Thy Word is true from the beginning.
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In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1
The Hebrew name used for God in verse one is Elohim. It is a plural of majesty. It also speaks of the triune nature of God that we will see emphasized when we get to verse 26. This opening statement of the Bible is straightforward and to the point. The Creator of the heavens and the Earth is Elohim. The implication is large and unmistakable. There is no other God! Elohim is not merely just another one of the gods hatched up out of man's fertile imagination. He is not found among the hand-hewn idols that men have formed and fashioned out of wood or stone or metal. Elohim has no relation to any of man's religions. On this point the Bible is straightforward and dogmatic. Elohim is the one true and living God who made all things. He was and is the Creator. There is no other. As he himself put it to Isaiah the prophet,
Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: 'I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God' (Elohim). Isaiah 44:6
All that exists came from, and is presently being held together by the powerful Word of Elohim. As the Apostle Paul put it to a crowd of polytheistic Greeks on Mars Hill,
...for in Him we live and move and have our being... Acts 17:28a
The second statement here reveals that, in the beginning, all that existed were waters. This is a very important reality to wrap our minds around because it is so foreign to what we know and experience in our present day state of existence. In the beginning, all that existed was two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen (H2O) ... waters. Water was everything ... measureless and infinite. Nothing else of what we know in our present world and its universe existed. There was no space, no matter, no light, no stars, no galaxies. In the beginning, there were waters and waters alone.
I take this statement ... the spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters ... to speak of one of God's great attributes, namely, his transcendence. I do not believe it refers to any spatial aspect in relation to God. Although God is in his creation, being omnipresent, he is not limited to his creation in any way. He transcends all that he has made. As you have it in First Kings 8:27a,
But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain you.
In addition, it is usually taken that the spirit of God who was hovering over the face of the waters is speaking of the Holy Spirit, the third member of the Trinity. Personally, I do not think so. It may be splitting hairs, but I believe that the spirit of God here refers to the spirit of the Son of God, second member of the Trinity, in his pre-incarnate state. As you have it in John 1:3, speaking about Christ Jesus,
All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
And again, in Colossians 1:16-17,
For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
And again, in Hebrews 1:1-2,
God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds..
Take it for what it is worth, I believe the spirit of God who was hovering over the waters at creation was that of the Son of God, second member of the Godhead.
Then God said, 'Let there be light'; and there was light. And God saw the light that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day. Genesis 1:3-5
First, note here that when God began to create he did so ex nihilo (out of nothing). He simply spoke and it was. In Hebrews 11:3, we read,
By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
Again, in Psalm 148:5, we read,
Let them praise the name of the LORD, for he commanded and they were created.
The instant God called for light, the limitless waters at the beginning of creation were filled with light. The light had no source other than the Word of God. It didn't come from a sun or a moon or any other physical source. It simply existed by the spoken Word of Elohim. From that moment on, darkness was no longer on the face of the deep.
However, God then imposed limits upon the light he had called into being so that darkness itself could be preserved. Our text states that God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day and the darkness he called Night. Thus, the waters began to oscillate between light and darkness. Then, after the first complete oscillation of light had gradually faded into darkness and then reappeared back into light. The first full day's cycle had been completed and the first twenty-four hour day of history was complete. Should there be any doubt concerning what the word day means here, the text clearly defines it for us by stating, the evening and the morning were the first day.
Keep in mind though ... that at the close of the first day, still, all that existed were waters. However, they were waters that, for the first time ever, had experienced a full twenty-four hour cycle of light and darkness.
Then God said, 'Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.' Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. And God called the firmament heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day. Genesis 1:6-8
The day following, the waters suddenly and literally exploded apart at God's second command. The description of it in these next three verses is three-dimensional. In instant obedience to the Word of God, the limitless waters were separated by a firmament (expanse) ... the waters above the firmament being flung outward and away from a smaller body of waters which remained under the firmament ... leaving, in between the two, a gigantic empty space. The word firmament here is an unfortunate translation because this old English word conveys the impression of substance. The New American Standard Version gives us the best translation of this Hebrew word. Rather than the word firmament, it translates it expanse, which is its best rendering. Like smoke billowing out and away from an explosion, the waters above fled outward in every direction from the waters below leaving in between a vast expanse. And, because this command from Elohim was neither subsequently modified in any way nor rescinded ... the expanse quickly became incredibly large ... gigantic ... and, from a human perspective, seemingly limitless and infinite. Today, you and I call the expanse space. Recent scientific data has proven that space is still expanding outward which is consistent with the Word of God here. Our text says that God called the expanse heaven.
At the end of the second twenty-four hour cycle of creation then, there were now three things in existence ... two bodies of waters and a new and near limitless expanse which was ever becoming larger and larger as the waters above continued their flight away from the waters below. The expanse, however, did not contain anything ... no solar systems or galaxies, planets or moons, black holes, novas or quarks or anything else. Heaven was completely empty. Space and water was all that existed ... separated into two realms ... the waters above and the waters below. Before we leave this description, let me say that, based on a literal interpretation of these verses, I believe if you or I could travel far enough and fast enough to catch up to the outer edge of our ever-expanding universe ... we would doubtless come to the waters above ... boundless ... limitless and infinite. According to the Bible, then, it is not space that is infinite it is waters that are infinite as space continues to follow them outward. Psalm 148:4, specifically refers to them saying,
Praise Him, you heavens of heavens, and you waters above the heavens!
LAND AND VEGETATION
Then God said, 'Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear'; and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, 'Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth'; and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the third day. Genesis 1:9-13
The third day of creation commenced with God organizing the waters below into a single unit. God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place. In instant obedience to the Word of God, the waters below did just that. Logically, they were compelled to form into a ball or sphere as every molecule of water rushed toward one central point as God had commanded. The predictable result was one great ball of water.
