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Top Ten Old Testament Stories: #1 Adam and Eve (Genesis 1-3)

TIMING: No historical chronological corroboration available.

REASON TO READ: This is the beginning of God’s relationship with man. If we understand how God “meant it to be” in its simplest form, then we can begin to see how He can steer our lives to resemble the paradise that God created for Adam and Eve to enjoy.

BRIEF SUMMARY: God creates the world and puts Adam in the garden of Eden with Eve as his helpmate. They are allowed to eat of any tree in the garden except one, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Eve is deceived by the serpent and convinced to eat of the tree. She convinces Adam to do the same, and they become aware of their nakedness. They cover themselves in fig leaves, but God performs the first sacrifice and covers them with animal skins. They are kicked out of Eden and two cherubim with flaming swords are put at the gate to prevent them from going back in.

HOW THIS FITS IN THE TOP TEN: To a certain extent we may take for granted the significance of God first creating then seeking a relationship with human beings. God could have very easily created us to be like earthly angels whose role is to serve God rather than creating us in his image and inviting us to become his children. We can discuss later what it truly means to be in God’s image and likeness, but for now let us simply see that we have a unique relationship with God that started in the garden and extends into eternity. All of the subsequent stories we read must be grounded on this basic premise that God loves us and wants to have a relationship with us.
    The next critical element to point out in this story is how God approaches Adam and Eve. We often dwell on the fact that He told them not to eat of that one specific tree, but we may not notice that the first rule was “eat” of many trees and not “don’t eat” of this one tree. The relevance to our current lives is that we may focus on what we are missing rather than appreciating what we have. This is, to a great extent, driven into our heads deliberately by people in marketing that profit from people constantly feeling like they need the next great thing.
    When Adam and Eve left the garden, we the human race left with them. Without getting into controversy about original sin and fallen nature, let us just say for now that after they left the garden we as a human race became in need of salvation. We went from a blessed, idyllic, blissfully naive existence to our current state of affairs. We now struggle with this knowledge of good and evil and constantly find ourselves choosing between right and wrong. In the end our choice is often as simple as the choice Adam and Eve had to make - obey God or not. Their choice was simpler in that the only thing they could do “wrong” was eat from a specific tree, but our choices can also be simplified if we see God’s will in our lives. Yes, this is not as simple as “eat or don’t eat” but it is certainly less complicated than we make it out to be.
    In conclusion, our major take home point in the story of Adam and Eve is that our relationship with God started out very simple, was rooted in free will, and subsequently became very complicated because of the choice Adam and Eve (we) made to disobey God. We have spent the subsequent thousands of years seeking reconciliation with God so we can go “back to the way things were” in the Garden of Eden. The rest of the Old Testament stories we will talk about are in large part stepping stones in this path leading up to Christ and the salvation of man.
Series Name: Top 10 Old Testament Stories

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