Ezekiel 31:8, 9
The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him: the fir trees were not like his boughs…
The garden of God, standing, as it does, for the ideal region in which man in his perfection was placed when God was" well pleased with "him, may be taken as a picture of human society itself as it once was for however brief a period, and as it shall be again when the purposes of the Redeemer are fulfilled.
I. A REGION ABOUNDING IN FRUITFULNESS. In the first garden of God there grew every tree that was "good for food." The ideal state of human society is one in which all conceivable fruitfulness will be found; there will be ready for the hand of the Husbandman the fruits of faith, of devotion, of love, of sacred joy, of helpfulness, of calm contentment, of happy and unquestioning obedience. From all hearts and lives these fair fruits will spring.
II. A SCENE OF EXQUISITE BEAUTY. "The garden of God" must be, quite independently of all reference to Eden, a place of perfect beauty. Its trees and shrubs, its herbs and flowers, its lawns and paths must together present the appearance of perfect pleasantness to the eye. Such should, such (one day) shall our human societies, our communities, and our Churches be; they will be scenes where there is every form of human loveliness. There must be no unnatural monotony. As in our gardens we like to have vegetation of every possible variety of size and shape and hue, so in "the garden of God" shall there be every manifestation of moral worth, of spiritual beauty. One will not say to another, "There is no need of your particular excellence;" but each will rejoice in the manifold graces which are to be seen on every hand.
III. THE SPHERE OF HAPPY CULTURE. Our first parents were placed in Eden "to dress it and to keep it." Even "the garden of God" requires attention, planting, culture. So, certainly, does the most refined and Christianized human society. There may be much knowledge and there may be excellent habits within it, but it will always need careful and diligent culture - much seed-sowing; some weeding; some pruning and occasional transplanting. We may learn:
1. That it is better to be the humblest herb in the garden of God than the stateliest cedar outside it; better be utterly obscure in the right place than very prominent in the wrong one.
2. That each particular flower in the garden of God lends its own fragrance to the air; the garden would not be complete without it.
3. That not only does it behoove us to be as a flower in the garden of God, but it also befits us to be as a gardener extending the grounds, or planting or tending within its bounds. - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him: the fir trees were not like his boughs, and the chesnut trees were not like his branches; nor any tree in the garden of God was like unto him in his beauty.
WEB: The cedars in the garden of God could not hide it; the fir trees were not like its boughs, and the plane trees were not as its branches; nor was any tree in the garden of God like it in its beauty.