TROUBLE IN PARADISE! Most Sociologists appear to believe that if all mankind had all the necessities of life that all or most all of life’s problems would be solved and mankind could live in peace all around the world. After all if you live in a perfect environment and have everything you need in life why would there be any conflicts? Now maybe I am stating that too simplistically but what most of our “great sociologists” overlook is that mankind is faced with an enemy inwardly and outwardly that is determined to corrupt us and destroy us. For those of us who believe in the God who reveals Himself in the bible we are keenly aware of this enemy every day of our lives no matter how good our circumstances or social standing are in life. The first man and woman, Adam and Eve, met this enemy soon after God created them and placed them in the perfect living environment and supplied all their needs of life. Life for them was paradise on earth.
But trouble soon appeared in Paradise. “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’? (Genesis 3:1 NIV). You know the account recorded in this chapter so I will not recount all the details. Satan, the serpent, the enemy of God, was determined to corrupt Adam & Eve and separate them from God who had created them. And Satan was successful in his efforts up to a point. He provided the temptation that led Adam & Eve into disobedience of God‘s command and they sinned with their eyes wide open evidently to “be like God, knowing good and evil (Genesis 3:5 NIV).” Trouble came to Paradise and then the blame game began and continues to this day. Adam blamed Eve for the sin. Eve blamed the serpent (Satan) for the sin. And God, who does not overlook sin, meted out the punishment to all involved; Adam, Eve, Satan. You can read about it in Genesis 3:13-24. Man who “had it made”, including true fellowship and friendship with God, would now be cast out of Paradise, face a tough existence, and eventually die.
But thankfully the story does not end there. In Genesis 3:21NIV we read, “The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” We may infer from this verse that God had to kill an animal or animals to make these garments for Adam & Eve. And in this action I believe we see a type of things to come. The Old Testament law would later require this same action to deal with sin, “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is not forgiveness (Hebrews 9:22).” The Old Testament law was a schoolmaster (Galatians 3:24) to lead us to the ultimate sacrifice to pay for our sins. “Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him (Hebrews 9:27-28 NIV).” God did not leave Adam & Eve destitute of redemption. He provided for their redemption and future care just as He has provided for all who seek Him in repentance and dependence on His sacrifice for their salvation. Paradise for Adam and Eva was lost but God’s love and care of mankind has not changed. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV).