In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth. Throughout the process He had in mind the joy we would experience. The plants and animals were crafted in anticipation of us marvelling at their beauty. He foresaw the soothing effects of a cool breeze and a mountain stream. Near the end of His labours He smiled down on His perfect world and created a man and a woman. He placed them at the start of His plan and rested.
The sun peeked over the hills, letting its rays cover the ground and rest on the man's closed eyelids. He awoke without opening his eyes and enjoyed the warmth of the sun's rays. The birds chirped as they flew through the sunshine and the wind rustled the leaves of all the beautiful trees in the area creating a peaceful, comforting sound that welcomed the man into his first day. He opened his eyes and sat up on the hilltop. He looked down on the new land and shook the beautiful woman lying beside him so she could enjoy the morning with him. She sat up and leaned against him and they spent the morning talking and pointing out every new discovery. They spent the day carefree, enjoying the garden like innocent children. But from a far corner hid evil eyes that hated their joy and schemed to take it away.
Dusk came quietly as the woman sat near a stream resting her eyes. "Pssssst!" came a noise from behind her. She turned her head, startled to see one of the creatures of the garden staring at her. It spoke, "Your Creator has told you that you will die if you eat from the tree in the center of the garden."
With wide eyed interest, she responded, "Yes."
"He's lied to you.", the serpent moved closer. "He doesn't want you to be happy, but if you eat of the tree you'll be just like God. Don't let Him ruin your life, telling you what to do. You must take control of your future."
She looked deep into his eyes, hoping the words came from a loving and concerned mind, but their black surfaces only reflected an image of herself. "Be like God," echoed in her mind as she turned to the forbidden tree. She paused for a moment watching its bright fruit and then consumed her poison.
She turned to her husband, staring into his eyes. It was a look that begged him to join her. He remebered all they had shared and how close they had been, so he ate, and darkness fell.
Painfully, the Creator expelled them from the garden. They tried not to think of what they had lost. Like being awakened from a peaceful sleep and thrown out into a cold dark night, they felt confused and disoriented. As they struggled through each day, their time in the garden became like a fading dream.
The man toiled over the hard ground to survive. His wife bore him two sons, signifying the Creator had not given up on His plan. But when the man found one son murdered and the other gone, he realized the goal would be reached through much heartache and pain, for he had infected mankind with rebellion. The woman saw her dead son and staring at his blank eyes and limp body she remembered the serpent's promise of happiness, and then she started to cry, unaware that the Creator of the garden cried with her high above.
Today I stand in a garden. The Lord has filled this life with blessings like trees covered in fruit for me to enjoy. But He has also told me of the things in life that I am not to eat of, things that result in death and destruction. I need to learn to be content with what He has allowed. There is also a snake that whispers in my ear and says that what is forbidden will bring me peace and joy, that I'm missing out on true life and could never be satisfied with God's blessings alone. But I've gone down his wicked road and only found myself living in misery. Even what was provided for my happiness became cursed. I lost it all and never saw any of Satan's promises fulfilled. I felt like Eve staring at her dead son regretting her disobedience. But God has forgiven me so now I choose to obey and live according to His will as expressed in the bible.
Adam was called to subdue the beasts but the snake subdued him. I choose to subdue the snake by turning to Jesus as He gives me the strength I need to resist the devil's temptations and lies. Satan is defeated which means that there is no one anywhere who is powerless to come to God through Jesus, be forgiven for his or her rebellion and be made right with God. Jesus has opened the way back and its up to every man and every woman to take it. The way leads to a new world created once again for our good. It leads to a new life in heaven created perfectly for us. But the difference is that should we choose to accept Jesus now, it will be impossible for us to sin then. A deep and growing relationship with God will be the center of our lives and we will have the security of knowing that the only problem with Eden, us, has been dealt with and there will be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, nor pain, only abundant life in the presence of Jesus our savior forever.
Romans 5:18,19 Therefore, as through one man's offense judgement came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous.