Christian educator, former librarian, and mother of three, Claire Abraham proclaims the Word of the Lord in gratitude and love.
The Garden of Eden
What does the Bible say about the Garden of Eden?
The Bible says that God created a perfect Garden for Adam and Eve, the first man and first woman, to live in. It was filled with all kinds of trees bearing delicious fruit. The animals were all tame, (even the lions) and they never had to worry about it raining because mist came up from the ground and watered everything.
Here Comes Trouble
Unfortunately, not everybody in Eden was nice. Satan entered a serpent, looking for a way to ruin the place for everybody, and he slid up to Eve when he caught her away from Adam.
"Did God REALLY say you couldn't eat any of this delicious fruit?"
"Oh, no!" replied Eve. "We can eat the fruit! And there's so much of it! Apples, bananas, mangos, pomegranates, kiwi... I don't really like the kiwi...:
"But what about THAT tree? That one? Over there?"
"Oh, no. That one's STRICTLY off-limits. It's just for God. He says, if we eat it, we will die."
The serpent hissed. "He's lying, my dear. You know what will happen if you eat from that tree? That's the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. You will be as smart as God. He doesn't want that. He wants to keep you dumb. Eat it! Eat it! Eat it, and be wise."
The Tree of Knowledge
Eve Makes a Huge Mistake
"You want me to eat from that tree? But God said not to! Even if it does look really yummy. But I won't. I can't. I like oranges just fine. They are kind of like oranges, right? But oh, that DOES look good. I can't. I just can't. I wish I were smart enough to figure this out... wait, did you say it would make me smarter?"
"You will be able to tell the difference between good and evil."
"Doesn't God tell us that now?"
"You will be able to figure it out for yourself! You'll be... free!"
Eve grabbed one of the fruit, and bit into it. At that moment, it seemed to be delicious.
Eve was so excited about the new fruit, she called out to Adam.
"Adam! You have GOT to try this!"
"Eve! That's the fruit God said we couldn't 't eat! Please tell me you didn't..."
"Oh, Adam, it's delicious! Try it! "You'll see!"
If only Adam had thought for himself. He gave in to temptation, and then, after one bite, they both realized what they had done. The Tree was called the Tree of Knowledge because it revealed the difference between good and evil, and they both knew that what they had done was wrong.
God was going to be angry.
They decided to hide. Who can hide from God?
Thrown Out of Eden
God Passes Judgement
Nobody can hide from God. He is everywhere, and He exists outside of time. He knew what they would do even before they did it, and now He passed His judgment.
Adam said, "I was afraid of you, Lord, so I hid. And yes... I ate the fruit. But it wasn't MY fault! The woman put me up to it!"
Eve said, "Yes, Lord, I ate the fruit. But it wasn't MY fault! The serpent put me up to it!"
God said, "Well, then, I must give a consequence to you all. Serpent, you will crawl on your belly all the days of your life. You can't ever have legs!"
"Eve, you will bear children, but it will hurt."
"Adam, you must work for your food now. You will have to farm the soil, and it's going to be very hard work. You may not live in Eden anymore. And here's the worst part. Nobody dies in Eden, but I have to send you into the world now, and you will all eventually die."
Then the Angel of the Lord drove Adam and Eve out into world as we know it, and they began to live regular lives - lives filled with pain, hard work, aging and death.
God's Plan for Man's Salvation
So What Does it All Mean?
Why would God do that? Why would God offer Man a Temptation in the Garden, just to throw him out after he fails a test God knew he would not pass?
God wants companions, not just servants. He wants us to choose Him and love Him with intention and faith. He also had a plan for our redemption.
While judging the serpent and Eve, God said that they would be at eternal war with each other. The devil would attack Eve's children... but in the end one of Eve's children would crush the Devil.
That child of Eve was Jesus, son of God and a human woman.
Jesus died for our sins and released us from the burden of sin. Eventually, we will be reconciled to God in Heaven, and that will be the new Eden.
It is important to remember that we cannot hide from God. He knows everything we've ever done, and understands everything we've ever been through. We have no secrets from him, and very, very often, we suffer natural consequences because of our poor decisions.