top The Glorious Eternity Of God Sunday, January 21, 2018
THE GLORIOUS ETERNITY OF GOD: (KJV)
By, James L. Thornton
We want to answer the question, “Is there a God?” “What is God like?” “How can I know God?” “Is there life after death?” “Why am I here? “Where am I going?”
Who is this God that stepped out from eternity to create our universe? He did not leave us without witness; in fact He Himself is His greatest witness. This year let us make a deliberate decision to seek to know God as He truly is. I do not know Him as well as I want to, or as well as I should. I do know Him more personally than I did twenty years ago, and I pray I will know Him better next year that I do today.
Who Can Understand Eternity, Create, Life, Sin, Soul? Words Which Have No Meaning Without God.
1. A God Who Had No Needs
2. We Can Find Meaning For Our Life In Creation
3. Prepared By The Spirit Of God
4. Prepared By God's Word
5. God Created Light
6. God's Word Brings Inner Illumination
7. Creation Of The Firmament, The Sky
8. God Laid A Foundation For Life On Earth, Dry Land
9. The Beautification Of Earth
10. God Gave Direction For Planet Earth
11. God Creates Life, (Living Beings)
12. God Creates Man In His Own Image
13. Man Received God's Blessing
14. Finding Meaning, A Pattern To Live By
15. God Made One Day Holy
16. Man Became A Living Soul
17. God Creates A Help Mate For Man
18. Man's First Home, A Garden, A Paradise
19. God Gave Man Responsibilities
20. God Commands Obedience To His Law
21. The Serpent's Deception & Man's Shameful Fall
22. Adam and Eve's Conscience Awakened
23. Adam & Eve Called Before The Judgment Bar Of God
24. Eve Found Guilty Before God
25. God Sentenced Adam To A Life Of Hardship & Death
26. Consequences Of Sin; Separation From God
27. First Death On Earth, Made To Cover Man's Sin
28. The Birth Of Cain & Able
Genesis 1:1. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”
Revelation 21:1. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.”
We are living in the space of time between these two scriptures, but God existed before the first scripture, and will continue to exist after the fulfillment of the second. The glorious beginning of God’s story begins with the profound statement that in the beginning God created everything (Genesis 1)—which means that in the beginning He was already there. God is eternal.
It is impossible to comprehend eternity. It’s been defined as three stages of time: everything before Creation, everything that has taken place or will take place from Creation until the end of the world, and everything that will take place after the end of the world. It stretches back further than the human mind can reach, it stretches ahead further that the human mind can imagine. The opening statement of Genesis makes it clear that God as Creator is eternal and therefore not bound by time.
This God who “inhabiteth eternity” (Isaiah 57:15), asks a question in Isaiah 44:8b “Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.” And again in Isaiah 45:21b. “And there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.” All other gods are the figment (Something invented, made up, or fabricated) of the imaginations of man. The practice of worship of idols goes back to the dawn of human history. The Bible names a few, Dagon, Baal, Ashtoreth, Diana, and when Paul walked through Athens (Acts 17:23), no less than 20,000 idols gods were displayed. The Hindus believe it took 350,000,000 gods to create the world.
1. A GOD WHO HAD NO NEEDS:
Genesis 1:1. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”
Genesis begins with the dark void of eternity. God has always been. He has always been God. There was a time when there was nothing but God. And somewhere back before time God established His throne. Isaiah 14:12-14 and Ezekiel 28:12-17 establishes the fact that God had a hierarchy, a Kingdom with all the pomp and unimaginable splendor anyone could desire, long before He created this Universe. So the question arises, “Why did God create the heaven and the earth?”
A God who had no needs, but Who had desires. He did not need a heaven and an earth, but He had a desire to have boys and girls, and men and women, who would love and worship Him and have fellowship with Him. That’s the reason He created the heavens and the earth. This earth that you and I inhabit is almost an insignificant speck swirling around in an unimaginable vast collection of stars and planets. Why did God create so unimaginable large universe, and as far as science can determine, the earth is the only inhabitable speck in it?
This earth is the most remarkable piece of real estate in the Universe. It was established as a paradise, a home, for the human race. Once man was created, he was committed for the long term. And the Creator, in His grace, showered the man with benefits that would make his commitment to life a joy and pleasure: “God blessed them.” (Genesis 1:28) Every day the man would be excited to wake up, eager to go to work, rejoicing in who he was and the opportunities he had during the day, walking in the evening with the Creator, sleeping peacefully at night in harmony with the world around him because he was blessed by His Creator.
God is the Creator, whose purpose for you and me is the same as it was when He created our environment in the beginning. He wants us to reflect His image so that we might receive His blessing. “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31)
2. WE CAN FIND MEANING IN THE PREPARATION OF THE EARTH:
Like planet Earth around us, our lives are not a haphazard cosmos. They were deliberately planned to be filled with the beauty of love and joy and peace and purpose—with God Himself. Such plans for our lives, as for planet Earth, need careful preparation.
Genesis 1:2. “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
In the beginning, there was nothing in the universe except a vast, endless emptiness.
There was no time, no history, no life, no light, no sound, just an immense black hole. Then, in all of that eternal empty nothingness, there was a misshapen blob that swirled in water, minute in size compared to the endless expanse surrounding it. It was enveloped in inky blackness, empty of everything and anything we might name, recognize, or find familiar.
3. PREPARED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD:
One of the very first steps the Creator took to fill the emptiness with life and beauty and eternal purpose was to prepare it by His Spirit: “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
The description of the Earth as it existed in the beginning is also an amazingly accurate description of the lives of many people today, lives that are formless, with no shape or discipline or character; lives that are void of meaning and joy and satisfaction—empty on the inside; lives that are in the darkness of ignorance, depression, despair, anger, frustration, and separated from God; and lives that are covered with water—the “deep”—having no stability or security.
