God is timeless. He has always existed. He has no beginning. He has no end. This is a difficult concept to understand in a world where everything we know has a beginning and an end. But it seems clear to me that in order for any living thing to exist, there had to be a Creator. I’ve never really understood how the smartest scientists can break the creation of the world down to a whirling molecule in a vast universe and not wonder how the molecule got there to begin with. Or for that matter, how the vast universe got there. Is it really so easy to believe that an empty universe has always existed and yet so difficult to believe that a Creator has? The mighty works of creation are far to intricate and amazing to exist without a Creator with a master plan.
So this almighty Creator, God, created within this expansive universe a tiny but special place called earth. Not only did He make this planet to contain all the elements necessary to sustain life, He also made it beautiful. He made bodies of water that shine in amazing hues of blues and greens and make peaceful, calming sounds as they meet the shores. He made land that rises and falls in mountains and valleys covered in countless colors and textures. He made the sky with the ever-changing tapestry of sun, moon and stars. He sprinkled it with clouds delicately reflecting a sunset or powerfully displaying a spectacular light show. He made an amazing variety of animals to fill the earth, each with its own special purpose. And then He made people. In his image. Capable of emotion and reason. With senses that enable them to enjoy His mighty creation. And He gave to them the earth in all its splendor to rule over and enjoy. He himself enjoyed the work of His hands, reflecting on all of His creation as very good! (Genesis 1:31)
The first humans, Adam and Eve, started life in paradise. A garden planted by God himself. A garden filled with all kinds of trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. (Genesis 2:9) The garden was irrigated by a river flowing through it. Animals of all kinds dwelt alongside them. God himself visited with Adam and Eve there in the garden. (Genesis 3:8) Adam and Eve knew God. They knew His love, His companionship, His provision. They didn’t know there was good and evil. They had no desire to choose their own way. Life was good. They were in need of nothing. Their joy was complete.
Then along comes Satan. No doubt he was jealous of the blessings God had bestowed on Adam and Eve. Of the fellowship they had with God. Of the dominion He had given them over His creation. No doubt he wanted to take over as his desire all along was to be on the throne that God alone occupies. You see, he himself had once lived with God. But he was jealous of God and wanted to raise his throne above the stars of God so God kicked him out of heaven. (Isaiah 14:12-15) Now he sees this man and this woman being loved by God and sustained by God. They were oblivious to the battle going on around them between good and evil. God was trying to protect them from this knowledge. It was more than Satan could bear, so he decided to ruin it all. Surely he could tempt them to be unsatisfied with all that God had given them. To want more just as he had. If he could just put a little seed of doubt in their mind, a little lie that fractured their trust in God. Surely then he could convince them to break the one and only rule God had given them.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ”
“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.””
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
And there it was. Satan’s first deception. Mankind’s first sin. The first opportunity to choose God’s way or the devil’s way. The moment when the blackness of sin had to be banished from the presence of the Holy God. And the moment when God’s redemption plan was set into motion. His eternal plan to cover over the blackness of sin with the blood of His Son and to make a way for us to once again know His love, His companionship, His provision.
The blood of Jesus Christ has always been the only acceptable covering for the blackness of sin. It is only by making Jesus our Lord and Savior that we can have the assurance of God’s presence in our life right now and throughout eternity. So like Adam and Eve, we have a choice. We can listen to Satan’s lies and join him in his eternal resting place – hell. Or we can trust in God’s promise and join him in heaven for eternity. This is the most important decision we will ever have to make.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16