God's Glory at the Fall
by Nathaniel T. Jeanson, Ph.D.
"God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken." (Genesis 3:23)
What did God do at the Fall? The answer may surprise you.
First, God rested. After God completed His work of creating the universe, He ceased from creating (Genesis 2:2-3). This rest continued throughout all of history, right up to this very day (Hebrews 4:3). Thus, when mankind fell into sin, God didn't start His creation work over, as if there was a flaw in His original purposes and designs. Rather, He knew the Fall would happen and responded by continuing His cessation from creating, fully knowledgeable of what was transpiring and fully in control.
Second, God exercised perfect justice. The punishments at the Fall perfectly fit the crimes committed. For example, the serpent sinned by exalting himself above his created place, and God punished him by bringing him lower than all animals (Genesis 3:14). The serpent tried to destroy mankind; God ordained the serpent's destruction by the hand of his intended victim (Genesis 3:15). Eve exalted herself above her created place; God punished her by frustrating her exalted role in helping Adam rule (Genesis 3:16). Adam exalted himself above God; God desecrated his office with a curse on the earth that Adam was created to rule (Genesis 3:17-19).
Only God did not receive the justice due Him. Why were these three acts of cosmic dishonor to His glorious character not greeted with swift retribution?
It's because God also exercised mercy. In judging the serpent, God was ordaining the vehicle of the gospel--the "seed" (Genesis 3:15), which is Christ. God did not deny Himself justice; rather, He postponed His wrath (Romans 3:23-26) and poured it out on Christ for those who believe in Him. What God but ours could rule so perfectly through man's sin? NTJ