How does a person whose life is empty experience changes that will result in a full, happy, meaningful life? The first necessary step is the preparation by the Spirit of God. Hundreds bear radiant testimony to the power of God to transform an empty life into one filled with the blessing of God through the preparation of His Spirit and the power of the Word. Let us pray that God’s Spirit will hover over us to prepare our hearts to receive Him into our lives, then what a change takes place.
4. PREPARED BY HIS WORD:
God brought about change in the Earth not only through the advanced preparationof the Spirit but through the daily proclamation of His Word.
Genesis 1:3. “And God said, …
In the Bible the phrase “God said” occurs over twenty–five hundred times. “God said … the Lord has said … thus saith the Lord,” and so on. That is more than two times for every page in the Bible. God has made it very clear that He is speaking through this Book. It is a Book that can communicate life to you.
The phrase “and God said” occurs nine times in the first chapter of Genesis.
Was His Word like a still, small voice whispering in the darkness? Was His Word rumbling and loud like a peal of thunder? Was His Word full, musical, reverberating like the sound of rushing waters?
However it was, it was simply an expression of what was on God’s mind. Regardless of the form, we know that every day of Creation,
God’s Word went forth, every day it was received, and every day some change took place in response, until progressively, day after day after day, the earth was transformed from emptiness to fullness of life and beauty.
Is your life empty? Do you want to experience real, lasting, God-pleasing change so that you are filled with satisfaction, peace, joy, love, purpose—abundant life?
Then don’t look to a drug, a bottle, a pill, a therapist, a once-a-week trip to church, or even a weekly Bible study. Look to God’s Word for yourself. Read your Bible every day in order to understand, apply, and obey it. As we long to grow not only in our faith but in our Christian character so that others can readily see Christ in us, we need to live in the power of the Holy Spirit and in obedience to His Word.
This transformation is a continual process that is brought about by daily saturating ourselves in the Scriptures, then living it out in our life day by day.
God’s Word has not lost its power since the beginning of time! The same power that transformed planet Earth from that which was void, dark, without form, and in a fluid condition to that which was teeming with life, clothed in beauty, and reflective of the image of God is available today to change and fill empty lives.
5. GOD CREATED THE LIGHT TO ILLUMINATE THE WORLD AND DISPEL THE DARKNESS:
“Darkness was upon the face of the deep.” In the beginning there was no dawn to end the night, no sun to warm the day, no moonlight reflected in the swirling water, no silhouettes against the sky, no sky, no horizon, just a never-ending night!
Genesis 1:3. “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”
What was that first light like? Was it a soft, gradual illumination of the darkness like the dawning of a new day? Was it a shaft of brilliant glory? And how was it possible since the sun, moon, and stars were not brought into existence until the fourth day of Creation? Scientists tell us that there is light in the universe apart from the sun, such as phosphorescence or the light from radiation or the aurora borealis.
And the Bible (1 John 1:5) tells us physical light is associated with the very presence of God—so much so that in heaven there will be no need for a sun, moon, and stars, because the light of God’s glory will illumine everything. Perhaps on the first day of Creation God lifted the veil that had hidden Him from earth and in some way the glory of His presence was revealed. Whatever the unknown technical explanation may be, we know the light came in response to God’s Word.
God didn’t leave our environment in a murky, dusky twilight. “And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” (Genesis 1:4–5)
While the light described was literal it has wonderful analogy and personal meaning for you and me, because light in the spiritual sense represents the truth, clarity, spiritual understanding, and discernment we receive from God’s written Word. The Psalmist praised God because “the unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.”
In what area of your life do you need illumination? God’s written Word and the answers we find there turn our darkness into light. The Psalm 119:105 says, God’s Word “is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
6. GOD’S WORD BRINGS INNER ILLUMINATION:
Jesus Christ, the living Word of God, is the light of the world!
Genesis 1:3. “And God said, Let there be light. And there was light.”
Do you ever wonder,
“Why am I here?”
“What is the meaning to my life?”
“Why is genuine happiness so elusive?”
“Why am I lonely in a crowd?”
“Why am I so restless inside?”
“Why do I feel guilty?”
“Why do I feel afraid?”
“Is there a God?”
“What is God like?”
“How can I know God?”
“Is there life after death?”
“Where am I going?”
God’s written Word and the answers we find there turn our inner darkness into light.
We could wonder if the mind of Saul of Tarsus searched for truth through similar questions. He had filled his life with organized religion in order to find God and through Him, meaning for his life. He testified that he was “Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.”
Yet he lived in the darkness of ignorance, thinking he was serving God while all the while he was separated from Him. While he pursued with a vengeance what he perceived to be the truth, suddenly “a light (blazed) from heaven, brighter than the sun.” (Acts 26:13)
Saul of Tarsus was confronted with the revelation of God’s glory in the person of Jesus Christ! While the light temporarily physically blinded him, at the same time it opened his spiritual eyes to the truth. Later he exclaimed, “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6)
The Apostle John said that “in him was life, and that life was the light of men.” His life is our light, our meaning, our reason for living, our fulfillment and satisfaction and joy and peace! Surely, if God could lean down out of heaven and invade the life of Saul of Tarsus, shining His Light into Saul’s life in such a way that his life was transformed, He is able to do the same for you and me and anyone we know! John says the Light has come! He is the living Word who was in the beginning with God, who Himself was God, who became flesh! His name is Jesus!
7. CREATION OF THE FIRMAMENT, THE SKY ABOVE US:
Only God has the power to lift the pressure from within you. Your circumstances may remain the same, but He has the power to give you breathing room. He can give your spirit peace and rest, even as He gives your life a new dimension.
Genesis 1:6. “And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven.”
