Summary: By providing for Adam in the Garden, God showed that He is concerned about our needs and He will still meet them today.
1. God provides a place (2:8, 10-14)
2. God provides a promise (2:9, 16-17)
3. God provides a purpose (2:15, 19-20)
4. God provides a partner (2:18, 21-25)
We’re looking at a fairly long passage tonight, and you’ll notice that the last part covers God’s creation of Eve. There are about a million different ways I can get in trouble with this passage, but I’m not going to. Instead, I will tell you of the two views available to us—the man’s view and the woman’s view. The woman’s view of creation is: God made the man, looked at him and said, “I can do better than that.” And He made the woman. The man’s view is: God made all the animals and man and then He rested. And then He created woman. And nobody has rested since. I will let you judge between the two.
As I studied this passage, I had one of those moments. It was one of those light bulb moments when you notice something in a passage that you’ve never noticed before. I noticed that the structure of this passage is very unique. It’s very unique in that one verse introduces, not the section it’s immediately in front of. It introduces the following section. Now, I don’t know why that is. If anybody figures it out, let me know. I’ll keep studying it and if I find out, I’ll let you know. Anyway, that structure will reflect in the way we read the passages tonight. We’ll read the introduction and then the passage it introduces. All kidding aside about the two views of creation, two views of about God are evident in the world today. There is one view that says, if there is a God, He doesn’t care much about me. He doesn’t care about what goes on in the world today. The Bible makes it very clear that the creation around us is sufficient evidence that there is a God. Creation is evidence there is a creator. The ones who deny God have to purpose in their heart to deny Him. They have to close their eyes and close their minds. They have to force their will to deny the obvious. But even if they open their eyes a little bit and acknowledge the possibility of God, they will say He created and that’s it. They will go so far as to say there might have been an intelligent designer of the universe, but that’s as far as they’ll go. It’s the old picture of God as an impersonal clock maker. Years ago, He made the universe like a clock. Then He wound it up and left town. They say He doesn’t have anything to do with us today. He’s not involved. That’s one extreme. The other extreme rightly says that God is involved. But they go off the deep end in how they say He’s involved. Instead of being an impersonal clock maker, He’s your own personal Santa Claus. They think the only reason God is there is to provide for their every wish and desire. Prayer is like an Aladdin’s lamp. If you rub it the right way, out pops God ready to grant your wishes. Well, the truth is obviously between the two extremes. God is not Santa Claus. But neither is He distant and removed from His creation. He provides for His creation. To be more specific, He provided His creation for His crowning creation. By providing for Adam in the Garden, God showed that He is concerned about our needs. He is concerned enough about our needs that He gave us everything. And by giving us everything, we can be sure that God still will meet our needs today. Tonight, I want each of us to be thankful for what God has provided us and praise Him because of it. In order to do that, we’re going to look at four need-meeting provisions of God. The first need-meeting provision of God is that He provides a place. Look with me in verse 8, then skip down to 10-14.
GENESIS 2:8, 10-14
God provides a place. We all need a place, don’t we? I remember my first assignment in the Air Force. My wife and I got engaged while I was in tech school, training to do my job. I went on to the Azores while she finished her last year of college. That gave me plenty of time to get things set up for her to get there. The first thing on the list was getting a place to live. I thought it was great. When she got there, she cried for a week. Maybe it had to do with the orange indoor/outdoor carpet that ran through the apartment. I thought it was a cool place. I thought I was doing my job as a new husband in providing my bride with a place. But I didn’t do too well. On the other hand, God went overboard in providing Adam a place. He planted him a garden. And the picture there in verse 8 is that He led Adam to it personally. It’s almost the picture of the groom lovingly carrying the bride over the threshold of her new home. A home without orange carpet. There’s no way Adam could have been disappointed, because the Garden was beautiful. It had four rivers in it. Think about it, four rivers for one man. Now picture where Moses was when he wrote this. He was in the wilderness. The first thing the Israelites complained about when they left Egypt was that there was no water. Water was a constant problem throughout Genesis. Isaac dug wells all over the place looking for water. Water was scarce then just as it is in many parts of the world today. But look at how God provided for Adam. He gave him four whole rivers full of water. We know where two of the rivers are today. The Hidekel is another name for the Tigress. And of course we know about the Euphrates River. Both of them run through modern day Iraq. We have no idea what the other two are. Some say the Gihon is the Nile and the Pishon is an ancient riverbed in what is now the Saudi Arabian desert. It’s really anybody’s guess because the terrain is so radically different because of the flood. Besides, speculation like that doesn’t really matter anyway. What matters is that God provided a place for Adam. And He provided a magnificent place for him. It reminds me of the place God has prepared for us. Yes, He provides for our needs today. But that’s not the place I’m talking about. In John 14:2-3 Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am there ye may be also.” Verse 12 of our passage in Genesis says that the land was full of gold and jewels. The place Jesus is preparing is described as having streets paved with gold. The place God prepared for Adam was flowing with life-giving water. In John’s vision of the New Jerusalem in Revelation 22:1, he said, “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” Adam had an abundance of life-giving water. We will have an overflow of the water of life. Our place today is important. Whatever our place is today was given to us by God and we should be thankful. But we should be equally thankful if it is taken away. In this present world we live in—post fall, pre heaven—God has promised to provide for our needs. And He calls for us to be content with the provisions He’s given us. Like Paul in Philippians 4, whether we abound or are abased, we should be content. But we can remember that this isn’t our home. This isn’t our forever place. Like that original place in the Garden, our forever place will be the best God can provide. But not only does God provide a place, He also provides a promise. The second need-meeting provision of God is that He provides a promise. Look with me at verse 9 and then 16-17: