God never intended for Adam and Eve to be the sole human inhabitants on earth. There were to be more people, a lot more. It was part of the Creator’s
We have no idea what the before-sin “be fruitful and multiply” command entailed. We just know that Adam and Eve were invited to be co-creators on this earth, filling it with people as knowledgeable and deeply spiritual as they. How that would be accomplished is never defined. But the end result would be a human society based on God’s ideals and standards.
We can catch glimpses of those concepts based on what the Creator said to Adam and Eve right after He told them to “fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28). It’s important for us to remember that the words used by Moses when he wrote Genesis reflect generations of humanity living outside of God’s Master Plan. Only when we imagine life in a sinless environment can we begin to understand what the Creator was really saying. It’s also important to consider what God didn’t say as He laid out His roadmap for society.
Nowhere did God tell Adam and Eve to divide the world up into sections and confine individuals to those sections based on any type of criteria.
The words subdue or rule over had to do with the governorship and care of earth’s natural resources and animals, not a rigid domination over other creatures—including fellow human beings. Human societies based on God’s Master Plan all had the same goals. Everyone was to be a co-creator and co-caretaker of creation.
Food for thought
The Creator’s design for humanity included the opportunity for all to grow and harvest food. “Then God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food’” (Genesis 1:29, NIV). Again, equality was the rule. No one was left out.
Next comes a statement that may surprise many. “And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food” (verse 30). Seems even the animals were included in God’s equality equation. The thought of humans sacrificing animals for food was not part of the plan. That tragedy came later, after sin.
So, here we have Adam and Eve being instructed to care for the earth and every living creature on it, enjoy plants as food, live their lives based on free-will choices, and create many, many more individuals just like themselves to do the same. In God’s Master Plan, human societies would enjoy individual equality, fairness for all (including animals), respect for each other, and the freedom to accept or reject those standards set forth by the Creator.
A higher standard
When we look at our world today, we see a far different plan in action. But God calls us to a higher standard—a shining ideal that is as foreign to society now as sin was to Eden then.
The good news is that we don’t have to wait for heaven to bring about the changes needed to realign our world with God’s original Master Plan. We can start treating people as brothers and sisters now, support their human rights now, accept their differences now, and demand that they be given the same opportunities and choices we enjoy now.
How? By following another charge the Creator God delivered much later when He said, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you” (John 15:12, NIV).
Charles Mills is the author of more than 50 published books and over 300 articles. Mills began his career at Faith for Today and the Adventist Media Center in Newbury Park, California. For the past 35 years, he has been an independent media producer, writer, and radio/television host.