Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day 2: Genesis 4 - 6

Adam, Eve, and the (female) serpent at the ent...Image via Wikipedia

 My thoughts about these chapters begin by recalling the word "good" is used six times in Genesis Chapter 1 (verses 11, 12, 17, 21, 25, 31).  According to Strong's Concordance, good (2896) is a Hebrew word signifying good in the widest sense; anything beautiful, favorable, pleasant, pleasurable.  So, God created a world that brought him joy and pleasure.  He made man in his own image (Genesis 1:27) and placed him into an environment created to evoke a sense of awe; created to be pleasant and comfortable.

After creating man, God blessed them (Genesis 1:28).  Man was the only created being to be blessed, meaning that God conferred recognition and a special approbation.  With the blessing, with a responsibility to steward the garden, and with a commandment to refrain from eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, man was distinguished from the rest of creation.   Man had entered into a special relationship with God.

Although Adam and Eve lived in a world made for their happiness,  they still chose to disobey God, hence sin.  The world we know today is not the same world that God created – there was no death, sickness, suffering, poverty, etc. in the Garden of Eden.  Everything was good.  While our world today still points to God as the Creator, it is not good.  No-one is exempt from experiencing illness, sorrow, or death.  Our world is deeply marred by sin.

Scripture doesn’t reveal how long Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden.  Since marriage was instituted in Genesis 2:24, and since God told Adam and Eve to be “fruitful and multiply” in Genesis 1:28, it would seem reasonable to assume that they had children while in Eden.

Genesis 4 begins after Adam and his family were expelled from Eden.  Cain was his first born son and Abel came later.  While Abel understood what God required of him (animal sacrifice), Cain’s offering of produce was displeasing to God.  It’s interesting to note that Cain actually talked to God; knew who God was, yet willfully chose to displease and grieve God. 

After killing Abel, God again talked to Cain who now lied to God.  Eventually, Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and established a city with industry.  Cain’s focus was not directed on worshipping God or seeking God.

Adam and Eve eventually had another son, Seth, who “replaced” Abel.  Scripture now focuses on Seth’s line to which Noah was born.  What really amazes me is that by living 930 years, Adam was able to tell, to anyone who would listen, the account of Creation and the nature of God.

Adam died only about 15 years before Noah was born.  It’s exciting to see that the knowledge of God was being entrusted to faithful men who lived during those centuries preceding Noah.  God always makes it possible for people who seek him to know him. 

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