Devotional Reading: Psalm 8
Lesson Scripture: Genesis 2: 18-25
Lesson Aims: To recognize that God has purpose in every action; to appreciate His care in creating humans; and to understand God’s purpose for relationship.
Background: The first five books of the Bible are often referred to as the Pentateuch. The Jews call them the Torah (teachings). We are also familiar with them as the Mosaic Law. Attributed to Moses, the accounts at first were oral and then penned much later. Genesis, the first book recorded, “the beginnings of creation.” Instead of one force championing over the other (like other creation stories) for control, God spoke and order in the cosmos occurred! The account was not for historical or scientific data; it is about faith. The book simply presents God as the one who is in control of all things.
In six days, God created everything in order with balance. At the end of each day, He declared that everything was good. Did last week’s lesson stir up in you His awesomeness? Humans were God’s final act of creation. Made in God’s image/likeness (character traits), humans were to be fruitful and good stewards over creation. Read Genesis 1: 27-31. On the seventh day, He rested!
Lesson: Chapter two reverses the order of creation somewhat and closely records just “how” man was made. From the dust of the earth, God fashioned man like a potter over a lump of clay. This implies wisdom, careful consideration and compassion. Into this form, God breathes the breath of life and man becomes a living soul.
God places him in the Garden of Eden, which was already created. Only two trees are named (Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil). A beautiful description of the garden is given and man’s purpose for being there is stated. One stipulation is given to man — do not eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. He names all of the animals, indicating his authority from God and his responsibility to God. Yet, man is incomplete because he has no equal to help him. “Of all of the ancient creation stories, Genesis is the only one to record the creation of woman” (Harper Collins Study Bible).
God puts man in a deep sleep to make a suitable helper. While asleep, a rib is taken from him and formed the female. Like man, she bears the image of God. When presented to man, he joyfully declares her name as woman who came from him and is his suitable helper. God then establishes the first human institution — marriage. They are naked and unashamed.
Application: God created life in pairs. These pairs are the same and different, yet they complement each other. Life is dependent on life. Man and woman are declared married and the two are to become one. Their differences are not a source of ridicule and competition but like animal life, these qualities should complement. Becoming one is much more than sexuality. Oneness suggests a unity in spirit and outlook as well.
Humans’ relationship with each other and God is paramount for the union to thrive. Eve, as she is called in chapter 3, is not an after- thought of God; she was in the plan all the time. The creation of the universe is in place and humanity is residing in the garden. What lies ahead?