Summary: We run from the commitment that God's steadfast love and overwhelming grace invite us to make.
The are two pictures of God that we receive in the first two chapters of Genesis. Chapter one paints a portrait of a transcendent creator God who can create with a word. A very different picture of God is seen in chapter two. In that chapter God is a master craftsman who lovingly shapes Adam out of the dirt of the earth.
The New Revised Standard Version Another Account of the Creation
7 then the LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground
After God had formed Adam God bent down and breathed into Adam's nostrils the breath of life. The storytellelr writes, "And breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being."
I confess that the God in chapter two is much more appealing to me.
A person comes away from this story with the feeling that he or she has been lovingly hand made. Each of us is unique; not one of us is like another. We are not mass produced. We may not like somethings about ourselves, but one this is for sure, God lovingly crafted us.
The God who crafted us loves us. God has looked upon God's creation and said that, "It is good." Even when Adam doesn't turn out to be all that God had intended, God does not abandon him. God's love is a steadfast love.
God place Adam in the Garden of Eden. It was a way for God to provide Adam and his wife Eve with their daily bread. Adam's task was to "till" the earth. The word can better be translated "serve.
There is no domination language in this story of creation. The earth was not created for the sole benefit of humankind. Instead humankind was created with the task of caring for and serving the earth.
Humankind is intimately connected with the earth. We are made from the earth. We have a symbiotic relationship with the earth and it is to our advantage to care for the earth.
In verse 7 it is written that Adam became a "lving being." In verse 19 the animals are called "living creatures." In the Hebrew, there is no distinction between humankind and the other living beings of the world. We are not superior to them, but rather we are on an equal par with them.
We all know about the temptation of Adam and Eve. What I found interesting in this story is found in verse 8.
Adam and Eve have rebelled against God. They have succumbed to the temptaton of the serpant and sought to be like God.
God does not reject Adam and Eve. God does not wait for Adam and Eve to come and confess what they had done. God goes and looks for Adam and Eve. God seeks for the relationship to continue.
We are God's creation. God is head over heels in love with us and absolutely nothing will ever separate us from the love of God. This is the truth we celebrate. This is the message that we have to share with others.