[The Shepherd’s Echo is a reposting of a previously published TheShepherdsPen.]
The curse of sin in the garden launched a lot of adversity into the world. We know that Satan would get thumped in the end for his role in the catastrophe. We know that woman would suffer greatly in all things “childbirth”, and with repercussions in regards to her husband. We also know the great opponent the earth would become to man.
“Cursed is the ground because of you;
In toil you will eat of it
All the days of your life.
Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you…”
The ground itself is cursed because of the disobedience of Adam; as a result, it will begin to produce “thorns and thistles” which are contrary to his labors of gardening.
Subsequently, weeds have formed in every conceivable shape and fashion, and in many inconceivable ways; I think the one most fascinating is the Russian Thistle, we have come to know it today simply as the Tumbleweed. This little curse has evolved into quite the technologically advanced denizen of “weed-dom” growing to a size of 3 feet, though can range from about a foot, to the size of a small automobile, and when it dries it breaks away from its shallow root, is blown by the wind, mobilizing in order to cast its seeds to a greater area.
The “branches” of the plant are dead and drying, in effect skeletons, in order for it to be light enough to be propelled, and to allow it to release the propagules (seeds or spores) up to 250,000 per plant, along its course. The coiled seeds nestle in the ground until warm weather, and then germinate. The next season reveals the strewn swath of the seedbed, the efforts of the weed, as hundreds more are spawned.
These efficient mechanized units of distribution infect miles of once healthy earth. Reportedly these were introduced from the Ukraine to South Dakota in 1877; it is no wonder that these had reached the Pacific Coast by 1900.
Let me suggest that these marauders of devastation exist in the Christian community as well; these issued seeds could be anything: bad teachings (heresy), slander and gossip, perhaps even encouraging others to do wrong. They have spawned bogus churches, wayward denominations, errant theologies, rogue teachers, counterfeit shepherds, false converts, and apostate movements. Looking across the landscape of culture it is not hard to see the incredible trail of devastating theological weeds left in their wake.
The mediums could be the mass media of TV, radio, publications, even social media and people. We have seen these many spores distributed over the course of church history, and many have been dealt with by the church councils. But with each successive victory, it seems that there is another assault on truth. A new book. A new perspective. A new revelation “from God.” A fictional book that bends the truth. Propagules.
Some may be of the “small-car-variety” size, easy to spot from a mile away; others however, the smaller lot, are a greater challenge to discern. Who God is. What man is. What the Bible is. What salvation is. Who is Jesus Christ? It should come as no surprise; the Enemy has sought to distort this kind of truth from the beginning.
In a broken world, so tainted with sin, it is the sad reality with which we struggle from here on out, at least until the restoration of all things. The advancement of such heresies, “new truths”, new understandings will continue. No amount of weed killer…is going to remedy this; until creation is restored, we need to deal with limited abatement.
Still, the mission of truth is a constant as well; here is the best of it.
God so loves us that Christ died for the consequences of sin in the garden. It is interesting that as He took His final breath, He was wearing a crown of thorns, symbolizing, in part, that He was off-setting the curse in the Garden.
“And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’” (Matt. 27:29). John 19:2 and 5 add that He had a purple robe. They tried to mock Him, yet in the end they only affirmed His victory over death–His rightful Kingship. And. He. Was. Victorious.
What this means is that we will not have to endure those cursed thorns for eternity. We who trust in Christ will be delivered from all of the consequences of sin–separation from God, physical death, and no more weeds on God’s glorious restored earth! In the end, all the weeds will be tossed into the fire, disposed of in the fitting manner. All the physical weeds. All of the spiritual weeds.
Most notably we will forever be with our Creator in full, restored relationship, as He desired it to be.
Of these things, our hope is sure and certain.