Genesis 1-3 contains some of the most powerful and amazing stories of the entire Old Testament, and maybe even of the whole Bible. In these 3 chapters of Scripture the stage is set for God’s redemptive love story to be told over the remaining 1,186 chapters.
God’s creation unfolds in the first 2 chapters of Genesis. It is awesome to contemplate that God spoke everything into existence out of nothing. Everything except for humanity. When God made man there was something very personal and intimate that took place. God stepped into the dirt of the earth and created man – Adam – with His own hands, in His own image. Nothing else in all of creation carries the privilege of being created in the image of the Creator God. What separates us from the rest of all of creation is the image in which we were made, and the hands that we were made by. Then, God breathed life into Adam. Think about that. God was knelt over the lifeless body of Adam, inches away from his face, and breathed life into him. I can’t imagine what that first exchange must have been like as Adam inhaled, opened his eyes, and stared into the gaze of his Creator. What an amazing experience…the only one of its kind.
Creation is a clear and compelling depiction of the undeniable and unconditional love of God. We were intimately made to be the image-bearers of the One True God. Nothing else in all of creation was made this way or with this thought in mind.
Despite the intimate love that the LORD God demonstrated in His creation of us, we still screwed it up. More accurately, Adam and Eve screwed it up. They ate the one, forbidden fruit in all of the Garden of Eden: the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God comes to the garden looking for Adam and Eve who are now hiding, ashamed and afraid in their nakedness. “Where are you?” He calls out. How piercing did those words sound to a sinful Adam and Eve? How much weight did those words carry as the resonated throughout the garden? I wonder how Adam must have felt in that face-to-face moment with God. I imagine it would have been a lot different than his first face-to-face encounter with God. Exhilarations of life and love at life’s first breath have now been replaced by a blanket of guilt and shame…and death. In that one moment everything became different. Nothing would ever be the same. At least not for now.
Yet, in the midst of such a dark and heavy scene in our history, God’s love and grace still reach beyond the death sentence of our sin. In an act of grace that can only be outdone by what Jesus Christ would one day do on the cross, God expels Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. Yes, you read that right. The expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden was God’s second greatest act of grace ever recorded in Scripture – at least in my estimation. This conclusion comes from what God explains in Genesis 3:22-23.
You see, if Adam or Eve would have ever eaten the fruit from the tree of life, they would have lived forever, becoming immortal. Sounds fine, except their sin nature would have lived on forever with them. Knowing that sin would need to be exterminated in absolute, God could not allow a reality to take place in which Adam and Eve had eaten from both trees, allowing sin and sin nature to live forever. By kicking them out of the garden God prevented an eternal doom. That’s a pretty big deal when stop and think about the ramifications of a never-ending sin cycle. God chose redemption that came with a painful cost. Another theme that will undoubtedly repeat itself throughout the pages of Scripture and eternity.
Creation, the Fall, and God’s first acts of redemption setup a foundation for all of Scripture to fall in line with. A story that screams the undeniable and unconditional love of a Father for His creation.