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the first death – the first murder

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”……..  Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.” And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground…….. Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. Genesis 2: 15-17; 4: 1, 2, 8-10

Another murder in Jersey. This time a man aged 46, Colin Chevalier, the victim of a sustained attack similar (it appears) to that in bold above.

The Genesis record of the “beginning of things” (“genesis” means the beginning or origin of anything; from it we’ve derived the word “genetics”) remains the most understandable and realistic explanation of the beginning of the human race and of its decline.

Genesis itself has a description of the created universe (including mankind) from the perspective of its creator: “Then God looked over all he had made, and, note this well, he saw that it was very good.” This poses a serious problem: how on earth has creation become so terribly bad? How come that such a very good creature as humankind now engages, repeatedly, in murder and the killing fields of war?

Genesis – the Bible – has an answer. What do you think of it? The first of the three sections in bold above contains the one prohibition given to the first created man (“Adam” which is Hebrew for “man”). It was given to man along with the whole of a beautiful, productive, multiplying, overflowing earth. One prohibition – with a consequence if breached: death for the man.
‘Death is God’s imposed limitation on human arrogance.’ (D A Carson)

The man broke that prohibition. For him and for Eve, his wife, it was more important that they would have – for themselves – some of the forbidden fruit than that they should not disobey their benefactor, creator and friend.

It’s a strange thing, isn’t it, that when something is prohibited it becomes attractive to breach the prohibition. On a ladies T-shirt for sale last week the slogan was, “Break the Rules”. In smaller print was the word, “Everyday.”

The second section in bold above is a post-rule-break record. Adam and Eve didn’t die straight away. Instead their relationships with one another and with their creator, benefactor and friend were totally disrupted and stressful. But Eve conceived two sons…..

The third section in bold above is a very big surprise. Cain says to his brother Abel, “Come and see my vegetable patch.” He takes a spade with him. Whilst Abel is looking at the vegetables, Cain kills him with the spade. Out of jealousy.

The very big surprise is this. When God warned Adam that, if he disobeyed, he would surely die, it is very doubtful indeed that Adam thought that he, Adam, would be the one who would introduce death into the world, introduce murder into the world – through his son Cain.

God had said, “If you put your own interests above my word of instruction, you will surely die”. Adam put his interests first. Understandably, the son, the firstborn son born to him, did the same.

Cain put his own interests first. Cain’s first interest was himself. Cain’s best interests would be well served by the murder of his brother. “I must get ahead.”

Today President Assad of Syria is still engaged in achieving his best interests. He is getting ahead.
‘The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.’ (Paul, Athens, AD 50)

God the creator does not need to kill – does not want to kill. We achieve that for ourselves. Every man does that – by nature – he/she gets ahead....

Actually, not every man. One man - Jesus - decided to die so as to bless his enemies. God the creator brought him to life again. He was the perfect man. Will you follow him? Or follow the first man?
Richard Syvret

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