Genesis, the very first book of the Bible, describes how a beautiful Paradise that God created for humanity was lost because of the disobedience of Adam and Eve.
Continue reading if you want to learn more about this ancient Paradise and why it no longer exists on Earth.
Will we ever get to see this beautiful garden again, or is this paradise lost to us forever?
God created our Earth approximately 6000 years ago. He placed a garden in Eden called the “Garden Of Eden.” This Paradise was set up to be the home of the first humans, Adam and Eve, and their children.
The Bible tells us in Genesis 1:31; 2:1 that God made our beautiful Earth in 6 days. And His first reaction after seeing his incredible handiwork was that it was perfect.
1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.Genesis 1:31, 2:1
Eden – The Paradise that God created for us
The English word Paradise is taken from the Greek paradeisos, which was derived from the proto Iranian word paridayjah. The word Paridayjah consists of pari- (“around”) + *dáyjah (“wall”) and is used to describe a garden surrounded by a circular boundary wall.
The garden of Eden was located near the Mesopotamian region in the Middle East. Therefore it is not surprising that the ancient Iranian’s had a word that accurately describes Eden. When our first parents were expelled from Paradise, God forbid them from entering the garden again.
Adam and Eve must have narrated stories about this lost paradise to their descendants, who would have made many trips to get a glimpse of this almost mythical garden. Unfortunately, all they could see were huge circular walls with no passage for entry into this forfeited garden.
9 And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
15 And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.Genesis 2:8,9,15
In Genesis 2, we learn that God created Adam and placed him in a perfect home, the garden of Eden. God wanted Adam to stay in this divine paradise and be responsible for maintaining it. This utopia was incredibly beautiful with lush vegetation and magnificent trees “pleasant to the sight, and good for food” (Genesis 2:9).
An enchanting river of life flowed right through the garden and watered all plants and trees. The garden was also filled with precious jewels, which created a sparkling effect, lighting up the entire garden in a fascinating splendor. Every direction that one could look at was filled with incredible sights that words cannot describe.
Everything that could satisfy the needs and desires of the human heart was present in the garden. It was a place of peace, tranquility, and unsurpassed loveliness. It was infinitely better than the most beautiful place that exists on our planet right now.
God provided more than Adam and Eve could even imagine, and this gift demonstrated the unfathomable love and goodness of our benevolent Creator.
The Earth before sin
No Harsh Weather
The weather on Earth back then was just perfect, neither too hot nor too cold as there were no harsh summers or winters. There were no storms or earthquakes nor any extreme weather events.
The Bible tells us that even rain had no part in this tropical paradise as God caused mists to rise from the ground to water the plants.
6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.Genesis 1:5-6
No hard labour to get food
Adam and Eve didn’t need to struggle or toil away doing hard labor to grow food. God had provided them herbs and fruits as food which were readily available from plants and trees. To keep them busy, God gave them pleasant and enjoyable employment of dressing the garden.
Eden was a perfect paradise, a place of rest, relaxation, and mild work to keep one busy. Adam and Eve had plenty of time to wander around and appreciate God’s creation.
No death on Earth – every creature was vegetarian
We all know that everyone who is born on Earth dies. Death is a curse that even modern science cannot reverse or prevent. But this was not initially the case. Death was not part of God’s plan for the world.
He created a marvelous planet with an emphasis on living a happy life. The atmosphere of the pre sin world was brimming with life with no signs of decay or death.
Earth was a peaceful bliss as harmony existed among all its inhabitants. Even the animal kingdom was radically different from what we see today. Animals were not carnivorous and did not hunt and kill other creatures as all of them were vegetarian.
Picture this: Lions didn’t eat deer, sharks didn’t eat other fish, nor did mosquitoes bite. There were no viruses or diseases to cause sickness or death.
There was no place for violence, crime, sickness, suffering, pain, or death in God’s perfect world! Such a place is hard to imagine today as affliction and misery have a universal and pervasive existence in our world.
The state of the earth when it came out of the Creator’s hand was radically different from the evil, selfish, and brutal realities that seem so natural in our world today.
Adam appointed as ruler of Earth
Humankind was the crowning act of God’s creation. He did not speak them into existence as He did for all other created things on our planet. Rather, He made the first human pair with His hands.
