“Father, what was life like for the first man and woman?”
“That is a good question, my child. In a word, life was good. There is a word in the ancient language that has been used to describe life for the first man and woman – shalom. It means pure goodness, wholeness, completeness. It is quite difficult to explain, but they felt at home – safe, secure, content, happy, at peace with each other, themselves, and their world. Words like bliss, euphoria, ecstasy, and nirvana are feeble attempts to describe the perfectness of life for them.
“Imagine, my child, that you have come to the end of a long and full life. Taking all the good memories you ever had, you gather them together, and compress them down into one singular moment. All of those wonderful experiences and feelings have now been joined together, and you are reliving them as one incredible, indescribable moment. Imagine how amazing that moment would be. Imagine how wonderful you would feel for that second.
“Now imagine you had the ability to extend that second and turn it into an hour, a day, weeks, months, and then years. Can you begin to imagine a life like that? But even then, it would still only be the smallest hint of a shadow of how good life was for the first man and woman.”
Listen, my child, and I will tell you of the King’s original intentions for mankind.
The home He created for the first man and woman was a sacred garden; a sanctuary for them to enjoy this world He had created for them; a place overflowing with life; a unique place of happiness, safety and peace. All they needed to survive and thrive was here–they had each other, fruits and vegetables were abundant and matured, and most importantly this was a place the Creator King frequented often. On more than one occasion, the King came and walked with them and told them of His intentions for them.
“My children when I created you, I put My image inside you. You are My image-bearers in this world. As I govern and rule all that is, both the seen and the unseen, so I have placed you here to rule. You are My governors, and You are to fill this world and rule over every aspect of it: the animals both great and small, the grounds and trees that produce food, even the waters and the skies in their movements.
“There is much for you to discover about yourselves and this world I have created for you. The whole world is for you to enjoy and explore, but this garden is to always be home for you, your children, and your children’s children. So long as you live under my rule, this will be your home, and I will walk with you and your descendants and provide for you and for them.”
The man and woman took the King’s words to heart. The man had given each of the animals a name, and with that name a purpose, and all the animals lived in harmony. The man and woman learned to rule well over the animals. They spoke to the earth and the trees, and food came forth. They spoke to the waters and the skies, and peace reigned over the whole earth.
These days were good. The man and the woman were discovering new things about themselves, and their love for each other grew. They kept no secrets from each other. They held back no feelings or thoughts but shared wholly and with full vulnerability.
They did not wear a stitch of clothing, but it never occurred to them they were naked. They had no sense of shame or fear. Their entire frame of reference for everything was only goodness.
What they did not know was that all was not good. All was not safe. A great evil existed in the cosmos and was coming their way…