Genesis 2 (50 Days – Day Two)

If we’ve already established that everything was made for man and that he is the crown jewel of creation, we now arrive at chapter 2, where after a brief description of how all life was formed from the ground up, God gives man purpose on earth.

This is the kind of stuff that should fascinate us about God’s Word. In Genesis 1, we are told that man was to “subdue” creation and have “dominion” over it. We all have our own ideas I’m sure of what that might look like, I would imagine many of them might not be good. These are terms that we perhaps equate with ancient kings and their tyranny over the people they rule. If we stop at Genesis 1, we might get the impression that God wants us to show plants and animals who’s boss, and not give much thought about their part in our ecosystem.

However, Genesis chapter 2 paints a very different picture of man’s relationship with creation. First, recognize that God makes a point in chapter 1 to say that plants and animals were here before man (which, by the way, science agrees with). Not only that, but here we are told that we were all formed from the same ground. I believe he does this to rightfully setup the next big “ah-hah” moment. It may sound a little like “tree-hugger” stuff, so get ready…

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” (v. 15)

Let’s have a look at those words for a moment. First, the word translated for “work” is the Hebrew word “abad“. This word’s meaning is to work for something or better yet, to serve. In fact, as you read the earlier portions of the chapter, you see that plants and trees were designed to be in need of man’s care…

“…no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground.” (v. 5)

Second, the word for “keep” is the Hebrew word “shamar” which means to keep, watch or preserve. It is used elsewhere in the Bible in reference to bodyguards, gatekeepers and watchmen.

No matter what side of the political aisle you are on, God’s word is clear in these few words that we are to serve and to protect our planet with the utmost care. It also supports us by way of food, oxygen, etc. Perhaps the best word to summarize God’s intention for the relationship between man and creation is harmony.

We are given another purpose at the end of the chapter in the creation of woman. Adam had noticed that other creatures were not alone, but until then he had been. He put it best saying,

“This at last is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh” (v.23)

While this goes on to specifically speak of marriage, if you keep it in the context of God’s command to multiply in chapter 1, we realize here that we are to continue to grow as a human race and the best way to do that is to recognize that we are all human, as Adam did. That we were created equal, and that we need to live in relationship to each other.

In summary, it is here we find 2 of the 3 great purposes for man: to live in harmony with creation and in fellowship with each other. Perhaps now the next time you bring flowers home to your wife, it will have much more meaning!

Genesis 1 (50 Days – Day One)

You may not know, but there is a fierce debate over Genesis 1:1. In this day of amazing scientific breakthrough, it is easy to look at the first words of the Bible and pick a fight. In one corner, skeptics will ask legitimate questions of God’s Word…

  • Why does the Bible say the earth and universe were created at the same time when science says the universe is older?
  • Why does the Bible call the moon “light” when it only reflects the sun’s light?
  • How does light exist before the sun and stars?
  • How are plants made on the third day with no sun yet to feed them?
  • Why are we given every plant to eat when we know some are poisonous?

The list goes on and on, and has convinced some that God’s Word can’t be trusted.

In another corner are Christians who prefer a literal interpretation of this chapter that God made the universe in six 24 hour periods in the order that is laid out here. Any scientific evidence to the contrary is, to them, wrong. To them, science cannot be trusted.

Still in another corner there are those who are more than skeptical and have made it their mission to destroy God’s Word. They may be scientists, but a true scientist has no other motive…a true scientist studies science and draws conclusions about things that DID happen. They make no claim to what DIDN’T happen (eg. whether or not a snake ever had feet or something like that).

Finally, and I know I’m oversimplifying this, in the fourth corner are people like me. People who believe that Bible is the infallible Word of God and that science is a gift from that same God. True science can’t possibly ever disprove God’s existence, simply because science is limited to the physical and natural world. God is spirit and his power is supernatural. The study of the universe is science. The study of God is theology.

So if you, like me, find yourself in that fourth category, what are your takeaways from Genesis 1?

Let’s start at verse 1…

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

That’s a statement of fact, not a statement of order. It’s not saying “the universe was created at the same time as the earth”. You have to remember that while God’s Word has great application for our lives today, it needed to be just as applicable to the people to whom the original Word was delivered. I may be going out on a limb here, but I don’t believe the question of “which came first, the earth or the universe” could possibly have been asked back then. To me, the question itself necessitates a certain level of scientific discovery before one can even conceive of it.

This is a statement of fact, and an answer to perhaps a much simpler question that people over 3000 years ago certainly had enough sense to ask… “Where did all of this come from?” The answer, God created it. Everything you see around you was at one point created by God.

In fact, as you continue to read through the chapter, you will see that God not only created everything, he also had purpose behind everything. He designed it, and it wasn’t random. He had a plan, and that plan centered around the crown jewel of creation…you and me. Mankind. With that in mind, this is what Genesis chapter 1 is really about.

