Adam opened his eyes to astounding beauty and wonder. He heard the voice of the eternal God “I created you as a creature of my hands that you might praise me, and enter into eternal covenant fellowship with me.” As his senses flooded his mind with God’s handiwork, and as the very breath of God flooded his soul with true knowledge and love for his God, we can be sure that his first expressions were expressions of joy, songs of praise, and wonder. From the first moment, the wonder only increased. God brought the living creatures to Adam for him to ponder and name. His new knowledge of the animal kingdom only set the stage and prepared him for the wonder of the woman with whom he was bound in marriage and provided an earthly picture of his relationship with God.
Even in this now sin cursed world, we go through life enjoying many first experiences—the first cry, the first step, our first car, and the first kiss. Our spiritual life also grows with many moments of first-coming-to-realize and understand a particular truth about God. When we read God’s word, and listen to him speak to us through his undershepherds with a real hunger and thirst, our soul is thrilled with the works of God and we are satisfied.
Adam was the first man. In him were all the different skin, hair and eye colors. In him were all the personality and body types in this current world. From the unfolding and development of man in this created world, God would gather a harmonious and when viewed all together, a beautiful church, his bride. The particular nature he possessed, whether obedient to God, or disobedient, would also be passed on to every person reproduced from Adam.
Adam and Eve grew in their knowledge as they walked and talked with God among the plants and animals, but there was an attribute of God hidden from them that a million years of walking, talking, and observing the creation would not reveal. That attribute is his love. It forms the very essence of God, and God had determined to bring man into that knowledge as well. To that end, God determined that the highest creature in the spiritual realm of heaven would, in pride and folly, find his place in creation to be too small. Satan determined in his heart to invade the creation, overthrow the power of God, and turn man’s heart as well against this God of love. The creature, and not the Creator, would receive all the glory and praise.
Little did Satan know that his invasion, and resulting corruption and devastation, set the stage of history for the perfect display of the depths of God’s love. A baffling blindness to the absolute sovereignty of God would destine Satan to a long history of repeatedly throwing himself at God in an attempt to thwart his plan.
Standing then before God in shame and guilt, God opened a new window. He revealed something of his grace, mercy, love, and righteousness. The view was blurred in their tears, and shrouded in new mystery and wonder, but it was a promise that God was not defeated at all, but in fact would reveal the fullness of his love by means of a child who would redeem creation, destroy the power of sin, and restore righteousness with a new knowledge of God’s love.
Driven from the garden, Adam and Eve faced a creation that still displayed the majesty of God, but it groaned under the curse of God. Roars and shrieks of terror echoed through the great forests. The trees and plants no longer delivered their fruits with ease, but now grew with a wild competitive frenzy. Adam strove against the plants and experienced failure and hunger. He sat down to eat with Eve with sweat trickling down his face, and lay down to rest with frustration and exhaustion.
Soon, however, the drudgery of life was broken with the birth of the first child. Perhaps the end of the weary night of sin and suffering would be over. Never again would Eve have to bear the anguish of childbirth. Never again would trials and grief disrupt their marriage. After all, God had promised victory through the seed of the woman. Cain grew, but despite their best efforts to train him in the fear of the Lord, his eyes were ever attracted to the glory of man and the potential of using creation to his advantage. Hopes were restored with Abel who with his parents longed for the fulfillment of God’s promise. He understood the depth of sin, and saw the need for a bloody sacrifice.
The end of the first one hundred years of life brought Adam and his wife to new depths of sorrow and wonder at the promise of God. An obvious tension and bitterness had developed between their two boys. God had said that the enmity would be between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman. Was it even conceivable that their firstborn son was in reality the seed of the serpent? In jealous fury, Cain tore open the flesh of his brother and the first young soul opened his eyes in glory. Cain left the small circle of believers and with haughty scorn set out to exercise his wisdom in subduing the earth for his own glory.
God humbles his children. Only when they cling to God with all their strength will they be able to see the depths of his love. We may not depend upon our own plans and ideas to bring us down God’s path for us. The next one hundred years would bring Seth. God would give Adam eight hundred years to talk with this son about the mystery of God’s love and the promised redeemer.