Devotionals Genesis

A Detailed Account

Have you ever spoken to a person and they don’t seem to accept what you are saying and question everything you have said and through their interrogation of what you have said actually change what you have said into what they want you to have said? As confusing as that sounds, so are the approaches to Genesis chapter 2:4-52. One commentator explains it like this … “every inch of this chapter is a battleground.” At length he raises all the objections, from another account of creation to the name for God in chapter one differing from names for God is chapter 2, to differences in vocabulary, to the face of the earth looking different in the two chapters. Such a read is entertaining yet unnecessary because verse 4 starts off saying:

Gen 2:4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created.

In other words, chapter one explains creation whilst chapter two deals with the story or the history of the heavens and the earth at the time of creation. When one overlooks or excludes this sentence, one will find faults, but one shall never understand chapters 2:4 to 4:26. Another point of interest is that on ten occasions Moses, the human author writing under inspiration, provides divisions in the book. These are …

Gen 2:4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created.

Gen 5:1 This is the written account of Adam’s line.

Gen 6:9 This is the account of Noah.

Gen 10:1 This is the account of Shem, Ham and Japheth, Noah’s sons, who themselves had sons after the flood.

Gen 11:10 This is the account of Shem.

Gen 11:27 This is the account of Terah.

Gen 25:12 This is the account of Abraham’s son Ishmael, whom Sarah’s maidservant, Hagar the Egyptian, bore to Abraham.

Gen 25:19 This is the account of Abraham’s son Isaac.

Gen 36:1 This is the account of Esau (that is, Edom)

Gen 36:9 This is the account of Esau the father of the Edomites in the hill country of Seir.

Gen 37:2 This is the account of Jacob.

Why is this important? You see the word … “account” in each verse? The word is “teledoth” and means the same thing every time. Each of the ten sections in Genesis starts this way … so why should there be such an amount of unbelievable ingenuity by scholars who want to attack the text in Genesis chapter 2? It’s simple. They reject the Word of God! Each of the ten times signify a heading. Then, the rest of verse 4 deals with “when” God created. From verse 5 we are informed how things happened during creation.

1) God overcoming a water problem:

Gen 2:5 and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground, 6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground.

Most likely the third day of creation is in mind here. Although God commanded:

Ge 1:11 “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so.

Due to no rain the vegetation was retarded until God permitted the underground streams to push up and water the whole planet. Then follows:

Gen 1:12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

2) An explanation of how God made man.

Gen 2:7 the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

We have to see how beautifully God places this verse. Verse 5 speaks of no shrubs growing. Although planted they were retarded without water so God provided underground water. But who would look after the vegetation referred to in 2:5? God needed someone to work the garden of 2:8. So He makes man! At this point we don’t hear of image and likeness, of procreation and rule. Rather …

(i) We observe the name of God … “LORD God” which means “Yahweh Elohim”. The name is repeated throughout the chapter. Two characteristics of God’s nature are revealed in this name. The one is “faithful mercy” and the other “awe-inspiring power”.

(ii) The word “formed” means “mold”. The idea is of a potter giving careful, precise attention to how the object his is molding takes shape is in mind. Pride and pleasure are key elements. He does not use inferior quality clay, nor does he do a rush job. The potter set out with a plan in his mind and formed or molded exactly what he wanted according to this plan. Look at how active God is with the baby in the womb

Ps 139:13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body.

If this is so, and we consider the complexity and intricacy of the whole human body, surely God, like the potter had a plan and went about making man with pleasure and pride … especially as man would carry the image and likeness of God.

(iii) The composition of man. God used the dust … soil … soil that was damp to mold man.

1 Cor 15:47 The first man was of the dust of the earth

But we are told that:

Ge 3:19 “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

Literally this is true with burial!

(iv) The major difference. God made man from the earth and breathed the breath of life into what lay there after being molded. Some disagree that this constitutes man’s soul and others say it is. Whatever it is, the undeniable truth is that … the man became a living being. The term “living being” employs the term “nephesh” in the Hebrew it means soul. Right here is the difference between all other animals and the human being. Man has a soul which is his spiritual dimension. This is another aspect of “image and likeness” from chapter 1.

(v) When you read verses 9 and 15 to 18 you find that God made the man first. These verses prove this beyond doubt and challenge. As controversial as some find this chapter, we are about to see some extremely exciting, yet provocative things that are challenged by many in our age.

Father, thank You for explaining things in more detail as we come to Genesis chapter 2. Help us to read Your Word with open minds to find Truth and comfort as we face those who challenge Your Word. Amen.

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