Chapter 11 Paradise!
It was the Seventh Day, and the Creator had finished the work He set out to do. Everything He had so meticulously planned He had now completed.
The result…. Paradise!
A beautiful and abounding Paradise!
Flowers were everywhere, blooming in grand profusion. Trees of every variety graced the landscape. The rivers and oceans abounded with an amazing array of fish and marine life. Birds of every imaginable shape and color filled the sky. Domestic animals abounded and wild animals of every kind were enjoying their newfound surroundings.
And two people, Adam and Eve, were surveying all of this with amazement and wonder!
God had completed His painstaking work of making a New World. He had peopled it with a vast variety of living creatures and He stepped back, as it were, to drink in the sight of all He had made. It was an unrelieved picture of boundless delights and joyful colors.
Never had there been a scene of such beauty, such balance, such utter perfection! It was pleasant to the eye, ready to fulfill its God-given destiny!
As the Great Creator looked at it all, including the Man and the Woman, He proclaimed it, “Good!’
In fact, He said, “It is very good!” The Great God of Heaven Himself was fully satisfied.
In this way, the making of the heavens and the earth was finished, along with everything they contained.
On the seventh day, God had finished the work He had been doing, and He rested from all His work of creation.
God set aside the seventh day as His own, because on that day He rested from all the work He had been doing in creating and making all things. (Genesis 2:1-3).
What followed was the most beautiful of all scenes -- God and his newly created Man and Woman enjoying fellowship together. They talked together. They walked together, as though enjoying the serenity of a cool summer evening. Day after day, without fail, the Great God of heaven made Himself known to His new companions and the Man and Woman responded with fervor and enthusiasm.
What sweet, harmonious fellowship they enjoyed! With total freedom and complete abandon, the three of them daily walked and talked together.
“I wonder what they were talking about?” enquired our keen Observer. “I am sure Adam and Eve commented on all the new and wonderful things they were experiencing."
“And they certainly expressed their appreciation for the beauty and availability of everything around them. With true heart-felt thanks, they expressed their gratitude to the Creator Himself for making it all,” he went on.
“They were overwhelmed with the wonder of it all and were saying so.” added our faithful Guide. “How very pleasing that would be to the heart of the One who had so recently made all these beautiful things. Day after day, as they experienced one new thing after another, Adam and Eve joyously expressed their gratitude and their wonder at all they saw and heard and felt.”
“As they did, I imagine they lifted their hands toward heaven,” our thoughtful Observer comments. “as they talked excitedly about one feature after another. And when words could no longer express what they wanted to say, they lifted their hands toward the sky, as though saying, ‘Oh, the wonder of it all! Thank you, Lord! Thank you! THANK YOU!’”
It was a wonderful, heartfelt exchange as they shared together day after day and week after week.
One day Adam was especially thoughtful. “You have asked us to look after all of this in Your behalf, all of this world You have made,” he said, and enquired of the Creator. “Do You have guidelines you want us to follow?”
“Yes, I do! “the Great Creator responded, “There are four things I would like you to keep in mind:
- First, always do what is right and just. Be fair and honest in all your dealings.
- Second, be merciful and kind in your dealings with others.
- Third, maintain a spirit of humility, and at all costs avoid a spirit of pride and self-centeredness.
- Fourth, stay in close fellowship with Me. I will at all times be available to help and support you, as a Shepherd cares for his flock of sheep.”
“In this way, it is My desire that justice and mercy, humility and loyalty be the hallmarks of our new world,” the Creator went on. “And as you teach your children these principles and they teach their children after them, we will see a harmonious world develop, prosperous in every way.”
“I will most gladly follow Your instructions,” the Man responded with fervor. “I promise to do exactly as You have instructed, with all my heart.” Adam spoke with firm commitment.
Those were wonderful, happy days, in a wonderful, beautiful Paradise!
“I wonder how long those blissful days of Paradise continued,” our Observer asks.
“We have no record as to how long those pristine conditions continued,” our Guide explains. “Dark clouds later developed, but you can be sure the original Paradise was maintained long enough for the Creator Himself to revel in the beauties and wonders of all He had made.”
“The information left to us covering the following years is sketchy. But the next worldwide event of significance was the worldwide Flood of Noah’s day.” explains our Guide. “And that seems to have been about 2,000 years later. But God, in giving the history of those days, did not consider it important or necessary to provide a definite time-line. So we just do not know.”
