THE creation story is known throughout the world by many peoples, some of whom have never read a bible. Stories of these events that abound in many tribes and cultures have a similar theme of some kind. This can not be coincidental. It is because Man is created to be like God and I will elaborate later. The opening words in our bible state-
At the beginning of God’s creating of the heavens and the earth, when the earth was wild and waste, darkness over the face of Ocean, rushing-spirit of God hovering over the face of the waters—God said: Let there be light! And there was light.
God saw the light: that it was good.
God separated the light from the darkness.
God called the light: Day! and the darkness he called: Night!
There was setting, there was dawning: one day. Genesis 1:1-5
I once assumed that God created everything out of nothing and that this creation was what we would like to dub as “perfect” but it was not. God created everything by faith and by His spoken word. The phrase, “...and God said” appears almost 200 times in Genesis alone. Hebrews 11:3 states that it is by faith we can understand this, but it may also refer to God’s own faith that all things were created. Faith is not a passive belief structure but an activating agent or force that has to be released. See Hebrews 11:6 and James 2:17-18.
We are supposed to be in charge as His representatives. Although it is all His, God does not actively rule here as such—the Church is supposed to do that.
But let us go back to the beginning...
And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
The world is really good and is not to be written off as intrinsically evil. The evil we refer to is the influence that the devil exercises on the planet, but it is not legally his and it was never that way.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Now the earth was without form, and chaotic; and there was darkness upon the face of the deep, when the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.Genesis 1:1-2
It reveals that the earth became something and the Hebrew word is hāyâ It paints the picture of something that changed and became different. The phrase without form in the Hebrew is tōhû and it means to lie waste. It describes a desolation, confusion, an empty place, a wilderness and so on. The next word is void and the Hebrew word bōhû describes an indistinguishable ruin or an empty void. The dark (not darkness) is ḥōshek and it describes misery, destruction, death, sorrow and ignorance. One thing that the devil wants is for you to be ignorant, because if you do not know the truth, he’s got you! This alone is one reason we really need to study the bible—properly; with open eyes, hearts and minds to receive the revelation of Jesus Christ. See 2 Timothy 2:14-16.
It was in this setting that God started talking and speaking life into existence. The first thing that happened was that the light came! Think of this for a moment. Reading on, we see that God gave the man dominion. It was unlimited and so unprecedented that the angels looked on in amazement.
O יהוה, our Master, how excellent is Your Name in all the earth, You who set Your splendour above the heavens!
Out of the mouth of babes and infants You have founded strength, Because of Your adversaries, To put an end to enemy and avenger.
For I see Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have established.
What is man that You remember him?
And the son of man that You visit him?
Yet You have made him a little less than Elohim, And have crowned him with esteem and splendour.
You made him rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all under his feet, All sheep and oxen,
And also the beasts of the field, The birds of the heavens, And the fish of the sea, Passing through the paths of the seas.
O יהוה, our Master, How excellent is Your Name in all the earth! Psalm 8. See also Hebrews 2:4-8
This man was amazing. His physique, strength and stamina was, to say the least, absolutely amazing. It was perfect. He was immortal. He was like God (but not God). We are not little insignificant worms who are God’s servants, but His friends and He knows each and every one of us so well, He calls us by name and counts the hairs on our heads. Try doing that! Actually, it does not only mean counting how many numerically, but knowing which hair fell out! See John 15:13-14. God called Abraham a friend. What a blessing to be called a friend of God and we are not only blessed; we are the blessed, because we are His heirs...the seed of Abraham and thus heirs of the promise. Little wonder the devil hates us.
Genesis says that we are created in the image and likeness of God. The literal meaning is taken from the word ṣelem that means to shade; a phantom, an illusion, resemblance and an idol. Because this refers to the image as a representation of the deity, images as such, were strictly forbidden, because they became idols. Not all sculpture such as the golden cherubim was forbidden—only the idols and, unfortunately, many churches are full of them. Man was also made in God's likeness (demût) that means a resemblance, like a concrete model or shape. Think of someone’s statue. It is not the actual person, but a representation of the real person, who in this instance is God. Adam was His vice-regent as seen in Psalm 8, particularly verses 5-8. Man had God-given glory, honour and rulership. God's image obviously does not consist in man's body which was formed from earthly matter, but in his spiritual, intellectual, moral likeness to God from whom his animating breath came. The reason why God prohibited idols is that they are all material created things. God is a spirit and we are spirit beings who possess a soul and live in a physical body. We are supposed to relate to Him spiritually.
