Summary: At the time Adam and Eve were sent out of the garden, a mystery was unleashed. God's words to the serpent, the woman, and the man answered some questions, but raised others that would not be answered for a very long time.
THE MYSTERY REVEALED
I The Genesis of the Mystery
The question is asked, “Why did God create man?” We know why he created the woman – it was not good for the man to be alone. But why did God create man?
Several answers are given, some of them rooted in scripture and some not.
Someone says, “We are created to glorify God.” I have no doubt God wants that from us, but is it the reason man was created in the first place?
Someone quotes Ephesians 2:10, “…we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” But I rather think Paul refers to every new creation in Christ when one obeys the gospel, and not the creation of the first man.
Perhaps the best answer is found in the act of creation itself, and the things God did immediately.
What he did was to create man and place him in a garden of paradise.
God wanted a loving relationship in which he would shower bountiful blessings on his children who would love him.
Placing the man and woman in the beautiful garden of Eden was an outpouring of love. God is love, and he created someone to be, and then was a precious object of his love.
There would be sweet harmony and happiness as he blessed them beyond imagining in the paradise he built for them.
The garden of Eden shows that God created man for him to love. And that is what God did.
He wanted man to return his love, which would have been meaningless had God not designed within man the capability to redirect the love intended for God and instead love himself.
So the man and the woman failed in reciprocating the pure, unadulterated love they received.
Here’s what God said:
Genesis 3:14-19 The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, but he shall rule over you.” And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
When God spoke to the serpent, Eve, and then Adam following the fall of the first man and woman, they learned something about what the future held in store. You see highlighted the things they now knew.
• They had no idea whether God’s words would be entirely fulfilled within whatever generation the woman’s seed lived.
• They couldn’t have grasped how far-reaching and consequential the meaning of that short sentence was, and that the seed of the woman would also be the very Son of God.
• They did not know what was to be done with their sins. Sin now stood between them and God who made them, and with whom they had enjoyed a sweet and satisfying relationship. Though God still loved them, it was different. Sin now alienated them from God.
• Most of all, they didn’t know the broader implications – that the serpent was a manifestation of Satan, that they had ventured onto the battlefield of a titanic war, and they had been captured by the enemy.
These words launched a divine mystery that would not be revealed for thousands of years.
The relationship God had with Adam and Eve and the blessings of paradise are no more.
In the garden, their lives had meaning to them and to God.
The mystery is “What is the meaning of life NOW, since the original framework is greatly altered, the relationship vastly damaged; and the question loomed, “Can what was lost ever be regained? (For that would require a way of separating the man and the woman from their sins.)
II The Mystery Would Continue for a Long Time
It was a mystery that would not be revealed for a very long time…