Summary: If God is good, and He created everything, and the original creation was very good, then why is there death and suffering in the world?
ORIGINS #2: THE FALL
(November 2010 – Beausejour Church – Pastor Chris Jordan)
→ REVIEW: “In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth.” (Genesis 1:1).
• Last week we looked at the differences between creation and evolution, and talked about how it is more likely we are here by intelligent design rather than cosmic chance.
→ OPENING TEXT:
“Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. → And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” (Genesis 2:1-3).
• Why do we have a seven day week, with a day of rest? To commemorate creation week.
→ “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. → The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. → And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” (Genesis 2:7-9).
• God gave mankind fruit and vegetables to eat for food. (Remember that for next week!)
→ “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17).
• → God had given mankind only one commandment: Don’t eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
→ “And the Lord God said, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him… → And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. → And Adam said: "This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man." → Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” (Genesis 2:18; 21-25).
• → Here we see God’s institution of marriage – one man & one woman together for life!
• → In the beginning – it was very good: Humans and animals living in harmony in the paradise of the Garden of Eden. No death, no wars, no suffering! What happened??
→ THE BIG QUESTION: If God is good, and He created everything, and the original creation was very good, then why is there death and suffering in the world?
• CS Lewis himself wrote The Problem of Pain wrestling with this very issue.
• → Charles Darwin himself, who originated the concepts of natural selection and evolution, had the same struggles. As a young boy, he had attended church with his mother, and even attended Cambridge to study for the ministry. “The issue of suffering was one that Darwin faced personally, with the death of his beloved ten-year-old daughter, Annie, in 1851. This tragedy would deal a crushing blow to his religious beliefs, as Darwin deliberated about the Christian meaning of mortality and lost all faith in a beneficent God.” (Ray Comfort, in Darwin’s The Origin of Species).
THE STORY OF THE FALL:
→ “Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, ’You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?" → And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ’You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ " → Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." → So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. → Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. → And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. → Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, "Where are you?" So he said, "I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” (Genesis 3:1-10).