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Well, hi everyone, and welcome to training for a life redeemed. I am Dan and each week I’m sitting down with my dad, Dr. David Jackson, to examine various sections of the Bible. This week, we are looking at Genesis chapter two, verses 4 to 25, which is all about the garden of Eden.
So dad verse four says that this is the account of the heavens and the earth, but hasn’t this already been given in chapter one?
Yeah, it has all through Genesis We have this little phrase that breaks Genesis up into series of genealogies virtually. And this is, we’ve got the heavens and the earth in place. Now we ought to ask the question and what did they produce? So this is, the production of man and woman, standing on the earth and taking this to the next level, to the next stage in the story.
I’ve sat in your classrooms at school where you talked about it as this idea of, you know, with the computer and you’ve got folders and there’s a folder within a folder. So it was not a retelling of the story so much, but more, a closer look at the story of what’s happening.
Yeah. It’s sort of like we double click on day six and pop in and have a more intimate look at what’s going on. As God creates the having created the animals now create the man and the woman, to govern his world.
Okay. So set the scene for me. What’s happening here in the garden throughout this chapter?
Well, God is, creating a world that he is going to hand over to People made in his image to manage, to rule and to use it to be creative and to produce beauty, , to extend, the display of God’s wisdom, and to breed up more human beings to take this till the image of God and the glory of God fills the whole earth. So this is the nucleus, the seed bed, If you like of the start of God’s plan to glorify himself through mankind, managing his creation.
Okay, well, if we need to manage his creation, why is it that man needs a helper because it’s all in here or that man needing a helper the whole way through, which then has, you know, the animals aren’t good enough after he goes through it, names them, and then God makes a woman out of his rib. Why does he need that?
Ah, this is such fun. If you, … one of the things I love about being a bloke is that when God created men, he created us inadequate. So before we sinned, we needed help. So there’s no shame in needing help. And the beauty of it is when he creates help, he does such a great job. So you go through all the other living creatures on the face of the earth and not one of them is adequate to do what we need. It’s like God created, gears and one has to fit into the other and otherwise it just doesn’t work. It doesn’t connect. And so God has created a woman to complete the man and the man completes the woman. And when the two work together, everything works and it’s beautiful. It’s, it’s got that intricacy, that intimacy, that just has you sit down and wonder, much like Attenborough wandering through and looking at how, you know, flowers and birds and species all are interconnected.
When you look at the relationship between a man and a woman, you see the completion, of the image of God and the character of God in the way these two get on, it’s very much like the intimacy you see within the Trinity between Father, Son and Holy Spirit here. You’ve got the man, the woman and God, uh, in a relationship where each plays their part and produces something absolutely awesome and wonderful and beautiful. And for the man to realize right from the get go that on his own, he can’t do it. But together with God and the woman, the whole thing is designed to work beautifully. And that’s how life works.
And so if you know, I know there’ll be someone out there will say, you know, why she designed as a helper? Doesn’t that make her a lesser, in some way to that, to the man that she’s just there to help. What, how do you reply to that? Given what I know about the word helper across the board,
It’s such a joke is that want to be God ourselves. We make ourselves to be out to be people who don’t need any help. And therefore, anybody who helps us has to be some lesser being like an animal. so that we are God and they are our helper, our slaves, um, our staff. And that’s how in a world that’s gone wrong, screws up the whole design. So when you look at this design, the concept of a helper is an ally. Somebody who completes who in a sense, rescues us from the bits that we can’t do. The word helper in the Bible is just beautiful out of a, I think it’s 101 times the word occurs 88 of them, God is our helper, and God is certainly not a housemaid. So you’re putting a woman placing the role in relation to a man that God plays in his relationship to his people. I think that carries great dignity and it reminds us that there’s no shame in being limited to what you can do. The shame is when you want to be God and put other people down, as if they’re your slaves, we are God’s servants. There’s a big gap in relationship between us and God, but there is no such gap between a man and a woman.
Okay. So one of the other things that’s really clear here in chapter two is there’s this two trees that are talked about planted along, you know, these different creeks or rivers that are flowing, one’s the tree of life. The other one is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Why, why do we have two trees? Why are they in the garden where man is, how has this set us up for what’s coming?
why trees? I’m not sure, but there’s this beautiful picture of you’ve got a tree of life. We are, we are mortal beings in the sense that our bodies can die. They can stop functioning at any minute. We’re totally dependent on God for every breath, every moment of living. And so there is this tree of life. And as long as we have access to that, we keep on living. On the other hand, you now have this other tree. and I think it’s really important to look at that, that distinction there between good and evil and remind ourselves that this concept of good has to do with beauty and functionality and just the complexity and the whole dynamic of God’s wisdom in the way he created the world. The word evil, isn’t moral, evil, um, the word ra’a in Hebrew simply means to destroy something, ra’a evil is rottenness destruction damage, and God has the right to destroy what he’s created.
