Today’s reading begins with the creation story and ends with Cain’s departure into Nod.
What I was struck by today is God’s power in creating the entire universe. God spoke and energy and matter sprung into action.
“Let there be light,” and there was light.
“Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so.
“Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so.
“Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds–livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so.
The elements of time and space are at God’s beck and call. They do exactly as He says. There isn’t a written plan, there was a meeting to discuss the best way forward. No focus groups, no polling, no surveys. God spoke it, and by His voice, creation came into existence. Amazing.
The telling of the creation of man in Chapter 1 is a bit more extensive, and then in Chapter 2 a more intimate description of His creation of mankind is given. God doesn’t just speak humans into existence; he forms them, breathes life into them. God wants to make it clear that man is special, going so far as to not only form humans and give them life, but rather “then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.”
Unfortunately, the paradise specially made for Adam and Eve doesn’t last. The temptation to know as God knows, be as God is, leads Adam and Eve to violate one of only two commands that God had given. The first commandment was a do:
“Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heaven and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
The second command was a don’t:
“You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
So simple. Two commands. Do this. Don’t do that.
The failure to follow a simple, small command leads to their paradise lost. Our paradise lost.
Maybe it shouldn’t be all that surprising that the second episode of sin in the Bible is the murder of Abel by Cain. How quickly paradise lost became a life taken.
NOTE: All Scripture quoted in this year through the Bible will come from the English Standard Version (ESV)