Then, God called to the ball of water for dry land to appear. Instantly, the newly formed sphere of waters was impregnated, as it were, by a gigantic mass of solid matter. Doubtless, this involved a relentless churning up of the sphere of water and greatly expanded them outward as a single giant supercontinent burst forth from their midst. What a sight that must have been, aye? Wouldn't you have liked to have been there to witness it? God called the land Earth and the waters he called Seas. This sequence, by the way, is in precise agreement with Psalm 24:1-2,
The earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein. For he has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the waters.
Creation scientists are just beginning to understand that this single creation event alone explains a great deal of the deepest stratifications of Earth's mantle, because of the sediments that must have doubtless formed following this amazing event.
By the middle of the third day, three initial building blocks of our present universe were in place ... liquid, space and matter. However, this incredible third day of creation was still far from over. Once again, God spoke ... and immediately Earth's single continent greened with near infinite varieties of vegetation. Symmetry, design, color and beauty ... all splashed across the face of the earth as if from the brush of a master artist. However, had you or I been there, we probably would not have been able to see it because light was only found in the waters of the Seas (its original home) ... and even there, only for half of the 24 hour day. Nevertheless, all the myriad varieties of plant life instantly exploded across Earth's land surfaces in countless varieties of shape, color and size ... and in such numbers that, even today, they are yet to be all completely classified.
However, the lack of light was no problem for God. The Scripture says,
Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You. Psalm 139:12
Nor was lack of light a problem for the newly created plant life ... since the lack of light was only to last for a few more hours (...by the way, if these days were in fact billions of years long, how did the plant life survive with no sun?). The end result? From that day to this, God's plant kingdom has ceaselessly borne testimony to its Creator's existence, artistry, wisdom, beauty and power. As you have it in Romans 1:18-20,
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse...
A pastor friend of mine once said, God doesn't believe in Atheists! He was right. According to Romans 1, above, there are no atheists because there isn't a single person on planet Earth that God does not clearly speak to through his creation! There isn't a single person who can honestly say, There is no God. Nor, are there any agnostics who can honestly say that they do not know if there is a God or not. There are only men and women who make empty and disingenuous pronouncements that, There is no God! or, I do not know if there is a God or not! NOT! Deep down in every heart, they know that their silly, prideful and empty pronouncements are lies. Man does know there is a God. We have the Word of God on it. And, one day, every human being will be called to account concerning their knowledge of the Creator who, night and day, has been so clearly displaying himself to them through his Creation and, even more importantly, has also spoken to them by his Holy Spirit. As Jesus put it in John 16:8,
And when He has come (the Holy Spirit), He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
So, by the end of the third day, Elohim's new world had come alive with all manner of vegetation. There were grassy dells, forested hills and verdant plains adorned with all manner of vegetation ... doubtless, all being caressed by soft winds and gentle breezes. Yet still ... all were in darkness ... and all existed under a vast and empty space above. One more thought here. Although the creation of Earth's atmosphere is not specifically mentioned in our text ... it is implied ... since all the plant life would have required it.
SUN, MOON AND STARS
Then God said, 'Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth'; and it was so. Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the fourth day. Genesis 1:14-19
On the fourth day, God redefined and regulated light in its specific relationship to his new Earth ... creating two great lights along with innumerable stars in the heavens to give light on the earth. Keep in mind, however, that light and dark, in their twenty-four hour cycles, still existed from day one in the outer expanding waters. To this day, they doubtless are still oscillating between light and dark in ceaseless twenty-four hour cycles and without any source whatsoever other than the Word of God! That would surely be something to see, would it not? Perhaps we shall see it, one day. However, as to light's relation to Earth, on day four God designated that it would henceforth come from the three new sources which he created to shine down upon his new world.
Suddenly, as if someone had flipped on a great light switch, massive concentrations of hydrogen in a vast sun burst aflame as trillions of nuclear reactions spread across its surface. Then, just as suddenly, a second celestial body appeared in the sky above the earth and a massive satellite moon began its first circuit around the earth while reflecting the new sun's rays down upon the planet below. Then, almost as an afterthought, literally trillions of suns in countless billions of galaxies appeared throughout the expanse above adding their light to the earth as well. Effortlessly, like so many seeds flung from the fingers of a sower, Elohim showered deep space with seemingly infinite sources of light! Amazing to contemplate, is it not? Such astounding omnipotence! Such unparalleled majesty. My, how great our God is!
Yet, Elohim's work in creating the stars was not haphazard. Rather, it was precise, warm and intricate. We learn from Scripture that he took care and delight with every single one. As you have it in Psalm 147:4-5,
He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.
The temporary light of the first day of creation ... having fled away when space was created on the second day ... and darkness having extended through the third day, during the creation of all plant life ... here on the fourth day, God provided permanent light for the earth via its own sun, moon and trillions upon trillions of points of light which began to twinkle down upon the earth from the once empty expanse that had been above it. These tiny points of light came forth in such numbers and with such organization and beauty that they would forever be one of man's greatest mysteries and wonders. As the Psalmist puts it,
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament (space) shows his handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Psalm 19:1-3
May we step aside here for a moment and speak to an old objection to a young universe that I picked up in college many years ago? It went something like this, It is a fact that stars and galaxies are so far distant from Earth that it takes their light millions and even billions of years to travel down to the Earth so that we are able to see them. Therefore, the universe has to be of great age ... simply because we are able to see the light from so many incredibly distant stars and galaxies. Each and every source of light that we see had to have time to travel here through all those great distances. This is undeniable proof that the universe is of great age, they claim. Scientists measure the distance to a star or galaxy in light years, the time it takes light, traveling approximately 186,000 miles per second to travel in one year.
