Genesis 2011 - Lesson 1D

Chapters 1:26-31; 2:1-3

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Gen. 1:26 Then God said, “Let  Us make  man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them  rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the  sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 
Gen. 1:27 God created man  in His own image, in the image of God He created him;  male and female He created them. 
Gen. 1:28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the  sky and over every living thing that  moves on the earth.” 
Gen. 1:29 Then God said, “Behold,  I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the  surface of all the earth, and every tree  which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; 
Gen. 1:30 and  to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that  moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so. 
Gen. 1:31 God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. 
  • The sixth day began with animals and ended with man

    • Notice a difference in how man is created?

      • By God’s hands, not by His voice

      • Could He have spoken men into existence? Yes

        • The use of His hands suggest much greater concern and personal involvement, even love

      • And what of the materials God used?

        • In all other cases, the things being made are formed from nothing, or out of the mass described in verse 2

        • In this case, man is made out of an existing material: the earth itself

          • This difference is critically, supremely important

          • In fact, this is so important, it determines the course of human history until the Kingdom arrives

          • We will see why in Chapter 3

  • When God begins to make man, He begins with a new statement

    • God says let “us” create

      • The word for God in Hebrew is Elohim, which is a plural word

        • The verb for create is also plural

      • God is shown as more than one Person even in the first chapter of Genesis

    • God then creates Man

      • The word for man is adam, which literally means earth or dirt in Hebrew

        • In Chapter 1, the story is telling us that God created mankind on Day 6 – male and female

        • We see this confirmed in Chapter 2

          • For now, the author is content to simply use “man” in the general sense so that mankind is accounted for in the story

          • He gives more detail on this event in Chapter 2

    • The text says Man is created in God’s image (or likeness), or according to His likeness (or His pattern)

      • This detail alone confirms that God intends to set man apart from the rest of creation

        • God chose to express His nature and character into a creature that has the capacity to appreciate it and worship it

        • Such a goal requires a creature with the capacity to know God in a manner similar to the way God knows Himself

          • This is what “in His image” ultimately means

  • So in what ways are we in God’s image or “like” God?

    • First, in our ability to exist as God exists

      • We have the capacity to share in many of the character attributes that God Himself embodies

        • God is the author of love, grace, mercy, charity

          • In a very real sense, God establishes these concepts by His very existence

          • God IS love, grace, etc.

        • Furthermore, we can exhibit them to one another as God demonstrates them to us

        • So we share in an existence that mirrors God’s own nature and character

          • Unlike the rest of Creation

    • Secondly, our ability to make moral choices or decisions

      • To obey or disobey authority 

    • Finally,  our capacity to know and relate to God

      • Our intellect, reasoning and our capacity to worship and glorify God

      • The rest of creation gives God glory by its mere existence

        • We can go beyond that and glorify God by our will

  • All of this adds up to a simple statement

    • God created us in His image so that we could have a meaningful relationship with Him

      • All these attributes result in the capacity for true relationship

      • A greater degree of relationship than even the angels enjoy

    • Christ was the perfect example of what a man, created in God’s image, could achieve in terms of relationship

      • Perfectly obedient, perfectly pleasing to the Father, perfectly giving Him glory, One with Him in relationship

  • By faith in Christ, when we become born again into the family of God, we are called God’s sons

    • And we come to share an even greater portion of His nature

      • We share in Christ’s perfect nature to the degree we set aside our old self and pursue the knowledge of Christ in His word

Col. 3:9   Do not lie to one another, since you  laid aside the old  self with its evil practices, 
Col. 3:10 and have  put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge  according to the image of the One who  created him — 
Eph. 4:20 But you did not learn Christ in this way, 
Eph. 4:21 if indeed you have heard Him and have  been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 
Eph. 4:22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you  lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the  lusts of deceit, 
Eph. 4:23 and that you be  renewed in the spirit of your mind, 
Eph. 4:24 and  put on the  new  self, which   in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. 
  • As we come to faith and walk in that faith through a growing knowledge of God in His word, we actually move closer to the state God intended when we were created

    • We become more like the image of God and less like our sinful selves

  • God tells man to fill earth, subdue it and rule over animals

    • Rule = nadah = dominion

      • Man initially had dominion over the earth – unearned

      • The world was created for man – a dominion prepared for man

    • God gives man plants to eat

      • No meat…why not?

