Created by God, Created for God
Genesis 2:1 - "finished"
We read about the finished work of creation and we think of Jesus' words from the Cross, "It is finished." This is the finished work of Christ. He has completed the work that was required by the holy God for sinners to receive forgiveness.
Genesis 2:2 - "He rested"
After creation, there was rest. After crucifixion, there was resurrection. We rest in the risen Lord. We rest in His perfect sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins. We rejoice in His triumph over death. We remind Satan that he has been defeated by our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Genesis 2:3 - "holy"
When God blesses us, He makes us holy. He has not given to us the forgiveness of our sins and left us just the way we were before we came in faith to Christ. We come to the Saviour - "Just as I am" - but do not remain the same. God has given us new life - the life of the Holy Spirit. From the moment we receive God's forgiveness, we begin our new journey on the High Way of holiness (Isaiah 35:8). We will often wander away from this High Way, but the Lord keeps on bringing us back. He brings us back to the Cross where we find forgiveness. He brings us back to the risen Lord, who empowers us for walking with God in holy living. When we see that our forgiveness and holiness comes from Jesus Christ, crucified for us and risen for us, we give all the glory to God. This is not our own doing. It is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes (Psalm 118:23).
Genesis 2:4 - "This is the history"
This is His Story. This is God's Story. In this great Story of creation, which leads on to the great Story of salvation, we read about the God who has done for us what we could never do for ourselves. we could not create ourselves. We could not save ourselves. We have been created by God. We have been saved by God. Apart from the work of God, we would have no life. Our life has come from Him. Apart from the work of God, we would have no new life. It is through His mighty power that we have become "a new creation in Christ Jesus" (2 Corinthians 5:17). Apart from the work of God, we would have no hope of eternal life - "God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son" (1 John 5:11). In ourselves, there is no hope. In the great God of our salvation, we have this glorious hope - "the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).
Genesis 2:5 - "rain"
No rain, no plants of the field, no herbs of the field, no man to till the ground. This is a picture of life without God's blessing. To His faithful servants who look to Him for the blessing, God gives His precious promise: "As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is My Word that goes out from My mouth: It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it" (Isaiah 55:10-11).
Genesis 2:6 - "watering the whole surface of the ground"
It's water that makes the difference. Without water, everything dries up and dies. There's a better way than the way of spiritual death. God says to us, "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters" (Isaiah 55:1). Jesus says to us, "whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life" (John 4:14).
Genesis 2:7 - "the breath of life"
Everything changes when the Lord breathes His breath of life into us. Until God comes to us in power, our situation is desperate - "I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry" (Ezekiel 37:2).
Genesis 2:8 - "garden"
To those who put their trust in Him, the Lord gives His very precious promises - "You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail" (Isaiah 58:11); "They will be like a well-watered garden, and they will sorrow no more" (Jeremiah 31:12). Looking to the Lord as we move towards the great future He has planned for us, we look beyond the Old Testament prophets. We look forward to the glorious fulfilment of God's wonderful purpose of eternal salvation - "Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city ... I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God ... God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away"(Revelation 22:1-2; Revelation 21:2-4).
Genesis 2:9 - "Out of the ground the Lord God made every tree to grow"
If we are to make progress in spiritual growth, we must be grounded in Christ - "Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18). It was the Lord God who made every tree to grow. It is the Lord God who gives us the strength that we need to grow in Christ. Spirtual growth is not our achievement. It is the work of God's grace. "To him be glory both now and forever" (2 Peter 3;18).
Genesis 2:10 One river becomes four rivers.
God's blessing is not to be kept to ourselves.
"Water that was ankle-deep" becomes "water that was knee-deep". Then it becomes "water that was up to the waist". This is just the beginning of God's blessing. He is leading us on to even greater blessing - "now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in-a river that no one could cross" (Ezekiel 47:3-5).
When the Lord's blessing is shared, there is an increase of blessing and greater glory is given to the Lord.
