Creation Story, Part 2: Gender Equality – Genesis 1-3

Adam&EveInGardenOfEden2The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18, NIV).

In the Creation Story in Genesis 1 God created man and woman at the same time (Genesis 1:27). Genesis 2 seems to describe a second creation story providing details about human origins. In fact, most of us consider Genesis 2 an elaboration or embellishment of the first creation story, believing it to amplify the description of the sixth day of creation in Genesis 1.

Instead of a replay of the Creation Story described in Genesis 1, perhaps Genesis 2 is a continuation of the Creation Story, possibly the next chapter, in God’s already created order describing the first people God chose to work His redemptive plans and purposes for all of humanity.

Nevertheless, we must not interpret the Creation Story as a scientific explanation of the origin of human beings. We should receive the story for the redemptive message it delivers regardless of how allegorically or literally we believe the message is expressed.

To find a suitable helper for Adam, God had Adam search through all the animals and none were equal to him to become a “suitable helper.”

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Creation Story: Part 1, The Naked Truth – Genesis 1-3

Adam&EveInGardenOfEden“Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame” (Genesis 2:25, NIV).

Lately, I’ve been considering and re-considering the Creation Story in the first chapters of Genesis.

When I read the Creation Story, I think I typically read it from a scientific point of view, looking for explanations of human origins. But, the more I read it the more I’m convinced that neither the writer of the Creation Story nor the Spirit of God who inspired the writing of the story was trying to provide a scientific explanation of the beginnings of the universe and origin of human beings.

So, what I believe the story is about is relationship and restoration. Human beings were created in the image of God to live in eternal relationship with Him. They defied God and turned to their own devices and because they were created in the image of God, their defiance was a spiritual defiance of cosmic proportions, which impacted the whole created order. Thus, only God could bring restoration to His created order and to His eternal relationship with people.

When read without the baggage of scientific interpretation, the Creation Story provides considerable spiritual insight into the human psyche and the character of God. It may not exactly explain in scientific terms how the universe began, but it does give a good explanation of why we are the way we are.

In fact, the Creation Story exposes the naked truth about human defiance of God’s order and God’s response to this defiance.  In the Creation Story Adam and Eve roamed completely naked in the Garden of Eden where God placed them to live. I guess you could say that the Garden of Eden was the world’s first nudist colony!

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After the Screaming Stops – Psalm 3, Part 2

rescue from drowning“Lord, I have so many enemies! So many are standing against me.
So many are talking about me: ‘Even God won’t help him.’
But you, Lord, are my shield! You are my glory!
You are the one who restores me.
I cry out loud to the Lord and he answers me from his holy mountain.
I lie down, sleep, and wake up because the Lord helps me.
I won’t be afraid of thousands of people surrounding me on all sides.
Stand up, Lord!
Save me, my God!
In fact, hit all my enemies on the jaw; shatter the teeth of the wicked!
Rescue comes from the Lord!
May your blessing be on your people!” (Psalm 3:1-8, CEB)

When I was a young child, each summer my parents would send me and my sister to swimming lessons. But, I never really learned to swim from those swimming lessons. My swimming fail may have been due to the philosophy of teaching swimming that was used. The teaching philosophy was something along these lines: Throw them in the water and if they don’t drown, then they will swim!

The way the lessons worked was the lifeguard would show us the swimming stroke and then we would practice it in the shallow end. After practicing for a short time, the lifeguard would take us down to the deep end and make us jump off the diving board and swim to the side…whether we could swim or not!

And when you’re a little kid standing on the diving board, the water below you looks extremely deep and the distance to the side of the pool looks extremely far away!

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Who’s Got Your Back? – Psalm 3, Part 1

rescue from drowning“Lord, I have so many enemies! So many are standing against me.
So many are talking about me: ‘Even God won’t help him.’
But you, Lord, are my shield! You are my glory!
You are the one who restores me.
I cry out loud to the Lord and he answers me from his holy mountain.
I lie down, sleep, and wake up because the Lord helps me.
I won’t be afraid of thousands of people surrounding me on all sides.
Stand up, Lord!
Save me, my God!
In fact, hit all my enemies on the jaw; shatter the teeth of the wicked!
Rescue comes from the Lord!
May your blessing be on your people!” (Psalm 3:1-8, CEB)

Have you ever felt like your critics were starting to outnumber your allies?  Maybe it seemed that way because some of your former allies turned into critics!

And, then it makes you wonder, “Who’s got my back?” Who’s on my side? Who do I trust when friends become enemies?

Undoubtedly, David felt that way when he wrote this Psalm. Only, he experienced the most extreme form of betrayal, that of his own family, his own son.

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Breaking Bad – Ezra 10:1-2

brokencross “We have broken faith with our God and have married foreign women from the peoples of the land, but even now there is hope for Israel in spite of this” (Ezra 10:1-2, ESV).

In 539 BC King Cyrus of Persia captured Babylon and soon thereafter issued a proclamation freeing the Israelites in Babylonian captivity to return to their homeland. The first wave of exiles returned to Jerusalem and started rebuilding the temple in 536 BC and construction was completed in 516 BC.

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Sad Song or Hopeful Hymn – Deuteronomy 32:36

TragicSong“The Lord will indeed vindicate His people and have compassion on His servants when He sees that their strength is gone” (Deuteronomy 32:36, HCSB).

Deuteronomy 32 is called the Song of Moses. It is a song that was intended to warn Israel through the ages of the consequences of apostasy and disobedience to God.

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The Baddest Man In the World – Mark 5:1-20

MyNameIsLegionForWeAreMany“And Jesus asked him, ‘What is your name?’ He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. Now a great herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and they begged him, saying, ‘Send us to the pigs; let us enter them.’ So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the sea…As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him.And he did not permit him but said to him, ‘Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.’ And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled” (Mark 5:9-13, 18-20, ESV).

As Jesus was preaching on the east side of the sea of Galilee, He encountered a man possessed or controlled by evil spirits or demons.

This man lived alone in a cemetery and he was so bad that the people living in the region had tried to bind him with shackles and chains but he was always able to break the chains apart.

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