I read an article awhile back about how builders are beginning to build neighborhoods on a different model. It looked like a jump back in time. Real front porches were back. Houses were close together, sidewalks were abundant, and everything was within walking distance. Do people want to go back to some of what there was in the past? It appears so. Some people idealize the past. People tells us that life was not necessarily easier, but it was simpler. Sometimes images of Leave it to Beaver or Happy Days comes to mind. Simpler? How nice!
That is the feeling I get when I read some of the stories in the Bible, especially the story about the first humans on the earth. No need to idealize life in the beginning because it was ideal to begin with. It was "very good," according to what God thought about it all. The universe was complex, but life seemed to be simple and good.
The final picture we get in scripture is also an ideal picture. In the last couple of chapters in Revelation, we have a final picture of the people of God. The tree was lost in the beginning, but now there is a tree again. It along with the river of the water of life provides abundant life. There is no night, no crying, no death, no disease. The Dragon and Death have been cast forever into the abyss. Everyone worships and serves God face to face.
Some say that the good old days are gone forever. This is not true when you step back and look at the big picture. The good old days will be the good new days. They will be better. God is making all things new because he said he would. A long time ago, God made a promise to bless us. He made a promise to send his servant, his Messiah, his King, a Savior. God kept his promise in spite of the faithlessness of his people. God is faithful even when we are faithless. In fact, God used faithlessness to offer salvation to the whole world. When the Jews rejected Jesus and had him crucified, it did not thwart God's plan, God wove it into his plan and it became part of the tapestry of salvation. Who could have imagined all of this? Paul exclaims, "Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR? Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen" (Rom 11:33-36).
In his faithfulness, God has demonstrated what it means to be faithful. Jesus becoming human, dying on a cross and being raised demonstrates the faithfulness of God. His death, burial and resurrection is a model of faithfulness for us. We die and are buried with him in baptism and are raised to walk in newness of life. Our old self dies and we become a new person. We follow God's will in the way Christ did. We are faithful, even to the point of death. As a result, we will receive the crown of life, which will mean a return to the good old days, which in reality will be the good new days.