The Goodness of God in the Creation of Man

May 24, 2015 00:35:26
The Goodness of God in the Creation of Man
Covenant Words
The Goodness of God in the Creation of Man

May 24 2015 | 00:35:26

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Rev. Christopher Chelpka
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Episode Transcript

WEBVTT 1 00:00:02.680 --> 00:00:09.390 Let's turn our attention to genesis chapter two versus, beginning at Verse Four. 2 00:00:13.669 --> 00:00:25.660 I'm going to read through verse Seventeen Genesis Two verse for these are the generations 3 00:00:25.780 --> 00:00:29.579 of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that 4 00:00:29.780 --> 00:00:35.890 Jehovah God made the Heavens and the earth, when no Bush of the field 5 00:00:36.130 --> 00:00:39.609 was yet in the land, in no small plant of the field had yet 6 00:00:39.609 --> 00:00:44.009 sprung up, for Jehovah God had not caused it to reign on the earth 7 00:00:44.049 --> 00:00:48.049 and there was no man to work the ground, and a mist was coming 8 00:00:48.130 --> 00:00:51.840 up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground. Then 9 00:00:51.920 --> 00:00:57.960 Jehovah God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils 10 00:00:58.479 --> 00:01:03.750 the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. And Jehovah 11 00:01:03.790 --> 00:01:08.269 God planted a Garden in Eden, in the East, and there he put 12 00:01:08.310 --> 00:01:12.790 the man whom he had formed. And Out of the Ground Jehovah God made 13 00:01:12.829 --> 00:01:18.819 to spring up from spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and 14 00:01:19.060 --> 00:01:22.859 good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, 15 00:01:22.939 --> 00:01:26.859 and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the river flowed 16 00:01:26.900 --> 00:01:33.170 out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four 17 00:01:33.250 --> 00:01:37.969 rivers. The name of the first was is the Pishon. It is the 18 00:01:38.049 --> 00:01:41.170 one that flowed around the whole land of Havlah, where there is gold, 19 00:01:41.930 --> 00:01:46.650 and the gold of that land is good, but delium and Onyx stoner there. 20 00:01:47.599 --> 00:01:49.319 The name of the second is the GIHON. It is the one that 21 00:01:49.400 --> 00:01:53.400 flowed around the whole land of cush and the name of the third river is 22 00:01:53.480 --> 00:01:59.040 the Tigress, which flows east of Assyria, and the fourth river is the 23 00:01:59.120 --> 00:02:02.870 Euphrates. Jehovah God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden 24 00:02:02.909 --> 00:02:07.509 to work it and keep it. And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying 25 00:02:07.710 --> 00:02:12.229 you may surely eat of every tree in the garden, but of the tree 26 00:02:12.310 --> 00:02:15.430 of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the 27 00:02:15.469 --> 00:02:21.580 day that you eat of it you shall surely die. This sends the reading 28 00:02:21.620 --> 00:02:40.169 of God's word. May bless it to us. Please be seated in our 29 00:02:42.610 --> 00:02:46.400 culture, and I think in every culture, we have various holidays which help 30 00:02:46.479 --> 00:02:53.639 us remember certain things. Mother's Day recently passed, Memorial Day is coming up. 31 00:02:53.439 --> 00:02:59.990 These holidays sort of mark for us these important events in our lives, 32 00:03:00.870 --> 00:03:06.509 such as our birth or history, or the particular acts of particular people in 33 00:03:06.669 --> 00:03:14.979 history, the things that they have done and sacrificed for a good we remember 34 00:03:15.060 --> 00:03:19.099 these things and we take the time to remember them because they have a way 35 00:03:19.139 --> 00:03:23.659 of shaping us and shaping the way we feel and we think. It's not 36 00:03:23.860 --> 00:03:28.370 just a matter of giving honor to, let's say, our mothers or our 37 00:03:28.490 --> 00:03:32.490 soldiers, but it's a matter also of thinking about things, be it our 38 00:03:32.689 --> 00:03:39.409 life or our freedom, in a particular way, understanding the particular things about 39 00:03:39.490 --> 00:03:45.080 them. Well, the word of God and every passage of scripture is very 40 00:03:45.159 --> 00:03:50.439 much like this. It does these kinds of things. God expresses himself in 41 00:03:50.520 --> 00:03:53.919 these ways so that we might give do honor to God, but so that 42 00:03:54.000 --> 00:04:01.150 we also might frame our lives according to these greater truths, the truest truths, 43 00:04:01.909 --> 00:04:06.189 the truth the word of God. God gives us his word as a 44 00:04:06.229 --> 00:04:13.340 way to remind us of the things that we often the things that we often 45 00:04:13.379 --> 00:04:18.980 abstract ourselves from. In Genesis, to it is certainly true all these things 46 00:04:19.019 --> 00:04:24.970 I'm saying. Is Certainly true of Genesis Chapter two. Perhaps even in a 47 00:04:25.129 --> 00:04:30.930 special way. Here in Genesis Chapter Two we have the story, the account 48 00:04:30.170 --> 00:04:36.009 of God's creation of man, really a second account. We talked a little 49 00:04:36.009 --> 00:04:42.000 bit about this when we covered genesis one, but God addresses this again and 50 00:04:42.120 --> 00:04:46.399 gives us more details. He talks us about the talks to us about the 51 00:04:46.439 --> 00:04:50.800 creation of man and also the habitation of man, how God made man and 52 00:04:51.319 --> 00:04:56.910 where he put him and these kinds of things. In this account, in 53 00:04:56.990 --> 00:05:01.709 this story of creation, we begin to learn certain things which frame our lives, 54 00:05:03.110 --> 00:05:08.220 for example, and we'll get to these in a greater detailed way. 55 00:05:08.740 --> 00:05:12.699 But we often go about our lives thinking that things simply are as they are 56 00:05:13.220 --> 00:05:16.740 or always have been the way that they are. But the story tells us 57 00:05:16.740 --> 00:05:20.610 that that's not true, that things had a beginning, of a place in 58 00:05:20.889 --> 00:05:28.889 time where God began us, where creation began. These things remind us of 59 00:05:28.930 --> 00:05:33.730 our humble beginnings. We are not God's we were created even out of the 60 00:05:33.769 --> 00:05:40.839 dust, the scripture says. So many implications can be drawn from these kinds 61 00:05:40.879 --> 00:05:44.959 of things, and so it's in that spirit that we will come to genesis 62 00:05:45.000 --> 00:05:48.480 chapter two to hear God's word and hear what he has to say to us 63 00:05:48.519 --> 00:05:55.029 about how we are to think about ourselves and him and our lives together. 64 00:05:57.949 --> 00:06:01.189 The primary thing that I want to bring across and draw your attention to in 65 00:06:01.389 --> 00:06:08.019 this chapters the goodness of God. The goodness of God is something that comes 66 00:06:08.060 --> 00:06:12.180 out very strong in chapter one, where we read and God made these things 67 00:06:12.220 --> 00:06:15.540 and they were good, good, good, even very good. But it 68 00:06:15.660 --> 00:06:20.490 comes out in this chapter as well, not only for the the explicit language 69 00:06:20.490 --> 00:06:27.329 of goodness, but also because there's something of a an argument going on here. 70 00:06:28.170 --> 00:06:33.120 In our fallen state we often attribute to God the evils in the world. 71 00:06:34.000 --> 00:06:38.639 We often see the world and we see the evils and the suffering and 72 00:06:38.759 --> 00:06:41.560 things that are around us and we say, well, surely this is because 73 00:06:41.600 --> 00:06:45.279 of the one who is in charge, this is because of God, who 74 00:06:45.279 --> 00:06:50.709 made things as they are. But these chapters are here in large part to 75 00:06:50.829 --> 00:06:57.870 remind us that God made us good and that he is himself good. So 76 00:06:57.949 --> 00:07:00.459 I want to focus on that goodness of God this morning as we look at 77 00:07:00.459 --> 00:07:05.779 this text. But let's begin with a brief reminder that the scriptures in many 78 00:07:05.860 --> 00:07:11.899 places, in many ways called God good. God, for example, is 79 00:07:12.300 --> 00:07:16.730 infinitely good. We might say Psalm one hundred forty five says, give thanks 80 00:07:16.769 --> 00:07:23.089 to him, bless His name, for Jehovah is good. We of thanks 81 00:07:23.129 --> 00:07:27.569 to God. We bless God's name because he is good. His steadfast love 82 00:07:27.730 --> 00:07:32.519 endures forever, because he is good. Well, not only as God infinitely 83 00:07:32.560 --> 00:07:39.040 good, he is abundantly good. Psalm one nineteen says, oh, how 84 00:07:39.279 --> 00:07:44.079 abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you 85 00:07:44.589 --> 00:07:48.589 and worked for those who take refuge in you? The scriptures also tell us 86 00:07:48.629 --> 00:07:53.910 that the doubts, doubts we have about God's goodness, are easily answered, 87 00:07:53.949 --> 00:07:59.019 at least in a certain sense. Listen to Psalm thirty four eight. Oh 88 00:07:59.939 --> 00:08:05.620 taste and see that Jehovah is good. Just taste and see, like grabbing 89 00:08:05.620 --> 00:08:09.339 a piece of fruit off your counter and simply enjoying it, and you will 90 00:08:09.379 --> 00:08:15.050 know that it is good, as simple as that. Oh taste and see. 91 00:08:16.610 --> 00:08:18.970 Well, how do we taste the goodness of God? Apart from his 92 00:08:20.089 --> 00:08:22.610 scriptures, God gives us many other ways in which we know his goodness, 93 00:08:24.050 --> 00:08:26.800 and we can start quite literally, with that piece of fruit on your counter. 