So the Lord God banished them from the Garden of Eden, and he sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made. After sending them out, the Lord God stationed mighty cherubim to the east of the Garden of Eden. And he placed a flaming sword that flashed back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations. No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him.
These are the words of the Teacher, King David’s son, who ruled in Jerusalem.
These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel.
“The wisdom of Proverbs gives us eyes to recognize the storm clouds and what to do in response. In Ecclesiastes, death is an F-5 Tornado from which no proverbial basement can shelter us.”
-Zack Eswine, “Recovering Eden”
“I do not think that I am in much danger of ceasing to believe in God. The real danger is of coming to believe such dreadful things about him. The conclusion I dread is not, “So there’s no God after all,” but “so this is what God’s really like. Deceive yourself no longer.”
-Lewis, “A Grief Observed”
“Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!”
How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.
What do people get for all their hard work under the sun?
And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t.
Generations come and generations go, but the earth never changes.
The sun rises and the sun sets, then hurries around to rise again.
The wind blows south, and then turns north. Around and around it goes, blowing in circles.
Rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full. Then the water returns again to the rivers and flows out again to the sea.
Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content.
History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new. We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now.
1 Corinthians 15:56-57
For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:58
So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.
Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slaves or free.
“In the Lord” not “Under the Sun”
Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us.