Key Verse: “Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.”
THE CREATION OF MAN described in Genesis as occurring in the close of the sixth creative period was only the beginning of what God had purposed concerning him. Genesis 2:2 declares that God “ended” his work on the seventh day. This indicates that man’s creation was near the turning point of the sixth to the seventh creative day. Thus there was no time remaining in the sixth day for the earth to be filled with the offspring of Adam.
That the Scriptures do not say, “the evening and the morning were the seventh day,” neither in the Old nor New Testaments, is evidence that this last great epoch continued throughout Bible history. In fact, the Scriptures which detail man’s creation suggest that not until a perfect race of mankind fills the earth will the seventh day come to a close. While we marvel at the immensity of the universe and the orderly arrangement of all its parts, we should not overlook the fact that divine law operates to control all of God’s creative works. The entire universe and every creation in it, animate and inanimate, is designed to function in an orderly way according to the fixed laws of God, not by mere chance or happenstance.
In this same manner, the divine purpose in the creation of man is just as dependent upon obedience to God’s law as is his design for the stars and other inanimate creations. However, man is not a machine. He was created in the image of God, with ability to think, to reason, to choose one course or another. Not only was he competent to exercise a choice, but he was given freedom to use that ability. God, with all his power, will not overstep man’s liberty of choice. The divine purpose concerning man is to be fully accomplished, not through coercion, but through education based largely upon experience.
The entire seventh day of creation has been set aside to complete God’s purpose as it pertains to man. The Bible shows that the method by which that purpose is being accomplished is by the testing of the entire race, represented in the first man Adam. Then follows the redemption and restoration of the same race through Christ. Each generation of Adam’s dying children has come upon the scene, experienced the dire results of disobedience, and passed on into the sleep of death. This process will eventually reach the point where sufficient children of Adam have been born to fill the earth comfortably.
The last thousand years of the seventh creative day will be devoted to the restoration of the sin-cursed and dying race. Those in the grave will be awakened from the sleep of death and given an opportunity to experience good, in contrast to the evil they experienced before they died “in Adam.” (I Cor. 15:21,22) Then, having experienced both evil and good, they will be in a position to choose intelligently what course to take. The choice of obedience on the part of the human race will result in the same order and harmony among the children of men as the obedience of the planets in our solar system.
When Adam was first created God pronounced him “very good.” (Gen. 1:31) However, not until he and his progeny have gained a thorough “knowledge of good and evil,” have been tested, and have partaken of the “tree of life,” will the divine purpose in man’s creation be fulfilled.—Gen. 2:9; Rev. 22:1,2,14