94 00:08:28.800 --> 00:08:31.879 God is good and we taste it in the sweetness of fruit and in 95 00:08:33.039 --> 00:08:39.480 the nutrition of our bread axe fourteen seventeen makes this point explicitly when the apostles 96 00:08:39.559 --> 00:08:45.750 speak to these pagans and they say of God. Yet he did not leave 97 00:08:45.789 --> 00:08:52.029 himself without a witness, for he did good by giving you as from heaven 98 00:08:52.029 --> 00:09:00.220 and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness. See what he 99 00:09:00.340 --> 00:09:05.779 says here in the in a psalm that I read earlier, and Psalm One 100 00:09:05.980 --> 00:09:09.370 nineteen, we read that God's abundant goodness is stored up for those who fear 101 00:09:09.450 --> 00:09:15.210 him, for his loved ones, for those called ones of his. But 102 00:09:15.370 --> 00:09:18.970 God, on top of that, also pours out his love on those that 103 00:09:20.129 --> 00:09:24.720 he had, that those whom he has not called, those who do not 104 00:09:24.879 --> 00:09:28.919 believe in him, those that rebel against him and fight against him and hate 105 00:09:28.960 --> 00:09:33.320 him and attribute goodness to other things and evil to him. But here, 106 00:09:33.679 --> 00:09:37.840 these apostles of God say, no, this is not the case. You, 107 00:09:37.879 --> 00:09:41.629 you who do not believe in God, know him because of his witness. 108 00:09:43.870 --> 00:09:50.429 He did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying 109 00:09:50.590 --> 00:09:56.860 your hearts with food and gladness. So many other things we could look at, 110 00:09:56.980 --> 00:10:00.539 and but in all these things we see that in God's gifts, in 111 00:10:00.940 --> 00:10:05.659 his provisions, in his care, in his abundance, in his affinity, 112 00:10:05.980 --> 00:10:13.450 in his steadfast love. God is good, very good, even singularly good, 113 00:10:13.450 --> 00:10:20.409 uniquely good, as Jesus puts it in the Gospels. No one is 114 00:10:20.529 --> 00:10:30.200 good except for God. But despite God's infinite abundance and steadfast goodness, it's 115 00:10:30.279 --> 00:10:35.629 hard to believe this because of the evils in the world. The evils and 116 00:10:35.789 --> 00:10:39.509 the sins and the suffering that we feel and we face in our lives are 117 00:10:39.629 --> 00:10:46.190 like great big black rain clouds that cover up the sun. And when it 118 00:10:46.309 --> 00:10:50.860 happens for so long and in such a hard way, people begin to wonder. 119 00:10:52.620 --> 00:10:58.259 Has the goodness of God even disappeared, or was it ever there in 120 00:10:58.299 --> 00:11:01.779 the first place? When life, from beginning to end, feels like one 121 00:11:03.019 --> 00:11:07.850 vanity after another, would it feels like just one a crazy thing, one 122 00:11:09.009 --> 00:11:15.289 suffering thing, one dreadful thing after another, people begin to ask, perhaps 123 00:11:15.330 --> 00:11:20.799 you have begun to ask, where is God and if he is there, 124 00:11:20.639 --> 00:11:26.840 is he really good? You know what I'm talking about. All the lives, 125 00:11:28.759 --> 00:11:33.470 all the death, all the lust and covetousness which fills our world, 126 00:11:33.509 --> 00:11:37.950 and all of it we see, beginning right here in the opening chapters of 127 00:11:37.029 --> 00:11:43.990 Genesis, not genesis too, but genesis three, which will come to and 128 00:11:43.070 --> 00:11:48.500 do time. We're man's sins against God for the very first time and brings 129 00:11:48.580 --> 00:11:54.460 about all of these evils in the world. Perhaps all of them, or 130 00:11:54.500 --> 00:11:58.620 at least nearly all of them, can be seen early on in these first 131 00:11:58.620 --> 00:12:05.129 few chapters of Genesis. Blames, shifting riffs between men and women, between 132 00:12:05.649 --> 00:12:15.960 brothers and if families, injustices, murder lies death. When you read these 133 00:12:16.039 --> 00:12:22.639 chapters of genesis and the descent of man in his newly fallen state, into 134 00:12:22.720 --> 00:12:26.679 that sin and misery, in this state of death, we see these big 135 00:12:26.840 --> 00:12:35.470 black clouds rolling in onto the earth, death itself, and it covers up 136 00:12:35.470 --> 00:12:43.820 the sun and it makes us ask is God good? But Genesis too is 137 00:12:43.899 --> 00:12:52.940 a reminder and an argument and a proof the God is good and that the 138 00:12:52.019 --> 00:12:56.940 sun is still there, though we may not always see it because of our 139 00:12:56.980 --> 00:13:03.450 sins, because of our evil, because we're often blinded by the darkness in 140 00:13:03.529 --> 00:13:09.850 our own hearts, the goodness of God is still there and always has been, 141 00:13:09.970 --> 00:13:16.559 always will be. Genesis too takes us back to the beginning of God's 142 00:13:16.559 --> 00:13:20.000 goodness in the world. And tells us that it hasn't always been this way, 143 00:13:22.080 --> 00:13:24.919 that the