When we talk about creation, Genesis 1 seems to get all of the attention. Obviously, it’s where we see the origins of all things so its certainly understandable…But I think sometimes we forget how special Genesis 2 is. Genesis 1 gives us the big picture view of creation, but in Genesis 2 the Bible zeroes in on the garden, and especially on the creation of man, who as we said last time is the “jewel” of creation as bearers of the image of God.
First though, in Chapter 2:1-2 we see that God has finished creation, so he sets aside the seventh day, and the Bible says that he rested on that day. This is obviously a precursor to what we know to be the Sabbath, which will be instituted later through Moses. But, for the casual reader that could be a strange statement, that God “rested”…Was he tired? Did he need to rest? Well, no. He is God, He created all things simply by the Word of His mouth, so no he wasn’t tired. I think we see a couple of things going on here…
First, as I said he is setting an example for His people to follow. For six days God worked. For six days he created. Now, on the seventh day he stopped…and the Bible says He rested. But I think it can be inferred from the text that God took time to simply enjoy the fruit of his labors. Many of us could take a major lesson here. Like I said, God didn’t need to rest, but he chose to stop and enjoy what he’d created. He took time to stop and “smell the roses,” to use a human analogy. Verse 3 says that he “declared it holy.” The Word holy as it’s used in Scripture simply means complete, or set aside…This is what we see here on the seventh day. On the seventh day God’s work is finished and he has set it aside.
Many of us should take a cue..We spend all of our time going and working and striving. Work is good, we were created for work, Genesis 2:15 says as much. But, there is also a time to stop and enjoy the fruit of your labors and rest in God and what He has done. This is the beauty of the Sabbath that is prefigured here. It’s not simply about resting, but also about taking pleasure in God’s good gifts.
Now, we move on to what I spoke of earlier and the creation of man. We will fast forward to verse 7, and here the Bible says that “..the Lord God formed the man out of the dust from the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and the man became a living being.”
I love this verse…Again, as I said…Genesis isn’t a science book, and I am no scientist, but it is pretty neat that science does confirm that the minerals and materials found in the human body do correlate quite closely to the minerals that you would find on the surface of the earth. But, aside from this and more importantly is the second part of the verse…God “breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and the man became a living being.”
Man became a living being because God breathed life into him. We owe our lives to God. This is just as true for us, as it was for Adam ever how many years ago it was when he appeared on the scene. You live, you take your next breath, because God wills it to be so. God is the giver of life, therefore all of life is in his hands. Reminding ourselves of this often is healthy and much needed.
In verse 8 we see that God places Adam in the Garden that he planted…then verse 9 the Bible tells us how God provides for the man he created. He planted and caused to grow beautiful trees that yielded fruit for the man to eat…So, God is a perfectly capable provider, and provides us with all that we need. Again, another point that we would do well to keep in mind, and meditate on often…
We also hear about the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil…unless you were born under a rock, you know that these two trees play quite a prominent role in the rest of the story…
We are going to stop here, because I really want to focus in on several other aspects of the second part of Chapter 2 before we move into Chapter 3, and I am intentionally trying to keep these blogs short (1,000 words or less), and there’s no way I can do the remaining verses justice in less than 300 words.
So, I hope you’ll stick with me, and come back for the rest of Genesis 2!