Genesis 2 – 22 Sep 2013
To help us understand Genesis 2, we shall ask 3 questions as follows:
– Question 1: “What’s so special about the 7th day of the world?”- verses 1-3
– Question 2: “What was Adam called to do in the Garden of Eden?” – verses 4-19
– Question 3: “How did God create Adam & Eve?” – verses 20-25
Question 1 “What’s so special about the 7th day of the world?”
Firstly, God rested & all of creation was at rest in Him.
What does it mean that God rested on the 7th day?
If I were to ask reverently, why did God need to rest?
Did it mean that God was tired?
How do we know?
Isa 40:28 tells us that “He (that is God) faints not, neither is weary”.
And Psalm 121:4 says that “…God doesn’t slumber nor sleep..”
God needs no replenishing the way we need to be replenished.
So what does it mean that “God rested on the 7th day”?
The hint is in verse 3 which says that “God blessed the 7th day and sanctified it…”
It was a day where He was distinctly no longer doing the work of creation.
Instead, He was ENJOYING all the good of His Creation!
If you trace the 6 days of creation recorded in Gen 1, you will find a clearly recorded distinct end to every single day.
But for the 7th day, there is no record of its duration or length.
It was just a continuous period of delightful heavenly order.
There was no unhappiness; there was no sickness; there was no sin.
Best of all, man was walking in constant communion with God – the Father, Son & Holy Spirit.
It was just an indescribable state of peace & rest.
And I want you to notice that there was not even a command given in Gen 2 to worship God on the 7th day.
The command came only in the book of Exodus through Moses.
Why? Because in Gen 2, there was no need for such a command.
Man was having the constant presence of God.
God rested & man was also at rest in God on the 7th day.
What’s so special about the 7th day – secondly, God used the law of the Sabbath to teach us what we’ve lost
I want you to realise that we’ve lost this rest in God since man fell into sin.
And the whole work of our Lord Jesus Christ is focused on bringing us back to that state of rest described in Gen 2.
You see, most of us don’t even know or care about what we have lost.
Why is that the case?
Let me try to illustrate this:
Supposing, I am a chain cigarette smoker.
Whenever you get near me, you smell the horrible smell of smoke & you hate it.
But you know what? A smoker like me can’t understand people like you.
I can’t understand why you can’t stand my smell of smoke.
And as a smoker, I hate the laws which ban smoking in certain places.
You see, when we are in sin, we are all like these smokers.
The bible says that our “..throat is an open tomb…” – Rom 3:13
What does an open tomb smell like?
If you have smelled dead rats, it’s worse than that – the bible says that’s how foul we are.
But our eyes are blinded & we can’t see this and we cannot understand why God is against us.
And we don’t even bother that we will end up in hell in this state.
But the good news is that God did not leave us in that state.
God used types and symbols in the old testament to show us how He will restore us to Himself.
So through Moses, He gave us the 10 commandments.
And one of these commandments – the 4th commandment says “remember the Sabbath and keep it holy”
What’s so special about the 4th commandment?
It’s a symbolic reminder of the rest we’ve lost in God.
What did the Jews have to do to keep the Sabbath holy?
No travelling, no trading, no buying, no cooking & these apply to you, your family, your servants & all your animals!
And the true child of God knows that there is no way we can keep the Sabbath holy.
But if you want to get back to that state of rest on the 7th day of the world, you have to keep all 10 commandments!
And you have to do this in your thoughts and actions every day, every second & forever!
I don’t know about you, but that is something that I can never do.
And guess what? I am not alone.
There’s a whole list of men & women mentioned in Heb 11 who also could not keep the 10 commandments.
But yet, the Bible calls them “heroes of the faith”.
Why? Because they learned to look in faith to one Man who kept the 10 commandments.
Heb 4:10 says “..he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.”
Jesus has completed His work of salvation for us.
Jesus has kept all the commandments when He was here on earth.
The Bible says that through faith in Jesus, all that He has accomplished is imputed to us – Rom 4:24.
So we don’t have to depend on our ability to keep the 10 commandments to be restored back to God.
Instead, we believe in Jesus as the One who will represent us before God.
So, have you given your life to Jesus?
If you have not, you are in danger of ending up in hell & this is no laughing matter.
Jesus told a parable about a rich man in Luke 16.
The rich man ended up in hell and he regretted not repenting when he was alive.
And it was a regret that he could never recover from because in hell there is no second chance.
You are all smart people; you know how to get the best sales & offers in town.
There is still a chance for you to repent and turn to Jesus.
Don’t miss out on this great offer of salvation!
What’s so special about the 7th day of the world? We celebrate the salvation of God through Jesus Christ.
Remember the analogy of the smoker I gave you earlier?
The man who has given up smoking will love clean air.
He loves the laws that forbid the sale of cigarettes because he knows they were meant for his good.
In the same way, the Christian will love the laws of God.
The Psalmist says in Psalm 1:2 “…his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day & night”.
