Paradise Lost! Oh, how we look with longing for a paradise to which we can retreat from the hectic pace of life and from all the problems that life brings us. We want there to be some place in the world where we could actually go and get refreshed, maybe renew our youth--or even hide away and grow old v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y, if at all. Kent Hovind, father of Eric Hovind of Creation Today, talks at length in one of his videos about what the Garden of Eden might have been like. Another couple of sources of inspirational creationist material, which I highly recommend, are Answers in Genesis and Creation Ministries International. In the meantime, let me try and whet your appetite for what could be in your future using some of Dr. Hovind's ideas! (I don't necessarily endorse all of his or anyone else's ideas, by the way.) "My future?" you say. Yes! The world God made was very different from the world we live in, and He plans to restore the earth to its first state when He's finished working out His plan of redemption.
It would be good to read Genesis 1 to 3 at this point, because there is not enough room to print the whole story here. (You can find it in the Scripture references section at the bottom of my 7 C's of Creation article. Then click the back button to return.) Let me just remind you that God made the heavens, earth, and light on the first day, then the atmosphere on day two. This prepared the way for dry land and plants to appear on the third day. On day four God created the sun, moon, planets and stars. Now He was ready to populate the earth with living things--fish and birds on day five, land animals on day six, and then finally (also on day six) Adam and Eve. In Genesis 1:31 to 2:3 we read:
31Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. 1Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. 2And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.
There is so much to be said on the subject of the Sabbath that I will not attempt to do so here. Please visit the Hebrew Roots section of this website for more.
What do you think God considers "very good?" Can you picture something so indescribably beautiful and perfect that even God thinks it is very good?
Have you ever thought how things might have been different back in the days of the Garden of Eden and before Noah's Flood? Ever wondered how the animals behaved? How big they were? If there were any foods that we don't see today? If there were different sights and sounds? What it was like without electrical appliances? What it was like to sleep outside and be comfortable anyway? If the people ever got cold (or too hot)? If they ever got rained on? If Eve liked to play with the snakes and fishes as much as the cats and dogs?
"Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him" (1 Corinthians 2:9). But let's use our sanctified imaginations and explore some possibilities, using clues the Bible gives us as to what may have been. The first thing you need to know is that there probably was some kind of a protective barrier between the earth and the sun so that all the harmful x-rays could not get through and cause damage to living things. Some people think this was a water vapour or ice canopy of some kind. It's possible that this protective barrier increased the air pressure and oxygen level on the earth, and this would make breathing and flying easier. People and animals could run for miles and miles without getting tired! Cars weren't needed--and there wasn't gas for them anyway! Birds could fly everywhere. If a person or animal got injured or ill, they would heal faster than they do today. People didn't get wrinkles, so no one would look old!
Animals were not afraid of people because people did not begin to eat animals until after Noah's Flood--they ate only plants. People lived to be over 900 years old! Adam got to be 930 years old, Seth got to be 912, and Noah got to be 950 years old! The oldest man who ever lived was Methuselah, who lived to be 969 years old!! After the flood, people and animals started dying earlier and today hardly anyone lives to be 100 years old.People didn't steal the cow's milk or the chicken's eggs. Because they ate only what God intended them to eat (fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds) they were much healthier--they didn't have heart attacks and get cancer and all those horrible diseases we hear about now. (You might want to visit the Health = Wealth section for more on this.) Everything lived longer and got much bigger. Plants got much bigger and produced more and bigger fruit--and I'm sure it tasted much better. Imagine cherry tomatoes or olives the size of baseballs! People got to be over 10 feet tall and dinosaurs got humongous! It's possible that the dinosaurs were just different kinds of lizards that got really big because they didn't die young! Cockroaches got to be 18 inches long, grasshoppers got to be 2 feet long, dragonflies' wings got to be 50 inches wide, beavers got to be 8 feet long, rhinoceroses got to be 18 feet high. Fish and birds got a whole lot bigger too. Imagine a bird 13 feet tall! The Bible tells us "There were giants in the earth in those days."
I believe that before the Flood there was only one continent, there was a whole lot less water on the earth--and it was fresh water, not salt water like there is in the oceans now! There are several articles about this on the website. More land, less water, and that protective barrier I mentioned earlier would mean the weather would be nice all the time, everywhere. There were seasons, but the seasons were not extreme like they are now. There were huge trees growing at the north and south poles and everywhere else, and people could live everywhere on the earth because it wasn't full of ice and mountains and deserts and tundra. There was plenty of land and food for all the animals and people--so there was no famine or fighting.
When we think of the Garden of Eden, we think of the good stuff--and we don't know the half of it! But something bad happened there, too. Satan came along and tempted Adam and Eve, and they gave in to his sly words. They exercised their freedom of choice to make a terrible choice--they did the only thing that God had told them not to do. They ate the fruit of one particular tree, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Was this a fancy, special do-not-touch kind of tree? No, I don't think so. What made it the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was that it was God's means of testing Adam and Eve to see if they would believe and obey Him. When they chose to believe and obey Satan's lie instead, they learned about evil and how very different it was from good. What an awful lesson! How much better it would have been to simply go on believing and obeying God. If they had done so, He would have gone on eternally providing abundantly for them as dearly loved children in a perfect universe. Instead, they chose to find out what it was that they didn't know and ended up being kicked out of Paradise! They began to die. They had to work hard for a living. Oh, if they had only been content to trust the God who had made such a beautiful creation for them and turned a deaf ear to that sneaky, lying serpent. (You can explore some related issues in the Hebrew Roots section.)
What other wonderful gifts did they lose? It's possible that there were more colours, more smells, more tastes, more sounds in the world when God first made it! Wow! Can you imagine being able to see music or taste yellow? Maybe such things are still here, but we just cannot see them! Well, there is coming a time when God is going to remake the world and restore it to the way He made it. If you trust the Messiah Yeshua (see Hebrew Roots principles) to be your Saviour from the sin that Adam and Eve brought into the world when they lived in the Garden of Eden--and obey Him--you will get to experience this new/old world yourself. It will be so much better than now! I am so looking forward to that. How about you?
If you are using this for a lesson, you might like to use Genesis 1:31 or 1 Corinthians 2:9 as a memory verse, sing a song like "The B-I-B-L-E", and offer a snack of vegetables and fruits like those that might have been found in the Garden of Eden. (Note: you can jump to the links to read those references, and then click the "back to Activities" link to return.) When I taught this lesson to my class, I gave the children blue, green, and brown play clay with which to form a "garden" in a paper plate, and then plastic trees and animals to arrange therein.
Did Adam have a pet dino? Probably, and I'm sure he wasn't afraid of them! I used to be afraid of dinosaurs, but not anymore!
31And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
9But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
Connie Lacelle, for the Connie's Comments column of the Northern Good News Journal, September 2003.
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