Summary: The focus is on the relationship between humanity and God, and how sin affects that relationship.
The Fall of Man
© 2007 Eric Bain
NOTE: This sermon is available in audio format @ www.sanctuary-church.com
BI – When we don’t follow God it puts relational distance between us… and that distance kills!
Alright… grab a Bible and open up to Genesis, Chapter 2, verse 4. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover this morning. We’re actually going to cover Chapter 2 & Chapter 3… So let’s get to it.
GE 2:4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created.
Alright… This is clearly the beginning of a new story that the narrator is about to tell us. But, didn’t the narrator already tell us this story? I mean, wasn’t Genesis 1 all about the creation of the heavens and the earth? So, am I wrong here, or are we about to hear the whole story again? (pause) Well, the answer, if you’re not aware, is… yes! Yes, Genesis 1 was about Creation... and now, as we move into Genesis 2, we are about to be told of the creation events, again. Only this time, we’ll be getting the story told to us with a different focus…
ILL – It’s kind of like this… Has anybody here ever seen a movie about WWII? Name one…
• Saving Private Ryan
• Flags of our Fathers
• A Bridge Too Far
• Band of Brothers
OK, all of these movies are about WWII… and they all tell different stories… but just because they’re different, that doesn’t make the reality of WWII any less true. In addition… it doesn’t necessarily mean that any of these stories are any less accurate. Because, they can all be accurate… but just talking about different aspects of the same greater event.
So, if you think about it, the question put before us this morning – as we get started – is not so much… How is Genesis 2, specifically different than Genesis 1? But rather… as we begin to read Chapter 2… What is the focus of the story as it begins to unfold? And what is the point the story is trying to make? (pause)
Let’s keep reading…
When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens-- 5 and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground, 6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground-- 7 the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
Alright, let’s pause again… I want you to notice something that the author has begun to do that is virtually unique to this story… He calls God, the LORD God. (Only done one other time in the Pentateuch – Exodus 9:30)
Now, I’ll go into what’s going on here, specifically in the Hebrew, but what you really need to know is that this is a combination of two different Old Testament names for God. And each of these names has a unique emphasis of meaning.
ILL – Two Names that I am commonly called
• To begin with, you have this name, God (Elohim).
o This is the name that the narrator used throughout the entire Genesis 1 creation story.
o It’s actually kind of a generic term for deity… just like the word god (in English) can mean any god (Buddhist, Mormon, Hindu… Christian). However when we Christians get a hold of this generic word, we tend to apply it like a name. “God!” Well, the same is true here with the Jews.
o Only, when they apply Elohim (God)… it carries the connotation of creator God.
o The all powerful – one and only God that has created the universe and everything in it.
o That’s why in Genesis 1, when we learned about the six days of creation… this was the name that was used.
• But now, as we move into Genesis 2, the author adds this name, LORD (Yahweh).
o This is the personal name for the God of the Hebrews.
o And this name has a deeply relational aspect to it.
o It’s the name that’s used when God is specifically dealing with his people - his followers – and his covenants with them.
Nonetheless, as the creation story of Genesis 2 begins, the narrator uniquely combines these two names… LORD God… Yahweh Elohim… Relational-creator God… Why do you think he does that?