Genesis 1:1-2:25 Affirm God's Good Plan

            AFFIRM GOD’S GOOD PLAN
        Genesis 1:1-2:25        December 2 2007

    The account of God’s creation of the universe begins with
    the simple statement that of God created everything
    (Gen.1:1). Each part of our universe owes its existence to
    God’s love and direct creative activity.
    Having proclaimed God as Creator of all, Moses next was
    inspired to focus on God’s specific creative acts in
    forming a perfect world (Gen, 1:2-2:3).
    The final section of the creation account focuses on God’s
    creation of humans and His plan for their relating to Him
    and to each other(Gen. 2:4-25).

    1. Value the Good Environment (Gen. 1:1,31)

Gen. 1:1   In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
1:31   God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And
there was evening, and there was morning —the sixth day.

    The Bible begins with the creation of the universe. We have
    no creation account concerning how God came to be because
    He always has existed and always will exist. God translates
    the Hebrew word [Elohim], a plural form that sometimes
    refers to pagan deities (for example, Ex. 12:12;20:3). Here
    ( and typically)it refers to the God of biblical faith. The
    name emphasizes His incredible power and greatness.
    Very Good. (Gen. 1: 4). The sixth day. Perhaps to stress the
    finality and importance of this day, in the Hebrew text the
    definite article is first used here in regard to the creation
    days.

    2. Appreciate Humanity’s Uniqueness (Gen. 1:26-28;2:15-17)

Gen. 1:26   Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our
likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds
of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the
creatures that move along the ground.” 1:27   So God created man
in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and
female he created them. 1:28   God blessed them and said to them,
“Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.
Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every
living creature that moves on the ground.” 2:15   The LORD God
took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take
care of it. 2:16   And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are
free to eat from any tree in the garden; 2:17   but you must not eat
from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat
of it you will surely die.”

    Us. . . Our. . . Our. God speaks as the Creator-King, announcing
    his crowning work to the members of his heavenly court
    (Gen. 3:22; 11:7; Isa 6:8;1Kings 22:19-23; Job 15:8; Jer 23:18).
    Image. . . Likeness. No distinction should be made between
    “image” and “likeness,” which are synonyms in both the OT
    (Gen.5:1; 9:6) and the NT (1Co 11:7; Col 3:10; Jas 3:9). Since
    man is made in God’s image, every human being is worthy of
    honor and respect; he is neither to be murdered (Gen.9:6) nor
    cursed (Jas 3:9). “Image” includes such characteristics as
    “righteousness and holiness” (Eph 4:24) and “knowledge”
    (Col 3:10). Believers are to be “conformed to the likeness”
    of Christ (Rom. 8:29) and will someday be “like him”
    (1John 3:2). Rule. Man is the climax of God’s creative activity,
    and God has “very good” and “made him ruler” over the rest of
    his creation (Psalms 8:5-8). Since man was created in the
    image of the divine King, delegated sovereignty (kingship)
    was bestowed on him. (For redeemed man’s ultimate kingship
    Heb 2:5-9).
    This highly significant verse is the first occurrence of
    poetry in the OT (which is about 40 percent poetry). Created.
    The word is used here three times to describe the central
    divine act of the sixth day (Gen.1: 1). Male and Female. Alike
    they bear the image of God, and together they share in the
    divine benediction that follows.
    God Blessed Them. . . Fill. . . Subdue. . . Rule. Man goes forth
    under this divine benediction —flourishing, filling the earth
    with his kind, and exercising dominion over the other
    earthly creatures (Gen.1:26; 2:15; Psalms 8:6-8). Human
    culture, accordingly, is not Anti-god (though fallen man
    often has turned his efforts into proud rebellion against
    God). Rather, it is the expression of man’s bearing the
    image of his Creator and sharing, as God’s servant, in God’s
    kingly rule. As God’s representative in the creaturely realm,
    he is steward of God’s creatures. He is not to exploit, waste
    or despoil them, but to care for them and use them in the
    service of God and man.
    Work. . . Take Care. (Gen.1:28). Man is now charged to govern
    the earth responsibly under God’s sovereignty.
    Any Tree. Including the tree of life (Gen. 1:9).
    Surely Die. Despite the serpent’s denial (Gen.3:4), disobeying
    God ultimately results in death.

    3. Respect God’s Plan for Marriage (Gen. 2:18,21-25)

Gen. 2:18   The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be
alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” 2:21   So the LORD
God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was
sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place
with flesh. 2:22   Then the LORD God made a woman from the
rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
2:23   The man said, This is now bone of my bones and flesh of
my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of
man.” 2:24   For this reason a man will leave his father and
mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one
flesh. 2:25   The man and his wife were both naked, and they
felt no shame.
   
    When Jesus spoke of marriage (Matt. 19:3-6). he affirmed
    (Genesis 2:23-24) as God’s plan for marriage. Marriage
    joins one man and one woman in a covenant relationship
    that deepens and matures throughout the couple’s lifelong
    commitment to each other .    
    The only full account of the creation of woman in ancient
    Near Eastern literature. (Gen.2:18) Not Good. . . To be Alone.
    Without female companionship and a partner in reproduction,
    the man could not fully realize his humanity.
    Name Them. His first act of dominion over the creatures
    around him (Gen.1:5).
    Leave His Father and Mother. Instead of remaining under the
    protective custody of his parents a man leaves them and,
    with his wife, establishes a new family unit. United. . . One
    Flesh. The divine intention for husband and wife was
    monogamy. Together they were to form an inseparable union,
    of which “one flesh” is both a sign and an expression.
    Naked. . . No Shame. Freedom from shame, signifying moral
    innocence, would soon be lost as a result of sin (Gen.3:7).

        Summary:

            Bible students have interpreted the phrase "let us"
    in several ways. Some have suggested the plural indicates
    royalty, as when a king on his sole authority issues a
    proclamation beginning "we have decided". Others have
    explained the phrase as God deliberating within Himself
    as when we say ,"Let’s see what I should do today." Still
    others have believed God addressed His heavenly host.
            Probably "Let Us" indicates the plurality of persons
    within the one person of God. Although the ancient
    Israelites did not know the Christian doctrine of the Trinity,
    they did recognize God revealed Himself and worked through
    more than one Person. This is indicated by the presence and
    activity of God’s Spirit at creation (Gen 1:2). As believers,
    we also understand Jesus Christ to have been present and
    actively involved in the creation (John 1:1-18) and interpret
    "Let Us: to include God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – Three
    Persons within one God.