On a morning, just like any other morning-sunny, warm, delightful (just like every morning that had ever been), the man and his wife strolled through their tropical paradise. Nothing had ever been a worry. No stress, no bills to pay, not one argument between them. The innocence of their love had such a beauty. The thought “But what about me?” had not been invented yet. They were free to meet each other’s needs without concern for themselves. No games. No power trips. They were friendly, playful, passionate, intelligent.
Paradise all around them seemed to celebrate their new found existence, indeed all of the creation seemed to flourish with the joy of being alive. Nothing was out of place in this world, nothing harmful existed-everything was in perfect peace and harmony
The temptation came.
They had all they could ever wish for. Most of us would return to the original paradise in a heartbeat if the opportunity was given to us. Every need was met, life was easy, and relationship with each other was perfect and always would be.
But this was an invitation to have more.
To be wise, to attain grandeur. To become like God. To know good and evil. This was appealing to them. The idea of being one’s own master, to be fashionable. Sin was as inviting as it ever has been. And like every moment of temptation, consequences were far, far away, not to be considered.
As soon as the fruit was taken, the change took place, a change that would effect every one of their children down through the ages time. Even though the sun was still shining, it was though a dark cloud had passed over the garden. Innocence was lost.
They had been so blissfully unaware of themselves. Now they noticed. They were naked. They had never even considered what someone else thought of them in a negative sense. Now they had to cover up. In shame they tried to cover themselves, making make-shift clothes from large leaves. They were not like gods at all. The snake had lied. The temptation had worked its design. Innocence was gone from the human race. Selfishness was being born, and it wouldn’t take long to taint everything. Like one drop of ink will colour a bowl of water, sin would stain humanity. Our thoughts could no longer be completely pure, we could not keep ourselves clean. There would always be the possibility of evil now. Aside from a saviour, the entire race is doomed to destruction.
“God’s coming,” Eve said to Adam.
“I know. He’s not going to be happy about this. Why did you take the fruit? I told you we shouldn’t even touch the thing.”
“Why didn’t you stop me? If you knew it was so wrong, why didn’t you do something?”
“I listened to the serpent. We both did. I wish I hadn’t, but nothing can change that now. All I know is we can’t see God, because he said we would die the day we eat from this tree. Let’s hide, maybe he won’t notice us.”
“He’s going to notice us.”
“Have you got a better idea? Come on!”
So Adam takes his wife’s hand and they try to hide from God as he comes to walk and talk with them as he had from the beginning of their lives. God the friend now becomes God the policeman. They are evading him.
“Where are you?” the voice of God penetrated to the core of their beings. The voice that continues to speak to the human conscience down through the ages of history. The voice from which we can run, but cannot hide. God longs to make reconciliation, to show all of his compassion and just make it all better, but due to the nature of things now, it cannot just be so. God cannot go against his own way. The new nature of Adam and Eve meant that God could not give them his best. Not because God wasn’t willing to give, but because their own hearts wouldn’t receive what he wanted to give them. Through their action, they had bowed the knee to Satan. God’s only move at that time was to step back, and allow them to experience the consequences of their action, waiting for the right time to send the Saviour.
So God finds them, exposes their guilt, and tells them the way things will be now. In the midst of the curse, hope is given. The serpent’s work will be undone by one of their descendants. Mercy was shown on that day as well. God made clothes for them. Instead of them dying for their sin, he killed an animal (or animals), and gave them good quality clothing from the skins. He forgave them, but more than forgiveness alone, he gave to them. He covered their shame.
What about the poor animal that was sacrificed? Didn’t God care for that animal? Yes-he cared immensely, but his love for the ones made in his image was so much greater. The world was now broken, and so much evil and suffering would take place before everything wraps up. God would see it all and suffer along with his creation. Even so, God considered it all worth it for the ones he could redeem out of the mess. The family would last forever and would make all the suffering and injustice worthwhile in the end.
The enemy slithers out of the Garden, thinking he has successfully ruined God’s creation, while wondering if his judgment day will come.
God sighs. Knowing that it would play out this way made no difference to the pain of the events that took place that day.
Adam and Eve face an uncertain future. Even though they didn’t actually die, part of them did die that day. The life they so enjoyed was changing. Life as their own masters brought many stresses and pains to bear on them. The earth was now cursed. Things would never be the same. There would be a longing in them, and in their children after them, to return home, to go back to the way things were, but that longing would not be fulfilled for a very long time.