Summary: God is our provider giving us just what we need as we trust in him: home, work, companionship.
For the last two Sundays we’ve been looking at Genesis chapter one as the foundation for the whole Bible. And as the foundation we have discovered anew the importance of seeing God as the perfect creator. And then last week we looked at the pinnacle of his wonderful creation – human beings – us! We saw how we are created in God’s image which is distorted by sin but is restored through faith in Jesus Christ who died to bring us back to God.
Now, this morning we are turning to chapter 2. Many see chapter 2 of Genesis as a second account or an alternative account of God’s creation. But really this is not true at all. Chapter two is the account of God’s creation of the world from the perspective of Adam. And it reveals how God the loving Father takes care of everything that Adam needs. And it reveals that beautiful characteristic about God that is so crucial for you and me every day: God is our faithful provider!
1. God provides a wonderful home – the Garden of Eden
The land is described as absolutely perfect. In verse 9 it tells us that God caused things to grow that were “pleasing to the sight and good for food.” He gives things that are both good for the body and good for the eyes. He provides four rivers so that there is an abundant supply of water. There is a treasure of beauty: Gold, bedellium, onyx. (vs. 11-12)
Where did Adam and Eve worship? Did they find a temple or a tabernacle? Of course not! The Garden of Eden itself was a place not only for them to live but for them to worship the Lord. And so the whole chapter here focuses on the beauty of this place – the place of God. This shows the glory of God’s presence through their physical surroundings.
When John saw his vision of heaven in the book of Revelation he too stressed the outward beauty much like the Garden of Eden: Revelation 21:18-19 “The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, clear as glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel.”
But sin resulted in man being removed from the perfect garden. And the earth no longer was a blessing but was a curse producing thorns, weeds, disease, drought, floods (3:17-18). Man suffers now as he works to provide for his family.
Still God provides for us through his creation. And God uses the thorns, the weeds, disease, drought and floods for a great purpose: to humble us, cause us to depend upon Him, to bring us to repentance. Paul experienced this as he was tempted to fall into pride and the Lord allowed him to suffer in order to keep him humble: 2 Cor. 12:7 “Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me-- to keep me from exalting myself!” And Paul thanked God for that – he knew that all he needed was God’s grace.
When you suffer hardship – does it bring you to your knees? Do you cry out to God for help, for strength, for mercy? Hardship sifts us – and brings us to repent for ways we have failed God. He will provide for us all we need as we humble ourselves under his mighty hand!
2. God provides a wonderful responsibility
There is a second way God provided for Adam: He was given a wonderful responsibility – to care for God’s perfect creation. Read with me verse 15 “Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.” And then it says in chapter 1 verse 28: “rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
What a great honor to be put in charge of God’s handiwork. The Father placed a great responsibility and honor in Adam’s hands but not only his but also in ours. Do you realize that this calling was never revoked? The command and work is still on our shoulders from God to this day.
As one commentator says: The Lord is “maker and owner of heaven and earth.” What are the implications of that truth for us today? We are caretakers of everything we see and have and NOT owners.
Our bodies are on loan to us from God. Are you taking good care of this vessel? Not just to be admired, to look good, but mainly to bring God glory. We want to be sure our bodies last as long as possible because we all have important work to do for God in this life – every day is a gift!