Midrash on Genesis Chapters 1-3 Part 9

Study 9. The Seven Days of Creation.

Adam and Eve Part 1

Genesis chapter 2:4 -14

This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created. When the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth (land) and no plant of the field had yet sprung up; the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth (land) and there was no man to work the ground but streams (mist) came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground” (Vs 4-6).

“Elohim”

For the first time in God’s Word the name the LORD (Yahweh) God (Elohim) appears. (Vs 4-5) As Elohim, God is the creator. As Jehovah, He is in covenant relation with man. Again Elohim is plural clearly revealing the Triunity of the Godhead. This account of the heavens and the earth refers to the beginnings described in (1:5-10) before any vegetation had appeared on the earth. As we read here in verse five; “no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth (land) and no plant of the field had yet sprung up.” The earth was watered by a mist rather than by rain.

Perfect provision

Before God created man He prepared the conditions in which man was to live and to work. When God calls a man or a woman into His service He always goes ahead and prepares the way for them. He always arranges the situation and circumstances ahead of time. Everything they need will be supplied by God for the work to which He has called them. I think it was Hudson Taylor that great Missionary to China who said, “God’s work done in God’s way never lacks God’s supplies.” Here in Genesis we see God preparing the conditions in which Adam and Eve were to live and work. God would put them into a beautiful garden and the work He had for them to do would be a joy and a delight and not a burden. Just as the streams or mist watered the whole surface of the ground so the blessed Holy Spirit will always prepare in advance the conditions necessary for the believer to fulfil God’s good acceptable and perfect will for their life and ministry in His service.

(Vs 7) “And the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being (soul)”

When God blew His breath into Adam’s nostrils Adam came alive to God. When his eyes opened the first thing he saw was his creator. In the new birth the same principle applies. God, by the sudden impartation of His breath gives a person the resurrection life of the Lord Jesus. The first thing they receive is the supernatural revelation that Jesus is the Son of God and their personal Saviour and Lord. When the Lord Jesus opened the eyes of the man who had been blind from birth the first thing he saw was Jesus. That man had no power within himself to see. It took the sovereign act of God the Son to give him sight. In the new birth it is the same principle. As it is written, But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4-5).

The Breath of Life

After His resurrection when the Lord Jesus breathed on His disciples there was a sudden expelling of breath from His mouth to each disciple and they received the Holy Spirit. The resurrection life of the Lord Jesus was imparted to them personally and to each one individually. (John 20:22)  By this act Jesus was showing once again that He was God and had the same authority as His Father in Heaven had to be the source of eternal life. (John 5:19, 21, 24-27) Job declares this truth when he said, “The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the almighty gives me life” (Job 33:4).

A Soverign creative act

The creation of Adam was a sovereign creative act of God. Adam was a lifeless form until breath entered his body. It is the same with the new birth from above. We are spiritual corpses and unresponsive to God until His Spirit gives us the capacity to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for our salvation. As it is written, “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man (who has the Holy Spirit) makes judgments about all things, but he himself is subject to no man’s judgment” (1 Corinthians 2:14-15). For example you can have two men sitting in a gospel meeting. They both hear the same message. One cries out “I see”, ‘I see” but the one sitting next to him turns to him and says, “What do you see?” One received the revelation of Jesus for who He really is while the other one remained in spiritual darkness concerning Jesus. Indeed it is written, “no one can say Jesus is Lord but by the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3). We can know a Biblical truth in our mind but not have a revelation (Rhema) of that truth in our spirit. Only when it becomes a personal, living and active revelation deep within our spirit are we able to obey it. Once we have this kind of revelation from the Spirit of God then we are responsible to obey it. If we have revelation knowledge and ignore it we sin against light! Indeed it is written, “There is a sin that leads to death” (1 John 5:16).

A Supernatural revelation

When Jesus was dying on the cross there were two criminals crucified on either side of Him. One had no insight at all as to who Jesus really was and what He was doing and died in his sins yet the other man had the revelation of who Jesus is and was saved. I mean to say how do you explain to a person born blind what it is like to see? You can try to describe what it is like to see but unless they see for themselves no amount of explanation will suffice. They have to see themself to know what real sight is like. It is the same in the spiritual world. In the same way we can preach the gospel to sinners but until the Holy Spirit enlightens their mind and heart to receive the truth they will forever remain in spiritual darkness ignorance, and sin. While men have an awareness of their creator they do not search for Him in the way He wants them to search for Him. (Romans 3:9-18) It takes the sovereign act of the Holy Spirit to raise a person up from spiritual death to life. Indeed the Lord Jesus Himself said, “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and they are life” (John 6:63). We can read the Bible from cover to cover but unless the blessed Holy Spirit breathes upon the words we will remain in spiritual darkness forever.

Spiritually reborn from above

Adam was totally dependent on God giving him life and until the breath of God entered into his nostrils his body had no life within it at all. Such is the spiritual condition of every son and daughter of Adam born into this world. Until the Spirit of God breathes the resurrected life of the Lord Jesus into their darkened spirits they will remain walking corpses devoid of the life and power of God. Indeed it is written, “Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” neither will he be able to enter it or tell anyone else how they might enter it. Unless we are born from above, unless the Holy Spirit gives us life we will forever remain in spiritual darkness and on the path to hell and judgment. Now let’s continue.

(Vs 8-9) “Now the Lord God planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there He put the man He had formed. And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground-trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” .

The man or woman walking in God’s will and in a right relationship with Him lack nothing. As it is written in the Psalms, “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers” (Psalm 1:1-3). The man or woman who walks in the light of God’s Word indeed will find God’s will to be good, acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2) If we would know God’s best for our life and ultimately fulfil His will then we must live according to His Word. As it is written, “Man shall not live on bread alone but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).

