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bible reading day 2

Reading: Genesis 2; Matthew 2. 

"Generations" (2:4). = "origins, beginnings", also used for "descendants", and so in the NT Matthew 1 (yesterday's evening reading) records the human lineage of the Lord Jesus in history. John 1 records the divine nature of Christ as having no beginning, being eternal.  The second Person of the Trinity, God the Son, has eternally existed, while the human body, soul, and spirit of Jesus had an ancestry and a beginning in time. Two natures -- humanity and deity, time-bound and eternal -- this is a mystery at which we should marvel!

The Sabbath (Gen 2:3).  God completed his work on the seventh day [Heb. "sabbath" = "seventh"] and "blessed it and made it holy." (Gen 2:2-3) The seven-day weekly cycle has no origin in natural phenomena -- a month being a lunar cycle and a year being the solar cycle.  Whatever we may conclude about the "Sabbath" (Rom 14:5; Col 2:16) proper rest -- one day in seven -- is a blessed and holy thing, that we might take time to contemplate the completed works of God in creation and redemption. 

The creation of man (2:5-7). Man is a composite being, made of earth (Heb. "Adam" = "dust, earth") and given life by the breath of God.  We bear the image of God in our being, but at the same time we share much in common with the animal creation.       

The garden (2:8-17).  We catch a glimpse of its beauty and size. Trees of every kind, beautiful to look at and good for food; four rivers to provide water; gold, onyx, and bdellium to mine and . The man is placed there to "keep" it, which is more than mere cultivation. The Hebrew word here is also used of the Levites "guarding" the temple (Num 3:7-8). This all the more noteworthy in what follows in Genesis chapter 3: Adam did not protect the garden from evil encroachment. 

The command is given -- only one command -- to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  That is, they were not to know what is good and evil by their own determination.  Humans are not created to be self-ruling, or autonomous ("auto" = self; and "nomos" = law).  God as the Creator has a right to set his physical and legal boundaries for us. 

Marriage is from God (2:18-25).  Sexuality, gender, marriage... are all creations of God.  Gender and the gender roles established in the garden are not eradicated by the new covenant.  The curse is, and inequality is, but not the basic design. (See Gal 3:28; 1 Cor 11:7-9; Eph 5:22-33.)  One must either deny the authority of God's word or engage in very convoluted reasoning to come up with a plan other than what the Scriptures have affirmed from beginning to end. 

My take-aways: God is creator and designer, and his ways are good.  His creation is beautiful and to be enjoyed: "For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer." (1 Tim 4:4-5)  

Further, his will is the standard of goodness, and it reigns supreme.  When we understand the whole counsel of God's word (Acts 20:27) as it is applied to us in his grace, we find that his law is good (Psalm 19; 119).  His grace is what changes us to love his law, not being under its condemnation but delighting in its wisdom and joy: 

"The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; 
the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;  
the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; 
the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes..."  
(Psalm 19:7-8 ESV) 




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