clouds, so to speak, rolled in the earth has not 144 00:13:26.120 --> 00:13:31.590 always been perpetually dark and evil, that the goodness of God in the world, 145 00:13:31.950 --> 00:13:37.549 that the goodness of God was in the world before our sins blinded us 146 00:13:37.870 --> 00:13:43.379 to the sun. And I want to draw your attention, and in this 147 00:13:43.580 --> 00:13:48.940 particular line of thinking, to two things, the goodness of God and his 148 00:13:50.179 --> 00:13:54.379 creation of Man. In the goodness of God, in the habitation of man, 149 00:13:54.730 --> 00:13:58.610 you all know, I hope, what a habitat is, place where 150 00:13:58.649 --> 00:14:05.970 a creature lives or dwells. Here we see God's creating a particular habitat for 151 00:14:05.529 --> 00:14:11.600 his chief among his creation for man. We see his goodness in that, 152 00:14:11.840 --> 00:14:16.559 in the habitation of man, and also in the creation of man. Let's 153 00:14:16.559 --> 00:14:20.679 look at the first one, God's creation of man, and see his goodness 154 00:14:20.759 --> 00:14:24.190 there. If you go back to chapter one, I'm you'll see several things 155 00:14:24.350 --> 00:14:30.669 there. Let me read, beginning at Verse Twenty Six. Then God said, 156 00:14:30.710 --> 00:14:33.590 let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let 157 00:14:33.629 --> 00:14:37.830 them have dominion over the fish and the sea and over the birds of the 158 00:14:37.870 --> 00:14:41.620 heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing 159 00:14:41.740 --> 00:14:46.539 that creeps on the earth. So God created man in his own image and 160 00:14:46.100 --> 00:14:50.100 the image of God. He created him male and female. He created them 161 00:14:52.019 --> 00:14:56.409 and God blessed them and God said to them be fruitful and multiply and fill 162 00:14:56.490 --> 00:14:58.929 the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and 163 00:15:00.529 --> 00:15:03.490 over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the 164 00:15:03.570 --> 00:15:09.759 earth. And God said, behold, I have given you every plant yielding 165 00:15:09.840 --> 00:15:13.679 seed that is on the face of all the earth and every tree with seed 166 00:15:13.759 --> 00:15:18.240 and its fruit. You shall have them for food and to every beast of 167 00:15:18.320 --> 00:15:20.320 the earth and to every bird of the heavens, and do everything that creeps 168 00:15:20.360 --> 00:15:24.789 on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given 169 00:15:24.830 --> 00:15:28.549 every green plant of food. And it was so. And God saw everything 170 00:15:28.590 --> 00:15:35.470 he had made and behold, it was very good. So here in chapter 171 00:15:35.629 --> 00:15:37.980 one, in this first account of God's creation of man, we see several 172 00:15:39.139 --> 00:15:45.820 things. We see unity and community within his creation, mirroring even the trinity 173 00:15:45.899 --> 00:15:50.850 itself. We see that he blessed them, he bestowed this goodness on them. 174 00:15:52.649 --> 00:15:56.409 We see that he gave them good commands commands which even now us or 175 00:15:56.610 --> 00:16:03.970 inspire us and and encourage us. He calls them to extend this goodness that 176 00:16:03.049 --> 00:16:07.080 they found in the garden throughout the whole world, so that the goodness that 177 00:16:07.159 --> 00:16:12.960 they enjoyed there would be multiplied and multiplied and multiplied and multiplied. And on 178 00:16:14.039 --> 00:16:17.159 top of Latte all of that, he gives them good provisions as well, 179 00:16:17.960 --> 00:16:22.789 good commands, a good blessings, good provisions, providing at every moment along 180 00:16:22.830 --> 00:16:26.830 the way. No wonder he declares at the end that all this was very 181 00:16:26.950 --> 00:16:33.379 good well, this creation of man. God's goodness in the creation of man 182 00:16:33.580 --> 00:16:40.340 continues in chapter two, when we see God's very special care in his creation 183 00:16:40.539 --> 00:16:45.019 of man. We hear of some, not all, but of some, 184 00:16:45.179 --> 00:16:52.250 of the details of how we were made. In Verse Seven we read that 185 00:16:52.409 --> 00:16:59.610 Jehovah, God formed the man of the dust from the ground and breathed into 186 00:16:59.649 --> 00:17:04.440 his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living creature. We 187 00:17:04.599 --> 00:17:10.680 don't have with any other aspect of creation this kind of attention, this kind 188 00:17:10.680 --> 00:17:15.869 of hands on care that is being given here. God is showing a great 189 00:17:15.950 --> 00:17:22.349 nobility that he gives a to the human race, to mankind, he fashions 190 00:17:22.390 --> 00:17:30.339 us, he makes us personally and directly. He breathes into the man's nostrils 191 00:17:30.500 --> 00:17:41.420 life and in that breathing man becomes a living creature. This