Revelational Foundations Series Lesson 2
Genesis – Let Us Make Mankind
23 January 2022
© 2022, Charles A. Clough
What did the Apostle Paul do before we had [PA systems]? … Seriously, the men in the past before PA systems had tremendous voice projection. Ben Franklin went to hear Whitfield. He did an experiment while Whitfield was preaching out in the fields. These people spoke in the fields because they weren’t allowed to speak in some of the churches.
So, Franklin paced off 50 feet to Whitfield as he was speaking. He could hear him fine. Anyway, he would keep pacing off – 100 feet. Then he went 200 feet. He went out to I guess 1/4 to ½ mile and he still could hear Whitfield. So, these men projected their voices very well.
In fact, Whitfield toward the end of his life lost the skill in his throat because he had worn it out in speaking. But those are the men, the great men in the past, who made tremendous inroads and made the Word of God visual to the people, so they could see not just the Word of God, but they could see the actual implications.
One of the ways in the Framework approach that I use—what I have tried to do is look at the great events of the Bible. Now it’s selective. There are many, many more events; but these are the great ones. They become truth events in the sense that each one of those events is a historical demonstration of God’s truths.
The nice way of going back that way into the Bible is if you read those historic events, in your imagination you can do an exercise of projecting or imagining how you would be if you were there when this happened. So, you can kind of join that historical moment with your imagination.
But another dimension to working this is that each one of those events builds on the other. So that’s why last week we dealt with Genesis 1.
The problem we have in the Bible is that God not only chronologically reveals Himself, but He pedagogically does, so that the lessons in Genesis 1 are not necessarily directly addressed in subsequent events, but the subsequent events build on those truths. That’s why Genesis 1 is part of the foundational revelations. But the other thing about looking at it this way is that each one of those events carries implications. In this particular one, last week we dealt with Genesis 1 looking at the creation event recorded in Genesis 1.
There are three collisions. There are probably more, but these are three major ways that if we are serious about that event, then we are going to be at odds with things in our culture. It’s unavoidable. These are just tension points between the Christian faith and our culture.
The first one is the age of the Earth is not determined by operational science for the simple reason—you can’t look at the unobserved past, you cannot make direct measurements of the unobserved past, and nobody was there to do videos of the unobserved past.
Therefore, that kind of dealing like you get in historical geology needs to be separated in our mind’s eye from operational science where we can confirm things with measurements and so forth. What that is is historical science. It’s trying to apply some scientific thinking. What do we think happened in the past? One of the assumptions historically was that no church leader before 1650 or 1700, no major church leader ever thought of anything about a young Earth. The old Earth idea was true of ancient Hinduism, but in the biblical motif, the mentality was the Earth is young.
The reason for that is that it’s observed. That’s what the observation says. We went into several reasons. We did the kite line here across the auditorium, and we said, “Look, if this represents four million years, the amount of measurements we have over the 6,000-year presence of recorded history is about 2 inches. So, it’s a graphic illustration of where we do have measurements and where we don’t.
I went on to cite that one of the things that the creation movement is looking at is high-speed powerful events that are videoed. Of course, we have the explosion in Mount St. Helens.
Then we mentioned in Japan the great tsunami that wrecked the nuclear power plant. That tsunami was a result of the plates underneath Japan—the whole Japanese islands slipped on the Pacific plate. These plates are moving very slowly, but they get caught. And so, the plate there got caught, and all of a sudden the pressure released and in 15 minutes the entire archipelago of Japan moved 8 feet east. That gives you an idea of the power of high-speed events like this. Of course, during the Flood, we believe there were a lot more high-speed events. So, the problem is measurements.
Then we have a second conclusion. The second implication is the Creator/creature distinction. That is mentally and intellectually, that is a fundamental separation from pagan thought. In pagan thought, nature is all there is. If there are gods and goddesses, they’re floating around in nature, inside nature. So, there’s nothing outside of nature. Nature is just all that is.
The Bible rejects that with Genesis 1:1. The Bible says that God created. So, then we have two existences. We have the eternal existence of God. And then we have a temporal existence of the creature. So, we have two existences.
That’s important because when we talk about who is sovereign in history, we make choices; but God in His sovereignty has control over our choices. So that’s how He can predict history. That’s comforting to us because when we screw up, we know that Somebody is in charge—ultimately, in front of all the chaos.
Then we have the third one. That is that as Paul (and Paul makes use of this going back really to the thinking of Genesis 1)—what Paul says in Romans 1 is where he’s confronting the Roman pagan culture. What he’s saying there is that there’s no such thing as somebody that doesn’t know God. We all have a sense of deity.
If you think about it, we have to or we couldn’t be held accountable for our lives. So, the idea of sense of deity is a powerful idea when you’re praying for people—maybe in your own family. You’ve prayed for years and years and years that somehow, they would wake up to the gospel. Maybe you witness to them, and it’s just like witnessing to an inert person. It seems to go over their head. They don’t pay attention to it.