In the beginning, when the light appeared, it revealed a planet that was black and white and gray. There was no color. The planet was just a misshapen blob completely submerged in water. If we had been present, all we would have seen would have been some prehistoric, stagnant pond. To the untrained eye, it would have appeared to have no potential at all. Do you know anyone like that?
Sometimes, even with the Light on, only God can see the potential in a human life. The potential can be totally invisible to others, submerged in waste, in filth, in sin and rebellion and violence. How do you react to such a person? Sometimes, a person’s life can be so hopelessly ugly we just want to turn the light off. But praise God! He turned the Light on and began to draw out the potential:
God separated the waters below from the waters above, forming an atmosphere (the air we breath) in between. The vapor canopy would have made the earth like a greenhouse. On the earth, under the canopy, there would have been no great air-mass movements, no hurricanes, no tornadoes, no monsoons, no typhoons, no rain, no thunderstorms.
Scientists tell us that today the atmosphere weighs approximately 5.7 quadrillion tons! But the atmosphere held much more water than that in earth’s first days. (Genesis 2:5-6) Think of the pressure on the earth when it was smothered and swirling in billions and billions of tons of water!
Can you imagine the power of God’s Word that lifted those billions of tons of water up from the earth into a vapor canopy? The earth was still “under” the pressure, but with the expanse and new dimension, it had breathing room.
8. GOD LAID A FOUNDATION FOR LIFE ON EARTH:
On the third day of creation God’s Word went forth to a planet submerged in water and laid the foundations of the earth. God’s word is the only sure foundation to build our life upon.
Genesis 1:9 “And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.”
All around us we see lives collapsing with broken hearts and broken homes and broken hopes—with shattered minds and shattered emotions and shattered bodies.
What has gone wrong? The foundation on which the majority of people are building their lives is cracked and flawed. The foundation of faith in Jesus Christ is one on which you and I can build our lives with confidence, knowing it will last, not only for our lifetimes but for all eternity as well.
As Jesus concluded His Sermon on the Mount, He said, “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.” (Matthew 7:24-25)
The Bible tells us there is only one foundation for individual or national life that will last, regardless of the crisis or pressure, and it is the foundation of Jesus Christ: “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 3:11)
The Creator wants us to have a strong foundation for life, and He wants the lives we build on that foundation to be filled with satisfaction, fulfillment, beauty, and fruitfulness. This is reflected in the third day of Creation, which not only involved laying a foundation but also bringing forth vegetation that made the earth fruitful and beautiful.
Jesus Christ never changes “He is the same yesterday today and forever.” He will “never leave you nor forsake you.” “Nothing can ever separate you from His love.” “His grace is always sufficient,” and “His power is made perfect in weakness.” His Word never fails, His promises are true, and everything He says comes to pass.
9. God Painted The Hills
THE BEAUTIFICATION OF EARTH:
Through the power of His Word, God brought beauty to the barrenness and added color to the drabness. Notice this time God did not create anything new. He just called it forth from what was already present, because apparently that which was necessary for plant life was in the soil.
Genesis 1:11. “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
12. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind:”
Up until this point, the cold, colorless earth was as bleak and barren as the lunar landscape looks today. It consisted only of water and dry ground. There was: no grass, no moss, no flowers, no ferns, no bushes, no shrubs, no trees, no cacti, no fungi, no lichens, not even any weeds!
We wonder what it would have been like to watch the bleak, barren, desolate planet suddenly softened with spidery ferns, exotic orchids, waving palm trees, velvety moss, scarlet poppies, majestic sequoias, lush raspberries, gnarled apple trees, weeping willow trees, carpeted fields of grass, until it was breathtakingly beautiful!
What does the land of your life look like? Is it drab and devoid of the real beauty of joy and happiness? Is it barren of any lasting meaning? Is it desolate from lack of love? Perhaps it is even ugly because of the scars of sin and suffering. If God, through the power of His Word, transformed planet Earth into something that was beautiful, He can do the same for you.
It doesn’t matter if your life has always been dry, barren, bleak, desolate, and ugly, or if it has become that way because of some tragedy or crisis. If you submit your life to the skillful touch of the Creator, He has the power to transform you into someone who is beautiful—beautiful not because of a toned physique or flawless skin or a perfect figure or manageable hair but because the life of Christ radiates from within you: His joy sparkling from your eyes, His love lighting up your face, His peace softening your expression, His purpose lifting your chin, His presence causing you to walk with confidence.
10. GOD GAVE DIRECTIONS TO PLANET EARTH:
At this point in time, planet Earth was spinning round and round rather aimlessly rotating on its axis but seeming to go nowhere. On the fourth day of Creation, God, through the power of His Word, gave it direction when He created two great lights.
Genesis 1:14. “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
15. And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
16. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
17. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
18. And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
19. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
Picture sun & moon
Planet Earth became beautiful. It had a blue sky, a variegated green earth, turquoise seas, and multicolored flowers. But the Creator wasn’t finished with the way it looked. He surrounded it with jewels as He studded the sky with stars, hung the moon in place, and took away the coldness by giving it the warmth of the sun.
But earth was not just some celestial bauble beautified for the Creator’s collection. It was also given purpose and direction.
The emphasis does not seem to be so much on the fact that the lights were made but that they were made for a reason: to give direction and purpose to the earth for days and years of time, for signs and seasons, for navigation and migration. Because life without direction is just existence.
In what direction are you headed? Has the direction of your life been controlled by the direction of others, like a leaf caught in the air current? Is your life spinning around aimlessly in a self-preoccupied existence with no real purpose or meaning or focus? How do you get your life focused? Do you long for a sense of purpose, a clear-cut direction, a goal to live for that makes living worthwhile?
Then submit to the Creator’s voice—His Word that reveals His specific and personal plan for your life. Through the daily study of His Word, God increasingly focused my life on Himself.
