An Earth-Wide Park—How?
TO SATISFY their natural longing to understand and enjoy creation, millions of people each year visit parks. Surely we would be delighted to live in a beautiful place such as seen here. Perhaps you find this scene reminiscent of the Paradise in Eden where our Creator placed the first human pair.
Significantly, two of the four rivers whose headwaters originated in Eden still flow today. They are the Hiddekel, more commonly known as the Tigris, and the Euphrates. (Genesis 2:10-14) The Bible translator Hans Bruns commented on this Bible account, saying: “The rivers are meant to indicate that this is not a fairy tale, but rather something that actually happened here on earth.”
Just as many parks today had small beginnings but expanded to a size many times the original area, so God had a similar purpose in connection with the gardenlike park in Eden. Its borders were to be extended by the growing human family until Paradise enveloped the entire earth and adorned it with exquisite natural beauty.
True, the disobedience of the first human pair lost for them the privilege of any longer enjoying that original Paradise. But our Creator’s purpose for humans to enjoy an earthly paradise did not change. (Isaiah 46:11; 55:11) Thus, the Bible often points to the re-creation of Paradise on earth under the rule of God’s Kingdom. For example, one prophecy foretells: “For Jehovah will certainly comfort Zion. . . . He will make her wilderness like Eden and her desert plain like the garden of Jehovah.” Later, the prophecy also speaks of people building houses, planting vineyards, and enjoying the earth’s produce.—Isaiah 51:3; 65:21-23.
Similarly, in Revelation, the last book of the Bible, there is a vision of a yet future “new heaven and a new earth.” The “new heaven,” or new rulership by God, is seen directing attention to the earth. With what result? “Look!” we are told, “the tent of God is with mankind [note that God is spoken of as being with men, not men with God in heaven], and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples. And God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”—Revelation 21:1, 3, 4.
These Bible promises of a paradise restored are not fanciful predictions. While conservationists and naturalists have had visions of limited wilderness parks, dependent on sympathetic legislators, the Bible promises have as their Backer the Creator of the universe, Jehovah God, whose Word cannot and will not go unfulfilled.
Today, particularly in mountain parks, hikers experience a measure of trepidation. But in the globe-encircling park to come, the animal creation will not do injury to humans or be any threat to them, nor will animals run away and tremble at the sight of man, for the Bible promises: “The wolf will actually reside for a while with the male lamb, and with the kid the leopard itself will lie down, and the calf and the maned young lion and the well-fed animal all together; and a mere little boy will be leader over them. And the cow and the bear themselves will feed; together their young ones will lie down. And even the lion will eat straw just like the bull.”—Isaiah 11:6-9.
How exhilarating it will be then to take a walk in the woods and be joined for a while by a mountain lion at your side or perhaps even by a huge, friendly grizzly bear! Never again will any living thing fear another.
The founders of the beautiful parks of today had noble intentions, setting aside areas for the protection of vegetation and wildlife. But only God’s unfolding purpose of one global park system under his Kingdom government can guarantee permanent conservation of earth’s treasures. Only this Kingdom in the hands of his Son, Jesus Christ, can establish a permanent earth-wide paradise and true peace between man and man and between man and beast.