The Age of Innocence
From the Creation of Man to the Fall and Expulsion
Man was created in innocence; an innocence none of us since have ever experienced. He was placed in a perfect environment, a garden of God’s own planting, called Eden; we can only dream what that was like. Man was placed in Eden (which, in Hebrew means a delight) to keep the garden, not live idly. Here he exercised his body and mind and soul in fellowship with Eve. He obeyed with loving service to Creator, God.
With God’s blessing, the first couple assumed their responsibility to “replenish the earth.” He was to subdue it, which meant to give it order. He was to have dominion over the animal kingdom and till and care for the garden paradise. Adam was given the detail of naming the animals. Gen. 2:19-20 Of all the animals, none was suitable for fellowship for Adam, so God created Eve to “helpmeet” that missing happiness in his life. God fashioned Eve from one of Adam’s ribs, symbolizing the one who would stay at his side and forever be close to his heart. Gen. 2:21-25 In return for their labors in the Garden, Adam and Eve were granted to eat freely of all the delicious fruit of every tree in the garden. Every tree with one exception, and God so designed this one exception to be the simple trial of their devotion and obedience. Gen. 2:15-17 This reasonable test meant that as long as they were obedient, they were assured perfect happiness in paradise with life immortal. On the other hand, the penalty of disobedience God solemnly warned was death.
We are not told how long this period of innocence lasted before the evil presence of Satan appeared, but it didn’t take long after he arrived before he destroyed the innocence Adam and Eve enjoyed. That brings us to ask, “Who and what is Satan?” Let’s let the Scriptures answer these questions for us.
· Where did Satan come from and what was he? Ezek. 28:11-19
· What was the reason of his fall from heaven? Isa. 14:9-19
· How many angels were cast out with him in his rebellion? Rev. 12:3-4
Satan is the head of all evil; he is a fallen intelligence; he has power, but not greater than Christ; he is the father of lies, and the root of temptation that tries to influence man to transgress God’s will.
It’s amazing how beautiful Satan was before his fall, but at the time he appears in the Garden, God has sentenced him to take on the form of a despised serpent. This fallen spirit contrived through Eve to bring about the ruin of man. Through his cunning, Satan convinced Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. Here we learn that the power of Satan is limited. He may tempt, but he cannot force transgression. When temptation is allowed to be embraced in our heart, we make our own choice to give in to it. Adam followed her example and shared her sin of disobedience, and its tragic consequences.
In the day that they disobeyed, as God had solemnly warned, both physical and spiritual death became their heritage. They did not die on the very day, but the seed of death was already planted and it would yield a sure harvest. The body became subject to temporal death, and the soul lost its communion with God...it died spiritually. Proof of this death of communion in his soul is seen when Adam fled from the presence of the Lord to hide himself after the sin. Gen. 3:8-10 God immediately passed sentence, beginning with the serpent (where the sin began), followed by punishments for the Eve, for Adam, and the ground for man’s sake. Gen. 3:14-19
God solemnly declared from the beginning that the wages of sin (disobedience) is death; he stated it in the Garden, and he restated it through the Apostle Paul. Rom. 6:23 This death comes not only to the body, but to the soul in the eternal state, and nothing short of an intervention of mercy can save man from this eternal punishment. With that stated, we come to learn that there are two deaths. Rev. 20:4-6, 12-15
God gave Adam and Eve a token of mercy by clothing the first guilty couple with coats of skin. This sacrificial covering was provided by God, but cost the life, by the shedding of blood, of an animal. From that day on, all the way to the cross, there would be a crimson trail left by the shed blood of animals to remind man of the price of sin...something innocent had to loose it’s life to atone for man’s sin...an innocent lamb was chosen for the sacrifice...and the animal-lamb pointed to the Divine Lamb of God who ultimately took away the sin of the world. John 1:29-34 Thus the scarlet thread of redemption had it’s beginning in the Garden when the first transgression occurred.
With a covering, God then sent the no-longer-innocent couple from the Garden, and posted an angel with a flaming sword to prevent man from ever reaching the Tree of Life again. Gen. 3:22-24 As long as man roams the face of the earth, he will never eat of that tree; but when he is reunited with his Creator, he will have access to that tree, and the leaves that have healing power for all the wounds sin has inflicted nation upon nation. Rev. 22:1-5 Heaven is made possible because of a promise hidden in the curse to the Serpent: Out of Eve’s seed would come One who would crush the serpent’s head and repair the ruins of man’s tragic fall. Gen. 3:14-15 Man’s innocence ended with judgment...but there was a seed sown of the promise of redemption...the scarlet thread of redemption began weaving it’s righteous robe when man lost his innocence! What a wonderful plan!...this plan of the Father that knew from the onset that it would cost the life of His only begotten Son! Eph. 1:3-12