11. God Creates Life On Earth
ON THE FIFTH DAY OF CREATION GOD CREATES LIVING BEINGS:
The earth at this stage was in living color, but it was like a painting. There was no movement or activity or feeling. There were no singing birds or roaring lions or soaring eagles or barking dogs or quacking ducks or trumpeting elephants or grunting pigs or howling wolves or leaping fish . . . Nothing that breathed. There was no sound or movement of life at all.
Genesis 1:20. “And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
21. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
22. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
23. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
24. And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
25. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
The uniqueness of the life created on the fifth and sixth days was that it was life with conscious awareness and feeling. In contrast to everything that had come into existence previously—the sun, moon, stars, sky, seas, dry ground, and vegetation— the fish, birds, livestock, and other wild animals could think and feel. Where there had been no feelings or emotions or thoughts or awareness of life, now Planet Earth was teeming with these things.
In the same way, God’s Word brings life to human existence today. Abundant life! Eternal life! Fullness of life!
Earth was progressively transformed as every day God’s Word went forth and every day God’s Word was received. Each day’s change prepared the environment for the next day’s change until it was totally transformed.
Do you feel dull?
In Jesus Christ you can find the life you are missing and looking for. Look into God’s word daily, live by it, and it will bring about the changes you need in your life.
12. CREATION OF MAN IN THE IMAGE OF GOD:
All of the daily changes in creation seemed to be setting the stage for the climax on the sixth day.
Genesis 1:26. “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over the whole earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth on the earth.
27. And God created Man in his image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Picture Adam/Eve
Earth had been waiting for man. Man himself was the climactic jewel of Creation! Everything prior to his existence was created and made in preparation for him. Once again the Hebrew word bara (created), meaning to bring forth something out of nothing, is used, not justonce, but three times in one verse, as though to emphasize and draw attention to the fact that nothing like man had ever existed in the universe prior to his creation.
Through the power of God’s Word, man was brought into existence from nothing. What was—and is—so unique about man that he required a special act of Creation?
By creating man in His own image, God fixed a gulf between animals and man that will never be bridged. Animals always have been and always will be animals. Man always has been and always will be man. The fossil evidence confirms this. No one has ever found the “missing link,” and no one ever will, because it’s missing! It doesn’t exist!
Since Creation, approximately twelve billion human beings have been born, yet there is not a single recorded case of one ever being genetically less than a human being. Man was created in God’s own image, completing the creation of the environment. To say that man sprang from animals is to say that God is an animal.
Man Reflected God’s Image. What is life in the image of God? It is life with a capacity to know the Creator in a personal relationship. It is a soul that communes with God and has eternal value in His sight. Man was created to walk and talk with God, to love and obey God, to listen to and learn from God, to serve and please God, to glorify and enjoy God forever! In the same manner in which God prepared the earth to be inhabited by man He is now preparing a more glorious home in heaven.
“As for me, …I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness” Psalm 17:15.
DAVID SAID, “I AM FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE:”
Genesis 1:27. “And God created Man in his image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
Jesus defined our meaning for existence when He prayed, “And this is life eternal, that they may know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3) Knowing God in a personal, pure, passionate, and permanent relationship is the ultimate human experience.
Knowing God is the meaning of human life. It is the reason for our existence. It was the completion of all the changes God made in the environment in the beginning. And it is the completion of all the changes God is making in your life at the present.
The changes brought about by God’s Word in your life and mine are not primarily for the purpose of making us good or successful or happy or wealthy or prosperous or problem free. The primary purpose of these changes is that we might know God fully and intimately so we can reflect Him in all we are and say and do, bringing glory to the One Who created us.
Is your life complete? Do you feel you are waiting for something, but you don’t know what? Do you have an aching loneliness, a hunger pain of the spirit, a yearning deep inside yourself for something? For Someone? Then get in touch with your Creator. Are you hungry for God.
You were created with a capacity to know Him in a personal, permanent, love relationship. That capacity is empty until you establish the relationship with Him for which you were created. “Our hearts are restless until we find our rest in thee” (St. Augustine).
The Words Of David,
3. “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
4. What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
5. For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
6. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
7. All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;
8. The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.
9. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! (Psalm 8:3-9)
13. MAN RECEIVED GOD’S BLESSING:
God completed the environment with the creation of man, who not only reflected His image but who, praise God, also received His blessing.
Genesis 1:28. “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”
The blessings of God are His benefits. One of the questions you ask a new boss is what benefits you could expect as an employee of the company. You want to know if you would have moving expenses, housing allowance, health insurance, and transportation in your annual salary package. When considering a job, the benefits can induce us to make a long-term commitment while the lack of benefits can keep us from such a commitment.
Once man was created, he was committed for the long term. And the Creator, in His grace, showered the man with benefits that would make his commitment to life a joy and pleasure: “God blessed them.” Every day the man would be excited to wake up, eager to go to work, rejoicing in who he was and the opportunities he had during the day, sleeping peacefully at night in harmony with the world around him because he was blessed by His Creator. Praise God, from whom all blessings flow! (James 1:17)
COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS:
“When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, and see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, Count them one by one.
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.”
I am: Accepted by God, Beloved by God, Chosen by God, Delivered by God.
14. FINDING MEANING IN A PATTERN TO LIVE BY:
God has given us directions which form a pattern that will prevent breakage in our lives and will help to mend the brokenness already present if we follow it.
Genesis 2:1. “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.”
Life on the Earth is fast becoming a rat race, a dog fight, and a mad scramble to get ahead that is leaving brokenness everywhere. We desperately need a pattern to live by that will enable us to live our lives successfully. Such a pattern already exists; it was set by the Creator at the dawn of Creation. But most of us are not following it. The only basis for the seven-day week that is used worldwide as a pattern for humanity’s life style is the Creator’s example.
