What Was Life Like In the Garden of Eden Before Sin?

by Robert Driskell on August 7, 2012 · Print Print · Email Email

Most of us are painfully aware of how much crime, violence, sin, and deprivation exists in our world today.  If you are ever in doubt about that fact, just take a look at the evening news.  The Christian sees this as the effect of sin in our world.  We know that this is a result of the fall of man.  The situation persists because too many people love, “…the darkness rather than the light…”  (John 3:19).  However, there was a time when the world was sinless.  What was life like before the Fall, before Adam and Eve disobeyed God and brought sin into the world?  Let us attempt to create a scenario of this pre-Fall existence, using the words of Scripture and a bit of reverent imagination.

Eden was Paradise

What Was Garden of Eden Like Before SinThe Garden of Eden would have been a climatic paradise that apparently needed no rain because it was watered by a mist coming up from the ground (Genesis 2:6).  There would be no storms or harmful natural occurrences.  Everything about God’s creation would have been perfect; after all, He had pronounced it “very good” at the end of day six (Genesis 1:31).  What God says is ‘very good’ cannot have any flaws whatsoever.  Therefore, the world in which Adam and Eve lived would have been the perfect temperature, the perfect humidity, without pests or diseases, and without anything that would detract from their enjoyment of knowing God in a perfect, undiluted way.  Surely, this is what is meant by the word ‘paradise’.

There was no Shame or Guilt in the Pre-Fall world

Adam and Eve lived a life of blissful innocence.  They had never sinned; therefore, they had no guilt or shame.  This was life as God intended it to be.  No mortal since has had such a clear heart and conscience.  This is a model to be emulated and a preview of what awaits the Christian in the future.  Jesus Christ is the only person who ever lived, after the Fall, who was sinless.  Everyone else experiences the shame and guilt of being unclean before a holy God.  The only way this shame and guilt can be dealt with is by trusting in the good news that Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sin.  He died on a cross so that we might be forgiven of the sin that separates us from God and results in this shame and guilt.

Perfect Relationships

Adam and Eve enjoyed a relationship with God, and with each other, that was unhindered by the disruptive power of sin.  The Bible even indicates that God may have taken on a physical form in order to walk with Adam and Eve in the garden (Genesis 3:8).  What an amazing thing to be able to do.  Adam and Eve were the only two people on earth…and they were privileged in a way that no one since has been.  They met and communed regularly with the Creator of the universe.  This is not out of the question when we remember that there was no sin present to prevent this kind of relationship.  The fellowship they enjoyed with God was unhindered by anything (Genesis 2:25).

The First Marriage

Genesis 2:24 gives us the first outline for marriage, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”  This tells us several things.  First, it tells us that marriage, the way God intended it, should bring the man and the woman back into that ‘oneness’ in which He originally created them (Genesis 1:27).  A marriage that is dedicated to God, by a husband and a wife determined to do God’s will, will surely succeed.

Verse 24 also tells us that, no matter how a worldly, ungodly culture views sex, God’s original intention was for it to be a beautiful thing between a husband and a wife.  There is no other legitimate expression of our sexuality.  This verse tells us how the Creator meant sex to be.  It is to be between a husband and a wife…period.

Both Man and Animals ate Plants for Food (Genesis 1:29-30)

The biblical record tells us that both man and animals ate plants, not each other, before the Fall.  This would have allowed them to have a much less violent relationship than we see today.  It appears that it was not until after the flood that God allowed man to begin to hunt and eat animals (Genesis 9:1-3).  Initially, Adam and Eve lived among the animal kingdom in a perfect peace.  God had given them, “… dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:28), indicating that man was to exercise God’s will over creation.

The First Couple’s Daily Routine

Adam was to tend the garden (Genesis 2:15) and Eve was to be his helpmate (Genesis 2:18-19).  This indicates that work was to be a part of God’s perfect creation.  However, since the ground had not yet been cursed, this work would be a joy rather than a tedious chore.

Genesis 2:1-2 tells us that God rested on the seventh day and blessed it and made it holy.  In Exodus 23:12, included in the passages where God was instructing His people on how He wanted them to live, God formally declared the Sabbath as a day of rest.  He said that work should be done during the other six days of the week, but the seventh day was to be a day of rest.

It is interesting to note that, “… the lunar orbit around the earth establishes measurements for a month.  The orbit of the earth around the sun is how we measure a year.  We also measure a day by the earth’s rotation in relationship to the sun.  One rotation equals one day.  There is nothing that defines for us a seven-day week except the Genesis 1 account.  This suggests that the Genesis account is the foundation of all other cultures’ understanding of a seven-day week.  This strongly suggests it to be the original creation account” (Kern, 85).  Where did the idea of a seven-day week originate if not the Bible?  Most, if not all, civilizations mark time by this convention.

Back to Eden

For those who trust Jesus Christ as their Savior, the Bible indicates that a new pre-Fall Eden awaits us.  When one becomes a follower of Jesus, the heart and conscience are cleansed and become as those of the first man and woman.  The ‘new heaven and new earth’ spoken of in the book of Revelation (21:1) is thought by many to be a re-creation of the universe, a future place for those who have put their faith in Jesus.  It will be a new Eden; one without the presence or the problem of sin.  Whether one holds to this interpretation of Revelation 21:1 or not, it is a biblical fact that when one places his or her faith in Jesus Christ, one immediately becomes, “…a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (II Corinthians 5:17).

God has provided a way to be free from the guilt and shame that accompany sin.  God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on a cross to pay the penalty for our sins.  All we have to do is to trust Him with our lives, honoring and serving Him the way He meant for us to do.  In that way, we will be forgiven of our sins, a new Eden will blossom in our hearts, and we will once again have the kind of relationship with God that He meant for us to have, “In the beginning…”

Resources:

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version

“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

Kern, Dr. Steve.  No Other Gods.  Amerisearch Inc., 2007.

