late 70's/early 80's. But this was an example of "last days" eschatological paranoia. Modern man avoids animal hostility by wiping them out. We thus must look for God's judgment in other areas.
Vine & Fig Tree