God’s week included rest on the seventh day, but it also included work for six straight days, giving us a pattern for the discipline of our lives. Our society is increasingly becoming undisciplined. We work if we want to, show up on time some times, and see a job through to the finish if we feel like it, all the while complaining about the pay or seeking more lucrative benefits. God worked persistently and consistently every day, all day long, until the job of creating everything was finished.
God understands what it is like to begin each day in the morning, go to work, apply yourself to the project at hand, accomplish a portion of the goal day after day until you complete the job satisfactorily. The earth, as well as our lives, is the result of God’s precise work and personal time and effort. God worked constantly for six days of the first week.
What are your feelings about work? What job have you done hurriedly and haphazardly in order to just get through? Are you slouchy and casual or serious and committed about your weekly work? Are you afraid of hard work? Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, worked for thirty years in a carpenter shop, talk about being over-qualified! Paul worked as a tentmaker to support himself.
15. GOD MADE ONE DAY HOLY:
In the beginning God patterned our week, to include, not only the discipline of work, but also one day out of the seven that would be “set apart,” different from the other six days.
Genesis 2:3. “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.”
The word “sanctified” means “set apart or different from ordinary things,” or “made holy.” God rested on the seventh day and set it apart (sanctified) from all the rest of the week, or we can say made it holy.
Until the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Saturday was the Old Testament Sabbath, the one day in seven that was “set apart” for the Lord by His people. That “Sabbath rest” was fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Therefore for the Early Church and most Christians today, the first day of the week, which is Sunday, has replaced Saturday as the day “set apart” for God because Sunday is the day of Jesus’ resurrection.
Whatever ever, the specific day, whether Saturday or Sunday, is not as important as the principal that one day in seven is to be devoted “Holy to the Lord.” Certainly the people in our society would operate more harmoniously, healthily, and happy if one day out of seven everyone’s focus was on the God Who created them and to Whom they will give an account of their lives one day.
For most people there is very little difference in the way they keep Sunday and the way they keep Saturday or Tuesday. Sunday has become more of a Holiday than a Holy Day. Sunday was not “set apart” to just sleep late, meet friends, go shopping, do extra yard work or housework or watch the play-off game on TV.
Sunday should be not only for physical rest and restoration but for spiritual refreshment and expression of our devotion to God. Think about what you can do to keep Sunday special—different from the other six days of the week. There should not be any plans made other than to be in God’s House on Sunday. Begin you Sunday’s with Christian music bringing our thoughts into focus on Heavenly things.
Have a family breakfast, praying together, dress in you best Sunday clothes, clothes not worn the rest of the week.
When God told Jacob to meet Him at Bethel (House of God), which was the House of God, Jacob ordered his family to “wash, be clean and change your garments.” (Genesis 35:1-4) This pattern was set 35 centuries ago. Don’t change it.
16. MAN BECAME A LIVING SOUL:
When God breathed His breath into Adam he gave him an inner being that would live eternally. He also gave man the choice of where his soul will spend eternity.
Genesis 2:7. “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
The soul of man is the only thing that we have been studying about in the story of creation that will last eternally. The Bible talks about a day when, “the stars will fall from heaven,” and also a day when, “the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements (atoms) will melt with fervent heat, and the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10). The soul of man will endure the conflagration that will completely annihilate observable creation. Only the unseen world, the heavenly world, will remain.
Jesus tells us how important the soul of man is and the value of redeeming it. “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26). The Psalmist says, “For the redemption of their soul is precious..” (Psalms 49:8) He also says, “But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me.” (Psalms 49:15)
In the light of what we have read let us make an all out effort to save our soul. The soul is the spiritual part of man; it is given by God to everyone born into this world and returns to God who gave it when we die. (Ecclesiastes 12:7)
Paul’s prayer for the Church at Thessalonica seems to recognize the fact that man is composed of three parts, Spirit, Soul, and Body. “I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23) At the second coming of the Lord the soul will be reunited with a spiritual body at the resurrection; (1 Corinthians 15:5-54) (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
God designed the three parts of man, Spirit (mind, mental), Soul, (spiritual), and Body (physical), to live in harmony. If too much attention is given to the mental and physical part to the neglect of the spiritual part, there is disharmony which leads to emotional and mental problems. To have full and complete harmony in our lives we must invite God into His rightful place in our life.
17. GOD CREATES A HELP MEET FOR ADAM:
As marriages break up, people desperately need God’s directions for living with a partner in marriage.
Genesis 2:21. “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
22. And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
23. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
24. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
Within Adam there must have been a deep yearning and heartache stirred up for someone who was like himself, someone to love him and understand him and think of him and share life with. God placed the desire for a companion and partner within Adam’s heart, then He fulfilled it. What deep emotional needs and desires do you have? God’s word says, “Delight thyself in the Lord and He will thee the desire of thy heart, commit thy way unto the Lord and He will bring it to pass.”
While Adam slept, God took a rib from his side and from that rib he made a woman and brought her to Adam. Like the father of the bride God brought her to Adam. We can only imagine the thoughts God had as He brought His latest creation and presented her to Adam. The sight was breathtaking; it was love at first sight. In Eve there was all the beauty, and love, and tenderness, and understanding that God intends for all women to have. Adam says, “She’s mine, part of me, I will cling to her forever, we are one flesh.” What a commitment! It seems that Adam’s response indicates Eve was received with loving tender, enthusiastic affection.
The fact that Eve was created after Adam or that she was his designated companion and helper does not mean she was in any way inferior to Adam. As his partner, she was his equal. God blessed them and put them to work together. “And God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:28)
18. MAN’S FIRST HOME, A GARDEN, A PARADISE:
The creation of man and the establishment of his home seem to be what the story of creation has been pointing toward. Nothing could have been more personal than God Himself planting and arranging the garden that was the first home for man.