God made humans in His image, and unlike animals, we possess consciousness, self-awareness, and morality. We were created with the ability to discern between right and wrong, appreciate God’s holiness, understand moral and spiritual concepts.
Thus we are unique as we have the capability to make independent, intelligent choices between good and bad.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Humans were God’s special creation, far more superior than any animal or plant on Earth. God tells Adam to have dominion over the creation of Earth. He even asks Adam to name all the living creatures on our planet. (Genesis 2:19)
In Genesis 1:26,28, we see God’s purpose for Adam was to be the ruler over His creation on Earth. Adam was appointed the ruler and king over Earth. All animals, fish, birds, and other creatures were subject to his authority.
The Hebrew word used for dominion is rāḏâ which also means to reign or rule. Adam, as the first human being, was to be the king and representative of our world.
Eden – The place where God spoke to humans face to face
The most incredible part of being in the pre-sin world was that God directly spoke to Adam and Eve. In Genesis 3:8,9, we see how God was walking in the garden and calling out to our first parents. It must have been an amazing experience for Adam and Eve to meet with God and sit down and talk to Him!
We can be sure that they had many questions about God, His Creation, the meaning of life, etc. They had the privilege of getting answers to life’s important questions directly from God. Imagine them sitting at the Lord’s feet daily and basking in His peace, holiness, and divine glory!
The forbidden fruit – A Test Of Loyalty
A key point to remember is that Adam was created from the dust of the Earth, and he did not possess natural immortality. He could only gain immortality by eating the fruit of the tree of life which God had placed in the middle of the garden. (Genesis 2:9)
Since Adam and Eve had not eaten from this tree, they were not yet immortal. Genesis 3:22. They would be allowed to eat from the tree of life only if they passed the test of loyalty to God.
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
According to Genesis 2:16-17, God placed the first human couple on probation and created a simple test of self-denial to determine their allegiance to Him. They were permitted to eat from all the trees of Paradise except one.
God gave them a simple command to abstain from eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. If they would resist the temptation and be subservient to God’s word, they would pass the test. Then God would grant them to eat from the tree of life to gain immortal life.
On the other hand, God would punish them with death if they distrust and disobey His command by eating from the forbidden tree.
There was nothing special about the forbidden tree since it looked just like the other trees in the garden. The tree did not have any special allure or attraction that might draw one’s attention.
God had not placed any other restrictions or difficult trials apart from not eating from this tree. Another point to note is that unlike us, Adam and Eve had a pre-sin unfallen nature (i.e., they didn’t have a natural inclination to sin), therefore making them less susceptible to temptation.
Given these circumstances, passing the test should have been very easy for Adam and Eve.
Satan – A king without a kingdom
In the conclusion of the article “War in Heaven,” we read how Lucifer turned into Satan and tried to take over Heaven. He lost the battle in Heaven and was thrown out with the angels (now known as the demons) who sided with him.
2 Peter 2:4
2 Peter 2:4 tells us that the fallen angels were cast down into a deep, dark, bottomless hell in some unknown location. Their predicament was a far cry from the honorable and respectable positions that they occupied in God’s government.
Satan wanted to become God and the ruler over God’s creation, but he lost everything because of his wicked and selfish behavior. He secretly plotted with deep jealousy, hatred, and malice in his heart, waiting for an opportune moment to launch another attack against God.
On hearing the recent creation of Earth and a new class of beings called humans, Satan realized that this was his opportunity to fight once more for control. He presumed that it would be much easier to sway the mind of Adam and Eve, given that he was able to convince a vast number of the angels to disobey God.
These angels had lived in the presence of God for countless years and were well acquainted with His benevolent character, yet they doubted His perfect holiness and love.
Satan thought the human pair would be easy to deceive as they had been recently created. They were unaware of the great controversy between himself and God.
Satan’s very existence was at stake, and this was a “do or die” moment for him. He was desperate for a place from which he could reign and launch attacks against God.
The arrogant foe understood that he could gain control over the Earth and its creation by getting humans to sin against God.
Who will you Obey – God or Satan?
The test in the garden was designed to examine the loyalty of the human pair and was necessary to safeguard God’s authority, given the allegations raised by Satan.
