God Purposes That Man Enjoy Life in Paradise
“And Jehovah God proceeded to take the man and settle him in the garden of Eden to cultivate it and to take care of it.”—GENESIS 2:15.
1. What was the Creator’s original purpose regarding obedient humans?
IT WAS the Creator’s original purpose, and it still is his purpose, that obedient humans enjoy never-aging life, ever overflowing with youthful vigor, free from all boredom, always having a worthy purpose to fulfill, a life of loving and being loved in a true, unselfish way, perfectly—in a paradise!—Genesis 2:8; compare Luke 23:42, 43.
2. (a) What must have happened when the first man became conscious? (b) When was the first man created, where, and at what time of the year?
2 To recognize that, look back at the newly created Adam when he first received consciousness, when he examined his own body and all that he saw and heard and felt around him, when he realized with a start that he was alive! This occurred some 6,000 years ago, in the year 4,026 before our Common Era, according to the count of time given in the Holy Bible. It occurred in the land area of what is today known as Turkey, or in the southwestern part of what is now called Asia, somewhere in the neighborhood of the Euphrates River and the Tigris River, and thus in the northern half of our earthly globe. The time would be about October 1, since mankind’s most ancient calendars began counting time near that date.
3. (a) In what state did the first man come alive? (b) What did the first man’s name come to be, and what was its significance?
3 The first man came alive fully grown, perfectly formed, perfectly healthy, perfectly moral. The name that is repeatedly given him in the Bible record calls our attention to the substance from which he was formed. His name was ‘A·dhamʹ.a The earth, or soil, from which he was formed was called ‘a·dha·mahʹ. So his name might well be said to mean “Earthling Man.” This came to be the personal name of this first man—Adam. What a sensation it must have been to Adam when he came to life, became a conscious, intelligent person!
4. What strange awakening to life did the first man not have, so he was not a son of what?
4 When this first man, Adam, came to life, awoke to intelligent consciousness, and opened his eyes, he did not find himself lying on a hairy bosom, embraced by the powerful long arms of some female apelike creature, clinging to her and looking up into her eyes and with tender affection calling her Mother. The first man, Adam, had no such strange awakening to life. He felt no fleshly relationship to an ape, not even later on when he first saw one. On the day of his creation, there was nothing to suggest that he was a descendant, a distant son, of an ape or any creature like that. Yet, was the first man, Adam, to remain mystified as to how he came into existence? No.
5. What did Adam definitely know about his parklike garden and about himself?
5 Understandably, he might well have been mystified as to how all the beautiful things at which he looked came into existence. He found himself to be in a parklike garden, a paradise that was not of his own designing, making, and arranging. How did this come about? As a perfectly intelligent, reasoning man, he would want to know. He had had no earlier experience. He knew that he was not a self-made, self-developed man. He had not risen to this state by his own efforts.—Compare Psalm 100:3; 139:14.
6. How would Adam likely react to being alive in a perfect earthly home?
6 The first man, Adam, may at the beginning have been too excited over this original experience of joyously being alive in a perfect earthly home to think about where he came from and why. He could hardly help but make happy outcries. He found words coming out of his mouth. He heard himself speaking in the language of man, making remarks about the lovely things he saw and heard. How good it was to be alive here in this Paradise garden! But as he delightedly filled himself with information from all the sights, sounds, smells, and feel of things, he would be induced to do some thinking. To us, were we placed in his circumstances, there would have been a mystery about the whole thing, a mystery that we could not have solved of ourselves.
No Mystery as to Human Existence
7. Why was Adam not mystified for long about finding himself alive and in a paradise garden?
7 Not for long was the first man, Adam, baffled about the situation in which he found himself alive and alone, with no one else like him visible in the Paradise garden. He heard a voice, someone speaking. The man understood it. But where was the speaker? The man saw no one doing the speaking. The voice came from the invisible, the unseen realm, and it was addressing him. It was the voice of the man’s Maker, his Creator! And the man could answer him in the same kind of speech. He found himself talking with God, the Creator. The man needed no modern scientific radio receiver to hear the divine voice. God conversed with him directly as his creature.
