The Bible opens with the statement,
‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.’ Genesis 1:1
God created it in six days. On the final day He created man,
“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule….’ So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.’ Genesis 1:26-27
God’s whole creation was excellent and perfect,
‘God saw all He had made, and it was very good.’ Genesis 1:31a
God’s creation emphasis on man
- Man is like God. The passage repeats four times that God created man and woman in His image or likeness. God emphasised how special man was with the expanded version of Genesis 1:16-17 in Genesis 2:7-25. (Note the change from ‘God’ in Genesis 1 to ‘Lord God’ in Genesis 2. ‘Lord God’ is a combination of the majestic powerful God and the personal intimate Yahweh.)
2. Man is different from the animal kingdom because God breathed His divine, eternal breath of life into him,
‘…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.’ Genesis 2:7
3. Man was so special that God planted a Garden for them in the East,
‘Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there He put the man He had formed.’ Genesis 2:8
God specially planted the Garden of Eden with all kinds of trees,
‘And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground — trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.’ Genesis 2:9a
4. God gave Adam the rule over the animal kingdom and the earth,
‘Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. 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.’ Genesis 2:19
In Bible times a ruler had the right to give his subjects names to establish his authority over them. For example, the chief official of king Nebuchadnezzar gave Daniel and his three friends new names. Daniel 1:7
5. God supplied a wife for the man He made,
‘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 closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib He had taken out of man, and He brought her to the man.’ Genesis 2:20b-22
The moral of the story
God created man in His image. He provided a special garden, gave him a specially created wife and blessed him with exceptional qualities to rule for God on the earth. So did they ‘live happily ever after?’ No! Things went haywire:
- Adam failed to honour God and obey His one simple command.
- Cain killed his brother after God warned him.
- Cain’s descendant, Lamech, was all for war and retaliation.
- The generation before the Flood went wild and wicked.
- Noah, a righteous man saved by God, got drunk and cursed his grandson.
- The Tower of Babel builders planned to exclude the Creator God from their city.
- The Bible has many more names of people who failed God’s original creation purpose for man.
What happened? What went wrong? These are the questions the Bible answers.