The first human who ever lived was created at the very end of a jam-packed week of creation. The Bible record says God created everything in this world over the course of six days and declared it good.
The world was now filled with natural beauty but God was not yet done. His masterpiece was yet to be created. God created Adam from the soil. When he breathed life into Adam, the first man, God called His creation "very good."
Adam was made "in God's image". That is, he reflected God's glory, intellect and beauty. Our very first ancestor was created perfect but God sensed that there was something missing . . .
Even after creating a flawless human being, God could tell it was "not good for man to be alone." Adam had named all the creatures on earth, in the seas and sky, but there was no companion specifically for him.
That's when God put Adam into a deep sleep. He took one of Adam's ribs and created the first woman, a companion and helper for him.
There is a lot of symbolism in the way Eve was created. God made her from Adam's rib, showing that she was created his equal. She was not made from a bone in his head, signifying superiority, or from a foot bone, indicating inferiority. Eve, the first woman, was very different from Adam. And yet she was his equal.
The Bible says Adam and Eve were naked but had no shame. After God created Adam and Eve, His six days of creation were completed. God then set an amazing example for all humans to follow: He rested on the seventh day and called it the Sabbath.
Right from the start, Adam and Eve were created to enjoy God's creation. And, quite frankly, there was a lot to enjoy in the garden. The Garden of Eden was perfect and beautiful. The natural beauty was stunning and there was a lot of delicious food to eat.
As the first two human beings were created perfect, Adam and Eve were able to fully tap into their God-given potential. Life was good.
Their job was to look after God's creation, to be good stewards. God clearly saw work as being a good thing for humans because He gave Adam and Eve the job of taking care of Eden.
This was a perfect time in which our first human parents lived in complete harmony with God. They walked with God who would visit them in the garden.
Despite the immense privilege and responsibility of looking after God's creation, there was one major rule Adam and Eve were expected to keep. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was off limits. They were expressly forbidden from eating any of its fruit. And the consequence of breaking this rule was dire: they would die.
At first, Adam and Eve observed the rule with no problem whatsoever. But one day all that changed. Adam and Eve were off doing their own thing in different parts of the garden when Eve came across the forbidden tree. Even more intriguing, she came across another visitor to the tree: a beautiful serpent.
The serpent urged her to take a bite of the fruit. At first Eve refused, saying it was against the rules and would result in death. The serpent was having none of it.
"You won't die," the serpent declared. It claimed God just wanted to forbid them from eating the fruit because He knew that if they did, it would make them like God Himself. It would give them the knowledge of good and evil. The line worked like a charm. Eve ate the forbidden fruit and, not only that, she then found Adam and convinced him to have a bite too.
That's when everything changed. God came looking for the couple and, for the first time ever, the first humans hid from Him. When He eventually found them, they felt ashamed. They realized they were naked.
God asked Adam how he knew they were naked and pressed him about whether they had eaten from the forbidden tree. That's where the blame game started. Adam blamed Eve for persuading him to eat the fruit. An equally uncomfortable Eve passed the blame on to the serpent that had tempted her. It was sad how neither could take responsibility for that first mistake.
Sin had officially entered the world. God made Adam and Eve clothes from animal skins and expelled them from the Garden of Eden. Angels were posted at the entrance as a sign that Adam and Eve could never return to that place of perfection.
Freshly evicted from the only home they had ever known, Adam and Eve faced the harsh realities of life outside the Garden of Eden.
God told Adam he would have to work very hard in future, toiling the ground. Sure, he'd worked before, but this was different. Eve would face the immense physical pain of childbirth. The honeymoon was officially over. Life, from here onwards, would be an uphill struggle.
It wasn't all pain and misery, however, because along came the world's first children. Cain was born first and then Abel followed. Just like that, the human population of planet earth had doubled. Despite the pain of leaving Eden, Adam and Eve now got to experience the joy of parenthood.
Other than the fact that they were born to the same parents, Cain and Abel could not have been more different. They had completely different interests and styles. Abel tended to flocks while Cain became a farmer.
They were hungry for God's approval and both set out to offer a sacrifice to their creator. Their differences in character were starkly displayed in the form of the sacrifices they offered to God.
Cain offered a sacrifice of vegetables, but God rejected it. Abel, on the other hand, offered the best portions from the firstborn of his flock. God accepted his sacrifice, which infuriated Cain who attacked and killed his brother in a jealous rage. The world now had its first murderer.
Cain was banished to a nomadic existence. But God was merciful and protected him.
The tragic death of one of their sons at the hand of the other was extremely painful for Adam and Eve. Death, the result of sin, had never been so clear.
God was good, however, and gave them a third son, Seth. This new son was like a breath of fresh air. He was obedient to God and made his parents proud.
Eve believed Seth was a gift from God to replace Abel whom she had so tragically lost. Seth was special. The Bible record shows that people started turning to God after he was born. This was a pivotal shift. As much as life was hard and death was now a reality, turning to God offered comfort. God would offer hope of the eternal life that Adam and Eve had given up.
Adam lived until the impressive age of 930 and then died. Like all biblical heroes, he was not perfect. But then, nobody is.