The following is excerpted from the new Sunday School course “Fundamental Lessons in the Old Testament,” (now out of print.)
It is impossible for us to imagine in a precise manner man’s condition in the Garden of Eden before the fall, but a little sanctified thinking can doubtless give us a vague idea. This world, though fallen, contains the basic elements of paradise lost.
There was a perfect environment
There would have been an ideal climate, not too hot or too cold, gentle breezes, sparkling sunlight, the clear moon reflected through the earth’s firmament.
There would have been glorious sights. Consider how breathtaking the sunrises and sunsets would have been. The stars would have shown brilliantly in the crystal clear sky. Adam and Eve probably enjoyed sights in the sky that we have never seen. Today you can see the amazing northern lights in some climes and seasons, which is a spectacular sight, but what must Adam and Eve have seen in God’s untainted paradise?
There would have been environmental purity beyond our comprehension. The water, the air, everything would have been perfectly pure and fresh and delightful.
There would have been glorious sounds. The singing of the birds and voices of the other creatures would doubtless have been orderly and delightful, not a cacophony of indistinguishable sound, as God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor. 14:33).
There would have been glorious odors. The fragrance of the untainted flowers, the sea breezes, the leaves of the trees.
The food would have been delicious beyond our comprehension, as man’s sense of taste was unspoiled and the food untainted.
The animal and plant kingdom would have provided a source of endless fascination and pleasure. Consider the song birds, the monkeys, the butterflies, the horse, the bear, the lion, the beaver, the squirrel, the elephant, the giraffe. And there were countless animals in the Garden of Eden that no longer exist. Their beauty and coats and songs would have been uncontaminated by the fall. They would have been obedient to man’s will, as their original purpose was provide for man’s pleasure.
There were perfect bodies
There was nothing deformed or crippled. No sickness. No ugliness. Adam and Eve’s senses would have been perfect, their hearing, their vision, their sense of smell, their touch, their taste. They could have eaten without getting fat. They would have had the ability to enjoy life physically more than we can now comprehend. Their physical endurance would have far surpassed ours. They could have run, jumped, climbed, swam, and used the amazing bodies that God gave them without the drag and weariness and limitations that have come as the result of sin’s curse. Their voices and pitch would have been perfect and they would doubtless have sang together in sweet harmony.
There was perfect thinking
Their thinking ability--their facilities of memory, reasoning, invention, etc.--would have far exceeded our sin-tainted abilities.
There were perfect emotions
There would have been unmitigated happiness and peace. No sorrow, pain, fear, doubt, confusion, turmoil, disappointment.
There were perfect relationships
The relationship between Adam and Eve was untainted with sin. It was only kind and tender and compassionate. There was no hatred, envy, bitterness, harshness, deceit, pride, selfishness, unforgiveness.
Think of the unmitigated delight that man would have had from his offspring had sin not entered to corrupt things. The mother would have no pain in childbirth, and the child would not have a selfish, rebellious nature to cause grief. Families would have been united in love and harmony. There would be no death, so there would be no separation.
There was a perfect occupation
Man’s occupation before the fall was to learn of God and His amazing creation. There would have been great delight in the discovery of and the sharing of this knowledge.
What a joy it is to know that paradise can be regained through faith in Jesus Christ. Three times in the New Testament heaven is called paradise (Lk. 23:43; 2 Cor. 12:4; Rev. 2:7). The believer is a citizen of heaven (Phil. 3:20), and its glories will far surpass those of the Garden of Eden.
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