Genesis 2:8. “And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.”
Of all His works God only “created man in His own image: in the image of God created He him.” This expression refers not merely to the intelligence with which God endowed, and the immortality with which He gifted man, but also to the perfect moral and spiritual nature which man at the first possessed. And all his surroundings were in accordance with his happy state.
God put him into the Garden of Eden “to dress it and to keep it,” and gave him a congenial companion in Eve, whom Adam recognized as “bone of his bones, and flesh of his flesh.” Thus as God had, by setting apart the Sabbath day, indicated worship as the proper relationship between man and his Creator, so He also laid in Paradise the foundation of civil society by the institution of marriage and of the family.
One of the greatest thing about this home was the presence of God was in it. “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day.” (Genesis 3:8) I like to think that it was God’s custom and delight to walk about in the Garden home of Adam and Eve.
God should feel at home in our parlor, den, bedroom, and be welcomed into our conversation and society. This is the only way our house can be a home is to have God, not as a guest, but as an occupant.
In many homes today people are so preoccupied with one another, their food and drink, clothes, comfort, and entertainment, that they lose contact with the One Who should be at the center of all decisions.
Don’t neglect the Creator of the home, or it will become an empty shell. Take time to ask Him to bless your food, help you make the choice of the clothes you wear, the places of entertainment you attend, and above all let Him talk to the family through His word. In His word you will find rules go by to make for a happy home. And we find that these rules and benefits are still given by the Creator to the families who will live by His commandments. Every day let us pray, “God Bless Our Home.”
19. GOD GAVE MAN RESPONSIBILITIES:
Are you committed enough to keep at the task God has assigned you until done.
Genesis 2:15. “And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 19. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. 20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field;
Not only is your being created for God, but your doing, (work) is created for God also. The Garden of Eden was not only a place to live, but it was a place for man to serve. Not only was it a place to be, but it was a place to do. The Lord God took Adam and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
One of the first responsibilities Gad gave to Adam was to name each animal God had created. Names are very significant in the Bible because they denote some characteristic, some distinguishing trait, of the specific person or animal. For example, God changed Jacob’s name to “Israel” because it means he struggles with God. The angel told Joseph he was to name the child born to Mary “Jesus” because the name meant, “He would save His people from their sins.” Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter because Peter means a rock.
God brought the animals to Adam and assigned to Adam the task of naming each one according to their various unique traits. He probably observed carefully the unique, individual characteristic of each and named them accordingly, giraffe, monkeys, kola bears, warthogs, hippopotamuses, anteaters, parrots, penguins, and whatsoever Adam called them that was its name, indicating he got it right the first time, God didn’t ask him to change it. There would been thousands of species, it would have required enormous commitment to finish the task.
And it would have required extensive wisdom and intellectual knowledge in order to name them accurately. Indicating that Adam was given “super-human” intellect and knowledge at his creation, of which most was lost at his fall into sin.
20. GOD COMMANDS OBEDIENCE TO HIS LAWS.
If there was no Creator, then you are the result of some accidental happing, having come from nowhere and on your way to nowhere. You are just a nobody with no ultimate accountability or eternal value. That is depressing. Praise God it’s not true.
Genesis 2:16. “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
In the beginning God gave only one law, or commandment to the human race, which consisted of Adam and Eve. “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
After the flood God gave two laws, or commandments, when He emphasizes the sacredness of human life, “a life for a life,” and not to “eat blood.” (Genesis 9:4-6) Then 600 years later, God, by Moses, brought a code of many laws centered on the Ten Commandments which the people were commanded to keep.
God’s commandments are not to be taken lightly, because there are consequences, usually severe, to breaking His laws. Adam disregarded the consequences and brought sorrow and struggle on the entire human. In the same way people are still breaking God’s laws and bringing sorrow, pain, and disappointment on themselves and on their family.
Sin is a spiritual disease that has been transmitted to every single person in every generation from Adam. It infects the entire population of the world and is the cause of all problems, of war, greed, hate, prejudice, cruelty, corruption, and all other ills that plague us.
What temptation is facing you? When you are at ease, relaxed, off-guard, secure, watch out, that ancient “serpent” called the “devil,” or Satan, is always lurking in the background, still as subtle, as he was when he approached Eve. He comes with lies and deception, tempting everyone to break God’s commandments.
That is the way he approached Eve, when she was off guard and alone. Satan is easily recognized when he comes “as a roaring lion” bringing terror and destruction, but the Bible also tells us that sometimes he comes as an “angel of light.” Paul speaks of the “wiles of the devil,” and gives us instruction on how to battle him. (Ephesians 6:10-18)
21. THE SERPENT'S DECEPTION AND MAN'S SHAMEFUL FALL:
We all are born with a nature that has a strong tendency to sin, our lives bear the “fruit” of sin through the choices we make—which is where sin started in the beginning.
Genesis 3:4. “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
6. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, (she made the choice) she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
In John 8:44. Jesus tells us that the devil is a liar and the father (beginning) of it. This was not the first lie the devil told when he talked to Eve. Isaiah 14:13-14. tells us he said “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”
These lies got him kicked out of heaven, but he didn’t stop his lying.
He deceived Eve by telling her, “Thou shall not surely die:” it’s not for sure, it’s a maybe. Also, “Your eyes will be opened,” “You will be as God.” You will have intelligence. “She doubted God’s word, she saw. she desired, she took, she did eat, she gave to Adam, he did eat.”
Notice the progression of the sin; the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, the taking hold thereof (she touched), the partaking of (she did eat), the passing it on (she gave to Adam), he did eat. That’s the way sin travels, it never stops till the end thereof which is death, death spiritually, and death mortally.
