Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever"—therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. Genesis 3:22-23
Was God being mean when He banished humans from the Garden of Eden? Was He inflicting even more punishment on Adam and Eve besides making Adam's work toilsome and Eve's childbearing experience painful?
I believe that, banishing them from the Garden was God's act of mercy. He knew that if Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Life in their sinful condition, they would live forever in sin. What a horrible prospect! We would be stuck living forever in poverty, sickness, hatred, filth, decay, and the continuous curse of sin!
Thankfully, God loved us too much for that. And physical death on this earth is yet another example of His mercy. He allowed us a way of escape from this often times miserable experience called earth, and deliverance into everlasting peace, rest, beauty, and love when we put our faith in Him. Death is actually a gift into new life and shedding of our old body of death under the curse. When you are a believer in Jesus, passing from this earth is a promotion! It is restored relationship with God at its fullest!
His love, in spite of our mistakes and failures, is so complete and redeeming. He is a Good God indeed.