Of the fall of Man, of Sin, and of the Punishment thereof.
Chapter 6, Paragraph 1.
“Although God created Man upright, and perfect, and gave him a righteous law, which had been unto life had he kept it, and threatened death upon the breach thereof;...“
“Meanwhile, back at the ranch…”
When we last saw Adam and Eve in the Confession, they had just been created by God. Owning a reasonable and immortal soul, having the Law of God written in their hearts, and able to fulfill His law, they were happy and holy. While they had the ability to change their will and transgress the instruction of not eating the fruit, they were blissfully with God and creation.
“We interrupt this program to discuss divine providence.”
Swerving to the next chapter, the Confession discussed the Providence of God. Wait! What was going to happen to Adam and Eve? Why talk about providence at this point? Because by discussing how God upholds and directs all creatures and things, how He uses (or not, as He pleases) various means to fulfill His purposes, how even the sinful actions of men are part of His determinate counsel, and how He takes care of His church in a special manner, the backdrop has been laid to understand what will happen next with our first parents.
“Tune in next time…”
For without an understanding of providence, it is easy to think that the actions of Adam and Eve took God by surprise. He had created them. He set them up in the Garden of Eden. He gave them a command which if obeyed sustained their life. They had the power to fulfill this command – why would it all go so horribly wrong? Yet God was governing all things according to His decree even then, and there in the Garden was disposing all things for the good of His church.
Questions to Consider
- After reflecting on divine providence, does the account of Adam and Eve look different to you?