This is the second part in answering the question, “Are there innocent people that God allows to suffer? in the larger series answering the question, “How can a loving God allow suffering?” Part 1 was posted yesterday.
Adam and Eve were innocent when God created them
Adam was created by God on the sixth day of creation. Moses wrote, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” (Gen. 2:7 NKJ) God breathed into Adam the breath of lives (literally lives is plural in the Hebrew referring to both physical and spiritual life). When God finished creation, He completed His work on the sixth day and said, “It was very good.” Adam was in an innocent, untested state.
Yes, Adam was “untested,” because He had not been evaluated regarding his free will. The question was, “Would the creature choose to be completely dependent upon God’s Word and trust His character or would he choose to be independent?” This was the test that even Satan, an angelic creature, failed (Is. 14:12-14; Ezek. 28:12-15). Consequently, God established parameters for the test. Moses recorded the incident,
15 Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Gen. 2:15-17 NKJ)
God had put Adam in a perfect environment. The temperature was consistently ideal; the humidity was just right for breathing and skin complexion. The food was easily obtained from many different trees and all the animals were tame. Adam worked the Garden, but it was easy work. He only had one test and that was to avoid one tree. Of all the trees in the Garden, Adam merely had to stay away from the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.”
God noted for Adam that he did not have a partner/help-meet, so He first directed Adam to name the animals. While he was resting from all of this creativity, God put him under anesthetics! God took one of his ribs to make a suitable helpmeet. God brought Eve to Adam, who was floored at how perfect this Divinely designed helpmeet was! He said, “”This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” (Gen. 2:23 NKJ) At this point, both were innocent, yet untested.
Adam and Eve failed the test and were no longer innocent
The test came within a short amount of time, and was given by the serpent. Unfortunately, Adam stood by and therefore failed to protect Eve. She also failed the test, having stepped forward and rejected Adam’s authority. Instead of his helpmeet, she became his spokesman. And, instead of protecting his bride, Adam passively stood by in silence.
When the serpent, Satan, tempted Adam and Eve, they failed to depend on the Lord and were no longer innocent. Immediately after their sin they realized they were naked and something was wrong. Then they chose a human solution and put on fig leaves to cover up their differences! God knew immediately that there was something wrong (by His Omniscience) when they were not in Bible class and when they gave erroneous answers that blamed each other.
Adam and Eve were no longer innocent and they suffered consequences. Eve was disciplined with pain through childbirth. Also, when she was controlled by her sin nature, she would desire to control Adam. Adam was forced to work hard for a living by the sweat of his brow and when he was controlled by his sin nature, he would forcefully rule over his wife rather than lead by tenderness. God revealed they were no longer innocent by thrusting them out of the Garden of Eden forcing them to learn how to find a new way to relate to God. In grace, God gave them the promise of salvation (Gen. 3:15). He also taught them the principle of the shedding of blood in His provision of animal skins for them (Gen. 3:21). This was the first discipleship by the Lord teaching Adam and Eve about the shedding of blood.
Parts 3 and 4 will be posted over the next two days.