There is a flaw in this reasoning, however. Do you really think that the God who created the stars in a moment of time for the express purpose to give light on the earth would have forgotten to create the light-waves in-between so they could, in fact, give their light on the earth? Is it reasonable to assume that God, having made the stars for the express purpose of lighting the earth, had to wait millions and even billions of years to fulfill that purpose? I think not. Their light was seen from Earth the second they were created, as is so clearly implied in our text. It seems silly to have to bring this up, but it is often brought up as proof against a young Earth when, in fact, it is an empty argument.
To be fair, some creation scientists believe that what I just said is too simple an explanation and that the problem of light from distant points of the universe is much more complex than that. They also feel that if our universe gives an appearance of agethat that can become an ethical problem for God. I respectfully disagree. It is obvious that God created both light waves and their sources at creation. Light that is just now arriving from distant stars and other sources including so-called "dying or forming stars and galaxies" is a problem only if you accept the presuppositions of uniformitarianism apart from the revealed Word of God. Our world and its universe only has a appearance of great age if you accept the presuppositions of those who ignore the revealed truths of Scripture. For example, if you happened upon Adam, 5 minutes after he was created, and were asked how old you thought he was ... based on your life experience ... you would, in all probability, give an age in years ... the time it takes any other human being to reach Adam's same stage of physical maturity. However, if you knew the Bible, and who Adam was, you would correctly say, He's very young. Possibly only minutes ... hours ... or days old.
So, when the fourth day of creation drew to a close, the skies above Earth were filled with trillions of emitters of light. Myriads upon myriads of galaxies, nebula, novas and stars ... each adding its own joyous Hallelujah Chorus to the glory of God. Ever since that fourth day, their endless and relentless song has not ceased to be sung, accompanied by the basso continuo of Earth's own amazing sun and by the soft alto of its wondrous moon.
SEA LIFE AND BIRDS
Then God said, 'Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.' So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.' So the evening and the morning were the fifth day. Genesis 1:20-23
The fifth day of creation dawned bright upon a beautiful, but still relatively quiet, new world. Once again, God spoke. Immediately, within the waters of the seas, great stirrings of life erupted as multitudes of vibrant, living, and often noisy, sea creatures simultaneously appeared. Suddenly, they were all just ... there! In an atom of time, from the smallest to the largest, the micro to the macro ... from sand crabs to barracudas ... microbes to plankton ... starfish to sea horses ... dolphins to whales and much, much, much more ... so much so that, again, even today, man has yet to discover and classify them all.
In addition, just as suddenly as the seas brought forth life, the earth did so as well as a plethora of feathered creatures emerged from the ground (2:19). Glorious and amazing varieties of fowl were suddenly anywhere and everywhere above and upon the earth. They filled its trees, its bushes, its grasses and its skies with movement, color and sound. Can you picture it? It must have been utterly mesmerizing. One can only imagine the commotion ... the utter cacophony of noise and the sheer joy of it all as each sea creature commenced doing its thing and each bird discovered its voice and began to exercise its own peculiar sounds and abilities. By day's end, Earth's skies were dotted with flights of vocal, feathered and amazing creatures and her seas were teeming with infinite varieties of life.
One additional thought before we move on, please notice that the text says that God created each living creature of the sea, as well as the air, according to their kind. Evolution teaches that all life evolved from one single source, ascending upward and branching out from one species into another. Hence, it confidently declares, all life is related. The Bible, however, states that the exact opposite is true. The Bible says that God created each creature (species, for lack of a better term) unique and complete in itself ... according to their kind. So it was in the beginning and so it continues today. Now that's scientific, brother. It is observable and repeats itself over and over again. All life is related, all right. It all came from the mind of God. But, a cow has always been a cow, a dog a dog, and on and on. And there is not one shred of scientific evidence to the contrary, just elaborate theories and speculations based on some observable changes within a given species. Take the fossil record, for example. If evolution is correct, there should be billions and even trillions of fossilized transitional creatures which are clearly identifiably in the process of changing from one species to another. Yet, there is not one such indisputable example found in all the fossil record, much less the multitudes that should be readily and easily found there.
In fact, just the opposite is true. The fossil record contains myriads of fully formed and distinct life forms, all of which appear simultaneously in the fossil record exactly alike. So-called "scientists" choose to ignore this overwhelming evidence, however, and continue to plunge ahead with their endless search for the "missing link" in hopes that, one day, they will discover just one example that might prove their flimsy theory. What a sad excuse for science the theory of Evolution dishes up! Make no mistake about it, evolution is a theory, a philosophy and even a religion ... but it is far from scientific. If it were truly scientific, it would not demand blind and unthinking acceptance based on political correctness so not be rejected by the academic community. If you would like to research origins through real science in a multitude of disciplines, three good starting points would be ... The Institute for Creation Research and Answers in Genesis and Creation Ministries International. At these sites, you will find recommended reading and current articles in a wide variety of scientific disciplines that speak to the value of acknowledging Creation over Evolution. Also, you might like to watch Ben Stein's insightful movie, Expelled, No Intelligence Allowed.
LAND CREATURES AND MAN
Then God said, 'Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind'; and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:24-25
The sixth day of creation dawned to the sounds and subtle music of birds, interspersed with a vast variety of noises from the myriads of creatures in the sea. Shadows of great Pterodactyls swept across the landscape as tiny hummingbirds flitted from flower to flower. Great whales spouted and fluked in the seas as tiny sand crabs scurried between the waves that crashed upon the shores.
