Thursday, June 17, 2010

Adam and Eve: God's Perfect Work Part II

Adam and Eve: God’s Perfect Work
Perfection, Preference, and Problems
Part II 


The story or account of Adam and Eve is very interesting. The account brings many questions to mind that we wished God would have answered for us. For example;

• What did Adam and Eve look like?

• Did Adam and Eve have belly buttons?

• How long between Adam’s creation was Eve’s creation?

• How long were they in the Garden of Eden?

• What would it have been like had they not disobeyed God?

• What were those trees really?

The question had been asked were Adam and Eve perfect in very way or only physically? This is a good question. We can only go to the Scriptures to obtain any insight that might help us to answer this question. 

Yesterday, I laid the foundation for creation by stressing two difficult but definite points:

• By faith, I trust that God created the heavens and the earth as stated in Genesis and held throughout the Scriptures without apology or defense.

• Scripture demonstrates that God was fully self-sufficient, self-contained, and self-satisfied from everlasting to everlasting and did not create anything out of compulsion, necessity, or self-benefit.

Genesis 1:1 states clearly, concisely, and without defense or apology that. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” God then proceeded to create light, day, night, and an expanse in the middle of water, heaven, dry land, vegetation, stars, sun, moon, sea creatures, birds, and animals. Then God created his crowning creation – man. Verse 31 reads, “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” As a matter of fact throughout the creation account God said, “it was very good” at least six times during the creation account, for a total of seven times.

The Hebrew word “good” refers to practical, abstract, quality, and moral goodness. The word gives us the idea of complete, every part in perfect harmony with every other part. In God’s judgment, given seven times, all of his creation was good or perfect. No aspect of his creation or creative powers lacked anything. At this time there was nothing that was not good, no perfect, and not working in perfect harmony with everything else, including Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve were created perfectly in every way.

It seems that Adam was created a fully mature and able to function fully as any other man. He was probably created in his mid thirties. We do know that he was able to function sexually since after Eve’s creation they were to multiply and fill the earth. They were created without sin and with all the knowledge that God intended them to have. They could speak immediately. Adam could name the animals. He had the capability to obey God and to tend or till the garden. Adam, it seemed, only had one thing to learn.

Why do you think God brought all the animals to Adam? God knew what they were since he had created them. He chose to use this lesson to show Adam and ultimately to you and me, that it was not good to be alone or without a mate. All the animals had mates; otherwise they couldn’t multiply and fill the earth. As they paraded by Adam, he was able to see that each animal had a mate, one like itself, but somewhat different. Adam would be able to see and sense that there was no mate for him.

God took care of that. He put Adam to sleep and from his rib, from his bone and flesh God created a mate, Eve for Adam. She must have been a “raging” beauty. She was perfectly formed by God himself. Since Adam had nothing to compare her to he would have been completely enamored by her.

Guys, this is free, and a footnote, but this is why you were to be a virgin for your wife and why any interest in nudity of other women whether physically, digitally, from magazines, movies, etc creates such a problem: we are not to compare our wives to anyone else, but we are to be completely enamored by her. Teach your sons and grandsons to be pure, virgins, and free from sources that create an opportunity to compare their future wives against. Discipline yourself from lust and the desire for nudity of other women.

Proverbs 5:19 says, “…let her [wife] breasts fill you at all times with delight; [not someone else’s breasts] be intoxicated always in her love.” [ESV]

We don’t know how long Adam was in the garden before Eve was created. He had enough time to do some tilling and tending since God gave that job to him. Adam also needed enough time to name the animals. God told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth with people, in chapter one.

Yvonne, you can tell your daughter that Adam and Eve initially did have two sons, Cain and Abel. But due to two unique and temporarily divinely instituted principles by God, they had more sons [Seth] and daughters by which they populated the earth.

First, it seems that prior to the flood mankind lived much longer than we do today. For example Adam lived to be 930 years old. Methuselah lived to be 969 years old. There is no reason, no evidence, and no information available to deny or restrict these years from being 360 or 365 day years. I fully believe Adam lived to be 930 years.

Second, the prohibition or introduction of incest was not in effect nor given until the law. So, initially brothers married sisters and produced children. Eventually cousins married cousins producing children until the earth was populated.

Then after the flood, God seems to drastically limit the days of mans live to 70-80 years as an average, (Psalms 90.) We see some people today exceed that limit and live to be around 110-115. I personally know a man who is 107. He attended our church until he was 105 but he just can’t get around now. But I digress.

So, there they were in a garden where God had supplied all of their needs; from companionship, food, shelter, and even work. They created perfectly in every way and fully functioning. Yes, probably, with belly buttons. But one, we don’t know, and two, it doesn’t matter.

There seems to be one other area of great interest concerning the creation of Adam and Eve. It seems they were created with the capacity to choose freely without restraint good or evil.

In Genesis chapter two beginning in verse 16 we read, “And the Lord God commanded the man saying, ‘You may surely eat of every tree of the garden., 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.’”

Adam and Eve, like the angels initially, were created with a capacity that we call “free-will.” Since God told Adam not to eat from those trees, the obvious truth tells us that he could choose to eat or not to eat. He was made aware of a very severe penalty if he chose to disobey, but he was given a choice. We know that by Genesis 3:7, both Adam and Eve exercised that capacity and chose to disobey, thereby choosing unrighteousness by eating from the tree of knowledge. Withing both Adam and Eve was an ability to choose. It was not only an ability to choose but it was an ability or capacity to act upon and realize that choice. Adam and Eve could choose to act upon and realize righteousness or they could choose to act upon and realize unrighteousness. They were able to choose to refrain eating the forbidden fruit or they were able to choose to eat the forbidden fruit. If they did not have this capacity then God would have been both unfair and unjust to give them choice.

