Thinking about thorns and thistles this morning and the difference between the garden and the world at large.
"thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field." - Genesis 3:18 ESV
God made thorny plants before He made Adam. They were there in the world. These plants just didn't pose a problem in the garden. It wasn't until the fall that they became an issue.
"A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed... And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it... And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature." - Luke 8:5a, 7, 14 ESV
There is something about thorns and thistles. You can't eat them and you have to be careful around them. Just ask any child playing frisbee in a field that has thorn bushes.
Thorny areas choke out truth.
"Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe." - John 19:1-2 ESV
They tried to mock Him and make Him a 'King of Pain' but in truth He was and is the King of Kings. He bore our sharp burdens on His head so we don't have to bear them.
"A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed." - Song of Songs 4:12 KJV
We are a garden enclosed. Thorns will be out there in the world but in our garden we have a grace relationship with God. Our past can't hurt Him any more. In the garden it doesn't hurt us. He plants nourishing food in our garden. There are wide open spaces to play and run in our garden. There is joy and communion there. It is cultivated place.
"In that day, A pleasant vineyard, sing of it! I, the LORD, am its keeper; every moment I water it. Lest anyone punish it, I keep it night and day;" - Isaiah 27:2-3 ESV
"Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a spring; his branches run over the wall." - Genesis 49:22 ESV
God waters us so His plantings grow high and reach over our wall to others. What a beautiful picture that is of a life of faith.. of a heart established in grace.. The spring feeds a thought life that bears fruit and feeds others yet it is locked up so that it remains protected from defilement.