The Day God Filled Man
Text: Genesis 2
Proposition: As God created and then filled the heavens, earth, sky and sea so also did He create and fill man as the pinnacle of creation.
Introduction: Last week we looked at the six days of creation, we saw how God first created the heavens, the earth, the sky and the sea and then we saw how God then filled each and set purpose in each. What we will see as we look at Genesis 2 is a series of seemingly isolated and yet monumental beginnings. We’ll be introduced to God resting, to the details of mans creation, the establishing of the garden of Eden, the introduction of man to the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the naming of the various kinds of creatures and the details of the creation of woman and Adams recognition of her. Do you see what I mean by seemingly isolated yet monumental beginnings? What I’d like to explore with you is the idea that God not only created man but then filled him, that is where these seemingly isolated yet monumental beginnings fit. Turn to Genesis 2.
I. The Sixth Day Amplified! Genesis 2 details the actions of God on the sixth day. Have a look at verse 4, we are now introduced to Jehovah God. Previously it was God or Elohim, the God of Power. Now a new name is given, the Lord God is how some translations put it, but the name Lord is really Jehovah, the Lord God is literally Jehovah Elohim, the God of perfection and power, the finishing God. The earth didn’t create the plants and herbs, the Lord God did. The rain didn’t occur because the Lord God did not cause it, the mist from the ground watered the whole face of the ground because the Lord God designed it to. He finishes these things. Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. With the fine moist dust that the mist has watered God forms the body of man. Everything else He created but man He formed. It has the connotation of being squeezed into shape, like clay on a potters’ wheel. It suggests a more detailed process, where the “workmanship exceeds the material”. Matthew Henry once wrote, “Man is a little world, consisting of heaven and earth, soul and body.” The body of man, the little earth, is created. The spirit of man comes from the very Spirit of God. It is heavenly, of another realm and now both earth and heaven exist in this formed being called man, a living being. Now that man is created consider how God fills him:
1. Eden – the very name means delight, pleasure. The Lord God planted a garden in the midst of delight and pleasure, the garden of Eden. The river that flowed out of Eden was likely as pure and glorious as the rest of the garden. It’s four branches are named, names which have echoed down to this day as being worthy to name other rivers after, like the Tigris and the Euphrates. The Lord God fills the body of man with that which not only he needs but which brings man joy. Then in the midst of this garden there has been put two unique trees, the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. These trees are for the spirit of man, they are to fill him with an understanding of will, God’s will and his own will. Adam already possessed eternal life, there was no death in the earth for sin had yet to enter, so what was the tree of life? Matthew Henry proposes that the Tree of life, “was chiefly intended to be a sign and seal to Adam, assuring him of the continuance of life and happiness, even to immortality and everlasting bliss, through the grace and favor of his Maker, upon condition of his perseverance in this state of innocence and obedience…There was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, so called, not because it had any virtue in it to beget or increase useful knowledge, but because there was an express positive revelation of the will of God concerning this tree, so that by it he might know moral good and evil.” In essence God sets before Adam good and evil, blessing and curse, He sets before man a boundary and an ability to observe that boundary. The depth of the curse is that death will be the consequence of disobedience. God fills man with that which is good for his body and then with that which is good for his spirit.
2. Work – In verse 15 God sets before man that which is good for both body and spirit, work. Man is to tend and keep the garden, to work in it and to protect it. We tend to see work as a necessary evil, something as a means to an end. Perhaps we need to look again at what makes up a good theology of work. Is the environmental movement just a cause or is keeping the earth part of our mandate as humanity? However you answer that, what is clear is that God fills man with a command to work and it is good.
3. The Naming of the Creatures – Essentially this begins as an exercise in finding Adam a helper or companion but doesn’t God know that ultimately it will be Eve who is best suited for Adam? Absolutely, so this exercise is for Adams benefit. Perhaps we could conclude several things; 1. By this Adam distinguishes mankind from all animal kind 2. In naming animal kind Adam exerts ownership or dominion over them, he defines them. 3. In naming animal kind Adam displays his great intelligence and capacity to comprehend and complete the task.
4. The Creation of Eve – It’s been jokingly said that man is the head but woman is the neck that turns the head. It reality, if man is the head, then woman is the crown upon that head. Out of Adams side, by the hand of God, comes one who will be Adams wife. Again Matthew Henry helps us, “Adam was a figure of him that was to come; for out of the side of Christ, the second Adam, His spouse the church was formed, when He slept the sleep, the deep sleep of death upon the cross, in order to which His side was opened, and there came out blood and water, blood to purchase His church and water to purify it to Himself.” The Lord God fills man and completes him with the creation of woman. Together they are made into the image of God. From the creation of woman comes the first of two ordinances given in this time of innocence, it is the ordinance of marriage. The establishing of the one flesh principle in marriage is here, the sanctity of marriage, the boundary of it in leaving family to create family. This ordinance is for the preservation of the world. The second ordinance is the Sabbath. It’s what we jumped over in those few three verses because they rightly apply to Day 7. Now at the finish of the creation of man and woman, God has created and then filled man.
II. The Seventh Day, Sabbath Rest - this Seventh Day is the day that God ended His work, the day that God rested. This is the day that God blessed and the day that God sanctified. It is a day in which God intends that we follow His example of rest. It is a day that God intends to use to steer our eyes and heart to Him as Creator. Though the very word ‘Sabbath’ does not occur anywhere in the book of Genesis, it’s not until Exodus 16:23, it’s believed that the patriarchs kept and observed the Sabbath. The word ‘Sabbath’ or ‘Shabbat’ in Hebrew means literally ‘to cease from work, to rest.’ God fills man with the understanding of the importance of rest. God fills man with the significance of rest being a time to see the creation and to worship the Creator. It was given to Israel as a Law, to not observe the Sabbath meant the death penalty. It is a perpetual covenant command to Israel. As the church we keep a seventh day as well, ours is that which also marks a finished work that Jehovah Elohim has done. It marks the finished work of the Second Adam, Jesus Christ, when He rose from the dead as a declaration to all eternity that there is now forgiveness of sin in Christ alone. We now we rest in Him, in His righteousness. His work is completed and we now are His. This Sabbath, this second ordinance is for the preservation of mankind. In the wonder of this time we live in, God has filled man as never before, He has filled those whose faith is in Christ with His Holy Spirit that we know the Lord God, the one and only God of Perfection and Power. In this day of grace God has filled man anew.