God had commanded happiness in the midst of devastation, and then he created good things. When he created man and saw it was not good for the man to be alone, he created woman. He then trusted his good things into the hands of those created in his image. When he had completed his work he saw it was “very good” and rested.
I find God’s observations about his creation puzzling. God saw everything as good. Was he blind to the bad in the serpent, in Adam and in Eve? I don’t think so. According to Revelation the lamb (Jesus) was “slain from the foundation of the world.” Another translation says the lamb was slaughtered before the creation of the world. God knew the cost of creating humanity before he said, “Let there be light.”
There is no point in debating whether or not God knew Adam and Eve would sin before he created them. We don’t know everything God knows and never will. One thing is certain; he knew they were capable of sinning. God had a plan to save humanity from death before he created them. He also did everything possible to prevent them from sinning. There was one forbidden tree in a garden full of trees that were “pleasant to the sight, and good for food.”
God was not taken by surprise when he walked into the garden to find Adam and Eve covered in fig leaves. He knew what they had done. He gave Adam and Eve something they had denied him – an opportunity to explain. They responded to his love with explanations full of self-justification. The man blamed God for giving him the woman. The woman blamed the serpent for deceiving her. The serpent, whose slander about God led to the fiasco, was not given an opportunity to speak.
God made life difficult for the serpent. The decree to crawl on his belly and eat dust for the rest of his days indicates the serpent initially walked upright. God also promised to destroy the power in the serpent’s slander through the seed of a woman, but not without humanity paying a price for their sin. The promised seed became the man we call Jesus. The woman would bring Jesus, the seed of human salvation, into the world with great pain for God made the pains of childbirth severe.
In addition to multiplying the pain of childbirth, woman’s desire would be for her husband, and he would rule over her. The knowledge acquired through eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge would make man arrogant. There is no greater misery than being ruled by an arrogant person. From that day to this woman was cried victim when she suffers under man’s arrogance. But she is only eating the fruit of her own way and will do so until the arrogance in woman is broken.
Adam’s sin provoked God to decree a curse. But God did not curse Adam. He cursed the ground making Adam’s life harder until the day he died. No longer would the ground easily produce lush fruit to nourish his body. Adam would eat by the sweat of his brow among thorns and thistles until he died.
God could have killed them all. He let them live, but they bore the consequences of their sin. “There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil…” If any of them repented for the evil they had done we don’t have a record of it. We do have a record that they blamed God and each other without remorse. God had given them good things and they rewarded God by believing the worst of him and exalted the word of his creations above the words of their creator. God’s judgments against them were justified and merciful.