So I am a few days in to reading the Bible cover-to-cover in Genesis 14. I thought I would blog about one of the a-ha’s I have had as I have begun to read scripture in a new translation and with fresh eyes. For some people this may not be anything new but for me this bucked against some conventional wisdom and reasoning I have heard and been taught in the past, but now that I have read with new eyes a few verses it has shed new light on a few old teachings.
The topic of this discovery: Why were Adam & Eve kicked out of the garden? / What would have happened if Adam & Eve had never eaten the fruit?
My previous answers to these questions was rather simple. Adam & Eve were kicked out of the garden because of their sin in eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Had they not eaten the fruit, not only would sin have not been introduced into the world but they would have been immortal because death would only be the result if that sin had taken place. Wrong on both counts, at best only partially right. The answer to both these questions is found in the final verses in Genesis 3:
22 Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— 23 therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.
See it? They were expelled from the garden because there was the possibility that they would eat from the tree of life and achieve immortality after having sin enter into their lives. This was not an acceptable possibility for God so similarly to later in Genesis when He destroys the world with a flood and ends the mass of evil and sin that had come to exist He completely removes the opportunity for things to get “out of hand.” In both instances God intervenes in history and says, “things are bad enough, they don’t need to get worse.” Had Adam & Eve never eaten of the first tree there existed the potential for them to live in perfection and without sin for the remainder of their existence, but their days would still have come to an end, assuming they never at of the tree of life. Nowhere in scripture are they guaranteed immortality prior to sin entering the world.
There have been other cool moments as I have read through the first dozen + chapters of Genesis, but this one hit the most probably because it was the first “big one” to jump off the pages at me. I look forward to God teaching me many more cool lessons on this journey!