Genesis 2:11 - "gold"
In Matthew 2:11, we read of the "gold" of worship - "they bowed down and worshipped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gold ... ".
In Job 23:10, we read about the "gold" of obedience - "But he knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold." Job's faith in the Lord was sorely tested. At the beginning of Job's story, we learn that "he feared God and shunned evil" (Job 1:1). At the end of the book of Job, we learn that "The Lord blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first" (Job 42:12).
Genesis 2:12 - "aromatic resin and the shoham stone"
"Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume" (John 12:3).
This is not only the story of Mary's costly devotion. It's a call to us to be "the pleasing aroma of Christ. The Lord is calling us to "spread the aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere" (2 Corinthians 2:14-15).
We will do this when we are trusting in Jesus Christ, the "chosen and precious cornerstone" upon which our faith is built (1 Peter 2:6).
When we come in faith to Jesus Christ, our Saviour, God does a mighty work of grace in us: "As you come to Him, the living Stone - rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to Him - you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 2:4-5).
Genesis 2:13 - "the river that flows through the whole land"
God is not only concerned with our personal blessing. He wants His blessing to reach out to many people in every land: "Fill this land with the Father's glory ... Flow, river, flow ... Flood the nations with grace and mercy" (from the hymn, "Shine, Jesus, Shine" by Graham Kendrick).
Genesis 2:14 - "Hiddekel ... Ashshur ... Perat"
The names are unfamiliar to us. Think of the places that are familiar to you. Pray that the river of God's blessing will flow freely in these places, bringing people to know the Saviour and leading them on to "a closer walk with God."
Genesis 2:15 - "dressing and keeping the garden"
Coming into the "garden" of God's blessing is just the beginning. We must keep on walking with God in the "garden" of His blessing - "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him" (Colossians 2:6).
Genesis 2:16 - "The Lord God commanded the man"
Here, we have God's command. He is concerned about us. He gives us His instructions about how we are to live. He knows what is best for us. Who are we to argue with Him?
Genesis 2:17 - "you shall surely die."
God is warning us. You can go your own way - but you will find that it is the way of death: "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death" (Proverbs 14:12).
Genesis 2:18 - "a helper suitable for him"
We are not left to go it alone. As well as receiving the Lord's help, we are to help each other. Give help. Receive help. In everything, never forget this: "My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth" (Psalm 121:2); "Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth" (Psalm 124:8).
Genesis 2:19 - The naming of the animals
What's in a name? Names are important to the Lord. He calls us "by name" (John 10:3). We are known by our own name. How disappointed we are when someone forgets our name. How wonderful it is that the Lord never forgets our name. There's something more wonderful than that. He gives us His Name. We are known by the Name - Jesus. His Name means Saviour. Every time, we speak His Name, we are reminded that we have been saved by Him. His Name speaks to us of the forgiveness of our sins, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the glorious hope of eternal life.
Genesis 2:20 - "a helper suitable for him"
Man was sharing God's creation with the animals. Now, God was about to do something very special, something that would make the world a very different place.
Genesis 2:21 - "a deep sleep"
Man contributes nothing to this mighty work of God. This is a great lesson we must never forget. We dare not make too much of ourselves. Anything good in us comes from the Lord.
Genesis 2:22 - "a woman"
This was a new creation. There was nothing else like her. She was the first woman. There was also continuity between the man and the woman. They belonged together. In man and woman, there is both difference and similarity. The woman is different from the man, yet she is more like him than any of the other creatures.
Genesis 2:23 - "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh"
There is a sense of fulfilment here. Until this point, there was something missing. Now,the creation is complete. There is Man and there is Woman.
Genesis 2:24 - "they will be one flesh"
This is more than a physical sharing. It'a a sharing in every part of life. It's the special sharing which we call "love".
Genesis 2:25 - "naked and unashamed"
This is the original creation. This is before sin came in and spoiled everything.