Life is filled with choices. From the time we make the choice to open our eyes and get out of bed in the morning until we make the choice to go back to bed, our lives are filled with a series of choices. We chose what to wear, what to eat, who we see, who we talk to, where we go, what we do, what we believe, and how to behave in all situations. Remember Satan is always on hand to help, or hinder, our choice. Our lives, reputation, relationships, careers, future, and values are shaped by the choices we make. Make every choice in the light of its eternal value and consequences.
22. ADAM AND EVE’S CONSCIENCE WAS AWAKENED:
The conscience is a most important characteristic that God has endowed each human with that was given to them to deter or forestall them from doing wrong.
Genesis 3:7. “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
8. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.”
The first thing that happened to Adam and Eve after they had disobeyed God was their conscience was hurt, fact it tormented them. They were not aware of this built-in mechanism which, until sin entered, was not activated. Satan had told them that their “eyes would be opened,” but he did not tell them of the anguish that would follow, the wishing, the aching, that it could be undone.
Adam and Eve’s eyes were opened in a horrible way. They knew good, but also that they were separated from it. They knew evil because they were saturated in it. They knew good and evil (sin) in a way God never intended them to know—through their own experience.
Sin brought shame in their lives, another thing they had never had before, they knew they were naked, and they were ashamed before God. Adam and Eve stood before each other, dirty in sin and feeling very exposed. They were ashamed of themselves and ashamed of each other, but that didn’t begin to compare with their feeling of shame before God. They were so ashamed that just the thought of having to face Him sent them into hiding and trying to cover themselves with fig leaves.
Have you tried to sew some leaves together to cover up your sin and shame before God? Leaves of good works? Of religion? Of Church attendance? Of community service? There are no fig leaves thick enough, or big enough to hide your sin and shame from God. The only thing that will cover your sin is the shed Blood of the “Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.”
When your conscience is bothering you, thank God for it. Don’t smother your conscience or over-ride it until it no longer speaks to you. Listen to it when it speaks, and make restitutions to God and your fellow man. Your conscience is your best friend.
23. ADAM IS CALLED BEFORE THE JUDGMENT BAR OF GOD:
Adam and Eve were called before God’s bar of justice. This foreshadows the Great White Throne Judgment in which all men must ultimately appear to answer to God.
Genesis 3:8. “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
9. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
10. And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
I would imagine that up until this day, whenever God would come into the garden Adam and Eve would run to meet Him like we did as a small child when our daddy would come home from work or wherever. Remember how he would gather us up into his arms and tells us he loved us and we would be so happy. That’s the way I imagine Adam and Eve would have felt. Surely the greatest joy of their lives had been when God came in the cool of the day to spend time with them, to commune with them, to talk with them, just listening to His voice, and learning from Him.
But on this day they were hiding from Him among the trees in the garden. They were afraid because they had un-confessed sin in their hearts and His coming was a dreaded event.
Are you hiding from God?
Have you stopped praying and reading your Bible?
Stopped going to Church?
Do you tell your friends that your work schedule keeps you too busy when really you are hiding?
Maybe you maintain the outward appearance of a Christian by going to Church, and calling yourself a Christian, when really your heart and mind is far from God. Aren’t you afraid?
Adam and Eve were overlooking the single greatest truth in the universe—God Loved Them. God knew exactly where Adam and Eve were. He wanted them to confront what they had done so they could set it right and be restored into His fellowship.
Is God calling you? Is He saying, “Where are you? I missed you in Church this week. Where are you? I missed meeting you for prayer this morning. Where are you? You read your Bible but with such a hurried and cluttered mind.
Where are you? Add your name here ________________. And come out of hiding, it takes courage to come out of hiding and into the Lord’s presence when you have disobeyed Him but it will be the greatest thing you have ever done.
24. EVE WAS GUILTY BEFORE GOD:
You and I are held accountable for the truth we have opportunity to know.
Genesis 3:13. “And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
16. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”
Adam and Eve both were fully aware of God’s Commandment telling them not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Some want to offer the excuse for Eve by saying that God did not directly tell Eve (they really don’t know what all God told Eve) about not eating of the fruit but was told by Adam. According to her conversation with Satan she explained what God had said concerning the fruit, so regardless of who told her, she knew and was guilty before God.
Every woman who has born children has felt the consequences of Eve’s sin. Since the Garden of Eden women have suffered literal pain associated with childbirth. Yet as excruciating as the physical pain is, there is the emotional pain endured in the process of raising children. Their problems become the mother’s problems, every hurt, disappointment, rejection, failure, pain, or heartache they experience, the mother experiences to a greater degree.
Untold numbers of mothers lay awake each night worrying and praying about their son or daughter. Yet there is hope for the human race in the fulfilling of God’s prophecy, “I will put enmity between thy (Satan) seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
This prophecy has been fulfilled throughout human history in Satan’s repeated attacks on the Jews, God’s chosen people, and in the persecution of Christians, the Bride of Christ. This is also a prophecy of virgin birth of Jesus of Nazareth, Whose heel would be bruised by Satan on the cross. Yet Jesus’ death was temporary. On the third day He arose victorious from the dead, crushing the head of the Devil, destroying his power forever. Its complete fulfillment is yet to come when Jesus shall descend from Heaven, with a shout from the archangel, and claims complete victory over the one who brought all the misery on the human race.
25. GOD PRONOUNCES JUDGMENT UPON ADAM:
Someone has said “God is such a loving Father He will overlook people’s sin.” God is a loving Father: He is also a righteous and just Holy Father. He cannot be less than Himself, and His justice demands judgment.
