Summary: Death for the soul began at the Garden of Eden. Death for the body began with Cain and Abel. Death still reigns today but it will soon be destroyed forever by the coming of the Lord.
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Pastor James May
THE GENESIS OF DEATH
From the beginning of time, immediately after the fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden, death has been a relentless hound on the heels of every man. The first murder in the Bible was committed when brother rose against brother and Cain killed Abel. The story of that incident carries some great lessons for each of us.
Genesis 4:1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.
Eve had been created from the rib of Adam. Adam had been formed of the dust of the earth and God breathed life into him. Thus, both Adam and Eve had not known what it was like to be born, to grow as a child, to learn and become an adult. Their very first day of life was as a perfect adult with superior intellectual ability, living in a land of perfect harmony, beauty and peace. They knew what it was to take a walk with God in the cool of the day, every day. God had created them to have companionship and to have someone who would love and serve him gladly.
From that perfect world they fell. Sin entered and everything changed immediately. They were cast from the Garden, never to see it again. They lost their eternal life and life became a hard taskmaster instead of a joyous existence. They went out, driven away by God’s holiness, righteousness and justice.
Can we even begin to imagine how the heart of God must have been broken that day? Adam and Eve, created as the first children of God, were disowned for their rebelliousness and cast out of the family of God, away from the face of God. Where once they had walked with God face to face, now they no longer saw his face. The love of God that had burned into their hearts as God spoke with them had turned to judgment for sin and now they felt his anger as they walked away in fear, with tears flowing from their eyes, from gates of Eden.
Even though they faced God’s judgment, they still experienced his mercy and grace. Thank God for that mercy and grace. There eternal life was lost but they were given time, in the natural body, to learn and to suffer for the sin they had committed.
I wonder what their thoughts may have been? Would God just allow them to go on their own for their disobedience? Would God turn his back on them and leave them to their own devices? How could they make it in such a hostile world without God? I still wonder those same questions today. How can anyone go through life without Jesus. I am so glad that Jesus lives within my heart. I am so grieved by those who don’t know Him.
Eve brought forth a son. Her firstborn was named Cain. Most scholars of the Bible agree that Cain and Abel were actually twins but that Cain was born first, then Abel. God’s command to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth was still in effect. Can you imagine her joy as she realized that God had not totally abandoned them after all.
Genesis 4:2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
In the beginning, after their exit from the garden, God saw to it that man had some back-breaking work to do. God knew that hard work leaves less room for the evil mind and heart to do its mischief.
I think that a large part of the sin that grips our nation is produced in the heart of man because he has too much unoccupied time on his hands when he can think of evil things to do. We all love leisure time, and we don’t seen to have enough of it, but I think that God has designed life to be a busy life so that the evil that men create will be somewhat limited.