Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | March 12, 2012

The Garden of Eden, by David Bower

The Earth was a Very Good Place!

At the end of day six the earth was a place of perfection; a place where mankind could prosper and multiply. Out of all the possibilities God selected a particular place for Adam and Eve to call home, the Garden of Eden.

In Genesis 2:15 we are told “The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it;” from this I believe it is safe to assume that the world’s oldest profession is gardener. Adam was not to live a life of ease but was immediately assigned work to do in the Garden of Eden and in addition he had dominion over all of created life, every animal on the earth was in subjection to him.

I don’t know what that says to you but it quickly reminds me of the work involved in caring for our cat, Abby. When we get up in the morning many of our first jobs are involved with taking care of her needs. By way of the application of a principle, I confidently believe that we will all have plenty to do in heaven.

In this supplemental account of creation we learn in Genesis 2:17 of God’s first commandment to Adam: “but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” It is important to note this commandment was made to Adam before the creation of Eve.

The Creation of Woman

The Bible is not specific about the length of time Adam lived before the creation of Eve. It does mention that all of the animals were brought before Adam to be named and one would suspect that would take some time even if Adam was very decisive about his choice of names for the animals.

No help that was suitable for Adam was found so God determined to create another person that would be Adam’s helper. In Genesis 2:20b we read: “But for Adam no suitable helper was found.”

Now we discover another way that God used to create; He took a rib from Adam and used that as the starting point to make the woman. The life that God had breathed into Adam was transferred to Eve through the rib which God then made into a woman.

This process sounds no stranger than the one God used to make Adam’s body from the dust; we are, after all, talking about an omnipotent creator manipulating His creation to accomplish His will.

Can you even begin to imagine Adam’s delight when he first saw Eve? I’m sure anything I try to imagine would fall way short of his actual excitement when he saw for the first time bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh.

Another point where the Bible is silent is the time involved after the creation of Adam and Eve and the beginning of Satan’s deception of Eve through the serpent. If I were to guess I would say a longer, rather than a shorter time lapse was involved.

The Forbidden Fruit

Human nature being what it is, I can imagine Eve repeatedly questioning Adam about that one forbidden tree. I can also imagine Adam experiencing frustration with Eve and telling her “Look, just don’t eat the fruit from that tree, in fact, don’t even touch it! OK?” We know from Genesis 2:17 God tells Adam not to eat of the fruit of the tree but nothing is said about touching it; I suspect the touching part was added by Adam in a moment of frustration; perhaps around the 77th time Eve asked about why they shouldn’t eat its fruit.

I doubt that there was anything poisonous about the fruit of the tree and I can imagine birds and perhaps other animals eating the fruit and doing just fine. That could make Eve all the more curious about why she and Adam shouldn’t eat that fruit because the animals ate it and they didn’t die.

The problem wasn’t in the nature of the fruit, it was a question of obedience to a direct command of God. If Adam choose to disobey God’s command he was embarking down a slippery slope that would change everything; he would lose the fellowship he had enjoyed with God and would spiritually die immediately, and then physically die later.

Next week we will consider the world in which Adam and Eve lived.

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