very special care 192 00:17:41.859 --> 00:17:45.970 on reminding means us of who we are, that we are those who are 193 00:17:47.089 --> 00:17:52.410 made beautiful, those who are made to carry and hold the glory of God, 194 00:17:52.089 --> 00:17:59.119 even though it may be in a jar of clay or dust. God's 195 00:17:59.200 --> 00:18:03.440 special creation of man reminds us of our great dependency on him. And that's 196 00:18:03.480 --> 00:18:08.880 okay, isn't it? Because, as we've been saying, God is good. 197 00:18:11.839 --> 00:18:15.869 You could finally and remark, just as a last thing, mark as 198 00:18:15.910 --> 00:18:19.549 a last thing, that God makes us in his image. If you're familiar 199 00:18:19.589 --> 00:18:22.950 with scripture and haven't thought a lot about this, they just may not seem 200 00:18:23.069 --> 00:18:27.579 like such a big deal, simply a point of fact. But consider the 201 00:18:27.660 --> 00:18:32.140 other things that God could have done. We could have been made in the 202 00:18:32.220 --> 00:18:37.660 image of the stars or in the image of the planets, or the image 203 00:18:37.700 --> 00:18:45.849 of fire or plants or a lion. Are All kinds of things within creation 204 00:18:45.089 --> 00:18:52.210 that God could have shaped us and formed us after marvelous things, wonderful things, 205 00:18:52.809 --> 00:19:00.880 majestic things, but God didn't choose the stars or lions or anything else. 206 00:19:02.240 --> 00:19:07.799 He made us in the image of himself. It's a marvelous thing to 207 00:19:07.920 --> 00:19:12.990 consider. It should humble us to a great degree, but it should also 208 00:19:14.109 --> 00:19:18.589 lift us up to know how much care and concern and how highly God has 209 00:19:18.750 --> 00:19:23.029 placed us in the world. But, as we will come to see, 210 00:19:23.029 --> 00:19:29.740 he placed us in a high position to be a servant to him, to 211 00:19:29.859 --> 00:19:34.500 bring glory to him and not to ourselves. This, of course, is 212 00:19:34.700 --> 00:19:40.450 the very essence of goodness, what it means to receive from a good God, 213 00:19:41.009 --> 00:19:45.809 depend on a good God and give back to a good God. It's 214 00:19:45.849 --> 00:19:49.089 what it means to be human, it's what it means to be good. 215 00:19:52.130 --> 00:19:55.680 Well, in addition to God's creation of man, we see God's goodness in 216 00:19:55.759 --> 00:20:00.200 his habitation of man in chapter two. I won't spend any time on chapter 217 00:20:00.319 --> 00:20:04.920 one here, but in chapter two there's so many obvious features. Take a 218 00:20:04.960 --> 00:20:10.069 look at verse nine or listen to it. And Out of the Ground Jehovah 219 00:20:10.109 --> 00:20:14.869 made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for 220 00:20:14.910 --> 00:20:18.349 food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and 221 00:20:18.509 --> 00:20:23.539 the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you have here God placing man 222 00:20:23.980 --> 00:20:29.980 not just in a place but in a garden, and not just in a 223 00:20:30.099 --> 00:20:33.299 garden, but a garden that has been cultivated by the master gardener himself, 224 00:20:34.220 --> 00:20:41.809 causing trees and things to rise up that serve this dual purpose of being pleasant 225 00:20:41.890 --> 00:20:48.970 and also being fruitful or providing food. Here man is placed in a wonderful 226 00:20:49.000 --> 00:20:53.920 place that isn't merely utilitarian. It doesn't just get the job done, and 227 00:20:55.119 --> 00:21:00.279 that even in a perfect way. But God says that they are pleasant to 228 00:21:00.359 --> 00:21:06.750 the site. Are Reminder that beauty is important to God, not just getting 229 00:21:06.829 --> 00:21:11.150 things done. But here we have man, a placed in a habitation that 230 00:21:11.309 --> 00:21:17.630 is beautiful, that is pleasant to the site. There is there are these 231 00:21:17.670 --> 00:21:22.259 trees, there is a river to water the garden. We read in verse 232 00:21:22.380 --> 00:21:27.660 ten a river flowed out of Eden and into the garden, where it divided 233 00:21:27.779 --> 00:21:33.690 and then became a four rivers. On top of that, this river that 234 00:21:33.809 --> 00:21:37.130 is feeding and nourishing the garden so that it might never go dry, might 235 00:21:37.250 --> 00:21:44.410 never have a problem. That whole area is surrounded by precious stones. We 236 00:21:44.529 --> 00:21:48.799 read of a one place where the river pishon flows around the whole land of 237 00:21:48.960 --> 00:21:55.640 Havla where there is gold and bedelium and onyx stone. In this we have 238 00:21:56.160 --> 00:22:00.039 even outside of the guard and even outside of Eden, there are other lands 239 00:22:00.470 --> 00:22:07.470 in which God has placed beautiful and numerous, abundant good things and treasures, 240 00:22:07.349 --> 00:22:14.109 though