Genesis 3:17. “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
18. Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
19. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. (God, true to His word, returns man to dust)
After giving sentence to Satan and to Eve, God turned His full attention to Adam, and held Adam accountable for the direct disobedience to His word. So in a voice ringing with His authority as righteous Judge over all creation He pronounced the consequences of Adam’s sin. Before this day Adam’s work had been a delight and joy, as he worked under the supervision of a loving God. Everything he had done had been a success. But now, as long as he lived, he would be resisted. His life would be filled with struggle and sweat, frustration and failure, disappointment and discouragement. Possibly Adam had never sweated before this pronunciation.
The consequences of Adam’s sin are easily seen around us in our own work situation. Nothing comes easy. Have you worked hard to maintain your physical health through exercise and good eating habits only to be hindered by old age and the painful limitations it brings? Have you invested days and months and years into a family that has disintegrated in divorce and despair? After struggling to work as hard and diligently and faithfully as you know how, your work will produce “thorns and thistles.” In the end all you and I have to show for a lifetime of hard work is a frail body then death and dust. Adam’s sin affected all of God’s creation.
“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” (Romans 8:22-23)
26. CONSEQUENCES OF SIN: SEPARATION:
The Lord banished Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.
Genesis 3:23. “Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
24. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
Adam and Eve were driven from their garden home, driven from security and safety and serenity and success and satisfaction, separated from God. As they look back, they could see at the entrance to what had been their home a powerful angel standing guard with a sword swirling around and round, preventing any way of return.
Think of the loneliness and agony of the loss which they experienced. They knew what it was to talk with God. They knew how He listened to them. They knew the expressions on His face, they knew the sound of His voice, they knew the touch of His hand; they knew what it was to walk with Him in the cool of the day. These things would always be in their memory. Anyone who leaves God has this memory.
They knew the power of His presence as they worked side by side. Adam and Eve had an intimate, personal loving relationship with their creator as no one else has ever experienced. And I am sure they clutched this to their bosom as they were banished from the garden. But even in judgment God was merciful.
Since there was only one entrance into the Garden and it was guarded constantly, it was not just hard to get back into God’s presence—it was impossible. God Himself prevented it. Neither Adam nor Eve, nor you nor I, not anyone ever born could ever get back into God’s Presence. The Garden of Eden, God’s heavenly home, can never be regained through human effort. Paradise has been lost.
But Praise God, the plans were already made to restore man to his rightful place with his creator. God would send the Second Adam (His Son) who would live and walk, as God intended the first Adam to live. The Second Adam would pay the price of restitution by giving His life at Calvary, and His blood would cleanse men from the sin of Adam’s transgression, thereby Paradise can be regained by fallen man.
27. THE FIRST DEATH ON EARTH WAS MADE TO COVER MAN’S SIN:
In order to clothe Adam and Eve with skins, the Lord God killed an animal, which introduced the Old Testament system of animal sacrifice.
Genesis 3:21. “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.”
These coats of skins had significance. These beasts whose skins were used, must be slain, slain before their eyes, to show them what death is, and that they may see that they, themselves were mortal and dying. They were slain, not for food, but for sacrifice, to typify the ultimate sacrifice, which later should be offered once and for all. Thus the first thing that died was a sacrifice, typifying “The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
The cross is very subtly pictured here. Many times we fail to realize how much God loved the man and woman He had created, and the depths to which His grace would go in order to bring them back to Himself. God would commit the fullness of His eternal divine nature to bring man back into a right relationship with Himself. He would eventually lay down His own life in atonement (the reconciliation of God and human beings) for man’s sin.
Under the law of Moses, when someone sinned, that person was required to bring a lamb without blemish to the priest at the temple. The sinner had to hold the lamb with both hands and then confess his sin. I was as though the guilt was conveyed through his hands and transferred to the lamb. Then the sinner took the knife and killed the lamb, so the lamb died as direct result of the sinner’s behavior. The priest took the blood of the lamb and sprinkled it on the altar to make atonement for the person’s sin. The sacrifices were like IOU notes.
When someone sacrificed for sin, it was as though God, I owe you forgiveness, I owe you redemption.” The blood of lambs and bulls and goats could never atone for man’s sin, because it was symbolic. It pointed to God sending His own Son in the person of Jesus Christ. And when Jesus died on the cross, His sacrifice was accepted by God, and all the IOU notes were paid in full. Including Adam and Eve’s. There is no other answer to sin, none other than Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
28. THE BIRTH OF CAIN AND ABEL:
The most tragic day in human history could not be relived. The only hope for Adam and Eve and the entire human race to come was the promise of God that one day He would send an offspring a Savior, Who would destroy the power of the Serpent and in some way restore them to a right relationship with their Creator.
Genesis 4:1. “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.
Life outside the Garden was much harder than it had been in paradise. After some time of struggle, sweat and frustrating toil with the elements and unyielding ground, Adam and Eve were given their first child, a son they named Cain. Eve looked upon the miraculous little bundle of life in her arms and exclaimed, “With help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” Evidently Eve thought her firstborn was a fulfillment of the Lord’s promise of an offspring who would take away her sin.
This expectation was as natural on her part as that of the immediate return of our Lord by some of the early Christians. She was wrong. Cain was not the promised Savior. His life would be an added distress in itself; the seeds were sown for deep rooted grievances in her life.
The disease of sin entered the human race through Adam and Eve’s disobedience to God’s commandment. It was easily diagnosed in Cain, the first child born to them, when he broke out in bitterness and deep rooted in resentment. Some feel that Eve had such high expectations for Cain that it turned into resentment in him when he could not live up to them. This resentment was to come to a head in his feelings towards God and his brother. Possibly he felt like his mother and father were the cause of his loss of a home in paradise and of his struggle to make a living. Maybe he blamed God for being such a hard taskmaster.
We will put the next part of this study on,
The Glorious Eternity of God #2.
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By,James L. Thornton