It seems fitting to me that the first three chapters of the Bible begin with the first acts of grace. After all, God is a God of grace, and His grace is woven throughout the pages of Scripture. Therefore, it shouldn't be surprising that this Story begins with a generous portion!
When Adam and Eve chose to eat from the forbidden fruit, they chose to believe that they could offer themselves something better than what God had gone to painstaking efforts to bless them with. And rather than throwing in the towel with frustration, God opted to give them His grace. It's interesting to note that shame came to Adam and Eve only after they had gone against God's will – not before. So God did a gracious thing by giving them clothing. But the grace doesn't end there.
God also protected them from the tree of life in an act of grace. If Adam and Eve had eaten of that tree in their newly sinful state, they would have condemned themselves and humanity to the same end. Christ's future sacrifice would not have been possible because they would have sealed their fate to an eternity away from God. So rather than allowing this unthinkable option take place, God, in His grace, placed a flaming sword and cherubim in the way to protect these two from further hurting themselves.
God truly is a God of grace, and we can be thankful that He did not give Adam and Eve the punishments they deserved. Rather, He forgave them and continued to provide for their needs. Thankfully, He does the same for us, as well. The same God of grace who protected Adam and Eve sent His Son to die on our behalves so we might experience His forgiveness, too.