In the Beginning
The Bible states, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1)(1). This brief statement tells us that the universe had a beginning with God as the cause.
Genesis then reveals how God created day and night; water and land; vegetation; sun, moon, and stars; animals; and humans. Once God had finished his creation, He announced that everything was “very good” (Genesis 1:31)(2).
God commanded the first man–Adam–not to eat fruit from a tree known as the “tree of knowledge of good and evil” in the Garden of Eden where they lived (Genesis 2:17)(3). If Adam did eat fruit from that tree, he would die that same day. Just after God gave this commandment, God created the first woman, Eve.
At this point in the creation, there was life but not death. Something must have happened which damaged the “very good” state of the creation.
What happened? Disobedience of God’s commandment. Adam and Eve listened to the serpent and ate the fruit. The serpent was a creature in the garden who assured them that they would not die if they ate of the fruit, but would instead become like God (Genesis 3-4-5)(4).
Adam and Eve had freewill to choose: they could believe what God told them or they could believe the serpent’s lie and disobey God.
Eve chose to follow the serpent and then Adam did as well: they both sinned. Although they disobeyed God, their lives were not ended that same day. God in his mercy delayed their death so they could participate in His plan for restoration.
God judged Adam, Eve and the serpent. First, God judged the serpent. He said,
“I will put enmity [being enemies] between you and the woman [Eve], and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” (5) Genesis 3:15
This judgment also contains a promise of hope: the woman is promised an offspring—a son—who would bruise the serpent’s head. The serpent represents sin.