the garden of Eden is a special place and a special care is made 241 00:22:14.230 --> 00:22:19.140 for man there. Man, as he begins to contemplate his command to have 242 00:22:19.339 --> 00:22:23.819 dominion over the whole Earth and spread out to the glory of God, he, 243 00:22:23.980 --> 00:22:27.299 even as he knows it, has a got, has an earth set 244 00:22:27.380 --> 00:22:33.490 before him that is that is good, that is full of resources and and 245 00:22:33.690 --> 00:22:41.769 precious metals and plants and trees. In all these things we see God's goodness 246 00:22:41.529 --> 00:22:48.319 in creating this habitation for man, a beautiful place, a pleasant place, 247 00:22:48.359 --> 00:22:56.440 a place that is well provided for and is indeed very wonderful. These are 248 00:22:56.480 --> 00:23:03.789 the obvious features of chapter two, but there are less obvious features as well, 249 00:23:03.869 --> 00:23:10.309 a number of things throughout this chapter that link what is going on here 250 00:23:10.430 --> 00:23:15.579 in the garden two things that will come up later in Israel and the peat 251 00:23:15.700 --> 00:23:19.299 that in Israel's history, in particular, the Temple of God and then again 252 00:23:19.700 --> 00:23:25.740 the new heavens and the new earth, or this final temple or heavenly Jerusalem 253 00:23:25.900 --> 00:23:30.130 that the New Testament speaks about. To put it another way, what we 254 00:23:30.250 --> 00:23:37.569 have here in genesis are the beginning, is the foreshadowing of the temples that 255 00:23:37.690 --> 00:23:42.000 God would make, the God would make and dwell with man. How do 256 00:23:42.079 --> 00:23:47.240 we see this? We see it in a number of ways. First, 257 00:23:47.319 --> 00:23:51.039 we see it in the detail that the garden was placed in the east. 258 00:23:51.680 --> 00:23:56.829 This is in Verse Eight and Jehovah, God planted a Garden in Eden, 259 00:23:56.349 --> 00:24:02.309 in the east. So in the east of Eden God placed this garden on 260 00:24:02.509 --> 00:24:07.269 this the fact that it's in the East is important because this is the sun 261 00:24:07.549 --> 00:24:11.660 rises out of the East and throughout ancient Near Eastern literature, and in the 262 00:24:11.740 --> 00:24:15.900 Bible as well, often depicks a place. It's a symbol for the source 263 00:24:15.940 --> 00:24:22.339 of life, for the source of health and and even of God Ezekiel, 264 00:24:22.380 --> 00:24:26.009 and numerous chapter or numerous passages throughout his Ekiel we see he has a close 265 00:24:26.170 --> 00:24:32.009 relationship with the east. God, for example, calls him and places him 266 00:24:32.009 --> 00:24:33.890 in the east when he goes to speak with him, and there are other 267 00:24:34.009 --> 00:24:38.720 connections there in is ekiel with the temple in the east. So in addition 268 00:24:38.799 --> 00:24:42.160 to being the in the east. We also see that the garden of Eden 269 00:24:42.599 --> 00:24:48.160 is on a mountaintop. One way we know this from the text, is 270 00:24:48.279 --> 00:24:52.599 that these rivers are flowing down. Water flows down. These rivers are flowing 271 00:24:52.640 --> 00:24:56.029 down out of Eden, out of the garden, to these other lands to 272 00:24:56.190 --> 00:25:03.630 feed these lands. And we have this on this sense of this mountaintop image 273 00:25:03.710 --> 00:25:07.059 in which the garden has been placed. This comes up in a number of 274 00:25:07.099 --> 00:25:12.619 other portions of scripture, and Ezekiel Fourteen, for example, and we read 275 00:25:12.660 --> 00:25:18.740 that you are on the Holy Mountain of God when guard and imagery is used 276 00:25:18.819 --> 00:25:22.130 to condemn the king of tire. On top of that, throughout the scriptures, 277 00:25:22.210 --> 00:25:26.089 when God comes and visits with his people in communes with them, it's 278 00:25:26.210 --> 00:25:32.049 off and on mountain tops, at Horeb at Sinai, and then again in 279 00:25:32.210 --> 00:25:37.279 Hebrews and twenty two, even of ourselves and Mount Zion. You have come, 280 00:25:37.480 --> 00:25:40.680 Hebrews says, to Mount Zion, the city of the Living God, 281 00:25:41.440 --> 00:25:47.319 the heavenly Jerusalem. We often think of heaven is being a sort of return 282 00:25:47.480 --> 00:25:52.549 to Eden, or perhaps a return to eden realized or actualized, a glorified 283 00:25:52.750 --> 00:25:57.109 Eden. Well, if it's true that are the new heavens and the new 284 00:25:57.230 --> 00:26:03.549 Earth are compared to Mount Zion. It would make sense that the original Eden 285 00:26:03.670 --> 00:26:07.700 was also on a mountain. In addition to these things, we also have 286 00:26:08.259 --> 00:26:14.460 the river of Eden mentioned. Psalm forty six four says there is a river 287 00:26:14.619 --> 00:26:19.769 whose streams make glad the city of God. Again, from Ezekiel forty seven, 288 00:26:19.970 --> 00:26:23.890 one and eight, we read that at river is said to flow out 289 00:26:25.049 --> 00:26:30.529 of the Temple and heal anything it touches. This is similar to the descriptions 290 00:26:30.569 --> 00:26:37.039 of the river we are given of the river in Eden, this water that 291 00:26:37.240 --> 00:26:41.839 is feeding the land and and nourishing it. Add on top of this, 292 00:26:41.079 --> 00:26:45.400 God's presence in a way that is very similar to his presence in the temple, 293 00:26:45.920 --> 00:26:51.750 his close communion with man, dwelling with him and being with him. 294 00:26:52.589 --> 00:26:56.670 The image of the angels, they're as also will be depicted in the temple. 