“The Lord saw that humanity had become thoroughly evil on the earth and that every idea their minds thought up was always completely evil. The Lord regretted making human beings on the earth, and he was heartbroken. So the Lord said, ‘I will wipe off of the land the human race that I’ve created: from human beings to livestock to the crawling things to the birds in the skies, because I regret I ever made them’” (Genesis 6:5-7, CEB).
It didn’t take long after the Creation for people to become so evil that God was sorry He created them. Evil must have spread among human beings at an exponential rate.
Evil seems to have grown simultaneously with the human race because God wanted to destroy the whole human race. Apparently everyone, or almost everyone, was evil!
Did God make a big mistake when He created human beings? If the humanity that God created had become thoroughly evil, then did God create evil?
“Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame” (Genesis 2:25, NIV).
Lately, I’ve been considering and re-considering the Creation Story in the first chapters of Genesis.
When I read the Creation Story, I think I typically read it from a scientific point of view, looking for explanations of human origins. But, the more I read it the more I’m convinced that neither the writer of the Creation Story nor the Spirit of God who inspired the writing of the story was trying to provide a scientific explanation of the beginnings of the universe and origin of human beings.
So, what I believe the story is about is relationship and restoration. Human beings were created in the image of God to live in eternal relationship with Him. They defied God and turned to their own devices and because they were created in the image of God, their defiance was a spiritual defiance of cosmic proportions, which impacted the whole created order. Thus, only God could bring restoration to His created order and to His eternal relationship with people.
When read without the baggage of scientific interpretation, the Creation Story provides considerable spiritual insight into the human psyche and the character of God. It may not exactly explain in scientific terms how the universe began, but it does give a good explanation of why we are the way we are.
In fact, the Creation Story exposes the naked truth about human defiance of God’s order and God’s response to this defiance. In the Creation Story Adam and Eve roamed completely naked in the Garden of Eden where God placed them to live. I guess you could say that the Garden of Eden was the world’s first nudist colony!
“But Jesus responded to them, ‘My Father is still working, and I am working also’ … ‘I assure you: The Son is not able to do anything on His own, but only what He sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son also does these things in the same way” ( John 5:17, 19, HCSB).
This somewhat cryptic response to the Jewish religious leaders was given by Jesus as a defense for healing a man on the Sabbath who had been sick for 38 years.
So why did Jesus answer their accusations in this way?
“Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him…making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” The way we usually begin the story of God’s redemption of humanity is that that God created a perfect world—a beautiful, wonderful place where communion with God was as easy as an afternoon walk through a garden. Then Adam and Eve, who were God’s own created beings, disobeyed Him resulting in a catastrophic rift between God and His own creation. Seemingly, God’s perfect world was defiled and so He developed a plan to fix it. When we begin the story in this way, it suggests that God made a big mistake when He created a universe that resulted in human beings falling out of fellowship with Him. In Paul’s greeting to the Ephesians he begins the redemption story from its actual beginning. Paul makes it clear that God planned for the redemption of humanity even before the creation of the world! God wondrously and purposefully created this world and its redemption has always been God’s plan before the beginning of time. So God is not trying to fix any supreme faux pas He made during creation. Instead, God is expressing supreme love through His creation. And supreme love is best demonstrated through redemption: “For God has consigned all to disobedience, that He may have mercy on all.” (Romans 11:32). God’s love and the redemption of His creation and human beings has always been God’s plan–let’s tell the story that way.