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Life in God's Garden

BBBI - OT101.1 - Genesis I  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  58:44
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God’s provision is based on His omniscience and carried out by His omnipotence through His compassion.

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Genesis 2:15–17 KJV 1900
And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Gen. 2:
Main Thought: God’s provision is based on His omniscience and carried out by His omnipotence through His compassion.
Review briefly the context of the “History of Creation”

I. The Generations of Creation: Adam ().

A. God's Creation & Making ().

Genesis 2:4 KJV 1900
These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,
Note the segments of Genesis as divided by toledoth and how these are viewed (either beginning or ending the particular narrative to which they are connected)
The refrain These are the generations (4a) divides Genesis into sections at 2:4; 5:1; 6:9; 10:1; 11:10, 27; 25:12, 19; 36:1, 19; 37:2. The word generations (tôlĕdôt) properly means offspring, and here it corresponds to ‘all the host of them’ (verse 1). But it can have the wider sense of (family-) history, facing either the past (as in the family registrations of , , etc.) or the future (as in, e.g. ) according to context.
The view taken here, and defended in the Introduction (pp. 23f.), is that this phrase in Genesis always looks forward, introducing a new stage of the book.3 P. J. Wiseman,4 however, argued that it is always a conclusion (usually to a set of family records), and the documentary theory makes it a conclusion at this one point in Genesis, but anomalously an introduction everywhere else.
3 Cf. the mt punctuation and the rv paragraphing. Cf. also D. Bonhoeffer, Creation and Fall (SCM Press, 1959), p. 41.
4 New Discoveries in Babylonia about Genesis, pp. 47–60. His view is discussed briefly in the Introduction, above, p. 25f.
[Derek Kidner, Genesis: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 1, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1967), 64.]

B. The Need for Man to Work God's Garden ().

Genesis 2:5–6 KJV 1900
And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
1. The Water of Life
2. The Tilling of Ground
The original hydrologic cycle was thus drastically different from that of the present day. The present cycle, which began at the time of the great Flood, involves global and continental air mass movements, and annual and seasonal temperature changes. It is summarized quite scientifically in such Scripture passages as ; ; ; ; , and others. This present cycle centers around the solar evaporation of ocean waters, transportation to the continents in the atmospheric circulation, condensation and precipitation in the form of rain and snow, and transportation back to the oceans via rivers. In the original world, however, there was no rainfall on the earth. As originally created, the earth’s daily water supply came primarily from local evaporation and condensation. There was also, as noted later, a system of spring-fed rivers.
The change in temperature between daytime and nighttime apparently was adequate to energize daily evaporation from each local body of water and its condensation as dew and fog in the surrounding area each night. This arrangement was implemented on the second and third days of the creation week, prior to the formation of the plants on the latter part of the third day.
The inhibition of true rainfall was probably, as discussed in the previous chapter, accomplished by the great vapor canopy, “the waters above the firmament.” Maintaining an approximately uniform temperature worldwide, no great air mass movements were possible under the canopy, and the necessary conditions for rainfall unsatisfied.
A few commentators have suggested that the “mist” was actually a river. However the word means “mist,” or “fog,” and is always so used.
[Henry M. Morris, The Genesis Record: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1976), 84–85.]

C. The Forming of Man to Live ().

Genesis 2:7 KJV 1900
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

1. The Dust Formed by the Finger of Jehovah-Elohim

The supreme name, Jehovah, is compounded with Elohim, as Jehovah Elohim, translated in the A.V. as ‘Lord God’ (cf. ; with Adonai, as Adonai Jehovah, translated in the A.V. as ‘Lord god’; and with Sabaoth, as Jehovah Sabaoth, translated in the A.V. as ‘Lord of hosts.’
The primary name Elohim is compounded with Shaddai, as El Shaddai, translated in the A.V. as ‘Almighty God’ (); with Elyon, as El Elyon, translated in the A.V. as ‘Most High,’ or ‘most high God’ (); and with Olam, as El Olam, translated in the A.V. as ‘everlasting God’ ().
Again, Jehovah is compounded with seven appellatives. (a) Jehovahjireh, “the Lord will provide” (); (b) Jehovah-rapha, “The Lord that healeth” (); (c) Jehovah-nissi, “The Lord our banner” (); (d) Jehovah-shalom, “The Lord our peace” (, ); (e) Jehovah-rā-ah, “The Lord my shepherd” (); (f) Jehovah-tsidkenu, “The Lord our righteousness” (); and (g) Jehovah-shammah, “The Lord is there” ().
[Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, vol. 1 (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1993), 269.]
The repeated emphasis on the Lord God is significant (2:4–5, 7–9, 15–16, 18–19, 21–22). The sovereign Creator (“God”) of chapter 1 is also the covenant-making [Jehovah] (Lord). Thus Israel would know that her Lord had created everything, and that He had formed mankind by special design.
[Allen P. Ross, “Genesis,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 30.]
“Formed” is to sequence into shape; to mold into a form (like a potter)
“Man” is adam
Means “Red Ground”
Not a mere name, but a description
“Dust of the ground”
Not “out of nothing” (ex nihilo)
Not dry pulverized earth, but a lump of clay