The Christian doesn’t keep the laws to get to heaven.
But he loves the laws because Jesus says “..if you love Me, you will do what I command you” – John 15:14
And so the Christian keeps the laws of God because he loves Jesus.
Now, the 4th Commandment is special because it reminds us of the rest in God that we had lost.
But, we don’t keep the Jewish Sabbath (which is on a Saturday) to earn salvation.
In fact, Col 2:16 says “..let no one judge you in food or in drink, or a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths.”
But we celebrate the Lord’s Day – the first day of the week, the day that Jesus rose from the dead.
我们把周里的第一天守为安息日 – 因为耶稣是周里的第一天死里复活。
Why do we do this?
Because the new testament Church gathered on the 1st day of the week.
You will read this in Acts 20, 1 Cor 16 & Rev 1.
That’s the day that we should set aside to enjoy the presence of God together with His people.
That’s the day that we celebrate the restoration of the rest spoken of in Gen 2.
That’s the day that we celebrate our salvation out of love for what Christ has done for us.
And so, on Sunday, we will do anything that glorifies God & help us remember the work of Jesus Christ.
Instead of asking what we shouldn’t do on Sunday, we should be asking “What does my love for Christ ask me to do?”
This should be the day of all days in which we find our greatest delight.
If you don’t enjoy the Lord’s Day, it may be that you don’t appreciate the glory of your salvation.
So let us examine how we are spending the Lord’s Day for the glory of God & the good of our souls.
Now, I have a piece of homework for you.
Have you noticed that our current calendar system is based on a 7-days week?
This is what you call the ISO 8601 standard (ISO stands for International Standards Organisation)
I want you to find out why our calendars are organised in weeks of 7 days.
Why isn’t our weeks organised in multiples of 5 or 10 days?
Wouldn’t that be easier to sum up to 365 days in a year?
I encourage to do some research on this.
And you will discover truths that will confirm one of the creation ordinances of 6 days work & 1 day rest recorded in Gen 2.
And that brings me to our 2nd question for today.
Question 2: What was Adam called to do in the garden of Eden? – v4-19
1) Firstly, Adam was called to tend the Garden planted by God – v15
Where was this Garden of Eden that God planted?
V10-14 tell us that it is somewhere in the locality of modern day Iraq.
But the location is not the focus of this passage, so I’m not going to spend much time on it.
Instead, we want to understand Adam’s job in managing this garden.
When the youths in our midst were young & in Sunday school, some of them will tell me “I want to be a truck driver”, “I want to be a fireman”, “I want to be a policeman”.
But no one said “I want to be a gardener”.
So, I figured most of you will not think highly of Adam’s job.
But what exactly was Adam to do in tending this garden?
Well, amongst the things he was to do, he had the privilege of naming all the animals.
In the Jewish culture, names convey the meaning of one’s true nature.
For example, the name “Immanuel” means “God with us” – which in effect is exactly who our Lord Jesus is.
So, Adam was not just going through the motion of naming the animals out of fancy – cow, donkey, elephant, etc.
Implied in this task is the effort of understanding the true nature of each of the animals.
So Adam was a true scientist.
He studied the animals’ characteristics & how they can be employed to support the work in the garden.
And Adam was to discover all that was in God’s garden.
In this way, he was fulfilling the calling of having dominion over all the earth.
At the same time, his job was not about demonstrating how great a scientist he was.
Instead, it was about discovering how great the creation of God was and to give Him the due glory.
Dear students in our midst, I know you are stressed about the exams you are in the midst of taking.
I want to tell you that I was very poor in my studies until I became a Christian.
When my eyes were open, I was simply hungry to discover more & more about this great world that God created.
It was not just about science; it was also about the systems & models on which societies were built.
And I was no longer trying to memorise text books but trying to discover & understand this great world of God.
And I found myself praising God as I realised how my subjects of study were linked in this whole world.
And that should be the whole purpose of your education.
Not just to ensure that you are employable in the future.
But to help you realise that God’s creation is good & that you should give Him all glory as the Creator.
My desire for you is not just that you will do well in your exams – I assure the Church has been praying for you in this aspect.
My desire for you is that you will discover God even as you study because you are studying His creation.
2) What was Adam called to do in the Garden of Eden? Secondly, Adam was called to continuously abide in God.
God told Adam in v17 that he should not eat of the “tree of the knowledge of good & evil”.
Was there anything magical about this tree?
Was this an apple tree that Adam eventually ate from, resulting in the Adam’s apple in a man’s throat?
No, there’s nothing magical about the tree.
And there is nothing in the bible that says it was an apple tree.
This is how I would interpret this “tree of knowledge of good & evil”.
What is “good”? – Not to eat of the tree – that’s good!
What is “evil”? – To Eat of the tree – that’s evil!
This tree was simply a reflection of Adam’s obedience to the revealed will of God.
And Adam did not have to work his way towards obedience or perfection.
He just needed to continue in his current rest in God.