Again, God spoke, commanding the earth to once again bring forth life. In instant obedience, the earth churned out a plethora of living creatures. Up from the sand, dust, dirt and rocks they came ... from tiny minute stirrings of displaced pebbles ... all sorts of insects emerged ... while, simultaneously, massive disruptions of dirt and rock were pushed up by up-rearing dinosaurs and a vast population of mammals, reptiles and amphibians. Creatures of all sizes and sorts scrambled up from the earth, shaking off the dirt from which they had been made.
Again, God called each and every one into being after their kind. This qualifier of God's creative Word reached deep into the genetic makeup of each new species. With one profound statement, God preserved the unique identity of each of his creations for time immemorial ... forever locking out any possibility of mixing between them and forever preserving the initial integrity of each one. So says the Bible and, I might add, so proclaims the fossil record, the genetic record and all other records one might like to scientifically examine. John 10:35, says that the Scripture cannot be broken. That is ... what God says, stands. Jesus said,
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away. Matthew 24:35
So, from that day to this, each of God's land creatures has been reproducing after their kind.
In a biology class in college, I was assigned the task of writing a paper on the evolution of the horse. The professor claimed that there was more than ample evidence for Evolution in their fossil record. After researching the topic and examining the evidence, however, I came up with an entirely different conclusion. In my paper, I pointed out that, in spite of the differences found between various horses in the fossil record, the bottom line was that they were all still horses. There were horses as small as dogs and other horses large beyond what we know today ... but all that proved was that there has always been great variety within the horse species ... just as there still exists today. I pointed out that I did not find any evidence that there had been any movement from one species to another in relation to horses. I concluded that it is true that there are demonstrable changes within the horse species. Horses can be bred to become smaller or larger ... to be of one color or another ... but, in the end, you still have a horse. I received an "F". Not because I didn't do the work, but because I didn't "toe the line". These so called "scientists" cite instance after instance of change within a given species and then claim that it is proof of Evolution. What utter balderdash!
In the same class, I was also given the assignment of growing fruit flies in a jar and selecting out and breeding the ones that mutated and changed. Supposedly, this is yet another absolute proof of Evolution. But, you know what? After all was said and done, I still had a jar full of fruit flies. So it was in the beginning and so it has always been. The basic suppositions of Evolution are a philosophy and even a religion to many, but they are not science. Evolution is being taught as "fact" in practically every high school and university in our nation today and, for the most part, to the deliberate exclusion of any real and meaningful debate on its merits or consideration of the scientific data from a different framework, such as that of Creation. Evolution is one of man's greatest self-deceptions so that he does not have to acknowledge the true and living God who is the Creator of all things and Judge of the whole Earth. A famous biologist, Dr. Edwin Conklin, once said of Evolution, The probability of life originating from accident is comparable to the probability of the unabridged dictionary resulting from an explosion in a print shop!
Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth'. So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.' And God said, 'See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food'; and it was so. Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Genesis 1:26-31
It is impossible to overemphasize the importance and significance of these verses here in the creation account. Elohim said, Let us make man in our own image. Notice the plural pronouns here ... us and our. This speaks to the fact that the inherent nature of God is plural in nature. This is the first indication in the Bible that multiple personalities exist within the Godhead. Jesus' words to Nicodemus in John 3:10-11, are along the same line.
Jesus answered and said to him, 'Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness.'
There, our Lord is referring to himself, his Father, and the Holy Spirit, acting in concert with one another. They had all been speaking to Israel but Nicodemus had not been listening. Later in the Bible, the Triune nature of God is specifically defined as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As Jesus put it in Matthew 28:19-20,
'Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name (singular) of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (plural) teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.' Amen.
One name ... one God ... three Persons ... an amazing, perplexing and very mysterious truth, is it not?
Returning to our text, with one declarative statement the Godhead declares that man, though he will be made of flesh and blood like all the other creatures, would be created uniquely separate from them. Man, God said, will be created like us ... in our own image. And, so he was. By the end of the sixth twenty-four hour day of creation, two new human beings stood upon the earth ... a man and a woman ... both having been made in God's own image. They stood as the crown of God's creation and, as such, were uniquely separate and different from all the other creatures that God had made. As true copies of God's image, they were able to look upon the world around them with eyes like God ... full of awareness and analytical thinking, self conscious and God consciousness. They possessed reason ... a full range of emotions ... impressive communication skills and a free will. They were not a higher form of animal, as the evolutionists and the misguided animal rights advocates of our day are so constantly trumpeting ... no, far from it. Man was unique. He was created in the image of God. Though the image was limited in scope, he possessed the inherent qualities of the Creator Himself. Thus, here was a being with which God could relate, dialogue and fellowship. God spoke to the two beings he had made as follows:
First, God blessed them. This statement is repeated in 5:2. A life blessed by the Creator is the only way to go, beloved. We find a whole list of his blessings in the first twelve verses of Matthew 5, by the way. You may want to read up on them.
Then, God said, Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth. Sex was God's idea and design. It is normal, holy and good. It came with a command from God and is wonderfully pleasurable and fulfilling within the marriage parameters that God designed for it. Surely, however, God weeps when he sees what sinful man has made of it. Hebrews 13:4, says,
Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
God's command to be fruitful and multiply was not given to Adam and Eve in the same context that he gave it to the animals. It was given to Adam and Eve as a pair of human beings who had the ability to obey or not to obey. They were designed to be monogamous and to be one flesh. This was God's plan for protecting relationships and the family and ensuring the very best environment for real love to flourish.
Selfish and rebellious adulterers and fornicators, however (according to Hebrews 13:4 above), make a mockery of it and invite God's judgment. In our day, the majority of our world is openly defiant and hostile toward this truth. And, while practicing various forms of sexual immorality, they merrily go about damaging or destroying their own lives along with the lives of others as well.
Please note one more thing here. Children are central to God's plan for a married man and woman. God's first command to man was to procreate and populate the earth. One can't help but think of Psalm 127:3-5a, in this regard,
Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them...