“However, we are not left in the dark,” he goes on to explain “There are other factors, some hints as to the time involved between the Creation and the Flood of Noah’s day, One is the record, including the names of the key men involved, of ten generations between Adam and Noah. People lived longer in those days, so where one generation is considered today about 30 years, perhaps ten generations then would have been about 4,000 years or even longer.
From the Creation Week to Noah’s Flood
The representative men of the years between the Creation and the Flood were:
Adam, Seth, Enos, Canaan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech and Noah. Ten generations.
The record provided in Genesis lists the birth and then the death of these men, with the number of years between. It indicates a period of 1657 years. However, there appear to be some gaps in the written record. If we add a hypothetical 150 years to allow for such gaps, and another 200 years from Creation until the fall of Man, we come to a total of approximately 2000 years for the time from Adam to Noah.
Without being dogmatic on the matter, we simply accept this total of 2000 years as an approximate time-line between Creation and Noah's Flood, taking into consideration all factors stated or inferred in the Scriptures.
Growing Fossil Materials
“Another factor,” our Observer notes, “may have been the fact that God later, at the time of the Flood, converted huge amounts of fossil material into petroleum. This is the only time in all the record where the growth of these plants and trees and fish and animals could have occurred.”
“What an interesting observation,” says the Guide. “Billions and billions of barrels of oil are being pumped from the deep places of the earth where God placed them, and it would have required vast amounts of foliage and decaying bodies. and long periods of time, to grow that quantity of fossil materials.”
“Conditions on the earth would have been ideal for rapid growth,” our insightful Observer notes. “And could even have included provision for not only petroleum, but also for natural gas, coal, and even such things as potash fertilizer, all of which come from fossil materials. And the Creator could very well have lengthened the paradise-like conditions to have provided for these fossil materials, which He could foresee would be welcomed in our modern world.”
“In any case,” our Guide breaks in, “we must remember that we simply do not know the length of that period from Creation to Noah’s Flood. We will just have to leave it in the Creator’s wise hand, and trust him.”
“Agreed,” we all chime in, “And we can agree, too, that it was a few thousand years, and not the millions of years spoken of by those who do not accept the authoritative information given by the Creator Himself.”
Then the Lord God planted a garden area toward the east, in Eden (Place of Delight). There He placed the Man whom He had formed. And out of the ground there, the Lord God caused to grow every kind of tree that is pleasant to the eye and is good for food. In the center of this garden, God also planted the Tree of Life, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. And a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden.
The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the Lord God gave a command to the man, saying, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day you eat of it you shall surely die." (Genesis 2:8-10, 15-17).
Man’s future was bright with glorious, happy prospects. Days flowed into months and months into years. And year after year, that most beautiful of all scenes was enjoyed—God in all His glory and Adam and Eve in all the carefully designed features of their being, communing together and mutually enjoying one another, All the while, a flourishing world of abounding greenery and an amazing array of animals and birds looked on.
The End of an Incredible Journey
“But this is the Seventh Day,” our Observer breaks in. “Today marks the end of our seven-day Journey! What an incredible time we have had together! Let’s take time to look back over what we have seen, and what most impressed us!”
“We have seen the incredible things the Great Creator did in transforming planet earth!” responds our excited Observer. “Beginning with the four foundations He laid—
- Gravity and the natural laws,
- The new Radiant Energy source He created,
- The atom and the way He used it as His building blocks,
- The Life Strand from which He made all living plants and animals and birds and fish and even humans. How wonderful it is to realize how He built on each of these four foundations, to create everything in the world!”
“One thing that that has amazed me,” our Observer goes on. “Is the completely different picture we have seen from the account that has been presented in our schools and textbooks and magazines. There is clearly no room in the real account for things like dinosaurs that lived 125 million years ago, and then became extinct 65 million years ago! The account God has given shows clearly that on Day One He came to a desolate wilderness called Earth, with no living things on it. in total darkness. No dinosaurs, and none of the plants they would have needed for food, could possibly have survived in such conditions!”
“Our problem begins with the first assumptions,” our thoughtful Guide explains. “The first step with many scientists, unfortunately, has been to take God the Creator out of the picture entirely. And when they do, they also rule out the wonders of God’s working! Science itself, we can say, has suffered immeasurably, simply by refusing to acknowledge God. As a result science has forfeited the advantages of His wisdom and the wonders of His working!”