        • Meat would require death…no death

      • With the introduction of chay nephesh, we have another huge problem with the Day Age theory and evolution

        • Day Age (evolution) requires death to advance creation

        • Bible says death came only after man sinned (Chap 3)

        • No death until then

Rom. 5:12 Therefore, just as through  one man sin entered into the world, and  death through sin, and  so death spread to all men, because all sinned — 
Rom. 5:13 for until the Law sin was in the world, but  sin is not imputed when there is no law. 
Rom. 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned  in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a   type of Him who was to come. 
  • So absent sin and death, there can be no opportunity to eat anything except plants

  • Sixth day – chart completion (create vs. fill)

    • Man is a part of Day 6 because we share much in common with the animal kingdom in a physical sense

      • But the text makes clear that we have an entirely different kind of spirit

      • And the world and everything in it was given to man as our dominion

Gen. 2:1  Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all  their hosts. 
Gen. 2:2 By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and  He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 
  • The heavens and earth are complete (and everything in them)

    • Why do we have Chapter 2?

      • It compares & contrasts the events of Day 6

    • Some say Chapter 2 is a “second” story of Genesis

      • They see Chapter 2 as starting the story over

      • This is an ill-informed view

    • Chapter 2 is Day 6 expanded

  • Genesis is known for its “zoom in and zoom out” pattern

    • Chapters move from looking at short periods of time in detail, to looking at long periods of time at a glance

      • Chapter 1 is a longer period of time than Chapter 2

      • Chapter 2 is Day 6 in detail

  • Before we start the zoom in for Chapter 2, consider the interesting statement in verse 2

    • God rested

      • Was He tired?

        • The word for rest is shabath – brought to an end, ceased

        • God didn’t rest from tiredness…He ceased

      • Why?

        • We know He doesn’t need rest

        • We also know He doesn’t need 24 hours to cease

      • It seems a peculiar and pointed effort by God to make a statement

        • He is setting an example He will use later

    • Consider how God explains the Sabbath later in Scripture

Ex. 20:8 “Remember  the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 
Ex. 20:9 “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 
Ex. 20:10 but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it  you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who  stays with you. 
Ex. 20:11 “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy. 
Deut. 5:15 ‘You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to observe the sabbath day. 
  • According to Scripture, God’s rest was intended to set an example for the Jewish nation under the Law

    • We know that God doesn’t tell Adam to observe a rest

      • Adam does work, but he doesn’t get a command to rest

      • Also, God’s rest was NOT a physical rest

        • God is Spirit only and therefore He didn’t need physical rejuvenation

        • His rest was not physical in nature

        • By ceasing from His work, God was setting an example

    • Therefore, the Sabbath’s ultimate purpose was not to provide us with physical rest

      • In the same way that water baptism was not commanded to ensure we clean our bodies

        • Water baptism was a picture of a more important spiritual event

        • Similarly, physical rest on the Sabbath was always intended to be a picture of a greater spiritual rest

          • The weekly physical rest God commanded for the Jews was a picture of something even greater

          • What spiritual truth does the Sabbath picture then?

  • First, consider we have been saved and transformed by Christ

2Cor. 5:17 Therefore if anyone is  in Christ,  he is  a new creature;  the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 
2Cor. 5:18 Now  all these things are from God,  who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the  ministry of reconciliation, 
  • Second, Scripture says that our reconciliation with God is the result of a work that God Himself did on our behalf

Heb. 10:11 Every priest stands daily ministering and  offering time after time the same sacrifices, which  can never take away sins; 
Heb. 10:12 but He, having offered one sacrifice  for  sins  for all time,  SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, 
Heb. 10:13 waiting from that time onward  UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET. 
Heb. 10:14 For by one offering He has  perfected  for all time those who are  sanctified. 
  • God did the work of our salvation

    • We did nothing to accomplish our salvation

    • We were simply the beneficiary

    • After the work of redemption was complete, Christ sat down 

      • He rested or ceased from His work once redemption was completed

  • Likewise, God did the same in the time of  His creation

    • God did all the work of creation

    • We did nothing to assist in the creation of the world

    • Man was simply the beneficiary

    • Once God was done creating, He ceased and  “rested”

  • So God did the work on the cross and we were the beneficiary (without doing any work of our own)

  • A man’s rest on the Sabbath is only temporary

    • After the Saturday Sabbath, each man’s work resumes on Sunday

      • The rest was not lasting

      • No man could rest securely and perpetually on the Sabbath

      • He always knew work would begin again the next day

  • The Sabbath was given to picture the rest we have in Christ.