|Image by Stephen Waterhouse|
In the Sunday School class I teach we have been going through Dr. Efird's study on Genesis. This past week's lesson was on the end of Chapter 3 through the start of Chapter 6. Basically it is the curse and eviction of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel and the genealogy to link the Hebrew people to Adam and Eve.
What caught my attention is the reason God kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden. I have grown up and gone through undergrad, grad school and have even read it myself countless times always thinking that Adam and Eve were kicked out as a result of their sin. But then Dr. Efird read and explained Genesis 3:22-23; “The LORD God said, “The human being has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. Now so he doesn’t stretch out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat and live forever,” the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to farm the fertile land from which he was taken.” What he points out was that God removed them from the garden so they did not stay in their sin forever.
The end of the 22nd verse is an unfinished thought. “The human being has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. Now so he doesn’t stretch out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat and live forever,…” It seems that the implications of staying in the garden would be eternal life. But it would have been eternal life soaked in sin. Therefore God removes them and gives them limited life, mortality. The reality of sin is death but death saves us from sinful immortality.
God loved us so much that he sent us out of the garden in order for him to save us from ourselves. If humans had stayed and eaten the fruit that gives us immortality, we would have not been able to be saved. So God removes the people in order to provide salvation.
The curse of not being in paradise was actually a blessing.
The living word is still inspiring and opening up new doors of knowledge and wisdom.