Then, God said ... subdue it (speaking of the earth); have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth. God gave Adam and Eve authority and dominion over the earth and all of its creatures. And, may I say to you, man hasn't done a very good job in this obligation. In fact, fallen man continues to carelessly destroy the earth for his own selfish purposes. In many ways, environmental groups are in accordance with the Word of God in this respect and we believers should be at the forefront of many of their concerns. Many of the creatures that man was to care for no longer even exist. And, much of our present world lies polluted, barren and neglected. One day, God will call men to account for it. After all, with authority comes responsibility. As you have it in Revelation 11:18,
The nations were angry, and your wrath has come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that you should reward your servants the prophets and the saints, and those who fear your name, small and great, and should destroy those who destroy the earth.
Finally, God said to Adam and Eve, See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food. In the beginning, man, as well as all the other land creatures, were vegetarians. Later, this was changed by God. He has the right to make changes, by the way. Today, God has given man the right, even the obligation, to eat meat. It has not always been so. It is fascinating to me to observe how man rebels against this truth today. It's almost as if they say, If God said it, I'm against it! Vegetarianism, though not wrong in itself, in some cases, is just another indicator of man's rebellious sinful nature being exercised! The defining text on this is found in First Timothy 4:1-5,
Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
On a side note, ever wonder why it's a good idea to thank God for one's food before eating? Well, it's because you and I who have received Christ are the temple of his Holy Spirit and, therefore, anything that enters that temple should be clean and holy. So, it is important for you and me to be aware that the food we eat is indeed sanctified by the word of God (his part) and prayer (our part). The Word of God sanctifies our food simply because God has said it's clean. Therefore, he says ... nothing is to be refused. In addition, you and I also sanctify our food by thanksgiving with prayer. This is more important than we often realize. What are some of the possible consequences of not thanking the Lord and asking his blessing on the food we eat? You tell me.
GOD'S ETERNAL REST
Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it he rested from all his work which God had created and made. Genesis 2:1-3
On the seventh day, God rested (ceased) from his work of creating. Nothing was created by God after the sixth day. And, from that day to this day, God has continued to rest from his work of creation. He was not tired, by the way. It simply means that he ceased from creating and therefore marked the seventh day as special. God has continued in his 7th day rest all the way down to today. The book of Hebrews points out that this on-going rest of God, which began way back there on the seventh day, continues on down to our day and that we believers, who have been placed into Christ, have entered into that 7th day rest with him. As you have it in Hebrews 4:4, 9-11,
For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: 'And God rested on the seventh day from all His works...'
There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered his rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from his. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.
The point here is profound. We, who have placed our trust in Christ, have entered into God's seventh day rest along with him. Have you entered into that rest, dear reader? If you have placed your faith in the Son of God, you have been placed into Christ by a divine act of God and are, right now, in God's day of rest which began back there on that historic seventh day. This may sound strange to many but it is a wonderful truth. Salvation can't be earned, you see. It is a gift. And, when you receive Christ as your personal Savior you are placed into Him by God's Holy Spirit and thereby enter into God's Sabbath rest that began on the seventh day of creation. Truly, as you have it in Second Corinthians 5:17,
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
One last thought before we move on ... the pre-Flood world that God made and of which we have been reading ... has long ago passed away. It was a very different world from the present-day world in which you and I are living. We'll discuss more about this later in the book. For now, simply note that it did not rain in the pre-Flood world. Our text says that a mist came up from the ground and watered the earth. This produced an incredibly temperate and lush earth. Our present vast oil and coal deposits are abundant and silent witness to its magnitude and prior existence. All these deposits are made up of the remains of the organic matter from that ancient world of which we have been reading. Again, modern man refuses to acknowledge it. Evolutionists claim that these elements were formed over eons of time, bit by bit, and are still being formed today. However, they can't produce one single concrete example of such a gigantic process going on in the world today sufficient to even begin to substantiate their claim. Oil and coal deposits of the magnitude that we find on earth today require a catastrophe of an unbelievable proportion to produce them. No demonstrable catastrophes are presently taking place anywhere on earth that even come near to what would be required to produce the oil and coal deposits we find so abundant on earth today. We will discuss this in greater depth with we get to chapter 6, and the great Flood. Peter says that men of his day also chose to ignore these obvious things...
For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. Second Peter 3:5-6
TWO OTHER POPULAR VIEWS
Before we move on, let's take a look at two other views that have been put forward in interpreting this first chapter of the Bible. The underlying reason for these views, in my opinion, is primarily to reconcile the biblical account with the long time periods and geologic strata interpretations that Evolutionists and most geologists insist upon in order to make their shaky case for Evolution. Those who hold these views strive to reconcile the Genesis account of Creation with Evolution and are called Theistic Evolutionists.
1. The first view says that each of the six days of the Creation account were actually "ages" consisting of long periods of time ... not actual 24 hour days. This is called, The Day/Age Theory. The main verse of Scripture that is used to buttress this view is Second Peter 3:8, where we read,
But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
The context of that verse, however, is that God is a patient God who does not want anyone to perish. It is not teaching that words like day in the Bible are not definable in their context. And, even if you were to concede that the word day in Genesis 1, meant a thousand years, it still doesn't help the Theistic Evolutionists' case since they need millions and billions of years to support their theory, not mere thousands.
