Take a look at the world surrounding us. Is it as beautiful as God created it? No, nature often seems to be wild. Why does this happen, though? Let’s take a look at the events one by one.
God chose a very beautiful piece of land, a huge garden in the East, surrounded by four big rivers, in the region of Mesopotamia. He put the first people, Adam and Eve, to live there, in Paradise, in the garden of Eden. The scientists who have conducted research on this, located the traces of early human life, the first tribes and the first civilizations in Mesopotamia, in SW Asia. That is to say, as the Holy Bible informs us, where paradise was placed.
Adam and Eve, living inside the garden of EDEN, where innocent, like young children, and they were full of HAPPINESS. They had everything they wished for. There were all kinds of trees and fruits in this garden. However, this was not what filled them with joy. Do you know what made their happiness bloom? LOVE: they loved God very much and they could feel how much He loved them as well! They could meet Him every day and talk to Him, like children to their father. They enjoyed this MEETING very much!
God showed His love to humans in many ways – HE gave them immortal souls, made them the sovereigns of earth, blessed them with an abundance of goods and the pleasure of meeting Him. People, however, did not have any means of showing their love to Him. That’s why, God gave to Adam and Eve a COMMANDMENT: “You are allowed to eat from every tree in paradise, but not from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, because as soon as you do, you will die”. In this way, by TRUSTING God and OBEYING His commandment, Adam and Eve could show Him their love and that they really wanted to stay with Him forever. The same goes for us as well. Every time we follow God’s commandments, we show Him our love.
When my love for God is deep,
His commandments I do keep!
Adam and Eve were really happy inside the garden. Someone, though, envied this HAPPINESS and wanted to destroy it. This “someone” is the enemy of every good thing, the devil, whose only wish is to separate people from God. One day, he approached Eve, taking the form of a serpent and talked to her in a human voice.
- Why does God forbid you to eat fruits from all the trees in the paradise?
- He does not forbid us to do that, replied Eve, we may eat the fruit from all of the trees in here. The only tree that He told us to neither touch nor eat from is the tree in the middle of the garden; because if we do, we will die.
- Oh no, you will not die, said the serpent. God knows that if you eat from this tree, your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods. You will know what is good and what is evil.
Eve, then, looked at the tree and for the first time it appeared quite beautiful to her and its fruits seemed very attractive. She stretched her arm and -alas!- she cut a fruit, ate it and gave it to Adam as well. What a tragic moment! They believed devil’s words, the enemy of God, the enemy of every good thing, and ignored God’s commandment, the one who showed them so much love!
From that moment on, they were no longer innocent. They started feeling shame and fear. Their soul was filled with darkness. They lost their happiness. Deep sorrow dominated their hearts since the first sin on earth was committed. Do you know what sin is?
Disobedience to God’s commandments is sin
and it brings along sadness and grief.
As the evening, the time when God would come to visit them, got closer and closer, Adam and Eve grew even more afraid. Ashamed of themselves, they found a place to hide. Sin had blacked out their minds so much, that they thought they could hide from the all-knowing God. In a short while, they heard His voice:
- Adam, where are you?
- I heard your steps as you were approaching and I hid myself, because I am naked, was Adam’s timid reply.
- Who told you that you are naked? asked God. Did you eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?
God asked him that, not because He did not know, of course -since He knows everything-, but because He wanted to help Adam admit his mistake, his sin. However, Adam didn’t say: “Yes, my Lord, I did not follow what You asked, I did not do Your will, I am sorry”, instead, he started giving excuses: “The woman You gave me as a companion, gave me to eat.”.
God then, turned to Eve:
-Eve, why did you do that?
-The serpent deceived me, was her response.
Hearing all this, God got very sad, because Adam and Eve, who were so happy with Him, should separate from Him. They were cast out from Paradise. Away from God, they could no longer be immortal or happy as they were before. What awaited them was sorrow, pain and death. God told Eve that she would give birth to her children in pain, and Adam that he would have to work hard to earn his living.
Sin did in fact fill the world with MISERY. From that moment onwards, people got tired, felt pain, often shed TEARS. ACCIDENTS, ILLNESSES, DEATH, HYPOCRISY, WAR, CRISIS have occupied our world, along with wickedness. All these are misfortunes that appeared after the first sin. Even nature itself became wild. Earthquakes, floods and all sorts of natural disasters started occurring. None of those existed in Paradise before the fall of man.
The gates of Paradise were closed. Forever? No! In that terrible and frightening moment, when there was no hope for Adam, Eve and their descendants, God conceived a plan of love to save them. He could not stand watching His children live in sorrow, even if they disregarded His commandment, so He made a promise to them. He would send Someone to free them from sin and return them to Paradise! This sweet promise that God made is called the first-gospel, which means “the first good news” and it reveals our God’s infinite love.
Did God keep His promise? He most definitely did. He sent His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in our world to save us. He was born from a distant descendant of Eve and Adam, the virgin Mary, the Most Holy Theotokos.
Paradise’s gates: doors shut,
were opened by Christ’s sacrificial love.