The Way of Truth
Study 3: CREATION, FALL and SIN
The Creation of the World
As we have seen in our first study, Scripture everywhere teaches that Allah is the creator of the universe. In fact, the very first words of the Taurat are “In the beginning Allah created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) We find in the first chapter of the Taurat a description of when and how Allah created the world and all that is in it. In every case it is written as follows “Allah commanded and there was…”
Allah only had to speak the command, and that which had never been came into existence. We also find at the end of the description of the creation the words “Allah looked at everything he had made and he was very pleased.” The creation as Allah had made it was without sin and perfect. As Allah is holy and righteous and pure, so his creation was also without fault and perfect.
The Creation of Man
We also find in the first part of the Taurat a description of the creation of man. In the Taurat we see how the first man, Adam, and his wife, Hawa, were the pinnacle of Allah’s creation. As such, Allah chose to make them after everything else had been created. In the Taurat we read,
“And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground – trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” (Genesis 2:9)
Man was the pinnacle of Allah’s creation and Allah took personal interest in him and breathed life-giving breath into his nostrils. The Taurat also describes how in all creation man was unique in that he was made in the “image” of Allah. Now of course, Allah does not have a form so it does not mean in the physical image of Allah. Rather, it means the power to decide between right and wrong. Created with a conscience, man had the ability to follow Allah’s commands or to choose to disobey and do evil. Man was the only one among all of Allah’s creation who had this unique gift of Allah. We would not speak of an animal as sinning. It has no conscience and hence no conception of right or wrong. Only man has a conscience and the ability to obey or disobey Allah. Besides a conscience, Allah also gave man a unique job to do.
Allah gave the following command to Adam in the first chapter of the Taurat,
“Allah blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (Genesis 1:28)
Thus, Allah took special interest in man, created him with special qualities, and gave him the great responsibility of ruling over and caring for Allah’s creation.
We must also note at this point in man’s history that his relationship to Allah was not yet marred by sin. As with the rest of creation, Allah had also created man perfect and sinless. Allah had pronounced the words “it is very good” over man. Thus, we see that Allah created the world as a paradise for man to live in and to care for and to have dominion over. Sin was absent from that world and the terrible results it brings such as war, oppression, greed, hatred, poverty, sickness, pain, suffering, sorrow and death. The world that Allah first put Adam and Hawa into was one of perfection and beauty, one without any strife, jealousy or envy. It was one in which man’s relationship to Allah was totally open and unhindered by the existence of sin. In the early chapters of the Taurat, man is in his initial state of purity and has a very intimate and close relationship with Allah. Yet, something would soon occur which was to have a far-reaching and terrible effect on the relationship between Allah and man as well as all other of man’s relationships.
Allah’s Command and Man’s Disobedience
Allah commanded Adam and Hawa not to eat of one of the fruits of the land– “but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:17) Thus, Allah gave man a simple and very easy to obey command to test and see whether man would obey him or not. However, not long after Allah gave the command, Satan appeared in the form of a snake. He came to deceive man and to cause Adam and his wife to sin. Let us look at this very important and terrible event as the Taurat describes it–
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did Allah really say, “You must not eat from any tree in the garden”?’ The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but Allah did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'” “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For Allah knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like Allah, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. (Genesis 3:1-6)
Thus, we see that Satan in his evil wisdom was able to give rise to greed in the heart of Hawa and thereby caused her to eat of the forbidden fruit. She in turn went on and caused her husband to sin. Thus, we see at the very dawn of history that greed, selfishness and a disregard for Allah’s commands had its beginning. This is without a doubt the most important event with the most far-reaching consequences of any event in the history of mankind. Let us examine the results of this terrible thing.
The Results of Man’s Disobedience
One of the first results of their willful disobedience of Allah’s command was the realization of their condition. They understood they were naked and felt terrible embarrassment. In the original pure state in which Allah had created man he was without clothes. Yet, sinless man felt no need for clothes and suffered no embarrassment over their absence. Immediately upon disobeying Allah’s command; however, “the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” (Genesis 3:7) Thus we see the fact that is still true today. When any man sins his immediate response is embarrassment and a desire to cover up what he has done so that no one else will discover his wrongdoing.
Another result of the first sin was Adam and Hawa’s attempt to justify themselves before Allah and to put the blame for their disobedience on someone else. In the Taurat the following is recorded,
But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man said, “The woman you put here with me – she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:9-13)
Once again we see the same is still true today. Despite the fact that all men are sinners, no one likes to admit his own sin. Our first response is just as with Adam and Hawa in that we automatically try to justify ourselves and put the blame for our own actions on someone else. However, now as then, Allah is much above our feeble excuses. Allah is everywhere present and all-knowing. He knows what we will do before we do it and He will never be fooled by the excuses we use to try to fool men. Thus, Allah immediately put a stop to their giving of excuses and pronounced judgement on them for their disobedience. The following account of the judgement of Allah on Adam and Hawa is found in the Taurat,
So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:14-19)
Thus, we see that the results of the sin of Adam and Hawa were not limited just to them but were to affect all of mankind. Before the first sin, as we have seen, there was no such thing as pain, sorrow or death. Man lived in perfect harmony with himself, the world around him and Allah. However, after the first sin this was all changed. From then on, according to the curse of Allah just cited, there would be pain, toil and death. Man’s harmony with himself and other men, with his world and with Allah were all destroyed by Adam’s sin. From then on man’s history has been one of strife, selfishness and greed ending in pain and death. What Allah had created as perfect has become corrupted and ugly through man’s greed and self-seeking. That same corruption and ugliness has continued down to our present day and is seen everywhere around us.
Allah’s Mercy to Sinful Man
Yet, man was still Allah’s creation and Allah still loved him even though he had sinned. Thus, even though in His justice and holiness had had to punish man for his sin and put a curse on him; still, in His mercy and love Allah blessed His fallen creation. In Genesis chapter three we find two outstanding evidences of this mercy and love of Allah. The first relates to man’s nakedness. Allah sees man’s condition and has mercy on him and according to the Taurat, “The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” (Genesis 3:21) Thus, we see sinful man standing guilty before Allah with no means to cover the effects of his sin. Yet, Allah in His mercy takes it upon Himself to save man from this terrible plight.
The second incident of Allah’s mercy in the midst of His justice is found in the passage already quoted from the Taurat in which Allah pronounced judgement on Adam, Hawa and the serpent. In the midst of Allah’s curse on Satan, Allah says He will send an offspring of the woman who will be injured by Satan; yet, through whom Satan will be totally crushed. (Genesis 3:15) Thus, we see in this passage a wonderful promise that through one of the descendants of Hawa, Allah will bring about victory over Satan. This is a promise that will be seen to occur over and over again in Scripture and one that we will be looking more closely at later.
We have now seen in this lesson how sin first entered the world and the terrible results and consequences of that sin. We will look at the next lesson at our spiritual condition before Allah.
1. Man, as the pinnacle of Allah’s creation, was made
b. In the middle
2. According to the Taurat (Genesis 1:28) what responsibility did Allah give to man?
3. Allah created the world
b. Basically good but with some imperfections
4. What command did Allah give to Adam and Hawa?
5. Who came and caused greed for the fruit to arise in Hawa?
6. What was Allah’s curse on the snake?
7. What was Allah’s curse on Adam?
8. What did Allah do to save Adam and Hawa from the shame of
their own nakedness?
9. How did Allah promise to destroy Satan and his works?
10. How does the sin of Adam and Hawa affect your life today?