  1. God made the physicial universe in an orderly fashion with a sense of purpose.. (v.1-10)
  2. He made everything on earth for the specific purpose of sustaining life (v.11-13, 29 -31).
  3. He made life, with the ability to multiply. (v.20-25)
  4. His most special creation was man, and he was made different than other creatures. (v.26-27)
  5. He gave man purpose…to multiply and understand that God made/gave all of this for them. (v.28)

That’s what Genesis 1 is about. It’s not God’s attempt to explain particle physics to us. It’s about you.

When all is said and done, God is setting the stage for the next 2 chapters, when he reveals what he truly wants…relationship with us. So take heart in this one thought when you go about your day…everything that is beautiful in the world was made that way by God for your enjoyment.

Current Series: 50 Days of Passion

Want to draw closer to God? Have you ever spent an extended period of time just passionately pursuing him? That’s what this series is about. From March 2nd through April 20th, we will be spending 50 days together as a community completely focused on Jesus. We will do this in a variety of ways…

Reading Plan
We’ve built a special reading plan for this time that will take us through the entire book of Genesis! Genesis is about beginnings and this time can be your own new beginning! Check out the reading plan here…

Daily Devotionals
You can check the blog each day as early as 5:00am to read a devotional written by Pastor Matt that coincides with that day’s scripture reading! Read the Lakeside blog here…

8 Inspiring Messages
We will be continuing our extended look at the book of John with 8 timely messages that cover themes such as grace, perseverance, faith, forgiveness and second chances. You can listen to past messages here…

Life Groups
Each week all of our 3 life groups will be engaging with the message by facilitating a meaningful discussion that will hit home more intimately.

We will have weekly recordings from our worship team that will also be sung during services!

We want to encourage you to take part in this awesome series as much as possible! Start the reading plan, attend Sunday services and Life Groups and talk with God every day!

Marriage: Oneness

Learn what it really takes to achieve oneness…fighting back. Week 3 of our February series called “Love, Sex, Marriage and Courtship”.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8
4Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8Love never ends…

  • Love is Patient
  • Love is Kind
  • Love is Not Proud
  • Love Doesn’t Demand it’s Own Way
  • Love is not Resentful
  • Love Keeps No Record of Wrongs
  • Love Never Gives Up
  • Love Never Ends

This is the kind of love that can Change the World.

This is the kind of love that Satan will seek to destroy.

Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ. – 2 Corinthians 4:4

You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. – Ephesians 2:2

We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one. – 1 John 5:19

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son. – Colossians 1:13 

Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. 26Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants. – 2 Timothy 2:25-26

Battleground No. 1: Difficult Adjustments

A. Contrasting backgrounds bring painful adjustments for couples in these areas:

  • Values
  • Vocations
  • Religion
  • Finances
  • Family history
  • Past relationships
  • Painful experiences

B. The following superficial motivations for marriage require shocking adjustments:

  • Feelings
  • Sexual attraction/involvement
  • Cultural or family pressures
  • Escape

D. Differing expectations about marriage in the following areas result in unexpected adjustments:

  • Roles
  • Expression of love
  • Sexual performance
  • Plans for the future

Battleground No. 2: Marriage Philosphy

A. The world’s pattern is a 50/50 performance relationship.

B. The world’s pattern (50/50 performance relationship) is destined to self-destruct because of:

  • My inability to meet unreal expectations
  • The impossibility of knowing my spouse has met me halfway
  • My tendency to focus on weaknesses in my spouse
  • My disappointment in my spouse, which paralyzes my performance
  • My desire to get revenge when wronged

Battleground No. 3: Selfishness

A. Everyone has a natural tendency to be self-centered and destructive in relationships.

All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own wayIsaiah 53:6a

B. Our culture today encourages and promotes selfishness.

C. This selfishness will rob the relationship of its romance.

Battleground No. 4: Trials and Difficulties

A. There are two failures in our response to trials.

  1. There is a failure to anticipate the certainty of difficulties and problems.
  2. There is a failure to respond properly to difficulties and problems.

B. Difficulties do not mean something is wrong with your marriage.

C. God will allow difficulties in your life for many reasons. (James 1:2-6)

D. Your response to difficulties will either drive you apart or bind you together.

Battleground No. 5: Affairs                       

A. An extramarital “affair” is an escape from reality or a search for fulfillment outside the marriage.

B. Extramarital affairs are attempts to meet a legitimate need illegitimately.

C. Extramarital “affairs” take many different forms:

  • Activities affair
  • Materialism affair
  • Career affair
  • Family affair
  • Love affair

D.  We are deceived into believing that we deserve complete fulfillment and perfect happiness.

  • Society programs people.
  • People develop an improper perception of reality.
  • People compare their expectations and fantasies to real life.
  • People begin to question reality (and not their fantasies).
  • People escape to extramarital affairs.
  • People ultimately end up in isolation

Life Group Questions

  1. Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Love is patient, kind, etc. Which of those aspects of love do you struggle with the most?
  2. What specific ways has culture negatively influenced your marriage?
  3. Which of the 5 Battlegrounds has Satan been waging war with you lately? (Difficult Adjustments, Marriage Philosophy, Selfishness, Trials, or Affairs)
  4. What could you possibly do to arm yourself against the larger threats to your marriage?