We all know that God created the heavens and the earth in 6 days and everything was good and was perfect (Genesis 1). With this, God appointed day 7 as a day of rest; a day pointing out that everything was perfect. ‘Perfect’ was an understatement, for in the Garden of God’s creation, man was made to rule over everything: over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground (Genesis 1:26). The LORD gave man every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for food (The Garden of Eden was the entire earth!). In short, God created man to reign like Himself – God created male and female in His own image (Genesis 1:27). God looked over all He had made, and He saw that it was very good! (Genesis 1:31)
Now if you read through the story of creation, everything will be perfect and ‘very good’ until you reach Genesis 3, where the serpent tempted Adam and Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit. At this point, you may be wondering: what on earth is the devil (in the form of a walking serpent) doing in a place that is deemed by God as ‘very good’? Well my understanding to this demands that we visit: Isaiah 14:12 and Luke 19:18. Both verses provide the incidence of Lucifer’s banishment from being the most beautiful angel to the lying serpent on earth.
“I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”
–Jesus Christ (Luke 19:18)
Something significant happened between the ending of Genesis 2 and the beginning of Genesis 3. From what began as a perfect world between God and man comes a third variable which will turn the world up-side-down; behold the entry of the cunning serpent. From Genesis 3 onwards, we know that this serpent is the one responsible for tempting Adam and Eve to partake of the forbidden fruit of the knowledge of good and evil.
Here comes the gist of this article: When man (Adam and Eve) were enjoying their stay on earth and their fellowship with God, why then would God throw in the serpent who will eventually tempt Adam and Eve to sin? Was God planning man’s fall all along?
People against Jesus will always put up these questions to justify their rejection of The Christ. This is to establish their claim that God is all powerful but He has other things in mind other than loving us. These haters of Christ always view God as a kid with a magnifying glass out to burn ants for His good pleasure. I have to admit this question once baffled me and left me in an embarrassing stall which usually gives away a stance of ignorance among debaters.
I thank The Lord that in the peak of my fever last night, He led me to open the story of creation once again. This time this over-read verse stood out:
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:
and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea,
and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
The question posed for this article will only hold ground if we assume that God created us on earth to suffer. This verse tears down the whole argument because God in Genesis 1:26 explicitly shows us that He held nothing back in showing us His love. He created us to be like Him. He created us to have dominion above everything. Yes, above everything, even creeping creeps like the serpent. In the whole of creation, none matched the glory God bestowed on man except the woman.
So why did God put man and the devil in the same garden? The answer: So man can reign over the devil. The devil was too proud that he thought he can be like God (Isaiah 14:13-15) and rightfully so, his punishment is to be demoted from the highest ranking angel to the lowest of creeps. Adam and Eve had complete power and dominion over the cunning serpent. If what they want was to banish the serpent from the garden forever, all they had to do was to speak away like their Creator.
Sadly, this did not happen. Instead of sending the serpent away, Adam and Eve allowed their pride and insecurities to be stirred up as they fell into the same sin as the serpent’s: the sin of pride. God strictly and clearly forbade the partaking of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. By having man’s representatives eat of it is equal to committing the sin of the serpent: we wanted to be wise apart from God so we can be gods ourselves (Genesis 3:4).
Just to side track a bit, there are ones who try to appear smart and ask another question: “Why didn’t God just obliterate the devil?” It’s not this article’s objective to answer that, but here’s a simple but logical answer that should suffice for now:
The devil committed the grave sin of wanting to be like God and man committed the very same sin of pride. If God destroyed the devil for sinning against Him, God’s righteousness will demand that He destroys us also. In other words, God’s love for us keeps Him from destroying us and it is His righteousness (fairness) that keeps Him from destroying the devil.
So blaming God for placing the serpent with us is a matter of pride. God was righteous in punishing the rebellious serpent and God was righteous in having us (man) reign over it. We were just too proud to admit that our flesh will always fail and that we can never survive without the love and grace of our Creator.
The question posed for this article was actually a misleading question. It’s designed to make us doubt God’s love for us. The real questions to be asked should be:
1. Did God place the serpent on earth to reign over man?
2. Did God create man to suffer on earth?
3. Did God have to give man free choice?
4. How did man put his free choice into use?
5. Did God intend for the serpent to rule over the earth?
From the questions above, one can honestly see that God did everything out of love and righteousness. Man on the other hand, did everything wrong (but we in turn blame God). What Adam and Eve should have done was send away the serpent and eat of the Tree of Life, which was no one less than Jesus Christ. God’s plan all along was for us to reign in this world and to live forever! So from now on, do not let doubters shake your view of our Righteous Father in Heaven.
I write this article so people in doubt can have a clearer view of what happened in the garden. From here on, we can see that no spirit from heaven or on earth can challenge the righteousness of God. Everything He did was out of love for us. We fall and fail because we and our pride would always want to reign above creation apart from The Creator.
The first Adam fell and with him followed the whole of creation. The effects of man’s submission to the serpent were so devastating that God had a choice to make: to punish the whole creation or to punish a substitute that would at least equal the value of all creation. As the serpent entered creation through God’s righteousness, another Person (through God’s righteousness) Who would represent mankind would soon come in the scene (Genesis 3:15). This time, instead of wreaking havoc and sin in creation, He will bring everything back to the glory God intended and much more.