Actually, we also need to consider a couple of basic rules of interpretation here.
a. First, there is the normal use of language rule. Basically, this rule applies to all human writing including the Bible. It states that, When reading something, the normal everyday use of the words written are their most likely meaning. So, the correct interpretation of a writer is almost always found by interpreting the words the way they are normally used ... 99% of the time ... unless the reader is specifically directed otherwise in the context. I submit to you that this word day here, 99 times out of a 100 times, in all speech and writing, refers to a twenty-four hour period of time. And, I find no indication in the context that suggests it should be taken otherwise. Do you? In fact, to the contrary, the repeated use of the term day in Genesis 1, as a 24 hour day, is actually further defined for us, over and over again when we read, and the evening and the morning were the ___ day! These qualifying statements clearly and deliberately define day for us as a normal 24 hour day. Have you ever known a day that had an evening and a morning that was not a normal 24 hour day?
b. Second, there is the Scripture interprets Scripture rule. Here, we need to ask ourselves, "Is there any other scripture that comes to bear on the definition of this word, day, as it is used here in Genesis 1?" The answer is, "Yes, there is." Consider the following scripture,
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. Exodus 20:8-11
According to this passage in Exodus, the word day, as used in Genesis 1, is to be taken as a normal 24 hour day. God commanded his Jewish people to pattern their weeks after it. As far as I'm concerned, this settles the argument. The creation was accomplished in seven literal 24 hour days.
2. A second view that seeks to insert great periods of time to the creation account theorizes that there is a gap between verses two and three of the first chapter. This is called, The Gap Theory. It speculates that millions or billions of years ago there was an original creation that fell and was subsequently judged and destroyed. Afterwards, God re-created our present world on top of the bones and ruins of the previous one. This too, is an attempt to reconcile the biblical account with such knotty problems as the dinosaurs and the long time periods required by the theory of Evolution.
Frankly, let me say that there is not a shred of evidence in the Bible to support this view. It is pure imagination and speculation. Furthermore, if there were a prior creation that fell before this present one, the Bible would discuss it. On top of that, the Bible explicitly states that sin and death entered via the fall of Adam ... not before...
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned... Romans 5:12
This theory also violates another basic principle of interpretation. It violates the hermeneutic that states, Never build a doctrine on an obscure verse or passage! The Gap Theory doesn't have the comfort of even a single verse on its side. It has to rely on a supposed gap between two verses! My, how we humans love to fit in, aye?
This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground. Genesis 2:4-6
In the for what it's worth department, some have argued that what we have recorded here in Genesis 2, is a second creation account which is separate from, and conflicts with, the first creation account in Genesis 1. They say that this second account says that the animals were created after Adam was created and then God brought them to him for naming ... contradicting the order of Genesis 1. The answer to that is that the Genesis 1 account gives us the order of the Creation. Genesis 2, simply fills us in with the details. Since the order of creation has already been given to us in chapter 1, the statement that God created the animals and brought them to Adam for naming is merely stating a fact ... not a sequence.
So, here in the second chapter, we will now be given a much more personal and detailed account of the creation of man and the conditions under which he first lived. It is not a second creation account. It is simply moving us from the macro to the micro ... a narrowing down to specifics in order to give us a greater and more detailed look at God's creation of, and his dealings with, man.
The text here begins by pointing out several pertinent facts about man's early environment. First, in the beginning, crops were not yet organized by man so, he had no fields to till. Second, the earth was not watered by rain. Its original pre-curse environment consisted of a lush terrarium-like landscape watered by means of a mist that came up from the ground beneath. Later, in chapter 6, we will learn that the first rainfall mankind experienced came about at the Flood in Noah's day. Can you imagine how great Noah's difficulty was then, when for an hundred and twenty years he had the task of warning people about a coming rain and flood ... neither of which anyone had ever seen before? Talk about a tough sell!
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. Genesis 2:7
This detailed description of God's actual creation of man is an intimate and moving one. Before we look at it, however, let me say a word about the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ. Before Christ became a man and dwelt among us (John 1:14), he was the eternally existing, second member of the Godhead. God of very God. As you have it in John 1:1-2,
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.
Furthermore, he was the Creator. If you continue to read in the John passage, cited above, it says,
All things were made through him, and without him nothing was made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. John 1:3-4
And again, as you have it in Colossians 1:15-16,
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through him and for him.
In John 1:18, we read,
No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him.
Jesus is, and always has been, the revealer to man of who God is. So it was before his coming into our world in the flesh as well as after his incarnation. More than once, we are going to encounter him here in the book of Genesis. His appearances in Genesis are called theophanies. Each one is a pre-incarnate appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ. For example, it was the Lord Jesus himself, along with two of his angels, who showed up at Abram and Sara's tent in chapter 18. And, it was the Lord Jesus who laid hold of Jacob and wrestled with him through the night in chapter 32. Afterwards, Jacob said, I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved (32:30). I say all of this to remind us that the Scriptures clearly teach that Jesus is God, the Creator of all things. He is the one spoken of here, when it says, And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground.
Now, let's think about his creation of man here for a moment. Until this point, God's creative work was accomplished by simply speaking things into existence. But that is not how he chose to bring man into existence. His creation of man was a hands-on thing. It was done with great intimacy, love and care. After all, God was making man in the image of himself. Had we been there to observe it, I believe that we would have seen the Lord Jesus kneeling in the dirt, carefully scraping and molding the earth with his own two hands like a divine Michelangelo, working over a beautiful sculpture. Then, we would have seen him lift his lifeless work into his arms and, drawing very close, breathe into it the breath of life and, we would have seen Adam awake and draw his first breath ... a living soul! By the way, if you want to know where the source of all life is, well, here He is. As you have it in John 1:3,
In him was life...!
Doubtless, the first thing Adam saw as he first opened his eyes was the face of God, his Creator ... the pre-incarnate Lord Jesus Christ ... the source of all life. The two would become immediate friends.
