– A primer for beginners/A reminder for waverers –
(with editing help from a sister in Christ, Lynda Janzen)
THE CONSISTENCY OF GOD (as revealed us by the Bible)
The Bible is the most consistent document I’ve ever read and studied. Its consistency holds together because it contains a central theme from which it never deviates. What stands out for me is the fact that, having created man, He both befriended and loved him. And even when the temptation by the ‘Serpent’ occurred and the man and woman fell into the knowledge of good and evil and all that which subsequently flowed from it, God has never stopped loving us.
The world may dispute it, but it has never been disproven. So, please join me as we look, as closely as we are permitted, upon the triune nature, the three-in-one persona of ‘the Ancient of Days,’ specifically, as He went about the process of Creation, which includes mankind.
Our God and eternal Father did not simply create man, but within the format of His own divine image, God deliberately endowed him with emotional responses that are similar to His own. Although extensive, they are obviously far inferior to those possessed by Himself.
God excluded and withheld certain knowledge from man at this stage. And certainly withheld from man any future plans He might have later ordained with relation to mankind’s development or even that of his longevity. We simply do not know what ultimate future was planned for Adam and his helpmate, Eve, had they not fallen to temptation.
Did God plan to eventually mature them to greater heights?
That is not revealed us.
Now, we know that God feels pleasure. We know also, from the work of His hand, that God can display great patience when either His justice and/or righteousness are questioned or scorned. Alternatively, the Bible clearly describes that He can be emotionally moved to sudden anger when His patience is at last exhausted.
GOD EXPRESSES PLEASURE:
Matthew 3: 16-17
“When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’”
Within His divinity, the ‘Father-Creator’ Who created us above the animals, and in His own image, is responsible for every nuance of our own vast range of emotional responses. Beyond measure of our understanding is the unfathomable depths of His own capacity to feel and to act upon those responses.
Man, who is made in the image of God, can therefore only be understood as but the palest reflection of the Creator.
THE HISTORICAL RECORD OF MOSES, ADOPTED PRINCE OF EGYPT IN RELATION TO THE CREATION STORY:
Raised by Pharaoh’s sister, Moses was the child of a Hebrew slave born in the last years of the Israelites’ 450 years of bondage. He was classically educated with other princes of the blood royal. Though he had a stammer or slowness of speech, nevertheless, it is accepted in all the Hebraic texts that Moses was literate and was, effectively, a competent Scribe.
HOW DOES MOSES RECORD THE CREATION STORY?
For 40 days and 40 nights, Moses stood in the light of the presence of God after ascending Mount Sinai at the LORD’S command. Common sense alone would serve to indicate that, in that period, Moses was privy to much information. I think it fair to conclude that he received much more than the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments form the basis of the holy book of Judaism, the Torah, and are the foundation stone of our holy Bible.
Doubters and deniers, through the ages, have tried very hard to invalidate the pre-biblical authenticity of these ancient texts as initially preserved in Judaism’s Torah. To the contrary, science, archaeology and the anthropological record have, in many instances, actually validated them.
So, Moses assembled the texts from the knowledge he received on the mountain, and in the first book of those texts, the Book of Genesis, is the record of the entire Creation, which can be attributed to God Himself.
Genesis (New King James Version)
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
“Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.
“Then God said, ‘Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.’ Thus 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. And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.
“Then God said, ‘Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear’; and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good.
“Then God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth’; and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the third day.
“Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth’; and it was so. Then 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. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, 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. So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
“Then God said, ‘Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.’ So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.’ So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
“Then God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind’; and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’”
“And God said, ‘See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food’; and it was so. Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”
Never deviating from its claims, the Mosaic record sets out that God worked strictly to a design within the divinity of His own pleasure.
- God creates a plan.
- He begins to ‘engineer’ it so that it has form.
- He makes it self-sufficient and self-sustaining.
- He then chooses a specific place for the center of his divine purpose.
- He plants a lush garden where wonderful food literally falls off the trees and shrubs.
- He creates animals, male and female, all of which are apparently grass- and foliage-eaters.
- There is no record that they were carnivore.
- Then, from the dust of the Earth, He creates a man to rule and supervise it on His behalf.
- The man is not at this stage carnivorous.
- Man is made singularly – a ‘one-off’ model.
- Though taken from the dust of the earth, he is made in the image of God and those that live in the Heaven of Heavenlies.
- God calls this man Adam. His name literally means ‘from the dust.’
- Seeing that the man has no counterpart, God places him in a deep sleep, and taking a rib from him, creates woman.
- She is named so because she is made from or brought out of man.
- The woman was not created from the dust as was the man.
- The Garden constitutes ‘the Earth’ as Adam knew it.
- And it is all created at the pleasure of God.
Known for its location, the Garden of Eden is abundant in its created beauty, lush vegetation, and animal habitat. God is then so pleased with his handiwork, and particularly with the man and woman, that in the cool of the evenings He chooses to seek them out, and they communicate with him directly.
GOD ‘FRIENDED’ THEM:
We are not given insight into how or in what form God chooses to present Himself to the Man and Woman. Suffice that it occurs. What is important is that God has befriended them, and they share a sense of community with Him.