Now, the question is this; did each of the progeny of Adam and Eve maintain that same capacity after the sin and fall of Adam and Eve? Do we as the descendants of Adam and Eve posses what is called “free-will?” Do we have the choice to choose between righteousness and unrighteousness? Are we able to choose, apart from any intervention of God, to do righteousness?

Where did the term “free-will” come from? Why is it so prevalent in our churches and theology today? Is this really the issue ?

We will examine and answer each of these questions in the next two or three posts. I know some of you know the answers to these questions and this will be good review for you. Some do not have the correct answers and I hope to demonstrate the truth from Scripture for the glory of God and the good of all. Stay tuned. Thank you for reading and thanking your for commenting.

5 comments:

welcome to my world of poetry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
geegee said...

The story of Adam and Eve fills my mind with questions, too, but that's because it is rife with contradictions.

Just to name a few:

- When was Eve created? In Genesis 1, God created man and woman at the same time: (http://net.bible.org/verse.php?book=Gen&chapter=1&verse=27). But in Genesis 2, like you said, God made Eve from Adam after he had been living for a while! (http://net.bible.org/verse.php?book=Gen&chapter=2&verse=22)

- When were the animals created? Again, in Genesis 1, man (and woman?) and animals were created together. In Genesis 2, after Adam was alone, God created animals and asked Adam to name them. And how did Adam have time to name them all? There are millions of species, with more being discovered all the time. (I guess Adam missed those.) It must have taken him a while to get them all!

Gregg said...

gegee - thanks for stopping by and reading, and for leaving a comment.

There are no contradictions - the creation account has to read carefully.

First, we have an account given to us in chapter one, it is a summary. It is given in chapter two with greater detail. It is the same account, with some additional info. Why the author chose to do that is unknown to us.

It is quite possible that Adam himself wrote chapter 2:4-5:1 from his perspective and the passed the record down through the generations until it came into the hands of the author or the oral account did the same. We don't know for sure.

Gen 1:27 talked about the creaton of Adam and Eve, but Gen 2 talks about the formation and energizing of Adam and Eve.

Second, Eve was created on the same day as Adam. Adam was created then God created Eve. During differnt parts of the same day but not at the same time.

It seems that Adam and Eve were created, formed, and the breath of life breathed into them somewhere outside of the Garden of Eden. God then brought them to the garden and placed them in it.

God gave Adam instructions to tend the Garden and the warning not to eat the from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

The birds were created on the on the 5th day, land animals created on the sixth day prior to Adam.

Since the Bible was breathed out by God there is no contradiction here.

First, it appears to people to see a contradiction.

Second, God did not make animals as a help meet, and failing in that then create Eve. Animals had already been created. Chapter one had told us that so the author didn't go into more detail in chapter 2, pity he did't, might have saved us some trouble. The point is, is that it as God who formed the animals out of hte ground. Though both animals and Adam had been created from ground there was no means of fellowship between the animlas and Adam.

Now that I read Genesis again, it has been awhile, a thought has struck me. God could have brought the animals to Adam tht were close in proximity. It doesn't say Adam saw every animal and named every animal.

It is possible also that not all of the animals lived in the garden. Maybe some birds, cattle, and domesticable animals were in the garden. That wouldn't have taken much time to name and to see that they had a mate. After all, the fish didn't walk past Adam. WE don't know how many actually appeared, but I don't any longer think it was all of them,nor do I think it took longer than a a few hours.

Therefore, God could create animals very early on the sixth day, Adam right after them, put him in the Garden, give him insgtructions, then bring some limited number of animlals to Adam to name and to see, then put him to sleep and create Eve all on the same day.

I hope this helps. But I thank you for helping me to re-read carefully and to think critically through a wonderful passage of Scripture. Thank you!

arlee bird said...

Today's installment is clear to me, but I have not had too much problem with this aspect. Thinking about "free-will" I am getting a better grasp.

Do you think we are dealing with 24 hour days initially? Do you think Adam's age starts from the "day" of creation or the day of expulsion from Eden when the concept of death comes into existence?

Lee
Tossing It Out

Gregg said...

I am glad you are getting a better grasp on free will. The basic issue that makes it and issue is that Paul said, in Ephesians that none can boast of salvation. No one. Salvation is a gift of God. Most evangelicals won't argue that. The rub comes in when we try to make a case for synergistic salvation vs monergistic salvation.

Do we first turn to God on our own and as a result God gives us salvation - which entails a coopertion on our part and room to boast?

Or is salvation all of God from start to finish? He seeks us, He draws us, He gives us life, He gives us faith, and renders us willing to come to him.

The issue of "free-will" centers on what free means. Sure we all have a will to make choices, but we can not choose righteousness apart from God's giving us life, faith, and a desire. We just don't desire God and righteousness in an unsved state.

As far as Adam's age, who knows? I think it starts from the day he was created, but a few days don't matter. I don't think the were in the garden very long at all. some scholars say 24 hours, some a few days, to some a couple of weeks. It wasn't very long.

I do think it was 24 hour days. I think the Hebrew is conclusive enough in terms and language to allow us to believe they were 24 hour days.