YouTube video “Perfect People” by Natalie Grant



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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Brenda August 7, 2012 at 8:14 am

Thank you for your scriptures i enjoy them dearlu, i wish i eas do pure as adam an eve how wonderful it must have been in th begining, i love God so much, but yet i know we ate all sinners still, it bothers me that we are if everyone could just be perfect with out guilt althow i ask for fogiveness of my personal sins ‘i fill guilt that i should know beter.. thank you so much for being there for use

Reply

Robert August 7, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Brenda,

Thank you for reading and thank you for your nice comments. I am honored that God would use me, with all my faults and shortcomings, to reach others. Let me encourage you with some good news. You express, in your comment, that you feel you are still guilty and it bothers you that you are not perfect. However, I have good news for you.

Read this verse from the Bible: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9 ESV). Brenda, this verse promises us that, if we will acknowledge and confess our sins, God will forgive us of them. But, not only that, this verse says that we will be cleansed from all unrighteousness. Simply put, if we honestly confess and repent of our sins, God will cleanse us COMPLETELY. Even if we don’t feel we are clean, we still are. We must believe God on this matter.

We are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), but Jesus died on a cross so that we can be forgiven of our sins. As far as the way you feel, we must trust God’s word that we are forgiven and not depend on the way we feel. Sometimes we simply don’t feel saved, but we still are.

Brenda, trust God…stay close to Him…confess your sins and seek to glorify God…trust His promises. He is bigger than any problem you, or I, may have. God bless you.

Yours in Christ,
Robert

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Michael August 7, 2012 at 11:00 am

Great Article Robert. I for one Can Not wait to see Eden.

Reply

Robert August 7, 2012 at 11:13 am

Thank you Michael,
The beauty of Eden stands as a pointed reminder of the goodness of God, in that He created such a beautiful place in which we were to live. And I am convinced that those who live for Him now will eventually experience a life that is at least as wonderful, if not more wonderful, than Adam and Eve enjoyed. God bless you.
Yours in Christ,
Robert

Reply

Pepper August 7, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Very informative and educational. I can’t wait to get to paradise, either!

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Robert August 7, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Pepper,
Thank you for reading and commenting. How wonderful to be in the presence of God and freed from the effects of sin. God bless you.
Yours in Christ,
Robert

Reply

Josh August 7, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Robert,

I was looking forward to reading this one and you did a wonderful job with it. I can’t wait for that day when we get to experience it firsthand. I really liked your thought process on the 7 day week and how it is good evidence that the Bible was the original creation story.

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Robert August 7, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Thank you Josh,
The research for this article was fascinating. I loved it. I can’t take credit for the 7-day work week idea, though. A couple of the books I researched mentioned it, although I had never thought about it that way either. You’re right, it is a strong indicator that the biblical account is the real account. God bless you.
Yours in Christ,
Robert

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Jack Wellman August 7, 2012 at 4:19 pm

I continue to stand (well, actually sitting right now) amazed at your breadth of knowledge of the Bible and this reminds me that heaven will be so much more because of the presence of God Himself, and to me, that is paradise. I love how the “fall” can be set right again, thanks to our Creator God and that “fall” that He took for our sakes. Well done again Robert.

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Derek Hill August 7, 2012 at 7:53 pm

I couldn’t agree more with you Jack. Being in the presence of God will be paradise and I am excited for that day when He is with all of us at the end. No more sin, pain or suffering will we have to experience again! Robert, you did great as always. Your description of Eden really drew me in to it. The oneness of Adam and Eve with no guilt or shame was inspiring for what we will all experience in the new garden. This was very insightful.

In His Name Always,
Derek

Reply

Robert Driskell August 7, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Jack and Derek,
Thank you for your encouragement. It means a lot to me.
God is so good. It was actually quite an experience writing this article. Throughout the writing process for this article I could really feel the presence of God. I didn’t know what I was going to write when I first started putting this together. I checked out some books on the subject, but I only found one thing out of any other book to include. Not that no other book had any insights, but every time I would pick one up and start looking through it, God would bring a Bible verse to mind that fit the situation better. It was really a very moving time as I was writing. I felt very close to God. I am just grateful and humbled that He would use me in His service this way. He is a wonderful loving God and I pray this article will bring Him glory.
Yours in Christ,
Robert

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Mabel August 9, 2012 at 1:45 am

I love this article….can’t wait to meet you all in paradise, worship our Lord and Savior and for ever live in His Delight!!! :)

Reply

Robert Driskell August 9, 2012 at 9:06 am

Thank you for the compliment Mabel. God is so good and isn’t is wonderful that we can experience a taste of eternity in our hearts right now? God bless you.
Yours in Christ,
Robert

Reply

Rossa August 13, 2012 at 3:25 am

A great article it is, to God be the glory he who promised us a wodnderful place where there will be no evil or nagetive things. I would like to thank you Robert for the article it reminds us how important we are to God. God bless.

Reply

Saul February 23, 2013 at 7:47 am

Robert

i am humbled by your article however i manage to pick up something back to basic man and animals ate only vegetation this gives me a mind set that the original diet for his choosen people is a meat free people.

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Robert February 24, 2013 at 11:10 am

Saul,
Apparently man was originally made to be vegetarians. However, we are free to eat meat now as is clear from Genesis 9 and the event in Acts involving Peter, where God told Peter in a vision that it was okay to eat whatever he wanted. Maybe that’s why we always seem to need more fiber in our diets these days. (that was a joke). God bless you.
Yours in Christ,
Robert

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