This spiritual aspect of man has been damaged by the fall and is daily tarnished by sin, but Jesus changed it all. See Hebrews 2:6-15.
WHEN God had finished creating everything, He rested on the seventh day, not because He got tired, but because He had completed His work. Man was created. He had been given dominion and everything needful for life and it was perfect, but we see something interesting. God planted a garden. He created (bārāʾ) the earth but planted (nāṭaʿ)a garden!
The LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there He placed the man He had formed.
I have looked at this many times over the years and there was always something “different” about what I had previously thought. The Hebrew word to look at is śûm that means put of course and it seems that God picked him up and then placed him in this garden.
The garden was in a real geographical location that some scholars believe still exists, but is hidden from us. They say it is somewhere in the region we now know as Iraq. It’s interesting, but what got my attention is this action of placing the man in this special place. There are other meanings also and they all describe the action of putting someone in charge of something of committing it to someone. Another meaning is to preserve and to do so for a specific purpose.
Further on in the account, we see that there were two trees in the garden and that a river went out of Eden to water it. This river later split into other rivers, one of which is the river Euphrates. We also see that there was plenty of good gold and precious gem stones there. God never created poverty and lack and He has never changed His mind. Poverty and lack came from the fall, but the good news is that Jesus redeemed us from that curse! Any one of us now has that capacity to tap into God and get back into the original pattern. I for one am working on it!
It was here where God brought all the animals to Adam for a specific purpose. Adam gave all of God’s creation a name.
If you read Genesis 2:19, you will see that God looked on to see what Adam called them. What a man!
There was a time when no rain came on the earth.
And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. Genesis 2:5
God had provided everything imaginable for the man, but it included responsibility and accountability. We are in covenant relationship and blessed of course, but always remember that there are areas of responsibility and accountability in our lives. The issue is “Can He trust us?” Many people simply do not know how to handle or manage things properly, especially finances. They cry out for money, thinking that will solve all their problems, but can’t handle it. Some folk do not even know how to clean their homes, but pray for a new house or a new car whilst their existing car is like a mobile junkyard poorly maintained, but they still want a new one! I’ve seen it before. In a short time, their car is a help of junk and their home looks like a garbage tip.
Genesis 2:15 says that God took the man and then put him in the garden. There is something different here. The word took is lāqaḥ and it means to fetch, to grab hold, to bring and more. It seems that God may have made man somewhere else and He then grabbed hold of Adam and deliberately put him down in the middle of the garden. The next word play is where God “put” him in the garden. The Hebrew is yānaḥ that literally means to deposit, alongside other various meanings.
It also speaks of rest and quietness, a resting place and settling down!
God was working to a plan. He has a plan for you too and if He never changes, His plan does not change. You and I might goof off, but God’s plan is fixed. What we need to do is find out what it is and get on side with that. God’s plan was for Adam to dress or tend the garden and keep it.
Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate?
Paul wrote that when he was in the Mamertime Prison where few prisoners survived. It was the sewer for the Imperial Palace in Rome and here he was on the verge of death, wanting to die, but chose rather to continue living when the Lord ministered to him and on his release, spent the rest of his life more productive than ever before.
We shall now see the events that changed everything.
THERE is much more I could share with you about this, but you have enough information now to know how to live victoriously. Whenever the devil knocks on your door, don’t open it! He has no power over you whatsoever, provided you stay under God’s umbrella. Don’t start debating—start confessing God’s word. If you need help, such as knowing what to say, ask the Holy Spirit to show you the scriptures to start speaking. He will, but when He does, use it; Start speaking it!
This is how you lock the gate and keep it locked.
I hope this has been a blessing.
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