Wednesday, February 5, 2014

In The Beginning, Chapter Nine - Day Six, Part Two

The First Man
Genesis 1:26-27 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Forming The First Man

After God was done creating and filling the world, he was ready to put his most precious creation in it! Creation was ready to meet its new master. Now let’s look at Genesis 2 - the story of day 6 in much more detail:
Genesis 2:4 This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,”
Genesis 2:1-3 tell us about the seventh day (we’ll see this later), but from verse 4 through to verse 25 is the detailed story of the sixth day. God jumped back a day to give us more details about the most important part of the creation week. This is how we know that Genesis 2 is telling the story of day six: Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 2 both tell the story of the creation of man and they both end with the creation of the woman.
But while Genesis 1:26-27 give us the summarized, headline version of God’s creation of man, we can see a more detailed version of this same story in Genesis 2:4-7. In the creation of man, God took a much more personal, much more intimate approach. But first, He did some prep-work!
Genesis 2:5-6 before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.
First of all, let’s not hold onto dogma that isn’t based in scripture. Some teachers have used these verses to teach that it never rained before Noah’s flood. They have  tried to make the claim that the mist that’s mentioned in verse 6 was how the whole earth was watered before the flood. But let’s keep the text in context! When we read verse 6, we can see that the phrase, “For the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth…” is referring to the same time period as the next phrase: “...and there was no man to till the ground...” This is not speaking about the environment over a long period of time, but was making mention of the time just before man was created.
These verses were the beginning of the story of man’s creation. The reason that God caused a mist to come up out of the ground was because it hadn’t rained yet - and God needed wet dirt for what He was about to do!
After watering the dirt, God did something that must have shocked all of creation...
Genesis 2:7a And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground...
God stepped out of His heavenly throne-room and into the earth. Stooping down into the damp dirt, God began to shape it into a body. It was similar in some ways to the animals. It was made from the dirt, like theirs. It had some features in common with theirs; such as bilateral symmetry, four limbs, and all of the same internal and external organs. But after forming this body, God did something that made this creature very different from the animals!

A “Living Soul”

Like we’ve just seen, the difference between the man and animals wasn’t in his body - that was similar in many respects to animals. Every living creature that God made had a body.
But, hear me carefully, there is something else that every living creature has. Every animal that God made - as well as the mankind - has a soul. The soul is attached to the brain. It includes the mind and thoughts, the will and desires, and the emotions.
While some animals have a higher intelligence than others, every animal has some degree of thought and reason. Every animal has its own desires and wants - though they mostly surround feeding and reproduction. Every animal has its own emotions - albeit some have much deeper emotions than others (elephants, for example are even known to feel sorrow over the death of a herd member).
The soul (in Hebrew, “nephesh”) is a natural part of every living creature, including man. (As a side note, this is why a lot of Christian seem to be stuck in their old nature. Before we were saved, our lives were ruled by our souls. And as long as a believer operates out of his intelligence, his desires, or his emotions...he is no different from the animals. Yikes!) Although humans have a much higher soul than other creatures, it is still just as natural as theirs. It wasn’t the soul that made this new creature different from the other creatures. There was something else in this man; something that separated him from the rest of creation.
Genesis 2:7b “...and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”
As this lifeless body laid on the ground, God breathed into him the breath of life. Then, this man became a “living being.” The Hebrew term for living being is “Nephesh Hayah” – literally “a living soul.” This term is actually referring to the spirit of man. With this impartation of the spirit, the man became three parts - spirit, soul, and body.
The literal term for spirit is “living soul” - I believe this means that our spirit is a higher form of our soul. What do I mean by this? Well, just like our soul has thoughts, our spirit has thoughts. Just like our soul wants things, our spirit has desires. Just like our soul feels things, our spirit has emotions and feelings. But our spirit is made to exist in a higher form than our soul! What makes it higher?
God is a spirit...more specifically, He is THE spirit. John 4:24 tells us this: “God is Spirit.” So when God breathed into the man, He was imparting His own nature into him - he became like God! Notice that this verse doesn’t say that man had a living soul - it says that he became a living soul. This means that, unlike any other creature that God had made, man became a spirit that had a soul and lived inside of a body.
Angels are spirits without bodies. Animals are souls and bodies without spirits. But here was a creature that was capable of operating in the natural world and the spiritual! Imagine the angels’ surprise at the amount of attention that God gave to this lump of dirt! Imagine their shock as God laid Himself on top of this earthly body.
In 2 Kings 4, there is a beautiful picture of what God did when He breathed life into the man. It’s the story of Elisha and a little dead boy:
When Elisha arrived, the child was indeed dead, lying there on the prophet’s bed. He went in alone and shut the door behind him and prayed to the Lord. Then he lay down on the child’s body, placing his mouth on the child’s mouth, his eyes on the child’s eyes, and his hands on the child’s hands. And as he stretched out on him, the child’s body began to grow warm again! Elisha got up, walked back and forth across the room once, and then stretched himself out again on the child. This time the boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes!
I believe that this is what happened in Genesis 2. You see, with all of His new creations watching, God laid down on this body He had just made, putting His hands on the man’s hands, His feet on the man’s feet, His mouth on the man’s mouth, His eyes on the man’s eyes. Then God breathed part of His own Spirit into the man – and He became a spirit like God! If this is how the man came to life, then imagine his first sight when he opened his eyes! God wanted the first thing that the man saw to be His own face!
So now, earth had a creature that was just like God. God named him Adam - which means “red.” Some speculate that he got this name because he was made out of red dirt. Others believe that he may have been redheaded. Another possibility was that his name was a reference to his lifeblood, something that no other spirit had.

A Whole New Perspective

When you read through the Biblical account of mankind’s origins, you can’t help but notice how much difference there is between this and what is taught inside most college classrooms! We’ve seen the amazing amount of care that God took when He created the first man. Is it any wonder, then, that the demonic fairy tale of evolution is trying to reduce mankind into just an intelligent animal? I wonder if Satan gets amusement when he watches humans - the ones who should have dominion and control over all creation - lowering themselves by saying “we’re no different from any other animal.”
We could literally spend pages pointing out why the theory of evolution is wrong on the topic of human origins. We could point out (again) the credibility issues with evolutionary timelines. We could focus on each link of the evolutionary chain from apes to humans - and how each individual is either fully ape or fully human. We could pinpoint the hoaxes (such as Piltdown man) and the shoddy science (like Nebraska man) that occasionally pop up in the paleo-anthropology field. We could even demonstrate the absurd fact that nearly every fossilized ape that has been dug up has been branded as the missing link in human evolution at some point! But debunking human evolution isn’t the goal of this writing.
The goal in this chapter is to give a fresh perspective on where we came from. Every believer needs to understand this one point...that we have been truly made in God’s own image! We are not just another part in the animal kingdom.
With the forming of Adam, creation was nearing an end. But God still wasn’t done with His work yet!

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