“We should remember,” our faithful Guide reminds us, ‘Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge,’ (Proverbs 1:7). And that to acknowledge God is “the beginning of wisdom.” Without that wisdom, we are headed down the wrong road and tragically miss the wonders of God’s wisdom and working.”
“This lack has given rise to the ‘counterfeit creator’ theory that has sought to replace the real Creation account!” states our keen Observer. “Instead, ‘The Origin of the Species’ has fallen on disastrous times, with thoughtful scientists abandoning it left and right. And now the largest scientific study in history (the Human Genome Project, costing US$3 billion) comes forward with authoritative data that spells the death-knell for this widely adopted theory!”
Uncle Charlie (An Allegory)
Uncle Charlie lived in in a little town in the South, a quiet, comfortable community. From time to time violent twister storms came blowing through and the area was known as “Tornado Alley!”
In his younger days, Uncle Charlie had dedicatd himself to the service of God and to bringing to people the light of the Bible. Along the way, he became engrossed in the study of birds and nature, and became less and less interested in becoming a pastor. In fact, he began wondering about ways to avoid some of the uncomfortable things in the Bible, like standing before God and giving account for one’s life.
“There must be some way of explaining things like birds and animals without an Unseen Creator having made them!. And maybe we could avoid that frightening Judgment Day altogether! We’ll find another explanation for it all!” he thought.
Finally, he struggled and thought, “Maybe we could convince people that the small changes we see in birds and animals might grow into larger changes. and a Creator had nothing to do with it!” he said. “What a wonderful idea,” friends said! So he thought and thought, and wrote and wrote, and put it all down in a book, “How Life Got Started.” It told how things just naturally happened, even if it took a long, long time.
Word came one day of a frightful twister that was headed toward his quiet community. “Not to worry!” was the response. We have everything in readiness; we even have a ”Fraidy Room” in the basement where we can go if a storm approaches. It is well equipped, with flashlights, a good supply of food and water.“This gives me real peace of mind,” Uncle Charlie told his family.
Until one day the TV reports carried the news of an especially violent twister… headed directly for the small town where Uncle Charlie lived! Ominously, it moved closer and closer!
“Now!” shouted the announcer. “Take refuge if you live in the path of this storm!” And Uncle Charlie did, along with his family. Huddled in their small Fraidy Room, they listened in stunned horror as the storm came closer and closer. Their horror turned to numbing fear when the howling winds tore off the roof above them! It sounded like a freight train rumbling through the living room, an eternity of indescribable destruction! And then, all was quiet! Deathly quiet! Just as quickly as it had come, the tornado passed. There was an eerie stillness, a paralysing fear! “What an awful experience,” said Uncle Charlie’s family as they opened the reinforced door of the Fraidy Room. “The roof is gone, the upstairs is in shambles,” they said, “but the well-built lower rooms can be redeemed,” they cried with relief. Finally Uncle Charlie spoke, “I will never be the same!” he said, trying to suppress the unspeakable fear that welled up within him. “I will never be the same!”
And after that nightmare experience, Uncle Charlie was never the same! “I am going to live in the cellar,” he announced, “where at least I will be safe from the sudden twisters that blow through." So Uncle Charlie enlarged his Fraidy Room, and refused to leave it. Weeks turned into months, and months into years, and year after year, Uncle Charlie did not venture out of his expanded Fraidy Room. Except maybe for a bit of shopping, after dark when he felt safer than in the sunlight.
Years later, when cellar-dwelling had become an entrenched way of life, he was asked why he never ventured out of doors, into the sunlight. “It just isn't safe,” was his quick reply. “You can never tell when another storm will suddenly appear!” Quite unexpectedly, many of the local men came to join Uncle Charlie. They had lively discussions, but in the end joined in the feeling that it was not really safe to venture out of doors. It was better to stay safe and sound in a well-built Fraidy Room.
But then, one day Uncle Charlie got sick -- and died, as all men do. And he then was called to appear before the Judge of all the Earth -- as all men must. He pondered what his fate might be. “I really have a pretty safe record,” he said to himself. “I've done a lot of good things for people!”
The Court convened, the Court of the Great White Throne. And the time came for his name to be called.
“Charles Darwin will please rise,” intoned the court reporter. Uncle Charlie rose and stood alone, trembling, his head bowed.
