The earth was a cursed, barren wasteland. Only thorns and thistles emerged from the cracked soil. Sweat-drenched workers labored in the hot sun, hoping desperately to coax food to grow.

Then, in fulfillment of an ancient prophecy, a special child was born. His father declared, “Out of the ground that the LORD has cursed, this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the painful toil of our hands.” His parents named him Noah, which means “comfort.”

The earth healed, although not to the level of the garden of Eden. We humans typically spend at least a third of our day working to put food on the table and pay for our rents or mortgages. Then we have plenty to do around the house. After all this work, we are often mentally tapped and physically exhausted.

Like all creatures on earth, humanity aims to survive, reproduce, enjoy pleasure, and avoid pain. In an affluent society, this goal takes the form of making a “comfortable” living: having basic needs met, some luxuries, stability, and peace of mind.

If we had all that we needed, we could spend our time enjoying creation, learning, and pursuing spiritual matters instead of earning a living. But more money does not solve our problem. Our lives revolve around work so much that our identities are wrapped up in our occupations. High-income earners are often also workaholics. There is an ancient Jewish saying: “More property, more anxiety.”

In a modern society, simply staying alive should not be a constant struggle. Jealousy and lack of resources push people to steal—and provoke nations to fight wars. Humanity will never achieve peace until scarcity is no longer an issue.

According to biblical prophecy, the solution to the problem of need will come with the kingdom of heaven. When Jesus returns and establishes his throne on earth, civilization will finally reach its full potential.

The Bible describes the kingdom and its blessings in many places and many ways. Scripture consistently speaks of this time as one of abundance and prosperity.