Practical Application of the Word of God
Now God begins to narrow the scope of the Bible, to its purpose (to guide humanity) and its focus (the relationships between God and humanity and humanity and humanity – Exodus 20:2-17, Matthew 22:37-40).
The first significant thing we see in Genesis 2 is that God rested on the 7th day and He set it apart, long before Exodus 20:8-11. That means the Sabbath was part of the creation of the earth. Did God need to rest? Absolutely not! But what He did is something that is often missing in those who are, by ingenuity, loyalty, charm, lies, or bribery (all physical criteria and wrong – God looks on the heart – I Samuel 16:7), chosen as physical leaders as part of the spiritual body of Christ today. He modeled His way by doing it Himself. God was never too good or too important, or even too perfect to do what He commanded His creation to do. In this example, we see the character of God. Although He didn’t need to rest and certainly didn’t have to rest, He did it, understanding that a creation composed of the crude matter that we humans are would need a day of rest and worship, since we do not have the unending energy and stamina that our Creator does.
He also modeled it because the Sabbath is an important stop sign each week that reminds of the big picture that God sees and is focused on -> the fulfillment of the plan of salvation, the execution of the contingency plan that God knew had to be part of the big picture plan, because He created us with the ability to choose (just as He did the angels, and He learned from the wrong choices that Satan and a third of the angels made in spite of existing for who knows how long in a sinless universe) and He knew that Satan would be a constant source of complication for us to choose His way.
We see in Genesis 2 as well some important details that were not included in Genesis 1. God restates that He created humans. But He adds the detail – “of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” in verse 7. This immediately distinguishes humans from angels and it shows us that we completely depend on God, even for the very breath of life that makes us alive.
It also shows me that God grows and learns from His work. He created the angels as immortal, just as He and Christ are immortal. It was inconceivable at some point in time to God that any of His creation would reject His way and reject Him. After Satan and one third of the angelic creation did just that, God recognized that His creation could reject Him and His way, so He modified His creation plan to include a creation that would not have to be bound throughout eternity to its choice of rebellion and rejection and also, with Christ (who is the Lord of the Old Testament), made a way for repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation, and redemption.
Interesting question. Could not Satan and the one third of the angels who rebelled be reconciled to God? They could be, if they repented (and this is my opinion, but since it is the means to our reconciliation to God, it seems logical it would be theirs since they are also guilty of sin) and accepted the sacrifice of Christ as atonement for their sins.
This brings me to a discussion of the difference between the words “could” and “would.” It seems that many people don’t understand the difference. I have often heard people say that Christ could not sin. That is not true! If Christ, in the flesh, was made as we are (Heb. 4:15), then He had the same choices we have to make throughout our lives. If He had not had choice, then He could have never “empathize[d] with our weaknesses.” He had to choose to do things God’s way, just as we do.
So the word “could” is an objective word that represents a possibility.
The right statement about Christ, then, is that He would not sin. The word “would” is subjective and represents a state of being. Christ’s character was God’s character. Therefore, it would be impossible for Him to choose to sin. Unfortunately, the rest of us still are that mixture of good and evil and our character has not yet been perfected to the character of Christ and of God.
When we apply those same two words to Satan and the third of the angels that rebelled, then what is the answer? Yes, they could repent (another statement you’ll often hear the antithesis of), but they would/will not because they choose not to.
The rest of Genesis 2 shows both God’s provision (preparation of a place for Adam to live, with everything he would need to complete the job God gave him to do) and the kind of intimate, interactive relationship God intended to have and wants to have with humanity.
Again this is a summary chapter, but I can guarantee that God spent quite a lot of time with Adam, teaching him language, communication skills, everything he needed to know about the creation. And then, with God there, Adam begins to put that knowledge to use and to fulfill the responsibility God had given him by naming the animals. And in the process of discussing this with God and the give and take of questions and answers between the two of them, Adam became aware that there was nothing else in the creation like him, and that to completely fulfill the job that God had given him and to fulfill the purpose for which humanity was created, he needed someone like him to complete the human equation. And God created Eve.
He then established the marriage and family relationship.
So far, so good.