Thursday, March 06, 2014

Our setting according to God

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Genesis 2:4-25

TO CHEW ON: "This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created; in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens." Genesis 2:4

When a science fiction writer sets out to spin her tale, she describes early on in the story the setting, letting us observe her made-up universe and explaining its rules. In some ways our reading today does that for our home — the earth. We find at least seven foundational pillars that hold up and explain, according to God, the way life on earth came about and functions best:

1. God created the heaven and the earth (Genesis 2:4).

2. God formed man and gave him life (Genesis 2:7). Out of the lowliest, commonest part of creation — dust — God shaped him and intimately "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being."

3. God gave man work — a purpose for living as the keeper of a garden (Genesis 2:15).

4. God set boundaries for human behaviour — an opportunity for man to exercise his will to obey and live or disobey and die (Genesis 2:17).

5. God created animals and charged Adam with the task of naming them (Genesis 2:19,20). This implies a human precedence over the animal kingdom. We're not the same. For example, killing an animal is not murder, like killing a human being is.

6. God made woman and Adam recognized her as his "comparable" (Genesis 2:22, 23). "'Comparable to him' denotes complementarity. The needed help is for daily work, procreation, and mutual support through companionship" - Russell Bixler, notes on Genesis,  New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 7.

7. God established marriage (vs. 24).
"Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother..." Leave tells us there is a change of priorities here. Mom and Dad (Mom-in-law, Dad-in-law) are no longer the focus of this relationship.
"...and be joined to his wife..." They are to be joined in passion and permanence.
"...and they shall become one flesh." One flesh implies sexual union, conceiving children, being spiritually and emotionally intimate, and living with each other in the same way one does with one's blood family of birth.

These pillars have been under attack from the first Eden days ("Then the serpent said to the woman, 'You shall not surely die.'" - Genesis 3:4) till now. However, ignoring or flaunting any one of them in belief and behaviour does, I think, put us on a wrong track and cause our lives to be out-of-kilter with the way God designed us to work best.

The challenge for us is to stand firm on God's order of things in spite of society's clamouring against aspects of it, like the questioning of God's existence, the fact that He is the creator, the existence of an objective moral standard, the eternal implications of disobeying God, and the sanctity of marriage, to name a few.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for laying out our setting so clearly. Help me to stay focused on the way You say things are and not be distracted or swayed by the world's arguments against Your order. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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