The Way We Were
Bible Reading: Genesis chapter 2
The other day Laura was paging through some old family photo albums. Some of the pictures were from long ago, holding memories which have faded over the years. Sometimes it is good to reflect on such things. If humanity had a photo album and we could page back through it to the beginning of things, we’d find an idyllic scene which would defy our comprehension.
God created man and breathed life into him. He planted a garden, watered by a river, full of every tree that was good for food. God took the man and put him in the garden to work it and keep it. The man was given freedom to eat from every tree in the garden, except of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God, not wanting for man to be alone, created woman. Thus God created the institution of marriage in which a man is joined to a woman in an intimate life-long relationship.
At this point in the Biblical narrative, we find the man and the woman in their perfect state, a part of the “very good” of everything God had created. Created in the image of God, they were the pinnacle of God’s work, privileged and provisioned to exercise dominion over all the earth and its creatures.
This was all, of course, before sin entered the world, and changed everything. Imagine what things must have been like. In their innocence, Adam and Eve possessed minds not poisoned by sinful thoughts, hearts never polluted with sinful desires and lives free from the sorrow of sinful regrets. Their relationship with God was unfettered by sin’s destructive influence. Irom what we read in Genesis chapter 3, it is apparent they walked with God and talked with Him. They enjoyed a union with their creator God and with each other to a degree which has eluded mankind ever since.
There is a longing our Creator has planted in the hearts of His created for a return to the way things once were. Solomon wrote of it, “He has put eternity into man’s heart” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). The Westminster Shorter Catechism asks this importation question: “What is the chief end of man?” The answer–“Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.” And again, it is as St. Augustine once said, “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.”
We were created to know and enjoy and glorify our Creator. That is the way things were before the fall. Christ’s sacrifice was made in order to restore us. Knowing God is to be our happy and ongoing pursuit until the day we are brought home to heaven. To that place where all that was lost in the fall will be restored.
Heavenly Father, sin has so poisoned my heart and clouded my thinking such, I’m oftentimes prone to wander down dead-end paths. I know you created me for a purpose—to know You and to enjoy You. To glorify You in my life. Grant me grace to align the compass of my being in Your direction; to reign in my wayward thoughts–those impulses which work to put me off course. May my ears be ever tuned to the Spirit so through Your truth my mind will be renewed to a right way of thinking about You! Cause my heart to ever long for you. Don’t let me lose vision of what Your will is for me. Amen.
“Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that thou art
Thou my best thought, by day or by night
Waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.”