As was discussed in the last article, nations and cultural systems would have developed even if Adam had not sinned. Had Adam and his heirs remained in right standing with God, they would have sought heaven’s will for all their dominion labors. When it came to re-making the earth into a new and improved form, the children of God would have accessed God’s will, gained true knowledge, and reproduced godly creations. Each heavenly reproduction would have brought glory to God. Earth would have continued to reflect eternal realities. The people who comprised the nations would have been holy and the systems within those nations would have been holy.
But --- sin did occur. The serpent entered the garden and offered to Adam another covenantal relationship and another earthly reality. Adam was given the choice to love and obey His Father or to value and follow the words of the serpent. Whoever Adam chose would be his ‘god’ and the source of his right and wrong. Not only would Adam’s ethical choice originate with his ‘god’ but the patterns for all of man’s systems would also be the outworking of the will and purposes of that ‘god’. Adam, and all humanity in Adam, aligned with the serpent. Adam’s fall not only meant that humanity would fall short of the glory but also that all of humanity’s works would fall short of heaven’s patterns. Fallen mankind would build a fallen world.
The Greek word for world is the masculine noun kosmos (Strong’s #2889), and it means orderly arrangement. Kosmos is based upon the verb komeo (Strong’s # 2885), which means to tend, to take care of, to properly provide for. The action of tending (komeo) produces an arrangement (kosmos). When speaking about the arrangement or the systems of the world, it must be noted that someone is doing the arranging. Who are those someones? The someones are people; the workers are humanity; the arrangers are the sons of Adam who received the commission to tend to the earth in Genesis 1:28, 2:15. Because of Adam, those arrangements reflect the ideas of the ‘god’ from which humanity receives the patterns. In Adam, mankind cares for the world, but because of fallen patterns, mankind arranges a fallen kosmos.
Adam and Eve departed the Garden with the dominion mandate still in force. Immediately they began to be fruitful and to multiply. They had Cain and Able. The boys reflected the fallen nature. Cain killed Able. The boys also reflected the mandate to build systems. Earth’s first economic system was in its developmental stage. Cain was a farmer and Able was a rancher. They had to discover how they would exchange, barter, share, and work together as each man took a portion of the earth and developed an occupation. They were beginning the arrangement of the kosmos. And the systems reflected the fallen nature. With Abel out of the way, Cain could steal or take whatever he needed of Abel’s portion.
Within the first few chapters of the Bible, God assiduously communicates that fallen men build fallen systems. After the murder of Abel, Cain was judged of God and sent away from God’s presence. (Please note the re-play of Adam’s story here as fallen man lives out his fallen beliefs to produce a fallen arrangement. This sequence causes God to arise, bring judgment, and disinherit the rebel. The pattern holds true throughout the whole of scripture. The unrighteous and their works are always judged and then they are removed.) Cain departed from near the entrance of the Garden to travel eastward to an area known as Nod. There he began his family and built a city (Gen.4:16-17). He continued the mandate to be fruitful – fruitful to reproduce the children and fruitful to build the systems. Or, it could be stated that he and his family tended (komeo) the earth and built an arrangement (kosmos). What was the condition of Cain’s kosmos? Fallen! It reflected the will, goals, and patterns of its ‘god’ who was that notorious serpent who first directed the kosmos Adam built.
Five generations from Cain was Lamech, a villainous killer. Scripture describes the occupations of Lamech’s children: Jabal was the father of those who dwelt in tents and tended cattle; Jubal was the father of all that became proficient with the harps and organ; and Tubal-Cain became an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron (Gen. 4:20-22). The sons of fallen Lamech from Cain’s lineage were building systems. A kosmos was burgeoning in the earth. The business sector included both agricultural commodities and the products of industry. The entertainment sector provided an occupation for a whole segment. There was also a religion realm which, although not mentioned in this portion of scripture, is later seen in the story of the tower of Babel (Gen. 11). Kosmos building was in full development. And what was the condition of the kosmos? Fallen!
The next article will discuss the flood as God once again arises, brings judgment, and disinherits the rebellious earth builders.