I was recently asked how a creation filled with millions of years of pain, suffering, and death could be very good.
Pain and Suffering
I would agree that in the Garden of Eden there was:
• No relational pain and suffering (Adam and Eve didn’t devalue or abuse each other)
• No emotional pain and suffering (no depression, no panic attacks)
• No spiritual pain and suffering (no guilt, no shame)
However, based on scripture, I am convinced that there was physical pain. After the couple disobeyed God, God told Eve that her pain in childbirth would greatly increase. You can’t greatly increase something that is not already present. If Adam stubbed his toe in the Garden, it would hurt. If a coconut fell on Eve’s foot, it would be painful.
Job was a blameless and upright man who trusted God. Satan is a predator. God allowed Satan to prey on Job, to destroy his family, his business, his health. When Job complained to God, God didn’t comfort him. Instead, God directed Job’s attention to very good creation, one filled with predators, prey, and powerful, frightening animals.
Satan was present in the Garden of Eden as a serpent. Adam and Eve were his prey. In a predator-prey relationship something is going to die.
if Adam and Eve’s desire for forbidden fruit didn’t die, they would die.
and, knowing they would eat forbidden fruit, God planned to die.
The serpent deceived Eve. So, God cursed the serpent, limiting its prey to dust. Adam was made from dust, as was Job, as are we. Satan deceives and preys on us.
Pain, suffering, predation, and death have been part of God’s very good creation from the very beginning. Before time began God had a plan to use death to make life possible. From the album “Sing” this video is scrolling playback of a song based on Titus 1:2.