In Heaven, he argued that God’s commandments were unjust and that a created being does not need to be bound by the Creator’s “restrictions.” The temptation of becoming like God had caused him to sin, and he used that tactic to cause the fall of many angels. He now wanted to use the same tried and tested formula to cause the fall of Eden.
Satan had exercised his free will to disobey and disregard God’s authority. He had boldly ventured into sin by claiming the right to independence from God. The cunning angel lured many mighty angels into accepting his authority and successfully set himself up as their leader.
The deceiver alleged that if God indeed upheld the free will of His creatures, then all created beings should be given a choice to disobey God.
To uphold His righteousness, truthfulness, and credibility, God had to allow Adam and Eve to autonomously decide to heed God’s command or join Satan in his rebellion against God.
Would the first human beings listen to their loving and caring Creator, who had given them the gift of life and a perfect paradise to live in?
Or would they obey Satan, an unknown and deceitful intruder who promised them exceptional knowledge and wisdom if they disobeyed God?
Satan knew that he had only one opportunity to make Adam and Eve fall. And so he got to work, figuring out a way to deceive humanity into disobeying God. He knew that it would be easier to mislead Adam and Eve when they were alone rather than together.
If they were together, they could morally support each other, and it would be much easier to detect the deception of the evil villain.
Satan also realized that he would have a much better chance of success if he attacked Eve instead of Adam as she had not received the instructions of the test directly from God.
God had informed Adam (Genesis 2:16,17) of the test before Eve was created, and it was Adam’s duty to educate Eve. He had to ensure that Eve was acquainted with God’s commands and fully understood and followed them.
Satan tempts Eve and succeeds!
The deceiver was permitted to tempt the human couple only at the tree and nowhere else. Lucifer didn’t turn up in his angelic form nor as an open enemy of God. Instead, he decided to possess a serpent, one of the wisest and most beautiful creatures of the pre-sin world.
He probably wanted to show up in front of Eve as a familiar known face. And so, after possessing the body of the serpent, Satan waited patiently at the tree of knowledge of good and evil, eagerly anticipating the fall of paradise into his hands.
Eve drifted off from her husband’s company on one fateful day and found herself near the forbidden tree. Looking at it, she wondered why God had forbidden eating from its fruit. Suddenly out of nowhere, a sweet melodious voice called out to her.
She noticed a beautiful and enchanting serpent coiled up around the tree who may have been munching the very fruit she was wondering about. We know that the serpent was Satan in disguise as Revelation 12:9 calls him “that old serpent.”
Satan finally had his opportunity and, without wasting any time, got straight to the point and asked Eve if God had forbidden her to eat from every tree of the garden.
Notice the cunning trap that Satan set out through his seemingly harmless question. He started by asking a controversial question knowing that Eve would definitely dispute his claim, thereby engaging with him in a conversation.
The Devil deliberately pretended to be confused and not sure of God’s requirements.
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
Satan wanted to test Eve’s knowledge on the topic so he could find flaws in her understanding. And so, he set about creating a simple yet deadly subterfuge to trap Eve.
Eve engages in a conversation with the lying serpent instead of running away. And to make matters worse, she reveals her poor understanding of God’s instructions!
- She did not know the name of the tree as she carelessly identifies it as the tree in the middle of the garden. She forgets that there are two trees in the middle of the garden, the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God only forbid them from eating from the forbidden tree.
- She didnt even understand the one simple command that God had given. She added to God’s requirement by claiming that they should not even touch it otherwise they would die.
Satan seized on Eve’s error and possibly plucked a fruit and ate it and claimed that he didn’t die. He probably handed a fruit to Eve and alleged that she didn’t die after touching it, so by eating from it, “ye shall not surely die.”
Satan successfully sowed seeds of doubt and rebellion in Eve’s mind. Eve wondered if what the devil was saying was true. After all, neither she nor the serpent died on touching the fruit.
Eve probably thought the snake had gained his wisdom from eating the fruit from the tree and reasoned in her mind why God would keep something so desirable away from them.
Satan knew that Eve was interested and curious about the tree and its forbidden knowledge; otherwise, she would not have come searching for this tree. Thus he pushed the lie that this tree had secret knowledge that would make one equal with God.