The Bible says that man was created in the image of God, although we do not know exactly what that means. Yet, from the dust of the earth God creates a being who, prior to the Fall and his expulsion from the Garden, obviously had been afforded many gifts. These gifts are benefits that are no longer granted to us. Nor are we given to understand what future lay in store for man, had not the temptation and subsequent expulsion intervened.
Thus, was the first man – Adam: meaning ‘earth’ or ‘from the earth.’ Hebrew: adam – dust, dirt, man.
THE ANIMAL KINGDOM:
All the animals are divinely created in pairs, each pair male and female. The potency of the male seed would fertilize the egg in the womb of the female. And by these means, procreation and continuance of the species would occur.
GOD HAS INNATE KNOWLEDGE OF BOTH FIRST MAN & ‘WE,’ HIS FALLEN SEED:
God, Who created the man, knew his very inclinations, thought processes, and innate feelings. They were, as previously instanced, a pale reflection of His own image and were likened also to the divine beings that inhabit Heaven. We know not what that means in actual terms except that we draw the conclusion that man is not created as an animal, nor some hybrid alien species.
And every nuance, thought, and feeling felt and expressed by all mankind is intimately known to God. When I recently read the testimonies of several Iranian Persians who had, in brokenness, cried out for the saving grace of Jesus (some of whom who were then privileged to receive divine visions), I realized that God misses nothing. He knows us, colloquially speaking, as well as the back of His own hand.
SOMETHING IS MISSING?
God saw that the one being he created to rule His Garden had no one to share this wonderment with him. Something was missing!
Placing the man in a deep sleep, God took a rib from him through which He made Adam’s opposite. The man experiences great joy when, awakening, he is confronted by his wo-man.
GOD AS THE FATHER OF MANKIND:
In everything that He has done for and with respect to the man, we witness a God of great emotional sensitivity.
Do you see some remote, alienated, scientific genius? Satanists, atheists and deniers in general do! Many in denial occasion that they hate God for His remoteness, justice, and sometimes the hand of His retribution.
Not so! And any regular reading of the Bible will readily confirm this opinion.
With respect to man, this is not simply an account of the divine nature of the Creation. Though, I am sure, many, at first face, read it that way. There is much, much, more here. We are being granted special insight into a Father Who, following the ‘birth’ of His first ‘child,’ in the manner described in the Creation, obviously cares for and deeply loves him.
- I ‘see’ a Father Who goes out of His way to bond with ‘His’ child and, no doubt, had maintained an intent to teach and develop him.
- And I see a Father, who even when a terrible punishment had to be exacted for massive disobedience, even then, did not destroy his creation, but following ‘our’ expulsion from the Garden, continues to watch over the interests of all those who would be born of woman and specifically those who would remain faithful to Him.
I cannot turn a page of the Word of God without seeing a loving, compassionate Father. And even from that perspective, I know that as a father myself, that love and compassion have to be tempered by obedience and discipline if the child is to grow to be a well-adjusted man or woman.
So, ‘man’ now shares the completeness enjoyed by the creatures. However, both the man and woman (she who was taken out of man) are fashioned by God in ways that permit them to share the minor characteristics of the godhead Himself.
- They think.
- They experience a range of emotional responses.
- They can rationalize their own behavior.
- They also have the ability to manipulate the world around them.
The ability of man to respond at this level is because Father God placed him far above the animals and creatures of the deep.
Man, who is raised as a human ‘being,’ is separate and distinct in ‘his’ kind. He is not an evolved species that slithered from the slime of some primordial pond or sea. So keep digging for the ‘missing link, if you will.’ It is not and never was.
The female that was wo-man, because she came out of man, was named by Adam, in modern terms, Eve.
The Jewish rabbinate say, “The man called his wife’s name Chava, because she had become the mother of all the living” (Genesis 3:20).
Eve would provide the womb of life, through which future generations would multiply. She was his helpmate. They would share existence, love and nurture each other and their children as they ruled God’s creation under his watchful eye.
All four passages in the Bible that contain the name “Eve” refer to the wife of the original man, Adam ( Gen 3:20 ; 4:1 ; 2 Col 11:3 ; 1 Tim 2:13 ). Her creation takes place after God’s assertion that “it is not good for the man to be alone” ( Gen 2:18 ), the LORD’S announcement that he will make the man a helper who corresponds to him. She will be his peer and complement, for no other creature yet formed was suitable (vv. 18-20). All this illustrates the innate human need for community. Indeed, the marriage relationship involving these first two humans (vv. 24-25) typifies all forms of human coexistence designed to satisfy the primal yearning for fellowship….
The description of the woman being created from the man’s rib ( Gen 2:21-22 ) highlights the kind of affinity between man and woman that is not possible between humans and other creatures. That fact is emphasized in the man’s joyful cry of recognition when God presents the woman to him: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” (v. 23). End Quote
Maranatha! (Come, Lord, come)
To be continued in Part II: The ‘Fall’ and expulsion from the Garden.