One more thought before we leave this verse. You and I are made from the dust of the ground, brother and sister. Our bodies are made up of fourteen or fifteen basic chemicals. If we went out and bought them on the open market, they probably wouldn't cost more than forty dollars or so, combined. When we die, our bodies return to the dust from which our ancestor, Adam, was formed. However, we are more than a body, as we see here in our text. We are also spirit. C. S. Lewis said, "You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." We will look more closely at this aspect of man's makeup as we continue on in our study.
The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 2:8-9
My, how involved the Lord was with his new man, Adam. He set about preparing a place for him on the new Earth he had just made. In this, by the way, He hasn't changed much. This brings to mind Jesus' words to his followers in John 14:1-3,
Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
Do you sense a pattern here? God has a great desire to care for, delight in, and be with his people! Amazing, is it not? He prepared a beautiful place for Adam and he has prepared a beautiful place for you and me as well, dear saint. The name, Eden, means delight. Notice that the trees that were there were not just for food. Our text says they were pleasant to the sight. The trees in the Garden of Eden were beautiful to behold. Undoubtedly, they will be so in our new home in Heaven as well.
Now, concerning the two special trees that were in Eden, the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil ... frankly, we know very little about them. They have long since been removed from the earth. However, the tree of life is found again in the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation. That's because it will play a part of the New Heavens and the New Earth throughout eternity (Rev. 2:7; 22:2). We can gather a good many more details about it there.
Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads. The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one which skirts the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good. Bdellium and the onyx stone are there. The name of the second river is Gihon; it is the one which goes around the whole land of Cush. The name of the third river is Hiddekel; it is the one which goes toward the east of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates. Genesis 2:10-14
In that original first world, the garden of Eden was the source of the headwaters of a magnificent river. Our text tells us that, from there, it split off into four famous rivers of the pre-Flood world ... the Pishon ... the Gihon (Nile) ... the Hiddekel (Tigris) ... and the Euphrates. It's hard to picture this in our present world because of the radical changes in topography that were brought about by the Flood in Noah's day. The earth has changed radically from its original appearance. However, the names of these rivers survived through Noah and his sons and their wives who lived in both worlds. The rivers of our world today are named after these namesakes but they no longer share a common headwater as they did in the previous world.
The waters of the garden in Eden must have greatly added to its appeal and beauty. Our Lord obviously loves his amazing creation, water, in all of its many manifestations. Especially, I think, in its river/streams form. There will be one that continuously flows from beneath his throne during his future millennial reign on Earth, by the way. Its waters will heal and clear up pollution wherever it flows. And the river itself will teem with fish and be lined with fishermen along its banks (Ezek. 47). After the Millennium, there will be a magnificent river in the New Heavens and the New Earth as well. It will flow out from the throne of God within the New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:1). The Psalmist speaks of it saying,
There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. Psalm 46:4
So it was in the Garden of Eden, and so it will be during Christ's thousand year reign on Earth, and so it will be in our eternal home, the New Jerusalem, situated on the New Earth one day.
Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, 'Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.' Genesis 2:15-17
Notice it says here that the Lord took Adam and put him in the garden. I picture it coming about something like this. One day, Jesus said, Adam, come with me. I've got something great to show you. Then, after a bit of hiking, they arrived in a beautiful well-groomed valley. Wow, Adam said, what a gorgeous place! You did all of this? Yes, Jesus replied, Come on, let me show you around.
When I was a boy, my uncle Woodrow Buchanan and my Aunt Esther and their four kids invited me to go along on their vacation to Yosemite National Park in California. When we arrived at the entrance to the park, we paid our fees and then drove off into a tunnel through a mountain. Coming out the other end, suddenly, spreading out before us was a breathtaking panorama the like of which I had never seen before. It was so spectacular that everyone in the car just gasped, Wow, we all exclaimed. Uncle Woodrow promptly pulled off the highway into an overlook parking area and we scrambled out to feast our eyes. To our left, across the valley, cascaded the incomparable Yosemite Falls. Below us, was an enormous and beautifully forested valley through which wound a crystal clear mountain river. Up the valley was the majestic El Capitan Mountain. And, behind us, was a towering two-thousand foot cliff that seemed to reach all the way up to the sky. The air smelled deliciously of pines tinted with wood smoke from numerous campfires. The impression was indelible. I shall never forget it. Adam's first look at Eden must have been something like that. Our home in heaven will also be like that. Both were ... and are ... prepared places for the children of God by their loving Lord and Savior.
During the tour of Eden, when the Lord and Adam came to a certain tree, the Lord said, Adam, you may eat the fruit of all the trees in the garden except for this one. Of this tree, you are not to eat. The day that you eat of it you will surely die.
This was the only prohibition in all of Adam's new home. Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he was not to eat. Now, let's think for a moment about Adam's nature at that particular point in time. He was innocent. Innocence means he was neither righteous nor unrighteous. God had given him a free will and along with it came responsibility. Privilege always brings responsibility. From that day on, every time Adam passed by that particular tree, he would have a decision to make. Ultimately, whichever way he decided, he would no longer be innocent. If he chose to obey the Lord and not eat of the tree, he would graduate and become righteous (one who always chooses the right thing). If he chose to disobey and eat of the tree, he would become unrighteous. In either case, he would no longer continue in a state of innocence. Now, if Adam had been a sinner living under God's Law, he would have immediately eaten of the forbidden fruit. I say that because, under the Law, commandments and rules just rile up the sin nature that already exists within a sinner and, invariably, it will slay him. As we have it in Romans 7:7-11,
What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, 'You shall not covet.' But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead. I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me.
