The book of Genesis tells the story of creation, including that of Adam, the first man. Adam was formed of the dust and given the “breath of life” and thus “became a living soul” (Gen. 2:7). He was created in the mental “likeness” of God (Gen. 1:26). God took a rib from Adam and created Eve (Gen 2:23). Together, they were given the opportunity for everlasting life in Eden, a place where “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” (Gen. 2:9 New International Version). Adam and Eve enjoyed, with free will and innocence, a beautiful paradise and perfect life.
The first parents were given one rule, a test of obedience, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die” (Gen. 2:16, 17 NIV). In Genesis 3 Eve is deceived by the serpent and Adam chooses to join his wife in disobedience. God banished them from Eden in order to enforce the penalty of death (Gen. 3:23).
Mankind was also cursed by God for their sin. Woman was cursed to be subjected to man and to have pain in child birth. Man was cursed to live a toilsome life of working the ground (Gen. 3:16-19). All humanity inherited sin and this penalty of death (Rom. 5:12). The fall launched humanity down a long path of suffering, pain, sorrow, and iniquity that continues to plague us today.
Isaiah 46:10 says that God knows the end from the beginning, meaning he gave this test with the knowledge that mankind would fail. In his wisdom, God allowed the fall to take place with the end in mind. At the end of the age, when the resurrection takes place and all who are in the grave hear the voice of our Lord and come forth (John 5:28,29), the experiences gained from the fall will show humanity the grand love of God and provide the experience needed to choose obedience and go up the highway of holiness to perfection and harmony with God.