As we look ahead to the changing of the seasons from summer to fall, my mind begins to think about how closely the turning of our seasons mimics the experiences that repeated like a cycle throughout the Bible. While the Bible is one continuous story, it is also a series of cyclical events that continue until an ultimate point of resolution, and those cycles really are like the seasons of the year.
Take the summer. The summer is a beautiful, wonderful time, filled with nice weather and time spent outdoors with the family. In the scriptures, this would be the times of paradise for the Jewish people. It would be the time of the Garden of Eden, or the time they were led into the Promised Land, or the time when their kingdom was going strong. During these periods of time, everyone is happy, everyone is celebrating, everyone sees the glory of God. And while it is going on, it seems like it will last forever.
However, inevitably following the summer comes the fall. In Genesis, this is the actual Fall of Adam and Eve. This is the fall of the people in the Promised Land throughout the Book of Judges. This is the time throughout the Bible that the kingdom would be attacked. You see what would happen is that the people would grow complacent throughout the summer and begin to revert to negative behavior. They would sin and turn their backs on God. Since God had established a covenantal relationship with the people, this meant that God would then turn His back on them, and remove His protection from them, allowing them to fall into destruction.
The winter is the time of separation of human beings from God. This is Adam and Eve, wandering around the Earth experiencing the consequences of their actions. This is the people of Israel, besieged by the nations surrounding them. This is the people living in exile because of their disobedience to God. The winter often feels never-ending, as we desperately search for some signs of life that can remove us from our suffering.
Finally comes spring, the time of new life. This is God establishing the covenant with Abraham. This is Moses delivering his people out of slavery in Egypt. This is the time of the judges in ancient Israel when God would show His infinite mercy and compassion and deliver the people from their suffering.
Now here’s the thing: for most of human history, we seemed to be locked into this eternal cycle. Despite the new life promised by spring and the beauty of summer, inevitably we would always drift back into the fall. We would pull away from God, we would sin, and God would be forced to leave us to our own devices. It would take something enormous to break us of this vicious cycle. And that’s exactly what God delivered. Through His Son Jesus Christ, God delivered us from the cycle, giving a new life in spring that would put a stop to this vicious cycle and put us in a permanent state of grace.
So, as we observe the natural change of seasons outside this year, let us keep in mind how blessed we are that we no longer have to endure the continuing cycle that the people in the Old Testament endured. Instead, we live our lives in the summer provided by God’s grace!