Dr. Lawrence Butler
The Bridge Church, Pembroke
Previously I presented an introduction to this subject and hope that you have considered it and are prepared to proceed into the depths of the Word of God. The first age to be discussed is the Edenic Period.
It is known as the Dispensation of Innocence. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Gen. 1:26-27).
Therefore, we must understand that Adam and Eve were created in purity and godliness. They were without sin as God is without sin.
Adam was created first and placed in the Garden of Eden. “And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it” (Gen. 2:15).
Adam was given a responsibility to work, even in perfect surroundings.
Man is always better off when engaged in God-ordained enterprises.
Adam was not just hanging around, sitting in the shade of trees and playing with animals. Fruit had to be picked, vegetables needed to be replaced when eaten. Remember, God told Adam that He gave them “herb bearing seed.” The seed had to be planted so more food would grow. Soon God presented Eve to Adam to provide companionship and help. God also told Adam and Eve to “multiply, and replenish the earth” (Gen. 1:28). If children were coming, they had to be fed. Adam and Eve had to learn to grow food for the future families.
In this blissful period of time, there was only one command God gave Adam and Eve. “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it” (Gen. 2:17).
Being obedient to this one simple rule meant that perfect and perpetual obedience would bring happiness and eternal life the young couple.
It was possible that they could have lived forever according to the Genesis 3:22.
The story is a familiar one. The serpent, being “more subtil than any beast of the field” (Gen. 3:1), was selected by Satan for the charming and deceiving of Eve. We do not know what made him more subtle (as we spell it) in that day, for the serpent certainly does not appear so today.
However, Eve was persuaded to break God’s command, and then Adam (not deceived according to Paul in ITim. 2:14) partook with her. This destroyed their innocence before God. It brought death upon mankind, along with all the effects of sin, cursing our bodies, nature and our eternal souls.
So ended the Dispensation of Innocence, and Adam and Eve were driven out of the presence of God in disgrace. Paradise Lost! But God still had a plan.