He’s the creator. He’s the only one who has the right to do what he likes with it. Mankind should, should be building up, being creative, managing, sustaining God’s beautiful work. Ra’a means that mankind would take to himself the ability to destroy it. And so here is a choice in the way that we manage God’s world, We can either manage it beautifully in, in keeping with his character, or we can be a complete boofhead, do itself, selfishly. And the next thing, you know, we’ve, we’ve damaged. It’s, it’s like, you know, when your brother Rahmi, bought a little bicycle for his son, so Toby and Rahmi are sitting there and they’ve got the bicycle in the flat box and Rahmi pulls out the instructions and Toby grabs them. And I’ve got this little three-year-old wandering around with a set of instructions upside down while his father’s trying to put this bicycle together with a, an Allen key.
And you’re going, hang on a minute. We all know what happens to flatbed things. If you don’t follow the instructions, you end up with three nuts and a bolt left over, and the thing doesn’t work, and you’ve got the wheel on the wrong end, and it’s all backwards. Here is a beautiful creation, and God’s designed for it. And if we don’t follow God’s wisdom and we want to go with our own wisdom, we’re going to break the thing. And that’s what we’re faced with in this choice between good and evil. We’re choosing between following God’s beautiful way of running the world and our own stupid way, that’s going to end up in damaging it. and that’s built into the way creation is it’s a fragile thing. and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is the place where we make that choice. Is it going to be under God, or is it going to be me doing my own thing?
Okay. So as we come towards the end of this episode, can you talk to us a little bit about how Genesis 2 verse four to 25 points us towards Jesus? I think
This is probably the most, one of the most exciting things about Jesus, as we think about Jesus as he took away my sin, and he gave me a place in heaven, and traditionally people imagine silly things of disembodied people floating around on clouds, playing harps, and we forget God created us to be in a physical world that is incredibly, incredibly beautiful and complex and functional, and just a wonderful place to investigate and to work and to glorify God. We are physical, spiritual, intellectual, it’s all there. And if that’s what God planted us to be and created us to be, then Jesus is going to bring us back to that. God gave us a commission to start with this garden in Genesis two, and then fill the whole earth with it, to be fruitful, to multiply, to subdue the earth, to bring this creativity to bear.
When we look at the end of the Bible, go to Revelation 21 and 22, you’re looking at a new creation. It’s physical, it’s a new earth. We’re not floating around in the sky. We’re on the earth. We are in bodies that are healed and we’re doing the thing that God designed us to do. And we’re getting the job finished. And it’s, it’s this glorious picture of what we have in our little garden here in Genesis two now fills the whole planet. and it’s filled with people more numerous than you could count each one, bringing their story and their beauty and the wonder of God’s work to bear. And that’s what Jesus does for us. He takes us, he takes us back to what we had in Genesis two, and he brings it to its perfect completion in Revelation 22. And everything in between is just between the two ends of the story that bring about the glory of God and not only what he does, but how he does it with little people like us.
So what can we pull out of this passage that really helps us to focus on being trained for a life redeemed? So how does that actually work for us now?
I think it’s like, like when you sit down to do a thousand piece jigsaw, it’s nice to have the picture on the lid to see what it is you’re trying to put together. Genesis two gives us the picture of what our life should look like. if we start to get our relationship with God, right? Our relationship with each other, right. And our relationship with the environment, he has entrusted to us. So here in Genesis two, we’ve got the picture on the lid. It’s a little picture and we’re now set out to bring that to my relationship with my wife, my relationship to the environment, my relationship to God in, in, embryonic form. It’s all here in Genesis two. there’s the wonder of the complexity of being equal to my wife, but also being, we each function in a different way, uh, to complete the task. We compliment each other. We, we bring wisdom to bear. We look at our relationship to the creatures. We look at all the things God’s laid out for us to use, all of this, to his glory. And it’s beautiful and we’re all set to go. And if we’re going to get life right, then we will, you know, end up producing in each family in each home in each life story, a little picture of Eden. And that’s what Jesus has bought back for us. and we’re restoring that damage.
Well, thank you very much, Dad. And thanks everyone for giving us your time and for listening to what we’re talking about here from Genesis chapter two, you can get all the show notes and a copy of, my dad’s little mini series about this chapter or at trainingforliferedeemed.com slash EP3. Leave us a comment or ask your questions there that you would like us to answer as well. If you enjoyed today, please take a moment and leave us a review and make sure you tune in next week. When we look at where everything went wrong in Genesis three,
The first five books of the Old Testament constitute God’s book of instructions for his redeemed people. It reveals the character of God and his good design for life. It bears witness to the beginning of his work of redemption. It equips the believer to live in God’s world, God’s way, as God’s image for God’s glory. What sin and death have broken, God’s people can rebuild by keeping to his instructions by the power of his presence with us.