For too long we have read Genesis 3 as a story about individuals, and Genesis 4 as a story about some other individuals. Genesis 3–4 is a communal story. It describes how human society sinks to something that is less than human when it resists God’s authority. Adam and Eve grasped power that belonged to God. Their son grasped power over his brother. The society Cain founds is a long way from God’s intentions for humanity. Continue reading “How far does the kingdom of God extend? (Genesis 4:16-26)”
It’s a shame we have chapter divisions. Genesis 4 belongs with Genesis 3. We saw how the wise sovereign spelled out the conflict his subjects would experience as a result of grasping his power. That’s exactly what happens. In conflict of the worst kind, Cain grasps power over his brother’s life.
If you read Genesis 3 as a story about our personal sin (our need for personal salvation), you missed the bigger picture. Continue reading “What kind of world is God running? (Genesis 4:1-15)”
When humans attempted to oust God and decide good and evil for themselves, they could not have imagined the chain of conflict their rebellion would unleash. Genesis 3:9-19 is the transcript of the investigation of their crime. The sovereign’s words are presented in poetic form: it slows down the narration so we hear him.
By any measure, their sovereign is absurdly lenient with these rebels. His judgement is not so much a punishment as it is an explanation of the trouble (curse) they have brought on themselves. In each case, he explains what conflict/struggle they will face as a result of introducing rebellion into his realm: Continue reading “What changed with the rebellion? (Genesis 3:15-24)”
Genesis 3 is strange to our ears. Why is there a talking snake? Why is the creature called crafty? Why is the snake craftier than the other animals? Ultimately the story is all about who rules, but we need to deal with some of these issues so we can get to the main point.
A common response is to say, Continue reading “Who’s in charge now? (Genesis 3:1-14)”
Genesis 2 introduces such an intimate picture of the one who structured heaven and earth according to his command. We receive our identity from him. He sculpts the human from clay, and breathes his own life into him (2:7). In the grounds of his palace he cultivates a garden. From his own person flows the abundance that sustains life—the tree, and the river, and the riches (2:9-14).
The sovereign calls the human to participate in his reign. His task is to work and guard the palace grounds (2:15). The kingdom of God is a partnership: Continue reading “What does it mean to be human? (Genesis 2:15-25)”
Genesis 1 revealed who God is and who we are. Genesis 2 reveals how we were intended to live in his presence.
There was a place known as Eden. From the perspective of the people telling the story (Israel), it was to the east. The sovereign planted a garden there, “in Eden” (Gen 2:8). Does that suggest that Eden was something more than the garden?
Continue reading “Was Eden God’s palace? (Genesis 2:1-14)”
We saw that Genesis 1 reveals our sovereign establishing two realms: heaven and earth. The first half of this narrative (Days 1-3) culminated with the sovereign placing lights in the sky as signs that earth is under heaven’s rule. The second half (Days 4-6) also culminates with the sovereign installing images of his reign.
Continue reading “Who are we? (Genesis 1:20-31)”