“Do everything written in it”

When Joshua was to take over from Moses as the leader of the Israelites his success depended on listening to and obeying God’s Word. “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law My servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this book of the law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful” (Joshua 1:7-8).

Every good and perfect gift is from above

Now we read here in Genesis that, “the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground-trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.” God is not “tight fisted” when it comes to His generosity as it is written, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17). In the Garden of Eden God supplied everything that Adam would ever need to live forever and to be fully satisfied in every way. Nothing was left unprovided for. Every need would be met. Such is the nature and character of God towards us when we walk in a right relationship with Him. Nothing will be too good for His children. Indeed His generosity to them will know no bounds! Even in times of trial, testing and afflictions of every kind God’s all sufficiency will be there. Let’s continue.

In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

In the middle of the garden we are told there were two trees. One was a tree that provided an eternal quality of life and the other that provided knowledge of what is right from wrong according to God’s standards. There is no doubt that there was a literal garden with literal trees as we are given its physical location. (2:10-14) There is no doubt that Adam and Eve really existed as they are specifically mentioned elsewhere in the Bible in both testaments. However, the tree of life and the tree of knowledge were not literal trees but represented two spheres of knowledge that God made available to Adam and Eve. They could eat freely from every tree in the garden and that included the tree of life but they were commanded not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (2:16-17) Notice that these two “trees” were “in the middle of the garden” in other words they were the central things around which the garden had been created.

There was “the tree of life.”

Firstly, this tree symbolised the glorious possibilities that lay before Adam and Eve as the heads of the human race. This tree was the source and supply of God’s eternal life and knowledge that He had made available to them. Adam and Eve were to know this life and to progress in this knowledge had not sin entered into the picture. While Adam and Eve walked in an unbroken relationship with God their bodies remained immortal. However, after they tasted sin their bodies began to die. We are told that sin entered into the world through one man consequently bringing sin and death to all men. (Romans 5:12)

Secondly, the tree of life was the source of Adam and Eve’s life. This tree was none other than the pre-incarnate Lord Jesus Himself who walked and talked with Adam and Eve in the garden, as was His regular custom (3:8). After Adam and Eve fell into sin they were banished from the garden and forbidden access to the tree of life. They were cut off from their inexhaustible supply of eternal life and from that moment their bodies began to die. In the book of Genesis we see man cut off from the tree of life, however in the book of Revelation we see man partaking once again from the tree of life. Through Adam God’s eternal life was lost but through Christ and His work at the cross access to God’s eternal life was restored. Eternal life was made available to all who return to God through repentance and faith in His Eternal Son the Lord Jesus Christ.

Eating from the Tree of Life

In the book of Revelation only those who have been redeemed from sin, who have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and have overcome the world, the flesh and the Devil have the right to eat from the tree of life and to enter God’s eternal city. (Revelation 2:7) (Revelation 7:14) (Revelation 22:2-5) (Revelation 22:14) Outside of that city we are also told are the wicked, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. These are cut off from the tree of life and from the city of God forever. (Revelation 22:15) Also there is a solemn warning given at the end of the book of Revelation that anyone who adds to the words of this book or takes away from the words of this book will suffer the plagues described in the book and forfeit their right to share in the tree of life and in the Holy City. (Revelation 22:18-19) This will be the lot of anyone who tampers with the Word of God!

Then there was “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

Now God did not forbid Adam and Eve access to the knowledge of good and evil but He did forbid them to eat of its fruit. God’s intended them to know about good and evil but not to taste it because He knew full well what the evil would do to them. For example a couple about to be married can read about the workings of the male and female sexual organs and can read about the joy and satisfaction of sexual expression in their marriage to come. They know intellectually about these things but it is only after they have married and consummated the marriage that they “Know” what it is really like. This is what a man “knowing” his wife means in the Bible. It does not only mean knowing about her but also being intimately one with her. They become one flesh, their minds, their emotions; their will and their bodies become intertwined as one. They are two, yet they are also one. (2:24)

God was not ‘holding out’ on them

Adam and Eve were to know about sin and have the knowledge about good and evil but were not to taste it. They were told they would die if they did. Satan of course twisted the word of God and said that they would not die. (3:1-5) He deceived them into thinking that God was holding out on them. God’s intention over time was to reveal the wonders of His person and His knowledge to them and already they had access to Him anytime of the day or night because He walked and talked with them everyday.

Satan’s ultimate defeat

In conclusion we read in (2:10-14) the actual location of the garden. If the Tigris and Euphrates mentioned are the same rivers by those names today then it would place the garden somewhere in the Middle East, most probably in Iraq, which is in the region of Ancient Babylon. It was here that Satan first revealed himself to man. It was from this region that Satan’s progeny the future Antichrist would immerge at the end of this present age, one in the character of Nimrod. It was here that he was told of his ultimate defeat at the hands of the Messiah. Who would “crush his head” even though Satan would “strike His heel” (3:14-15). At the cross Satan would experience his first defeat at Jerusalem as prophesied in the garden. At the Second coming of Christ he will experience his ultimate defeat also at Jerusalem.

A Symbolic Garden?

The Garden of Eden was not just a ‘symbolic’ garden but also a very real place with trees and fruit, with animals and birds of all kinds and with fish in the rivers. A place flowing with beautiful streams and lakes its soil was fertile and able to sustain crops of every kind. Indeed it was a wonderful place, a true paradise on the earth. It was a place of well being, of unbridled joy and a place of deep satisfaction and contentment, a place where God Himself walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day. During the Millennium, when the Messiah reigns, the whole earth will experience what it was originally created for. In the garden paradise was lost however through the work of the cross paradise will be restored. Ultimately there will be the new heaven and new earth, (Isaiah 65:17-25) (Revelation 21) (Revelation 22:1-5)

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