The deadly foe used charm and sophistry to fool Eve into believing that God was lying to her and that He wanted to withhold “secret knowledge” that only He possessed.
Using his power of reason, the Devil manipulated Eve’s mind and made her doubt God’s goodness and integrity. But if she would eat from this fruit, she could gain the same all-knowing powers of God and become another god.
The enemy of God propagated the same lies through which he had successfully convinced the angels to rebel against God. From Genesis 3:6, it is clear that Eve trusted Satan over her Creator.
Without countering Satan’s arguments or showing her loyalty to God, Eve blindly accepted the Devil’s word and believed that it was “a tree to be desired to make one wise.” So she ate from the tree and now became Satan’s instrument to tempt and lure Adam into sin.
Adam listened to his wife and also wilfully ate from the fruit in direct rebellion against God. He probably thought that the serpent was right; after all, Eve didn’t die after eating the fruit.
The foolish couple fell for Satan’s claim that they were naturally immortal and hence couldn’t die. Satan also convinced them to believe God lied because God didn’t want them to gain all His wisdom and knowledge, thereby becoming equal to God.
Sin leads to guilt, shame and separation from God
After eating the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve gained knowledge but not of the kind they were expecting.
They didn’t acquire Godly capabilities as they had been promised by Satan but rather a knowledge of their own depravity and sinfulness. Satan had successfully recruited them to join him in rebellion against God.
By placing their trust in the Devil, the human pair had tried to circumvent God’s authority. Instead of gaining divine powers as they had hoped, they degraded into shameful guilt and nakedness.
9 And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
Soon after sin, the couple realized that they were naked and felt insecure because they were exposed. They tried to hide their nakedness by covering themselves with fig leaves.
Adam and Eve were privileged to know God personally. They could see God and interact with Him just like we interact with our family and friends. But their sin created a separation – a wall of partition so that they could not face God.
The Lord is holy, righteous, and selfless, but sin is the opposite, evil and selfish. For this reason, sin cannot withstand God’s light and purity. That is why sin and sinful beings always flee from His glory.
God’s glory, which was a calming and blessing presence before the fall, was now a flaming fire of vengeance.
The saddest aspect of the fall of Paradise was that it caused a huge chasm between God and humans. The couple who were once comfortable and blissful in God’s company had become insecure and fearful. It was truly a sad day for God to see his beloved children running away from Him!
The blame game begins
12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
13 And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
Sin creates pride and selfishness in the sinner’s heart. A sinful person always lays the blame for their sin on someone else. When God asked Adam why he ate the fruit, he blamed Eve, and she, in turn, accused the snake.
Instead of humbling themselves and asking God for forgiveness, Adam and Eve indirectly blamed God for their disobedience. Their selfish behavior reveals that a change had come in their nature. The previously sinless beings with a pure mind and loving heart had now become evil and sinful.
Adam and Eve had been highly honored by God and were made the King and Queen of Earth. They knew how much God loved them and cared for them. Eternal life was freely available to them if only they had remained loyal.
Despite being warned not to give in to temptation, our first parents fell for Satan’s lies. By obeying the Devil, they demonstrated their loyalty to him. Selfishness and greed caused their expulsion from the garden of Eden.
They also lost the right to eat from the tree of life since they failed to meet God’s requirements. God will not allow sinful beings to gain immortality. Hence He placed mighty angels to stand guard and prevent the fallen beings from eating the fruit.
23 Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
The Earth was cursed because of Adam’s sin.
Due to sin, humans lost the right to eternal life. The curse of sin now exposed humans to a life of hardship and affliction. Men would have to work hard to obtain food for survival, and women would undergo a painful experience to bear children.
The Earth was also cursed because of the fall of humankind. Thorns would grow on plants, and animals would turn on one another. The air would become chilly, and the climate would become harsh.
17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
Due to the disobedience of Adam and Eve, sin, death, and decay were to now ravage our planet. Humans were now vulnerable to deadly diseases, and danger lurked around every corner.
Ever since sin had taken hold of our planet, paradise was lost to humanity. Fear and uncertainty filled the air. The fate of our world was hanging in the balance.
What would God do? Would He let His beloved creation perish?
Would sin, suffering, and death be permanent and unwelcome intruders on our planet?
Another well researched article and beautifully written. Thank you