Summary: The sixth in our series on the Book of Genesis. In this particular sermon we discuss the first covenant between God and man.
Genesis (Pt. 6) (The First Covenant)
Text: Genesis 2:4 – 17
By: Ken McKinley
Well we’ve been going through Genesis for a few weeks now, and we’ve looked at the creation of the heavens and the earth, we’ve looked at the 6 days of creation and last Sunday we looked at 3 of the 4 ordinances given in creation. Next Sunday; Lord willing, we will look at the fourth of those ordinances, marriage. But today we’re going to concentrate on the first covenant. Now my sermon this morning only has two points… but within those two points are several things I want us to look at.
The first point we see in verses 4 – 14; and in those verses we see that the original covenant with man was filled with blessings. Now verses 4 – 6 are recapping what we’ve already read about in chapter 1. Then verses 7 – 9 are talking about the origin of man, again this is a recap of how God created Adam, but Moses, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit also tells us that the two trees, the Tree of life, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil were in the Garden. So God makes man out of the dust of the earth, and He breathes into him – this is where we became a living, immortal soul. So we didn’t come from apes, we came from dirt. You know, scientists are always comparing human DNA with that of various animals, I wish they would compare our DNA with the dirt that’s found between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. You know, they could just dig down a couple hundred feet or so, to where the soil from 6 – 10 thousand years would be and compare it with human DNA. I think that would be an awesome experiment. Anyway… God creates man, and God also creates a garden for man. In other words, God provides food for man. The provision that man needs is there. Food and water are both abundant in the Garden of Eden. But there are also these two trees.
The 1st one; the Tree of Life, is a sign of a promise that God has implied. The other tree – the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil… is a test. Or I guess we could say… it’s a probation. Now I don’t know about ya’ll but when I imagine these two trees, I think of the tree of knowledge as this huge tree, full of leaves and fruit, with lots of branches, and as probably very distinct from every other tree in the garden. And when I imagine the tree of life… I see it as some sort of cross shaped tree. I mean, that’s just the way I see it, because it was a cross, many thousands of years later, that would lead us to eternal life.
And so man is placed in this perfect environment. There’s plenty of food, water, there’s even gold and precious stones. And so what we see here is God’s provision for man… even though Adam was in a perfect place. God still provided. And I said it last time. If Adam needed God’s provision in the Garden of Eden, how much more do we need it today in this fallen, sin infested world that we live in?
Verses 15, 16 and 17… this is where the covenant comes into play. Verses 4 – 14 show us the blessings, the privileges, the wonderful provision God has given to Adam, but verses 15 – 17 show us Adam’s responsibilities. So the first covenant, was full of blessings, but it also entailed obligation. Look at those three verses again (Read 15 – 17).
Here we have God entering into a special relationship with Adam.
Now this is amazing to me. God creates this man, and He creates all of these things on the earth for man, and then… God; this amazing Creator, who created all things out of nothing; chooses to enter into a relationship with His creation.
And so God has created Adam. He’s blessed Adam. And now He’s commanding Adam. In-other-words, there are things that Adam is obligated to do, and there’s one thing. ONLY ONE THING that Adam is forbidden from doing.
Verse 15 tells us that God took Adam and put him in the garden to tend it and keep it. God gave him a job. Despite what you might hear, prostitution is not the worlds oldest profession. Farming is! And if you remember, this is one of the ordinances. The ordinance of labor. And it’s important for us to understand, that this ordinance was given to man BEFORE THE FALL. Work is not a “bad thing.” It’s good, it’s a gift from God. So Adam is put in the Garden, in order to tend the Garden. And then God says to him, “Eat whatever you want… EXCEPT for the fruit from this one tree!” There’s the test… the probation.