2. The Breath of Life

3. The Living Soul of Man

Both the formation of man from the dust by God and the return of man to dust by God reflect the total reliance of man on God for existence. “Thus human persons are dependent, vulnerable, and precarious, relying in each moment on the gracious gift of breath which makes human life possible. Moreover, this precarious condition is definitional for human existence, marking the human person from the very first moment of existence.”6
6 Walter Brueggemann, “Remember, You Are Dust,” Journal for Preachers 14, no. 2 (1991): 4.
[John M. Soden, “From the Dust: Creating Adam in Historical Context,” Bibliotheca Sacra 172, no. 685 (2015): 48.]

II. The Garden of Creation: Eden ().

A. The Planting of God's Garden & The Placing of God's Man ().

Genesis 2:8 KJV 1900
And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
The Garden of Eden was the spot of man’s dwelling

B. The Growth of God's Garden: Pleasant, Sustaining, Testing ().

Genesis 2:9 KJV 1900
And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

1. The Garden of Eden housed the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

a. The Tree of Life was a symbol of God’s blessing for obedience

An actual fruit-bearing tree:
Revelation 22:2 KJV 1900
In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
Rev. 22:2
Ezekiel 47:12 KJV 1900
And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.

b. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was a symbol of testing

as to whether man would permit God to teach him essential knowledge of all things (good and evil) or whether he would disobey God, fall and experience the penalty of death
Adam & Eve should have obeyed God and let Him instruct them in these important matters
This was ultimately a test of authority in the universe
In all this the tree plays its part in the opportunity it offers, rather than the qualities it possesses; like a door whose name announces only what lies beyond it.
[Kidner, 68.]

2. Lessons:

a. True knowledge must submit heart, mind, will, and body to the authority of God

b. God wants us to love Him by choice, not by force

There is great strength in humility

C. The Watering of God's Garden: The River's Four Heads ().

Genesis 2:10–14 KJV 1900
And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.
Note - the dangers of applying post-diluvian geography to a pre-diluvian narrative
In general, it is evident that the geography described in these verses does not exist in the present world, nor has it ever existed since the Flood. The rivers and countries described were antediluvian geographical features, familiar to Adam, the original author of this part of the narrative. They were all destroyed, and the topography and geography completely changed, when “the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished” ().
This means, in turn, that the names which seem to be postdiluvian (Ethiopia, Assyria, Tigris, Euphrates) were originally antediluvian names. The names were remembered by the survivors of the Flood and then given to people or places in the postdiluvian world, in memory of those earlier names of which they were somehow reminded later. Those who have tried to identify the garden of Eden as in the present Tigris-Euphrates region fail to realize that these antediluvian rivers were completely obliterated by the Flood, and have no physical connection with their counterparts in the present world.
The garden of Eden was, of course, also destroyed in the Flood, so that it is quite impossible to locate it now in terms of modern geography.
[Morris, 89–90.]

D. The Keeping of God's Garden by Adam ().

1. The Divine Job Description ().

Genesis 2:15 KJV 1900
And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

2. The Boundaries Clearly Stated - Liberty ().

Genesis 2:16 KJV 1900
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

3. The Consequences Clearly Given for Violation - Limitation ().

Genesis 2:17 KJV 1900
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Testing—a Biblical Pattern. The better alternative to probation is test. Granted, the word does not appear in the text, but there is a pattern here that can be seen throughout Scripture. In the Bible, obedience to God is not taken for granted. God gives commands and then tests the obedience of those who receive the commands. At pinnacle points in Scripture, obedience is tested because obedience, which means submitting to God and acting on his command (including not eating fruit), displays one’s trust in and loyalty to God. Testing may also reveal distrust and disloyalty. In three crucial eras in the biblical revelation of God’s salvation, he tests his servants. God tests Abraham, Israel, and finally his own Son, Jesus. Although the tests have varying results, they are all tests for obedience.
[Brian Vickers, Justification by Grace through Faith: Finding Freedom from Legalism, Lawlessness, Pride, and Despair, ed. Robert A. Peterson, Explorations in Biblical Theology (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2013), 16.]

III. The Governance of Creation: Under Adam, Under God ().

represents the ideal marriage before the Fall. It provides the basis for the laws against adultery (; ); it serves as a model for marriage in the church (); it lays a theological foundation for government in the home and church (; ); and it is a type of the relationship between Christ and his church ().16
16 Most of this discussion is previously published in my article “The Role of Women in the Bible,” Crux 31, no. 3 (September 1995): 29–40.
[Bruce K. Waltke and Charles Yu, An Old Testament Theology: An Exegetical, Canonical, and Thematic Approach (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2007), 260.]