295 00:26:56.109 --> 00:27:00.990 Here we will see angels later in the garden, shutting off and barring 296 00:27:00.069 --> 00:27:04.180 the garden from man that he might not enter it. Lots of the plant 297 00:27:04.339 --> 00:27:08.259 many of the plant imagery, from the tree of life to the plants and 298 00:27:08.339 --> 00:27:14.940 the gardens and other animals. This kind of Eden, sort of imagery will 299 00:27:14.940 --> 00:27:18.609 be depicted in the temple in the curtain, in the minorahs, in the 300 00:27:18.970 --> 00:27:25.250 in the lights, in the engravings, in the sea and the bowls and 301 00:27:25.369 --> 00:27:30.519 all kinds of things. Many, many connections are made between the Temple and 302 00:27:30.799 --> 00:27:36.680 Eden. You add on top of all of this man's God's command to man 303 00:27:37.480 --> 00:27:41.880 to work and keep the garden. This is a command that will be used 304 00:27:41.920 --> 00:27:47.509 in numbers three of the priests that are car called to guard and keep the 305 00:27:47.670 --> 00:27:53.630 temple. All this to say, all these connections begin to show US something 306 00:27:55.150 --> 00:28:00.460 very important. The atom is not just a gardener. Adam is not just 307 00:28:00.900 --> 00:28:04.740 a man who has been placed down in a garden and called to be a 308 00:28:04.900 --> 00:28:10.980 farmer the days of his life, but he is being styled after a priest, 309 00:28:11.660 --> 00:28:15.210 after a king, who is to rule in a city, who is 310 00:28:15.450 --> 00:28:22.049 to lead worship in this temple. He is being brought into close communion with 311 00:28:22.250 --> 00:28:26.559 God, communion that here is brought into the garden and is doing extend over 312 00:28:26.640 --> 00:28:32.200 the whole earth, but later will be contracted into a smaller form in the 313 00:28:32.319 --> 00:28:41.269 Tabernacle and the temple. These things teach us our main point of the goodness 314 00:28:41.869 --> 00:28:48.670 of God. God doesn't just set man on earth and call him to complete 315 00:28:48.750 --> 00:28:53.589 some kind of random task gardening, I guess no. He calls him to 316 00:28:55.230 --> 00:28:59.579 work in the earth and to do these things to the glory of God, 317 00:29:00.740 --> 00:29:06.019 as one who is acting even as a priest, one who is worshiping, 318 00:29:06.500 --> 00:29:11.849 one who is leading as a king and ruling according to God's law, all 319 00:29:11.089 --> 00:29:15.450 in close connection with him, as we will read later when it comes to 320 00:29:17.130 --> 00:29:22.490 eve, that they spent time in the garden together with God, hearing him, 321 00:29:22.089 --> 00:29:27.640 walking with him, talking with him, knowing this close communion with God. 322 00:29:30.039 --> 00:29:36.039 Everything we see here a speaks of the goodness. And so when we 323 00:29:36.160 --> 00:29:38.630 can look at our lives and we consider the evils that are in the world, 324 00:29:38.789 --> 00:29:42.589 the suffering that is in the world, we cannot go back to God 325 00:29:42.789 --> 00:29:48.150 and say, look at what you have done, because God made the world 326 00:29:48.349 --> 00:29:52.299 good. He put us in this beautiful place to work and to worship, 327 00:29:52.779 --> 00:29:56.140 to be close to him and and all of our lives and to be close 328 00:29:56.259 --> 00:30:00.900 with each other. He calls us to be united with him and and to 329 00:30:00.380 --> 00:30:06.259 and to enjoy his presence, to feed off of his goodness and to know 330 00:30:06.500 --> 00:30:11.890 the sweetness of his presence. The sins and the evils and the suffering that 331 00:30:11.009 --> 00:30:15.930 we have and we face in this world doesn't come from God, as we 332 00:30:17.049 --> 00:30:22.799 know from genesis to it comes from man, as we know from Genesis Chapter 333 00:30:22.000 --> 00:30:29.160 Three. The last verse I read, Verse Eighteen, says, but of 334 00:30:29.200 --> 00:30:30.920 the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat, 335 00:30:32.720 --> 00:30:37.390 for the day that you eat of it you shall surely die. We're going 336 00:30:37.549 --> 00:30:41.630 to focus on this tree and the the curse that fell out from it when 337 00:30:41.630 --> 00:30:48.630 we get to