Finally, he mustered courage to look up. And when he did, he froze! One look at the face of the Judge was all he needed. At that moment, he knew! He knew immediately what was coming.
The Judge was the same Man he had rejected and turned aside so often, all those years! And Uncle Charlie uttered not a word! But he turned over and over in his mind the words he had heard so often:
“It is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27)
“If only I had followed the light while I had it!” He said as his voice trailed away. “If only….”
Where Did the Dinosaur Fossils Come From?
“What about the fossils that are presented as proof that dinosaurs lived on the earth long ago?” our Observer enquires.
Our very knowledgeable Guide responds. “Assuming that dinosaurs lived for 2,000 years after Creation, that would have been ample time for more than 25 complete generations and phenomenal growth in their numbers, if they had lived for an average of 80 years. And for the smaller and more short-lived animals, there would be even larger numbers! With over 600 known kinds of dinosaurs, that would have allowed for incredibly huge numbers by the time of Noah’s Flood, when God swept them away in the worldwide Judgment He sent.”
“So there would have been a very valid argument,” our well- read Observer notes, “for all of the dinosaur fossils to have been formed in the volcanic heat and rushing waters of Noah’s Flood! It’s too bad that we got off the track in our thinking!”
The Wonders of What the Creator Did
“But more than anything else, we have seen a wonder- working Creator at work,” says our Guide enthusiastically, “and it leaves a deep impression. We have seen the wonders of what God did on each of those Seven Days. He laid lasting foundations. He made the trees and all the vegetation, and then the fish and the birds and the animals, all for our enjoyment and our sustenance. With what loving care He made all these things—and all with us in mind!”
“Two things have left an especially deep impression with me,” our Guide goes on. “One is the way the Creator first made the living blueprint--the DNA-- for each form of life. He lovingly provided for every aspect of every plant and animal, and even of our human bodies! Second, the marvelous way He provided for future generations and for reproduction through the years. And for the eco-systems to provide for the needs of all His creatures. It presents a truly awesome picture of a truly awesome Creator!”
“Realizing what great and wonderful things He has done,” says our Guide, “we simply fall to our knees before Him. There we express our heartfelt thanks and the earnest worship that we owe Him. We are smitten with remorse, with the realization that we have so long neglected Him and failed to honor Him as we should!”
“After all I have seen and experienced during these Seven Days,” says our Observer with deep emotion, “I will never be the same! This has changed me completely! I will now be more sincerely thankful to our Great Creator, more aware of the wonders He has worked for us, more keenly aware that I owe Him my allegiance and my very life!”
And we all agree, whole-heartedly!
On that note, we bring to an end our seven-day Journey, as with a deep sense of awe we look back over all the wonders our Creator-God has worked in our behalf!
The Garden of Eden
One day, God announced to Adam and Eve, “I am going to plant a Garden as a home for you, and as a place where we can continue with our times of close fellowship.”
So God planted a Great Garden. It was a large area, with a majestic river flowing through it and breaking into four branches, providing water in abundance for its broad plains and rolling hills. The fields and hills were covered with luxuriant greenery and in their beauty reflected the loving Hand of the Great Gardener. It had been laid out with a very special purpose in mind. There was no place in all the earth that could compare with the Great Garden. Its gentle hills and wide plains were gorgeous!
The Great Gardener had lavished on this area the utmost in loving care. It was to be the luxuriant home of the Man and Woman He so painstakingly had made and now so lovingly was placing there. It would provide the most ideal surroundings imaginable.
“I am going to plant two special trees in the Garden,” God announced. “One is the Tree of Life. It will be especially available for the healing of your bodies as needed. The other, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil will stand as a constant sign of your loyalty to Me. This will be the test: I want you never to eat its fruit, though from all the other trees, you may eat to your heart’s content! If you should eat fruit from that one tree, the seeds of death will be sown in your body. You will most certainly die! And the terrible plague from it will spread to all around you.”
Adam and Eve listened carefully. “That restriction is severe. But it will not be a problem,” they said to one another. “Look at all those other trees and their delicious fruit!”
Man’s future was bright with glorious, happy prospects. Days flowed into months and months into years. And year after year, that most beautiful of all scenes was enjoyed—God in all His glory and Adam and Eve in all the carefully designed features of their being, communing together and mutually enjoying one another. All the while, a flourishing world of abounding greenery and an amazing array of animals and birds looked on.
It was a delightful, idyllic scene!