Summary: an exposition of Genesis 2:4-17

Islington Baptist Church February 4, 2001

Sermon text: Genesis 2:4-17

Scripture reading: Psalm 104, Revelations 22, Job 36-37, II Thessalonians 3:6ff

At certain times some Christians have had a ‘crisis in the faith’. There is something that bothers and disturbs them so much about God, his ways, people, some part of his word, etc., that they begin to entertain serious doubts regarding the Christian faith.

Some of these folks have walked away from God and rejected Him, others have stayed faithful but remain filled with doubts and confusion, yet others have had their issues resolved and they have moved on in the faith.

One of the things I have found is that God’s Word is the answer—God’s word and my personal experience of Him. The more and more I study the scriptures the more I understand things that once perplexed and confused me. The deeper I go into God’s Word…….. the closer I find myself walking with Him…. The greater I find my faith in God becoming. We need to be avid students of God’s word!

When I was a teenager a close friend of mine had “a crisis in the faith”. She ended up walking away from God and rejects him still—showing by her leaving the faith that she was never one of us at all. I remember trying to reason with her, as did many others. I remember long conversations on the phone. I also remember this, when I studied with her the Bible text that bothered her the most, I could never understand why she was having such a crisis. You see, what she regarded as contradictory and problematic, I didn’t.

What passage of scripture led to my friends crisis? Genesis 2:4-17. The text we will be studying today. READ TEXT


-she felt that this passage was contradictory in respect to Genesis 1

-she was unable to reconcile in her mind the creation account of ch.1 and the creation account of ch. 2

Genesis 1 and 2 are not contradictory but rather they are complementary.

Genesis 1 tells us step by step, literally day by day, in everyday language how we and the whole came to be. In Genesis 1 who is the main character? Who is it that is the focal point of attention? God.

Genesis 2 exists for a different purpose than Genesis 1. In Genesis 2 there is a different main character. The main character is the man that God made. In Genesis 2 all of creation is referenced in respect to the man that God made, and then the woman he made from the man.

In short, Genesis 1 and 2 have different points to make.

When you and I read Matthew, Mark, Luke, John we notice that at times the same account is retold. A times different details are included; in addition to this each writer has a different point that he is emphasizing—yet they are all talking about the same event. Same thing going on here in this text!

Jesus not had any problem with Genesis 1 and 2. In Matthew 19:4-5 he answers the Pharisees divorce question by first quoting from Genesis 1 and then Genesis 2. Jesus’ use of Genesis 1 and 2 in the same sentence indicates there is nothing wrong or ‘funny’ with Genesis 1 and 2.


I. Genesis 1 and 2 are not contradictory accounts of creation. They are complementary

II. The emphasis of Genesis 2:4-17 is this: man is the focal point of the chapter. In this chapter we see at all points how the creation is related to him/ what the connection is between the creation and him and also God.

III. If you ever find that your having a crisis in the faith—reach out for help. There are answers available to many of our questions. The Bible addresses all sorts of our questions (our problem is that often we don’t like the answer or want to hear the answer).

Note also this: those who I have seen in crisis have typically been those who have not been working on the building up of their faith (serving, meditation and study of the word, prayer life, fellowship of the saints)

Now before we dive even deeper into the text, please note this. Eleven times in the book of Genesis the phrase “these are the generations of” appears. These serve as textual boundary markers for us. In addition to the book of Genesis being in 11 parts it can also be divided into 2 main parts –ch.1-11, 12-50.


In Genesis 2 a fascinating picture of the world is given. In view is this: There is a garden of incredible beauty and bounty (everything man needed was right there, it was fully stocked), a garden called Eden. A garden said to be located in the East. From this garden their flowed a river—a river that branches out in 4 large rivers –2 that still exist today (Euphrates and Tigris). These 4 rivers ran out across the land, land beyond the gardens borders.

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