8, 9. (a) What questions could Adam get answered, and what fatherly care and interest were shown to him? (b) What answer did Adam receive from his heavenly Father?
8 Now the man knew that he was not alone, and for this he must have felt better. His mind was full of questions. He could ask them of the invisible One talking to him. Who made him and this garden of pleasure? Why had he been put there, and what was he to do with his life? Was there any purpose in living? Fatherly care and interest were shown to this first man, Adam, for his questions were given an answer that satisfied his inquiring mind. What a pleasure it must have been to his Maker, his Life-Giver, his heavenly Father, to hear the man begin to talk and say his first words! What happiness it gave the heavenly Father to hear his son speaking with him! The natural first question would be, “How did I come to be?” The heavenly Father was pleased to answer this and thus acknowledge that this first man was His son. He was a “son of God.” (Luke 3:38) Jehovah identified himself as the Father of this first man, Adam. From his heavenly Father, here is the essence of the answer that Adam received to his question and that he passed on to his offspring:
9 “And Jehovah God proceeded to form the man out of dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man came to be a living soul. Further, Jehovah God planted a garden in Eden, toward the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. Thus Jehovah God made to grow out of the ground every tree desirable to one’s sight and good for food and also the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and bad. Now there was a river issuing out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it began to be parted and it became, as it were, four heads.”—Genesis 2:7-10.b
10, 11. (a) What facts did Adam clearly learn, but what other questions did he need to get answered? (b) What answers did the heavenly Father give Adam?
10 Adam’s bright, fresh mind eagerly drank in this satisfying information. Now he knew that he did not come from that invisible realm from which his Maker and Former was speaking. Rather, he was formed from the earth on which he was living and so was earthy. His Life-Giver and Father was Jehovah God. He was “a living soul.” Having received his life from Jehovah God, he was a “son of God.” The trees about him in the garden of Eden produced fruits that were good for food, for him to eat and keep alive as a living soul. And yet, why must he keep alive, and why was he put on earth, in this garden of Eden? He was a fully formed man of intelligence and with physical abilities, and he deserved to know. How, otherwise, could he fulfill his purpose in life and thus please his Maker and Father by doing the divine will? The answers to these proper questions were given in the following information:
11 “And Jehovah God proceeded to take the man and settle him in the garden of Eden to cultivate it and to take care of it. And Jehovah God also laid this command upon the man: ‘From every tree of the garden you may eat to satisfaction. But as for the tree of the knowledge of good and bad you must not eat from it, for in the day you eat from it you will positively die.’”—Genesis 2:15-17.
12. For what must Adam have thanked his Creator, and how could the man thus glorify God?
12 Adam must have thanked his Creator for being given something to keep him usefully occupied in this beautiful garden of Eden. Now he knew the will of his Creator, and he could do something on earth for Him. He now had a responsibility resting upon him, that of cultivating the garden of Eden and taking care of it, but that would be a pleasant thing to do. By doing this, he could keep the garden of Eden looking in such a way as to bring glory and praise to its Maker, Jehovah God. Whenever Adam got hungry from working, he could eat to satisfaction from trees of the garden. In this way he could renew his strength and keep up his life of happiness indefinitely—endlessly.—Compare Ecclesiastes 3:10-13.
Prospect of Everlasting Life
13. What prospect did the first man have, and why so?
13 Endlessly? What an almost unbelievable thought this must have been to the perfect man! But why not? His Creator had no idea or purpose of destroying this masterfully designed garden of Eden. Why should he destroy his own work, when it was so good and expressive of his artistic creativity? Logically, he would not purpose to do so. (Isaiah 45:18) And since this matchless garden was to remain under cultivation, it would need a cultivator and caretaker like the perfect man, Adam. And if caretaker man never ate the fruit of the forbidden “tree of the knowledge of good and bad,” he would never die. The perfect man could live forever!
14. How could Adam have everlasting life in Paradise?
14 Everlasting life in the Paradise garden of Eden was set before Adam! It could be eternally enjoyed, provided that he stayed perfectly obedient to his Creator, never eating fruit that was forbidden by the Creator of man. It was His desire that the perfect man remain obedient and keep living everlastingly. The forbidding of the fruit of “the tree of the knowledge of good and bad” was nothing death-dealing. It was merely a test of man’s perfect obedience to his Father. It provided an opportunity for the man to prove his love for God, his Creator.
