November 26 – Eden

Read Genesis 1:1-2:24

Some who read Genesis 1 and 2 propose that the Bible gives two different, contradicting accounts of creation.  Such critics point to such details as different names for God and a seemingly different order of creation depicted in the two chapters.  While our focus here is not particularly to diffuse all elements of the contradiction, I like the way that Wayne Jackson, MA, from Apologetics Press describes it (https://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=6&article=1131):

In Genesis 1 there is a broad outline of the events of the creation week, which reaches its climax with the origin of mankind in the very image of God. In Genesis 2 there is the special emphasis upon man, the divine preparation of his home, the formation of a suitable mate, etc.

Indeed man is the pinnacle of God’s creation, the apple of His eye, in French the “pièce de résistance.”  As beings made in His own image, God gave to man freedom of will and yet yearned for man’s submissive obedience to simple instructions He gave.  Those simple instructions have been called the “Edenic Covenant” and include:

  • A call to fruitful multiplication (1:28). God gave to husbands and wives the gift of sexual intimacy that was to serve the twin purposes of joyful expression of love as well as procreation.
  • A command to fill the earth (1:28). God wanted men and women to spread out as reflectors of His glory as image bearers and witnesses of His glory through creation.
  • An invitation to subdue and dominate the rest of creation (1:28). Man bears the image of God as ones who study, rule over, and appropriately leverage the resources with which God has provided us.
  • A list of menu items (1:29, 30; 2:15-17). Both man and animals were vegetarians at this point.

It was precisely in this last area of edible fruits that God gave the only restriction.  He was not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Violation of this covenant instruction would have its consequence.  Man would “surely die.”

And, just one chapter later, that very thing happened.  Both Adam and Eve ate.  Immediately, they experienced the spiritual death of separation from God (Gen. 3).  And three chapters and some years later, they died physically.

The violation of this covenant at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil has set into motion man’s greatest problem – sin and its consequences.  But it has also opened the door to God’s greatest provision – Christ and forgiveness.

sbk

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