Summary: One of the most popular questions you will get from men is "What is my purpose?" This question plagues men of all ages but what is the answer? Clearly, God designed men with a purpose in mind. Discover in this lesson, the purpose of man.
I've got to tell you, one of the big questions that I get from men - hands down it's the most asked question - is, "What is God's purpose for my life?" It doesn't matter if I meet a man in his 20's, or in his 80's. Every man asks this question, "What is God's purpose for my life?" I think it's one of those plaguing questions that never goes away.
It's very - it goes hand in hand with the question, "What do I want to be when I grow up?" So there are some vocational aspects to this question. There's also a calling aspect to it though, too - as far as, "What does God want me to do? How does he want me to live my life? How do I integrate my faith and my work? How do I integrate who I am with who I want to be?" Which is a big question. But we must find an answer to, "What is my purpose," at some point. Because otherwise, it results in feeling purposeless and directionless life. And I think a lot of men feel that way. They feel like they're directionless at times.
So I want to take a look at Genesis 2 today. Beginning in verse 8, reading down through verse 25. Fantastic text, which brings us through the beginning of time - and I believe this is where God tells us what our purpose is as men. So here's how the text reads.
"Now, the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden. And there he put the man he had formed. The Lord God had made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground, trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil."
"A river watering the garden flowed from Eden. From there, was separated into four head waters. The name of the first was the Pishon. It winds through the entire land of Havilah where there is gold. The gold of that land is good. There's aromatic resin and onyx are also there. The name of the second river is the Gihon, and winds though the entire land of Kush. The name of the third river is the Tigris, it winds along the east side of the Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates."
"Now, the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, 'You are free to eat of any tree in the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. For when you eat of it, you will certainly die.' And the Lord God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.' Now, the Lord God had formed out of the ground all of the wild animals and all of the birds of the air and the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them. And whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, and all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals."
"But for Adam, no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep, and while he was sleeping he took one of the man's ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. And then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, 'This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man.' That is why a man leaves his father and mother, and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame."
Now, this text is potent. There are all kinds of exciting things happening in this particular text. And right away, I notice a whole lot of moving pieces. For example, I observe that God is doing a lot in this text. That he's planting, he's putting; he's making, he's taking, he's forming. He's engaging in a whole lot of activity here - that's important for us to see because he's the chief or lead character in the story.
Now, there are a couple of other characters in the story. There are Adam and Eve, man and woman. But the center of this particular text is the man. Man is given specific instructions and responsibility. He's told not to do one thing, and yet he's instructed to do another thing. The thing that he's told not to do was to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He could eat of any other tree. One of the things he's commanded to do is he's moving into the Garden of Eden, and he's called to work it and take care of it.