What Would Adam & Eve Say?

The first specific task the Lord gave Adam was to name the animals. I was a Zoology major at the U of MD and that is a very nice endorsement of my field of study.
It was more than simply cataloging. It was an object lesson. Animals have mates. None was suitable for man. The stage is perfectly set for God to introduce Eve. When he does, Adam displays an awareness of biology – “She is like me!” – and chemistry – “Wow, she is gorgeous!”
Gen 1:15 says “Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. Those two italicized words are very strong. This is not simply smelling the roses. They mean discover, understand, grow, mine, design, build, create, manage, utilize, and tame. You may grow, harvest, cook and eat anything you want (except from one tree).
This instruction sets the stage for almost unlimited exploration and enterprise. I love Prov 25:2, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.”
Human history is full of examples of mankind searching out a matter and making something of it. We are especially familiar with the explosion of knowledge, science, industry and technology in the last two centuries. Mankind has made it to the Poles, the depths of the ocean and to the moon.
This is gloriously illustrated by the computer or mobile device you are using to read these words. When Alan Turing published his 1936 paper “On Computable Numbers”, he had invented computer science. Within ten years prototype computers were being developed. By the third decade the integrated circuit was produced. Who knew silicon would be put to such use?
Today over one third of the world’s population owns a smartphone. The lion’s share of the stock market gains in the last ten years has come from tech stocks. Enormous capability and wealth created out of sand, metal and math! All this is implicit in Adam’s charge.
Sadly, Adam and Eve did eat from the one tree. The knowledge of evil was more than they could withstand and their nature and all nature was corrupted. The original design and mandate still stand, but we are now subject to sinful behavior, pain, disease, and weeds. Work continues, but it is an uphill battle. Adam could tell us about sweat and toil, about conflict, even manslaughter within his own family.
Adam and Eve did succeed in reproducing – enough to populate the earth. Mankind has gone on to cultivate and keep the earth in profound and diverse ways - the record of human deeds has already reached epic dimensions. Not, however, without deep tragedy. The record also includes unrelenting conflict, deep loss and sorrow, and the enduring struggle for subsistence.
In light of our condition, it is a mark of God’s compassion that he kept us from the tree of life. Who wants to struggle forever with an imperfect nature, both inside and out? Fortunately, there is the hope in the next world of a restored and enduring life.
What are our take-aways from Adam and Eve?

  • There is a vast array of careers and professions inherent in Adam’s charge.
  • You may not be an explorer or innovator, but there is still a lot of room to make a contribution.
  • Don’t just stand there – do something!
  • Start with what you have been given.
  • It will not come easily for any of us. Learn, strive, and persist.
  • We know enough good and evil to go either way. God is good. Set your sights on that.

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