I’m not certain where this is going to end up. We’ll see.
A lot is written about the fall of man, but I don’t think a lot of people have really taken a good look at the parts immediately following it. I’m going to get to the flood pretty soon in my reading as well, and I know there’s a great deal written on that topic as well, so that won’t be addressed here either.
Enmity with God begins after Adam and Eve blow it. The result is calloused behavior, and it stretches for generations even into today. We sin without even knowing either what it is or the consequences. Many people know the consequences and don’t even care anymore, because God isn’t “doing anything” to stop it, so we just keep on going.
This behavior is pretty clear in Genesis 4:9. Cain kills his brother out of jealousy, and the Lord calls him on it. Cain has an interesting response: “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”
Cain lies to God. Of course Cain knows where Abel is.
Cain denies the responsibility of watching over his brother. His love for his brother is gone.
And Cain mouths off to God. The sarcasm is apparent, if you didn’t notice.
This all happens only one generation after Adam. What happened?
God walked in the garden with Adam and Eve. However, when Adam and Eve are told to leave Eden, the physical manifestation of God doesn’t follow them out. By all means God is still audible and reachable to a certain degree, but God is not walking alongside them anymore. This absence reaches into chapter four; Cain disregards God’s sovereignty and carelessly does what he wants to do, believing God won’t “catch” him.
God intentionally blocks Adam and Eve from the tree of life. The manner in which God does so is somewhat bizarre, assigning an angel to swing a flaming sword around next to the tree. This seems completely absurd at first, but understand that God cannot be associated with what is not pure and does not represent truth. Would you want to touch a diseased person? And would you trust a liar? Adam and Eve were dirtied with the filth of sin, and they no longer stood for truth, being deceived. Cain can’t get back in either — this appears to be a permanent situation.
Temptation doesn’t go away. God warns Cain that “sin is crouching at [the] door.” We’re foolish to think we’re not prone. Cain did not heed this reality, and he succumbed. Apart from the presence of God and without the desire to obey Him, we are likely to blow it as well.
If you read about Lamech, it gets worse. And it hasn’t gotten much better.
I see this as a tragic pattern only resolved by the blood of Jesus Christ. We still kill each other every day, physically or with words. The only way we can regain membership to the garden is by becoming kindred with God again, and that is only accomplished one way.