Adam and Eve have enjoyed a perfect life in the garden up until now. But, one day they disobeyed God's command and sinned. Because of their sin, they had to leave that beautiful place. It is hard for us to appreciate everything that went on there, because we are living after the fall. But, with a little thought, we can identify some aspects of their life that were very different from ours. And, how radically their life was to become outside of the garden.
For starters, Adam and Eve knew no pain, no suffering, no emotional hurts, no cuts and bruises, and especially – no death. They had no concept of dying or murder. Nothing died there. God’s original plan did not include a life coming to an end, not even a peaceful death.
They enjoyed complete freedom with each other. Their relationship was on an even playing field. That is, though Eve was formed from Adam, she was not so dependent on him for emotional support and care. And Adam was not burdened with the responsibility of providing for her. All of their needs were met by God.
They were even naked together and felt no embarrassment or shame. The concept of sin or covering up, especially hiding from each other and from God never occurred to them.
But, they were still human, and they had weaknesses. They fell to the lies of the serpent, that is, satan. One wonders what went though their minds as they ate of the forbidden fruit. Did they feel conviction? Did they feel that they were sneaking behind God’s back? Or did they feel convicted and went on ahead anyway satisfying their own desires? We do not know. But, what we do know is that once done, they immediately knew that something had changed. They felt shame being naked. So, they took fig leaves and covered themselves. When God came around they tried to hide from Him. Even at this point they must have been wondering what this was all about. Quickly, they learned the full impact of their actions.
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“Oh my God! What is going on! Adam, why are the angels pushing out of the garden??!!” “Eve, are you all right? I don’t know! Just run, run! Is this what “sin” is? Ouch! My feet. What an awful feeling! These thistles and rocks are hurting my feet.”
An angel is forcing them out of the garden into a terrain they have never seen before. Gone are the beautiful pastures, the tall stately trees, the fruit trees, the green grass, and beautiful flowers. The landscape before them is mostly brown, and very plain looking compared to the garden. A few trees here and there. A few flowers dot the area with a few shrubs.
“Adam, what is wrong with his land?” “I don’t know, Eve.”
They sit down to take in what has just happened. The land around them is so barren. Behind them they can still see the glow from the light of the garden. “Look at my feet! Is that what God meant by bleeding? Didn’t God tell us that life is in the blood? Yes.” “Did you see what those animals looked like that God used for our covering? What an awful sight. It made me feel very strange. God said that is what feeling sick is like. The animal was all in pieces.”
“He also said that the price for our sin was that an animal had to bleed and die. I still don’t understand what He meant by life and death. Do you Adam?” “Well Eve, apparently, because we are aware and move and breathe, we are “alive”. But, now because of our sin, we, and all that lives with us, can die.
“All of that because of our sin? You mean, Adam, that our sin has brought death to everything that lives?” “Yes. Oh my God, what have we done? How can we go on like this? What is this pain I feel inside? It is not like the pain I feel with my bleeding feet. God says that is anguish and emotional pain.”
They get up and start walking again. “Do you think that God would let us back in? Perhaps if we go back, the angels will let us in.” “OK. Let’s go!”
So, they turn around and head back toward the warm, comforting glow of the garden.
But, there is a strange sight at the gate. Something they have never seen before. There, at the gate, are angels, Cherubims, have something long and flaming. And the angel is turning to the right and to the left. As he turns, he swings the large object (a flaming sword) around and it cuts the leaves off of the trees adorning the gate. The spectacular object cuts the leaves to pieces. They have never seen such a thing. But, they understand that the sword could do the same to them. They try to talk the angel into letting them pass by; but they are reminded of what God said. They pause for a moment and slowly turn around. Each one is trying to comprehend what has happened and wondering how they would be able to go on.
They walk for a long time, not saying much. Finally, they come across a stream and some vegetation. It is getting dark and cool. So, they look around and find some food then start a fire. It has taken a lot of effort to do all this. In the garden their food was always readily available.
By this time it is completely dark. They find some soft materials, arrange them near the fire, and sit down. They experience another strange feeling. Eve feels the desire, actually the need, to sit close to Adam and to be held by him. She is aware that she needs him for her very survival. She remembers God’s words. That the man would rule over her. She must have cringed at that idea when she first heard it. But, now she cannot escape it. She needs him. His arms feel strangely and wonderfully comforting.
Adam, too, is pondering God’s words to him. Here, they, for the first time ever, have to gather food and prepare a meal. He is not only caring for himself, but for Eve too. He would, in time, wish he didn’t have to work so hard. But, as he sits there with her in his arms, clinging to him, he finds the desire to care for her to be very satisfying. In the days to come, this desire will be his incentive to go on.
They soon fall asleep. They wake the next morning next to each other. They are cold and hungry. Soon, the fire is rekindled as they set out in their new world. They find comfort in each other’s company as they help each other. Yet, they now feel a new type of emotional pain. It takes them a little while to pin it down. Then, they realize what it is. They miss God’s company! In the garden He would come visit with them. Now, He is no longer around. Now, they feel more alone then ever. They exchange their thoughts. They both cry out anew. “Oh God!! What have we done?! Is there any hope for us? Is death all we have to look forward to?”
They look up and see a lamb that had been killed. They feel such remorse (another new feeling). For they know that it would still be alive, if they had not sinned. More tears. They both cry out very loud. For they are hoping that God himself will hear them. “Oh God, we see now how terrible sin is. We must have brought you such anguish to cause you to respond in this way. You have driven us away from your presence. You have cursed the ground. You have brought death and pain into the world. Look! Even this innocent lamb has died because of us. We are the cause of all of this, not the lamb.” They wonder if there can be a way to make up for what they have done. Is there a way to put things back to the way they were? Could death be removed again?
These thoughts of trying to make thinks right between themselves and God bring a feeling of peace and strength to them. It is as though God is speaking to them, even though they cannot see Him. They still feel the sting of their sin; but they know that God is still around, just in a different way.