Back when I was in Bible School, I had a dear teacher named Dr. John Mitchell. He illustrated this point of being under the Law like this. He said, If you have a cherry tree in your front yard and you don't want the kids to steal your cherries, whatever you do, don't put up a sign that says, "DON'T EAT THE CHERRIES!" Because, if you do that, he said, As soon as you put up that sign you're asking for trouble and you'll have a tree full of tow-headed kids picking and eating your cherries! It's the sign (a law) combined with their sin natures that stirs it up in them, you see. Sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire, Paul said. But, Adam had no such inner compulsion. The Lord's prohibition had no such effect on him because he was not a sinner nor was he under the Law. However, now, he did have a choice to make. And, on that choice hung the fate of the entire human race. As you have it in Romans 5:12, 18-21,
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned...
Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous. Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
And the LORD God said, 'It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.' Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him. Genesis 2:18-20
God knew that Adam was incomplete ... but Adam wasn't aware of that yet. So, the Lord began to educate him by enrolling him in the school of life by bringing all the creatures he had made to Adam for him to name. During that process, Adam was able to observe the creatures' maleness and femaleness. He must have been a pretty sharp fellow, by the way, in order to name all those animals. Having observed how each species were paired up, he began to keep an eye out for his own other half. But, as our text says, there was not found a helper comparable to him. Now, Adam realizing he had a need, was in a position for the Lord to meet it.
Let me "chase a rabbit" here for a minute. You know, our Lord still puts his children in school to show them their needs ... just so, I might add, he can then meet them. We see that principle over and over again in the lives of the saints in the Bible. And the beautiful thing is, when the time is right and we fully understand our dependence on our Lord, he is always there to meet our need. As you have it in Philippians 4:19-20,
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.
And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man he made into a woman, and he brought her to the man. And Adam said: 'This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.' Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. Genesis 2:21-25
The Hebrew word here for man is ish. It is very similar to the word for woman, ishshah. This word means out of man. For the second time, the Creator was not creating ex nihilo. Rather, he was working with an already created substance. Again, his work was tender, intimate and compelling. He molded the woman with his own two hands from a part that he took from Adam's side. The implication is that if the two were made of the same flesh they would ever be mysteriously drawn to one another. And, only when they were together would they feel truly complete. Someone has said that, A man without a woman is only half a man. Well said. And, I might add, the reverse is true as well. This account of the Lord's completion of his creation of man in the making Eve, is pregnant with import. With her creation, we find the foundation for God's purposes for male/female relations within marriage. At the very least, this passage teaches the following basic principles:
1. God designed marriage to be a monogamous institution ... one man, one woman.
Jesus quoted the following passage to the Pharisees in his day...
The Pharisees also came to him, testing him, and saying to him, 'Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?' And he answered and said to them, 'Have you not read that he who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate. Matthew 19:3-6
Polygamy has never been God's purpose for mankind. Wherever and whenever it has been practiced, it has lead to problems and a blurring of God's original purpose for marriage.
2. God designed marriage to be an exclusive institution.
God instructed Adam and Eve that there was to be a leaving and a cleaving when marriage took place. When external relationships outside of a marriage continue to dominate one partner or the other, the union itself can come into jeopardy. Both the man and the woman must leave all other ties behind and cleave to each other. When there is no real genuine leaving and cleaving, a marriage is in for big trouble. If I could say a word of advice to parents here. Parents, when your children get married, please make the leaving and cleaving easy for them. Hands off! Your raising is over. Newlyweds, if you want your marriage to succeed ... lovingly allow no interference by your parents or new in-laws. This is very important.
3. God designed marriage to be a sexual institution.
As you have it here in our text ... the two shall become one flesh. Sex, as we have noted earlier in the creation account, is God's creation and idea. And, it is not just for the propagation of the human race. Three principles and scriptures that speak to the subject of marital sex come to my mind.
a. God made sex for pleasure and to facilitate real intimacy and bonding in marriage.
The entire Bible book of The Song of Solomon deals with this subject. Proverbs 5:18-19, says,
Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; and always be enraptured with her love.
b. God made sex to propagate the human race.
Psalm 127:3-5a, says,
Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them.
c. God made sex to deter immorality.
In First Corinthians 7:2-5, we read,
Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. First Corinthians 7:2-5
4. God designed marriage to be a heterosexual institution.
God's intentions in marriage can only be fulfilled within the relationship between a man and a woman. Not many years ago, it would have been unnecessary to even bring this up, but not so in our day. Since February of 2004, when the Supreme Court of the state of Massachusetts ruled that same sex marriages are constitutional, misguided officials around the country began issuing marriage licenses to homosexuals. And now, the Supreme Court of the United States has put its stamp of approval on the practice. As our country becomes more and more pagan and ungodly, we will see more and more such departures from God's purposes for marriage. Homosexuality simply doesn't qualify. It fails the most basic test of the definition of marriage, The union between one man and one woman, instituted, ordained and maintained by God.
Homosexuality is condemned by God in both the Old and New Testaments. For Jews, under the old covenant, its practice carried the death penalty. As you have it in Leviticus 20:13,
If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.
Later in our study of Genesis we will come to the history of God's judgment and destruction of several cities where this was one of the main issues involved.
Under the New Covenant, which is in effect today, homosexuality is straightforwardly condemned as well. As you have it in Romans 1:26-29a,
For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality...
In conclusion, note that the man and the woman were naked and it brought them no shame. Shame is an emotion experienced by someone who has done something wrong and is being plagued by guilt. Having never sinned, there was no source for shame in the minds of Adam and Eve ... concerning anything. But, then they disobeyed God and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Afterwards, they experienced shame for the first time. They attributed it to an outward source, however, blaming it on the fact that they were naked. But, that wasn't the problem at all. They hadn't been ashamed before. Their shame did not come from being naked. It came from their disobedience and rebellion against God. And now they were cut off from him. Truly, in the real sense of the word, they had already died ... just as God had said they would.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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