Day one: Let there be Light. Day two through five: heaven, earth, animals, plants, sun, moon, and stars. Day Six: God makes man. Man is given dominion and rule over everything. All for God’s glory and man’s good.
God brings to life all trees in the Garden—trees pleasant to the sight and good for food. Man is given access to all trees, even the tree of life, but forbidden to eat from the tree of knowledge. For God’s glory and man’s good.
God commissions Adam to name all the animals and to find a helpmate. Adam finds none suitable so God gives him companionship, even a need God himself could not meet, in Eve. They were naked and without shame. All for God’s glory and man’s good.
It’s everything every person who ever lived has tried to attain and failed: purpose, possessions, eternal life in perfect communion with God and man, all things needed for life and desired for pleasure, freedom from the chains of sin in complete innocence. And, inevitably, Adam and Eve chose to break God’s one commandment. For man’s “glory” and ultimate destruction.
I think of all this couple had going for them, the ideal set up, and I wonder why they had to choose the only thing they didn’t have. It’s easy to give them a bad rap but when I look my own life, my own denial of Christ and disobedience of His commandments, I think I understand. Isn’t my life filled with much of the same blessing and freedom as theirs? Isn’t my decision to love God, love people, and follow Him just as simple? Yes, instead I spend much of my freedom and time disentangling myself from sin, eating from other trees, worrying about what’s next and forgetting the abundant garden God has already given me.
But fast forward to another beginning a few thousand years later and see another couple. They’re just as afraid and unsure but they trust God at His word when He says they will bear a son, “you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matt 1:20-21).
While man was stuck in sin, without a plan, God sends a solution. His only son, for His Glory and for our good.
Thank you, Father, for beginning all things perfectly, allowing us perfect freedom to mess things up, and divinely bringing them all back together in Your son Christ. At the beginning of this new year, help me to focus more on the freedoms You have given me to serve others, expand Your kingdom, and love. Help me not to get hinged on what I shouldn’t have but focus on what I have before me in gratitude.