That’s all he was to do.
And if he did not do that, “he will surely die” – v17.
And unfortunately, in Gen 3, we were told that indeed he died spiritually & physical death also came into the world.
He lost that rest and presence of God described in Gen 2.
But I want to tell you that Jesus, the 2nd Adam continued in total obedience to God.
And because of that, Jesus lives.
And because He lives, we who believe in Him will also live because His obedience is imputed to us.
We no longer die like Adam did; we have eternal life in Jesus Christ!
That’s the good news of the gospel!
Adam was called to continuously abide in God.
Are you abiding in Him through Jesus Christ? Let us examine ourselves.
Question 3 – How did God make Adam & Eve? (v20-25)
1) Firstly, how did God make Adam? Adam was made from the dust of the ground – verse 7
In a sense, man is like the animals because the animals were also made from the ground – v19.
But the absolute difference between man & animals is the fact that man has a soul.
And this soul is eternal.
And this soul will either spend eternity in heaven or in hell.
But the same cannot be said of the animals.
Because they are not made in the image of the living God.
And they do not have the breath of God in them.
And because of this, there were no animals who could be a comparable helper to Adam – v18
I want you to note that v18 does not say, “Adam needs children, let’s get him a wife”.
Instead, it said “it is not good that man should be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
So the glory of man is that the woman was made for him.
The humility of man is that he is incomplete without the woman.
The glory of woman is that only she can complete a man.
The humility of woman is that she was made for man.
And this is the glorious balance that God put in place in His creation order.
2) Secondly, how did God make Eve? Eve was created from a rib in Adam
Here in the Garden of Eden, the first surgical operation was conducted.
Adam was given “natural” anaesthesia & he slept while God took one of his ribs & closed the flesh – v21.
And out of that rib, God made a woman.
Those studying biology – let me tell you that this is why you will find only the “y” chromosomes in the cells of a woman.
But if you examine the cells of a man, you will find both the “x” & “y” chromosomes.
但男人的细胞里有Y 和 X 的染色体
Because from a man, you have everything that is necessary to make a woman.
But you can never make a man from a woman.
Matthew Henry put it this way:
“The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam;
Not made out of his head to rule over him,
Nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him,
But from under his arm to be protected by him,
And near his heart to be loved by him and be a help to him.”
And this is the marriage union that God instituted at the beginning – one man & one woman.
Whenever this order is violated, problems will surface.
So young men & women in our midst, there is nothing to be shy about to desire marriage when you are mature enough.
But take note of this: it was God who instituted marriage.
Therefore, God should be at the apex of the marriage relationship.
The man & woman can only grow closer to each other when each of them grow closer to God.
If you want a happy marriage, you must have a spouse whose one desire is to grow closer to God.
I’ve seen many miserable people whose lives are ruined because their marriage was unequally yoked.
When I was working in Korea, I had a secretary who was from a Presbyterian Church.
One day, she was looking very downcasted, so I asked her what’s wrong.
She said her boy friend was too engrossed with his family business and did not want to join her in Church.
I found out that he was not a Christian & I said to her “I don’t think it is wise for you to continue with him.”
And guess what – she actually took my advise and left him.
But she was visibly happier after that.
Some time later, she got attached to another young man from her Church & the 2 of them were happily serving in the choir together.
3 years ago, she sent me her wedding invitation card.
And this was what she wrote to me: I will always remember your advise to think “long term”. Thank you.
I was really happy for her.
The fact is, that’s not my advise; it’s just what the bible says.
“Be not unequally yoked…..” 2 Cor 7; Prov 4:14-15 “Enter not into the path of the wicked…avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it….”.
不要和非信徒同负一轭 2 Cor 6:14, 不要涉足恶人的道，不要行走坏人的路； 要避开，不可踏足，要绕道而行
My advise for those of you who are not yet attached – don’t even start any relationship with an unbeliever.
It will save you alot of heartaches; it will gain you alot of blessings.
For the sake of a promising future ahead, I exhort each of you to adhere to what God instituted in Gen 2.
Please do not be afraid to seek help from either uncle Paul or myself in this important aspect of your life.
It is absolutely crucial that you get this right.
Finally, let me tell you what I read very clearly in Gen 2.
A human being is either a man or a woman.
There is no in-between called a gay or a lesbian.
Therefore, a man must behave as a man and a woman as a woman.
It is a terrible sin to blur this distinction because this is NOT how God created us.
So in our respective spheres of influence, we must stand firm against the movements that go against this order of God.
I want to tell you that the gay moment is trying to take root in Singapore disguised in the name of “human rights”.
Countries like the United States may use membership into the WTO to pressurise a small nation like ours to change our laws.
If they succeed, they would have struck at the heart of the fundamental building block of our society – the family.
For the sake of the glory of God, I ask all of you to stand firm against this movement and pray that God will have mercy upon our children and children’s children.
Let us close by singing hymn ___ “The Church’s One Foundation”.