Memory Key – At waist level, put your hands together with your palms facing up in the shape of a bowl. Form a big circle by stretching your arms out as far as you can while raising them above your head. Continue raising your arms until your palms are directly above your head and facing down. As you make this motion say…
What do you see in the bowl made by your hands? Absolutely nothing! That is the point of the first chapter of the Bible.
In Genesis 1:1-31, God spoke and our world was created through the awesome power of His Word. Compare Genesis 1 with John 1:1-18. You will discover that the “Word” is synonymous with a particular person of the Godhead, the One who stepped out of eternity and into humanity’s reality two thousand years ago. Who was that person known as the Word that became flesh? His name is Jesus, Immanuel, God with us!
According to Genesis 2:1-2, God rested on the seventh day after creating the world where all He made would glorify Him. The crowning achievement of His creative genius was Adam, the first man. Because God created Adam in His own image, Adam alone in all of creation was able to communicate directly with God and be in a relationship with Him.Adam recognized that He was a created being and that He had been endowed with abilities far beyond any of God’s other living creatures. Adam had a special place in all of God’s creation.
Adam had a personality. Adam thought and possessed emotions. He was created to be capable of complex relationships. One of the most complex relationships was the one Adam had with the woman God had created as His partner in life. Eve was very much like her husband, but also very different. It was God’s intent that as Adam and Eve grew in their intimate relationship, they would together bring more people into their loving and healthy relationship with their Creator. This would add to the glory of God as more men and women joined in their conversation with God and expanded the community of mankind.
God’s purpose was to be personally involved in the individual and corporate lives of men, women, boys, and girls. Living their lives was to be a continual act of worship and praise throughout all of time. All of God’s creative work took place in six literal days. This is what the Bible teaches. God Himself has given to mankind the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments. Read 2 Timothy 3:16-17. All of Scripture is intended for the purpose of revealing what God has said and what He wants from all that He formed. When creation was completed, God rested and enjoyed what His work had produced. It was perfect. And God said, “It is good!!” Man was created to praise God forever on earth.
There is an important word that characterizes the condition of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. That word is innocent.
One way that God revealed His plan was by the giving of strategically timed promises to human representatives. Another word for these promises is covenants. God can always be counted on to keep His part of any legally binding promise made with anybody. God always keeps His word. He always has, and He always will. God’s reputation is based on His character.
The Bible tells us that man was created in God’s image. But this does not mean that man keeps his word like God does. For this reason, there are two types of promises or covenants that God has made with humanity throughout biblical history. We know that any agreement requires at least two parties.
The first kind of covenant is best thought of as a legal contract. In a legal contract, two (or more) parties have individual obligations to fulfill. If for some reason one party does not fulfill their obligations to the contract, then the other party is no longer bound to their part of the agreement. Once one party breaks their part of the covenant, that agreement is no longer in force. The covenantal agreement ceases to exist. It is broken.
The second kind of covenant is one in which the obligations of the agreement apply to only one party. In this kind of covenantal agreement, only one party has any duties or obligations to fulfill. Most of the agreements that God made with humanity fall into this category. These covenants were given without any condition at all for God’s human creation. Fulfillment of the contractual duties was (and still are) solely dependent upon God’s character.