By Keith Clouten, posted Nov 4, 2015
Shafts of early sunlight penetrate the fresh deep woods that are already vibrant with bird-song, and sparkle on the surface of lakes and ponds that burst with new life as iridescent fish dart through the waters.
Excitement among the heavenly watchers1 has been building ever since Day Three when amorphous bodies of silent brown earth were transformed into a resplendent mosaic of green fields, flowering meadows, tranquil forests, and a magnificent garden watered by bubbling springs and murmuring streams.2 On each successive day the universe has gazed in wonder as a brand new world unfolds before their senses. On Day Six, angelic beings watch breathlessly as God again appears on the scene. What new delight has He planned for this day?
Suddenly, in response to a divine command, the environment comes alive with sound and activity, as an amazing variety of animals appears everywhere. Gazelles frisk about, pandas tumble over each other, kangaroos hop, leopards leap from trees, and magnificent lions saunter through the meadows. The watchers clap their hands with delight and laugh at the antics of monkeys. Surely, this must be the culminating act of creation. Can there be anything more wonderful than this?
But God is already busy doing something here in a forest glade. Up to this moment, everything has been spoken into existence3, but now the Son of God is down on hands and knees, taking golden soil and working it with His fingers. The universe watches, spellbound, as God forms a completely new creature, a man. The task completed, He bends down, kisses the lips, breathes into the nostrils, and watches as the eyes open. Then, smiling, He draws the man to his feet, a tall, majestic figure, his bronze body a fitting match for the ochre brown of the soil.4 “I want you to meet Adam,” God says, and it seems that the whole universe erupts with shouts of joy and amazement.
Adam looks about him in astonishment and then wonder, as God calls some of the animals to meet their new master. He laughs as a gorgeously plumed parrot alights on his shoulder. Birds sing to him; animals nuzzle him. Fascinated in turn with the gentle purring of the lion, the agility of the leopard, and the graceful movements of the giraffe, Adam is already suggesting names that describe the characteristics of each creature.
Entranced as they watch all this, the heavenly onlookers cannot help observing that while each of the animals has a mate of the same species, Adam has no one to be his soul mate. Has God forgotten something?
But God is smiling. “Watch now.” Anticipating that He will take more soil and form a second human, the onlookers are surprised to see that God has a different plan. Bidding Adam lie down in the soft grass, He allows him to sleep. While the man dreams of happiness, God gently removes a small rib from his chest, close to his heart. With deft fingers, He manipulates the small bone and within minutes has formed the body of a beautiful woman. Looking on with admiration and astonishment, the entire universe breaks into galaxies of praise. They have witnessed the crowning act of creation. And even while they sing, the liquid notes of God’s voice are heard. “My work of creation is now complete. It is all very good.”
* * *
When Adam awakens, he is lying under a leafy bower in a very beautiful garden, the air perfumed with flowers and buoyant with bird-song. A gentle breeze caressing Adam’s body brings him to present reality. Stretching and then rubbing his eyes, he looks strangely for a few moments at the soft, green canopy above where the filigree of leaves throws dappled shadows over his body. How has he come to be in this exquisite place?
A voice from somewhere else penetrates his consciousness: “I carried you here while you were asleep.” Adam instantly recognizes the voice of Adon5, as the memories cascade through his mind. He re-lives those incredible moments when he was with Adon in a bright open space that pulsated with light, color and sound, his body thrilling with energy when Adon grasped his arm. The divine face, unforgettable, beamed radiance, vitality, and affection.
Closing his eyes in the memory of it all, Adam feels within himself a powerful connection with Adon–an over-riding sense of belonging, of security, of contented dependence. Yet, at the same time he is strangely conscious of an aloneness—a missing piece in the puzzle of his existence. Embedded within him is a yearning, a wanting for something he cannot define.
His thoughts are interrupted when something touches his chest. A bright yellow bird has landed there, fluffing its feathers as it utters a sweet song, then hops away to the side. Turning his head in that direction, he observes a basket of luscious fruit that hangs invitingly from a purple vine. When he turns his head the other way, surprise takes his breath away. Lying beside him is the most beautiful creature he could ever imagine. For several moments he can only stare in wonder at the graceful, brown form that is like his body, yet different. When he gently touches Eve, she awakens and their eyes meet for the first time. While late afternoon sunbeams wink playfully through openings in their leafy arbor, the two embrace, their bodies aglow with excitement, overcome with wonder and love for each other.
As the quiet of evening steals over the garden, the two lie side by side in their arbor, their hearts overflowing with joy and happiness, listening intently to the soft sounds around them, including the gurgling of a nearby stream. Soon Adon Himself steps by, bringing them sweet spring water from the stream, and blessing them on this first night of their existence. They are both bursting with questions about themselves and their surroundings, but Adon, reading their thoughts, promises to tell them a wonderful story tomorrow as they take their first walk together with Him through the garden. In the coming days they will learn a great many things–about themselves, their world and their responsibilities.
“Tomorrow is going to be a very special day,” Adon tells them. “It will be a Sabbath to celebrate a finished creation.” Then He adds, “But tonight you will sleep well. Your bodies are brand new and they need a good rest.”
As the two curl up together, a soft current of warm air envelopes them like a blanket. Then a pair of gazelles comes to lie down beside them, offering their sleek, silky bodies as pillows for the contentedly tired couple. Even as their eyes fold in sleep, the two imagine that they hear the distant song of angels. Perhaps the very stars overhead are singing for joy.6
1 Ellen G. White describes heavenly beings present at the Creation. Cf. DA769 and 6T456.
2 The garden is described in Gen.2:8-10.
3 See Gen.1:3,6,9,11,14,20,24 and Ps.33:6.
4 Adam is a Hebrew word meaning “red” or “to be red.”
5 Adon is the singular form of the Hebrew Adonai, meaning “master” or “lord.”
6 See Job 38:4-7.