15. Why could Adam look forward to a bright future, with good at the hands of his Creator?
15 With the heart satisfaction that he was not just an unintended accident but had a heavenly Father, with his mind enlightened with an understanding of his purpose in life, with eternal life in Paradise in view, the perfect man looked ahead into the bright future. He ate of the trees that were good for food, avoiding “the tree of the knowledge of good and bad.” He wanted to know good at the hands of his Creator. Work, not of a ruinous kind, but of cultivating the garden of Eden was good, and the perfect man worked.
No Obligation Felt to Explain Matters
16-18. What so-called mysteries did Adam not feel obligated to solve, and why?
16 The daylight declined as the great luminary of the day, which he could discern in its movement across the sky, set. Darkness fell, night, and the moon became discernible to him. It did not fill him with a sense of fear; it was the lesser luminary that dominated the night. (Genesis 1:14-18) Likely, fireflies flew about the garden, their cold light flashing on and off like little lamps.
17 As night fell and darkness swept over him, he felt the need to sleep like the animals about him. On awakening he began to feel hungry, and he ate with good appetite from the permitted fruit trees, to have what might be called a breakfast.
18 Renewed in strength and well refreshed by the night’s rest, he turned his attention to the day’s work. As he observed all the greenery about him, he did not feel that he must dig into the mystery of what people thousands of years later would call photosynthesis, this enigmatic operation by which the green coloring matter of plants, their chlorophyll, harnesses the energy of the sunlight to produce foodstuffs for man and animal to eat, at the same time taking in the carbon dioxide that man and animal exhale and giving off oxygen for them to breathe. A human might call it a mystery, but there was no need for Adam to solve it. It was a miracle of man’s Creator. He understood it and made it work for the benefit of creature life on earth. Hence, it was sufficient for the first man’s perfect intelligence that God, the Creator, made things grow, and man’s God-given work was to care for these forms of plant life growing in the garden of Eden.—See Genesis 1:12.
Alone—But Not Lacking in Joy
19. Though realizing that he was alone, without anyone else like him on earth, what did Adam not do?
19 Man’s education at the hands of his heavenly Father was not over. Man took care of the garden of Eden without anyone else like him on earth to join him or help him. As far as his kind, the human kind, was concerned, he was alone. He did not go on a search to find someone like him with whom to have earthly company. He did not ask God, his heavenly Father, to give him a brother or a sister. His aloneness as a man did not drive him finally mad and take the joy out of living and working. He had companionship with God.—Compare Psalm 27:4.
20. (a) What was the height of Adam’s joy and pleasure? (b) Why would continuing in this way of life have been no killing hardship on Adam? (c) What will the next article discuss?
20 Adam knew that he and his work were under the inspection of his heavenly Father. The height of his pleasure was in pleasing his God and Creator, whose wonderfulness was revealed by all the beautiful works of creation all around the man. (Compare Revelation 15:3.) To continue in this way of life would have been no killing hardship or boring chore for this perfectly balanced man who could converse with his God. And God had set before Adam interesting work, fascinating work, that would bring him great satisfaction and pleasure. The next article will tell more about the Paradise blessings and prospects that Adam enjoyed at the hands of his loving Creator.
b The prophet Moses, who recorded the information in the book of Genesis in the 16th century before our Common Era, added the following information about this Edenic river, according to the knowledge of his day:
“The first one’s name is Pishon; it is the one encircling the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good. There also are the bdellium gum and the onyx stone. And the name of the second river is Gihon; it is the one encircling the entire land of Cush. And the name of the third river is Hiddekel; it is the one going to the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.”—Genesis 2:11-14.
What Are Your Answers?
◻ Why was Adam not for long mystified about his existence?
◻ What work did God give Adam, and how must he have responded?
◻ What prospect did the perfect man enjoy, and why?
◻ Why did Adam not make it his life’s work to solve mysteries?
◻ Why did Adam’s being alone as a man not take the joy out of living
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