One question that may come to mind when reading the Genesis accounts of creation deals with time. We have all tried to make sense of the literal meaning of the “7 days,” and the church does allow robust discussion and debate on the meaning of how much time was involved with creation. I’m talking about the timing of Adam and Eve and their life before the fall. Did you ever wonder how much time elapsed between the creation of Adam, the creation of Eve, and the fall?
There of course has been speculation on this question, with obviously no official or proven answer. However, thinking of this question did cause me to ponder the possibilities and I invite you to do the same.
1.Did Adam and Eve spend time together before the fall? Did they enjoy each other, as well as creation, as God intended “in the beginning?” Were they able to serve each other and God as originally intended? Did they understand what they had before they gave it up?
2.Or rather, were they tempted and fell immediately after creation? If so, they would not have recognized the goodness that they would lose. Did they only recognize this goodness, and the consequences of their choice, after the loss?
3.Was Satan patient before tempting our parents? Did he allow them to enjoy God’s creation before tempting them, which would further their loss once they fell? Or was Satan eager to destroy God’s creation from the moment of creation, diving in to force division after God left Adam and Eve to themselves?
As we ponder these questions, we can direct them to our own lives and our choices for good versus evil. Do we take time to enjoy the gifts from God before we abuse them, choosing evil over good? Do we really know the depth of our loss when we choose sin? Do we understand that mortal sin gets us kicked out of the garden, and do we mourn this loss? Do we understand that our loss is not simply because of the pain of our sin that we experience, but rather the pain God feels as a result of our choice? Do we understand that our loss is not just immediate pain but a breaking of a divine relationship, and do we mourn this loss or simply an earthly pain?
While we may not live in Eden, do we realize the goodness of God’s creation? Do we seek the fruit of one tree rather than enjoy the entire garden and its creator?
We don’t know how much time Adam and Eve had to enjoy the gifts God had created for them, but we do know that their choice led to a horrible loss that we still feel and participate in whenever we sin. Take some time each day to reflect upon God’s goodness and ask for pardon for our weakness, that we may always understand the loss we risk by denying God’s goodness.