chapter three. But here we get the command, the very 338 00:30:48.710 --> 00:30:55.180 clear command, that God says you shall not do this. But man does 339 00:30:55.339 --> 00:31:00.660 the thing that he shall not and he does die. He enters into a 340 00:31:00.819 --> 00:31:06.529 state of death on which eventually ends in his physical death and continues on in 341 00:31:06.769 --> 00:31:10.809 eternal spiritual death. But it's not just at the point of his death that 342 00:31:10.930 --> 00:31:17.450 death begins, but and his whole life is now untainted and covered and polluted 343 00:31:17.690 --> 00:31:22.160 by death and deathly things, by cursed things, by suffering things, by 344 00:31:22.279 --> 00:31:32.720 evil things. Life on earth becomes difficult and hard. The goodness of God 345 00:31:33.710 --> 00:31:37.309 should not be in question. In fact it should be made all the more 346 00:31:37.509 --> 00:31:45.029 clear when it's put in relief against the sinfulness of man. Another way you 347 00:31:45.109 --> 00:31:48.940 could put that is when you think about genesis chapter two and the great goodness 348 00:31:48.980 --> 00:31:52.859 of God. It should also cause you to think of the great evil that 349 00:31:52.099 --> 00:31:56.700 man did when he fell and the great evils we commit when we commit against 350 00:31:56.740 --> 00:32:05.210 a God who has made us in this way. But I want to tell 351 00:32:05.210 --> 00:32:12.490 you that, as genesis goes on and as God's revelation goes on, we 352 00:32:12.609 --> 00:32:21.200 see these expressions of his goodness unending. We see expressions of his goodness not 353 00:32:21.480 --> 00:32:27.079 only in the creation of man but also in the salvation of Man. We 354 00:32:27.200 --> 00:32:32.470 see it in this creation and habitation in a new way. Despite Man's evil, 355 00:32:34.029 --> 00:32:37.789 despite man's fall, despite man's rebellion and all the evils that we now 356 00:32:37.829 --> 00:32:43.950 face in this world because of it, God, in his goodness, enters 357 00:32:44.109 --> 00:32:50.740 into the world again through his son and brings about what we call new creation 358 00:32:51.579 --> 00:32:55.460 and new habitation. That's what Hebrews was talking about that I read to you. 359 00:32:55.539 --> 00:33:00.529 You have now come to Mount Zion, the city of the Living God, 360 00:33:00.730 --> 00:33:06.210 the heavenly Jerusalem. It's what revelation talks about when it pictures the new 361 00:33:06.369 --> 00:33:09.490 heavens and the new earth and this kind of garden of Eden like language. 362 00:33:10.529 --> 00:33:14.960 Well, how do we get to that point? We get to that point 363 00:33:15.000 --> 00:33:19.839 through the great king of this new creation, this new heavens and the new 364 00:33:19.920 --> 00:33:25.039 earth. Jesus Christ. Jesus comes, and when he comes, he doesn't 365 00:33:25.039 --> 00:33:31.589 just demonstrate his goodness and this miracle or that miracle, providing wine for a 366 00:33:31.750 --> 00:33:37.750 wedding feast or food for people who are hungry out in the desert. He 367 00:33:37.910 --> 00:33:43.019 shows us these things to point to his ultimate goodness and being willing to die 368 00:33:43.180 --> 00:33:49.180 for us so that we might regain the communion with the God desires for us. 369 00:33:50.779 --> 00:33:55.130 God takes this curse upon himself. The dark clouds of evil and sin 370 00:33:55.529 --> 00:34:00.210 come over Jesus Christ on the Cross so that they might not come over us 371 00:34:00.250 --> 00:34:05.690 anymore, so that the sting would be taken out of death, so that 372 00:34:05.809 --> 00:34:10.039 the evils and the suffering that we face might be finally subdued, so that 373 00:34:10.199 --> 00:34:17.719 the evil one who tempts eve and Causes Adam to fall would be put to 374 00:34:17.800 --> 00:34:25.750 an end, destroyed and ruined forever. This is why God comes into the 375 00:34:25.869 --> 00:34:31.829 world and so we see his goodness displayed yet again and in this wonderful and 376 00:34:32.030 --> 00:34:38.980 saving way, in Jesus Christ. So when we think about the things that 377 00:34:39.059 --> 00:34:43.980 we face in this world, the evils and the suffering, the curse and 378 00:34:44.260 --> 00:34:51.420 the death, we cannot go to God and blame him when he is one 379 00:34:51.860 --> 00:34:57.929 good and to he has saved us from evil and has brought about all good 380 00:34:57.969 --> 00:35:02.050 and promised us all good that we might live and drest and dwell and reign 381 00:35:02.170 --> 00:35:08.599 with him forever and ever and Jesus Christ, we have the answer to evil, 382 00:35:09.199 --> 00:35:15.639 provided by God himself. This we should praise God for, we should 383 00:35:15.639 --> 00:35:21.909 thank him for, even as we are humbled by our own sinfulness. Let 384 00:35:21.949 --> 00:35:22.389 us pray

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