Welcome to the Jungle, Part 1

A story is told of Cain and Abel racing through desert sands to their father, Adam, and breathlessly describing a beautiful place discovered in their ramblings.  They wanted to know if their family could move there.  Listening thoughtfully, Adam finally replied, “I know about the place you found.  We used to live there until your mother got us kicked out.”  While the attempt at levity deserves scrutiny, it is true that God placed the first couple in a perfect place in which all of their desires could be met and the plan of the Almighty fulfilled.  While we don’t know for sure, it doesn’t seem like they were there very long before innocence and paradise were lost.  There were no children born in the Garden.

Once sin was admitted, Eden evaporated.  The jewel of creation descended into a jungle.  Chaos became the order of the day and of the ages to follow.  In understanding the fall of mankind, we understand the totality of the human condition and the entire created order.  People will often blame God for things rightly laid at the door of sinful humanity.  God did not create people with flaws and place them in a violent world.  These things followed the willfulness of man and continue to thrive by the same means.  Everything became corrupt and a great chasm developed between what is and what ought to be.  Today, we accept as natural and normal things which in the beginning were not so. 

When Adam fell, everything fell physically.  Suddenly, people were subject to death and disease.  The genetic code was affected with congenital defects arising and, consequently, seeming to increase over time.  Decay began at a point but became progressive and continual from there.  Work turned to labor as the ground became inhospitable and unyielding.  Adam toiled in the “sweat of his brow,” and service became slavery.  These physical effects of the fall are at the root of the collapse of humanity and the ecosystem.  Today, good health and order must be maintained, they are not givens.  When we correct the now natural, negative traits of physical reality, we are overcoming the fall.

Here’s the point.  Physical existence as we know it is not as intended.  God placed Adam and Eve in a perfect environment with perfect bodies and capabilities.  When the match made in Eden sinned, they unleased trauma on themselves and all creation in a physical sense.  We must recognize that abnormalities and dysfunction in the tangible are not the fault of God though He is in control of all things.  And we do not accept as correct and proper the corrupt state.  All difficulties are products of sinfulness and should be seen as such though their presence does not necessarily reflect personal culpability.  Our world is fallen and each of us is both a victim and a perpetrator in crimes against the Deity.

The disposition of God is to redeem.  In so keeping, He did not destroy the world spoiled by sin but instigated His plan to justify it in His sight.  In the face of transgressions, mercy entered, and God gave grace to meet the deficits incurred by lawlessness.  So it is that we understand all faults in our physical world as the products of sin.  While we must live with them in our mortality, we do not accept them as the way things must be and accede to helplessness.  Rather, we seek to surmount ignobility and strive for the admirable though completion be unattainable.  Realizing that the physical is less than original design is instructive as we learn the many ways in which the fall has affected ethereal and intangible elements.



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