God lovingly cares for the man he has made. He places him in a beautiful garden and provides for all his needs, including the creation of woman to be his helper and companion. Adam and Eve are given great responsibility, but there is no doubt about who is ultimately in charge. It is God who sets the rules. But his law is not oppressive; it is for their good. He issues just one prohibition, which is designed to protect them: ‘... you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die’ (Genesis 2:17).
Man is created first, then the woman as his helper. Man is the leader in the relationship, but his authority is not abused and the woman does not resist it. They enjoy marital bliss: ‘The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame’ (2:25). They have complete intimacy without fear or guilt.
Adam and Eve both exercise the authority God gave them over the created order but, once again, that authority is not abused. They obey God’s instructions both to ‘work’ the land and to ‘take care of it’ (2:15). Human beings and creation work in harmony, so the earth brings forth its fruit.
It is an idyllic picture of the good life: life as it was meant to be. We see in the garden of Eden a pattern of the kingdom of God. God’s people, Adam and Eve, live in God’s place, the garden of Eden, under God’s rule; as a result, they enjoy God’s blessing. Sadly, it is not long before everything is spoilt by human sin.
Taken from God's Big Picture by Vaughan Roberts. Copyright(c) 2002 by Vaughan Roberts. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, PO Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515
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