A. The Need for Adam's Helper & God's Plan to Provide ().

Genesis 2:18 KJV 1900
And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
Adam has been created and planted in an ideal environment (See above)
For the first time, God says something is “not good” - Adam’s aloneness (v. 18)

B. The Naming of Beast & Bird by Adam ().

In order to show Adam his incompleteness, God has him name the animals (v. 19)

1. The Process of Naming ().

Genesis 2:19 KJV 1900
And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
He names them by their characteristics
This is an act of authority over what he has named

2. The Point of Naming ().

Genesis 2:20 KJV 1900
And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
God understood man’s need for a helpmeet, Adam did not until God helped him understand
No animal, named by Adam, was sufficient to meet man’s need
Adam comes to the conclusion - he has no helper

C. The Ministry of the LORD God to His Man ().

1. The First Surgery ().

Genesis 2:21 KJV 1900
And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;

a. The Anesthesia

God places Adam in a supernaturally induced deep sleep
Genesis 15:12 KJV 1900
And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him.
1 Samuel 26:12 KJV 1900
So David took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul’s bolster; and they gat them away, and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither awaked: for they were all asleep; because a deep sleep from the Lord was fallen upon them.
Job 4:13 KJV 1900
In thoughts from the visions of the night, When deep sleep falleth on men,

b. The Rib

God takes a rib/flesh from Adam and fashions the woman

c. The Healing

2. The First Wedding ().

a. The Making & Bringing of the Woman ().

Genesis 2:22 KJV 1900
And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
“She was not made out of his head to surpass him, nor from his feet to be trampled on, but from his side to be equal to him, and near his heart to be dear to him.” - JFB
“She was not made out of his head to surpass him, nor from his feet to be trampled on, but from his side to be equal to him, and near his heart to be dear to him.”
“She was not made out of his head to surpass him, nor from his feet to be trampled on, but from his side to be equal to him, and near his heart to be dear to him.”
“She was not made out his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.” - MH

b. The Love & Oneness of the Union ().

Genesis 2:23 KJV 1900
And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
She is a “love gift” from God to Adam (“the LORD God…made…and brought her”) - God Himself acts here as the “Father of the Bride”
Adam calls her “Woman” (ishah) because she was “taken out of Man” (ish)

D. The Nature of Marriage ().

Genesis 2:24 KJV 1900
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

1. The Leaving

2. The Cleaving

3. The Unity

Marriage is the changing of one relationship (“leave his father and his mother”) in order to begin a new relationship (“cleave unto his wife”)

4. Principles About Marriage:

a. Marriage is instituted by God

It is not a human but a divine institution; therefore, it is not affected by changing culture

b. Marriage is to be monogamous

c. Marriage is to be Heterosexual

d. Marriage is both a physical and spiritual union

e. Marriage is to be permanent

E. The Glory of Marriage ().

Genesis 2:25 KJV 1900
And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

1. The Role of the Man and the Woman:

a. The Equality of the Man & Woman

1) Creative Dignity - both in the image of God
2) Native Depravity - both sinful
3) Redemptive Opportunity - equal opportunity for salvation

b. The Headship of the Man Over the Woman

1) Established by the Order of Creation
1 Corinthians 11:8–9 KJV 1900
For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
1 Corinthians 11:8–9 KJV 1900
For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
1 Timothy 2:13 KJV 1900
For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
1 Timothy 2:13 KJV 1900
For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
2) Established by the Fall
2) Established by the Fall
1 Timothy 2:14 KJV 1900
And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
Thus was the first marriage consummated and the first home established. Adam and Eve were truly “one flesh,” each complementing the nature of the other, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Before the entrance of sin into this ideal family, the Scripture says that they were naked, but “were not ashamed.”
They were alone, of course, with no other people before whom to be embarrassed, and their physiological differences had been divinely created in accord with God’s purposes, so that they felt perfectly natural with each other. Any sense of shame or embarrassment would have been entirely unnatural under the circumstances.
Even more importantly, they were still innocent, with no consciousness of sin or moral guilt. God had commanded them to “be fruitful and multiply,” so there was no reason for their physical union in marriage to bring guilt feelings. Later, however, their sin of rebellion against God’s word did bring an awareness that the springs of human life had been poisoned, not only in themselves but also in the lives of all their future progeny. This consciousness soon made them painfully aware of their reproductive organs and they were then “ashamed.” That was a later development, however. In the beginning there was no sin and therefore no shame.
[Morris, 104.]


Close with reiterating the God’s loving and powerful provision, not only for the things of life, but for eternity, and challenge the hearer with the thought of pillowing your head at night with a clear conscience before God by keeping a short account of sin (,).
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