Some paint a picture of a distant god who might ‘spiritually’ be with us but who will finally dwell in heaven while we dwell on a peaceful earth. Others say the physical is evil and so god is disinterested in us. And others suggest that if god did come near it would evidently be to smite us and therefore he should be disbelieved.
The Bible tells a different story.
Before the beginning, the Son is present with his Father, given love and glory . They know and enjoy one another’s presence before anything is made, before anything else they know us and give us grace . Against this backdrop God comes into the dark, empty and formless world, announcing his presence in person as the ‘Light’ to spread beams of love into his world and divide the darkness.
God takes man out of the dust and put him in his garden. The Father and Son and Spirit were never alone, and so it is not good for man to be alone . He must have a bride, just as the Son will have a bride. Together they are sent to fill the whole of God’s good world , to cultivate a global Eden, a temple in which they will enjoy intimacy with one another and with God. God involved, personally.
They live together with God, without shame , until the serpent leads them astray from their pure devotion to Christ , and they turn on one another and hide from the face of the Word who walks in the garden. They sought to be like God on their own terms instead of receiving from him. Even as they hide he seeks them , before sending them away from his face back to the dust , barring the way to the mountain with the swords of angels . Cain will be driven further from the presence of God. God-estranged.