Brent Messick is Resurrection’s Managing Executive Director of Operations.
These Scripture verses provide a description of the future consummation of the Messianic kingdom. They describe the peace and safety of the Messianic age as reflected in the fact that little children will be unharmed as they play with formerly ferocious animals.
These Scripture verses remind me of a recent incident in Orlando, Florida. There have been three terrible tragedies in Orlando in the last couple of weeks, all caused by violence and resulting in the loss of life. The one incident I am reminded of has been overshadowed by the mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub.
There was a two-year-old boy playing at dusk on a beach on a lagoon in Disney World. He was suddenly attacked and dragged to his death by an alligator lurking in the lagoon. His horrified father raced to save him and fight off the alligator. The little boy was later found intact but drowned. I can’t possibly imagine the pain and grief that the family is going through. Please take a moment as you read this to pause and pray for the family.
There is much beauty and goodness in the world. But sometimes the beauty and goodness are interrupted by the ugliness in the world. The alligator was not evil; he was only doing what comes naturally to an alligator. I do not believe that God caused this little boy to be killed, or that it happened for a reason. The poor little boy happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.
We live in a broken world. The incident with the little boy and the alligator is a reflection of this brokenness. The beauty and sanctity of the Garden of Eden was broken by the serpent. Today’s Scripture passage describes a vision of the restoration of the Garden of Eden by Jesus Christ. He overcomes the brokenness of God’s earthly kingdom, to offer us eternity where there will be no violence, no oppression, no fear, but only harmony and love in God’s eternal kingdom. In Jesus, we see the lion and the lamb living in peace together.
I believe we will also see the little boy playing in the new Garden of Eden with his new animal friends.
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