I am sure I have said these things many times. Sadly, it may have only been a conversation in my head. Before I go blowing off steam at someone I love, I have to ask myself if that was the case; if so, then I feel the need to reiterate. This was the case just recently, as one of the members of our bible study made a comment describing his puzzlement over God’s approach toward man immediately after the fall.
But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, "Where are you?" (Genesis 3:9 ESV)
Allow me to recap.
“Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” (Genesis 3:1-6 KJV)
Adam was standing right there. He heard everything. He knew what God had told him, and he had no reason whatsoever to doubt God. He had the same relationship with God that Jesus did. It was an intimate communion, like what you see in a good marriage. It was what Enoch had, and if you do your homework, you will find that Enoch walked this earth at the same time as Adam. Prior to the flood, it is not recorded that anyone, other than Able, had that kind of relationship. I guess that Enoch asked Adam what that was like, and Adam told him. Enoch proceeds to live like that, and walks off the earth.
What is the point of my rambling?
Then the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves apron like girdles.
(Genesis 3:7 AMP)
Adam was very much aware of the ramifications of eating the fruit off that tree. Standing there, watching his woman shove something in her mouth that he knows will kill her, what does he think? That we can only imagine. It is a little easier having experienced something rather like that (it is one of the reasons that I started admitting that I am co-dependent.) Death was immediate, but Eve did not drop at his feet, as he expected. He had no idea what just happened on the inside of her. All he understands is that God promised a death and he was going to be alone. (For a man who had the ear of God at a moments notice, it is hard to imagine that Adam would not have had a complete understanding of all things, but maybe you just do not need ask how and why all the time, when your creator withholds nothing from you.)
We do not know how long it took Adam to bite into that fruit, but when he did, the impact was immediate. Death happened immediately from the inside out. We have such struggles with, how could a loving God even consider making a place of eternal torment, in which He would throw people who SIN like Adam did. You realize how horrible and restrictive that is to my life style. God did not make that horrid place for you. It was made for Lucifer/Satan a fallen angel, and all those who follow him. While there is an eternal torment involved, it is really all about separation from God, and that is exactly what Adam experienced the moment that he ate the fruit.
However long he roamed this earth, with his wife, acting as God would, dominating the “wildlife”, he never experienced any of the emotions and pain he was feeling now. What does Adam do? He tries to hide from God. Are you serious? How could you ever hide from God, and what makes you think he does not know where you are. Can you see how much the man has “died” on the inside?
And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, "Where are you?" And he said, "I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself." (Genesis 3:8-10 ESV)
What does God do?
He asks the man where he is as though he does not know, allowing the man to make the move back toward God. I suddenly realized that this is what we see when Jesus sat on the shore cooking fish, and Peter jumped out of the boat to get to him. It was all about showing respect for the man He loved and created. A man who is broken all the way down to his DNA, and will have to be reminded until the day of his redemption that he is loved beyond measure.
Let us go back to that aspect of eternal punishment.
Why on God’s green earth would he make a hell to eternally punish the man he created, and then be willing to put his only Son through an indescribable torture; have him hung openly upon a disgusting cross meant to humiliate, and then put all the sin of the world upon that Son he loves so dearly? Only one reason, if it gives all of mankind the opportunity to restore the man’s broken relationship brought on by the original sin of Adam.
God is still showing respect for the human, YOU. The good is still there crying out for a restoration of your brokenness, a restoration of communion with the one that made you. Once again, hell was not made for you, only for those who follow Satan, their lord. All it takes is for you to choose the life that Jesus offers you. No, you will not be judged for your sins, and by the way, just sitting there in your rocking chair, you are riddled with sin, whether you know it or not. Unfortunately, in the end, it boils down to, what did you do with Jesus.