But mentally what you want to go back to is Paul in Romans 1:18–20 and see that there’s no excuse. Everyone deep down in their heart knows God exists. What happens is in unbelief we try to cloak that as Adam and Eve did in the Garden with fig leaves. We have all kinds of intellectual fig leaves that we use to do that—atheism and various cosmologies and so on.
But in the final analysis at the Great White Throne Judgment, if we are not believers and we have to face that Great White Throne, we don’t blow smoke in God’s face and say to Him, “Well, Your revelation wasn’t clear to me.” Well, that’s not going to work. His revelation is very clear to everyone. So, we need that sense of deity for our praying, and we need it to remember that we are all individually responsible.
That’s another point about the Bible where we collide with the culture. Today we have semi-Marxist ideas of white people, black people, Latino people. We group people. Then what’s taught in some of the schools, unfortunately, is that everyone in that group thinks the same way. Well, no, that doesn’t follow. That’s a hasty generalization logical fallacy. We’re all individuals. Responsibility before God is not by your group. Responsibility before God is as an individual because that’s how He treats us. So those are all implications of that first great event.
Just to make sure we will review what we did last week. I showed this chart and again it’s hard to read, but the big idea of the chart is that this is time, and this is space. The gray area, that’s what each of us in our life we can see. But then we can expand how we see with telescopes upward in further and further distances. We can see smaller and smaller things with instruments. We can see rapid events with high-speed photography.
But you’ll notice this graph shows you that here there’s nothing going out this way. There can’t be because that’s the future or the remote past and there are no measurements. So, the idea, then, is that a young Earth is confirmed by measurements because we have God who was there.
Here’s a verse where God is saying this. In Job 38:3–8, toward the end of Job’s suffering—and I kind of feel sorry at the end for Job’s suffering because here he is economically destroyed. His physical health is gone. Mentally he’s under all kinds of stress and of all things God gives him a 45 different questions quiz. Well, I think if I were in Job’s position, I wouldn’t be really mentally ready for a 43- or 44-question quiz.
But anyway, one of the challenges at the beginning of that quiz is—this is what God says. It’s kind of tough that He comes to Job this way. He says:
“Prepare yourself like a strong man.”
That word strongman is gibbor. That’s a barrier, a warrior.
“Prepare yourself like a strong man. I will question you.”
Now see He’s reversing it. Before Job and his counselors were questioning God. This is God’s reply.
“I will question you and you will answer Me. Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it?”
That’s a measuring tool.
“To what were its foundations fastened? Or Who laid its cornerstone? When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”
So, there is the angelic realm all present at the time of creation. So that’s God confirming—Job where were the measurements? What do you know? You weren’t there. Nobody else was there to observe it. So, I’m telling you how I did it and you’re free to reject it or accept it, but I am the witness to My own work. So, that was one of the big things of Genesis 1.
What we also wanted to do was we wanted to show the attitude of God as far as the Creator/creature distinction. That’s fundamental. As we said that separates all kinds of ideas that flow out of that. I tried to summarize it on the left side. Ancient monotheism, those were the survivors of the Flood. You had ancient Israel called out with the call of Abraham. They are the custodians of the Bible.
Then fundamentalism that I showed you last week where the liberals who departed from the faith in the 1700s, 1800s, and 1900s. The scholars among them openly confessed and openly acknowledged, they are the ones who have separated from the historic faith. It’s not the fundamentalists. It’s not the conservatives.
Then on the right side, that’s the cultural sequence where paganism has flourished. One is the ancient myths and Eastern religions. C.S. Lewis said there only really two religions. One is Christianity, and one is Hinduism. What he meant was Hinduism was probably the most highly developed pagan thought that exists in history. We have Western philosophy and modern theology.
Then opposite the Creator/creature, if nature is all there is, then we have eternal cycles because nature is forever. Then we have the nature gods and man who can transmute. That’s why Darwin was able to foist his idea of evolution where you have one species, one kind, transmuting into another by sheer chance.
Now in our modern-day, right now, we see another character of that, transgenderism. That’s where males can turn into females. Females can turn into males. What is making that flexibility? What is causing us to imagine that could be possible? It’s because it’s a corollary of the continuity of being. It’s naturally part of the flow of unbelief.
Then the bottom line is Genesis 1. Ultimately, it’s responsibility. On the left side, ultimate responsibility before God is the bottom line. The bottom line on the other is I’m a victim. I’m a passive victim to whatever nature has and so on. So that’s the background that we had and the idea that we have a point of contact in that we all have a sense of deity.
So, we come to another point and that is the bulletin insert that we have because the creation truth event establishes much of the worldview of the Bible and how we should think.
Here we have what we ought to do and how we see reality and so forth. What is happening in our culture right now is the social media. If you think about Twitter or you think about the short succinct statements that you encounter on social function, here’s the problem with that. The media and social function is conversing at this level—the social order and politics—what we ought to do, what we should do, and so on.
But underneath that are all kinds of assumptions and way down you see those lower truths. How do we know what is true and what is the nature of reality? Those are the basic building blocks for how we think and how we emotionally respond. Sometimes we’re conscious of that and sometimes (most of the time) we are unconscious of it. It’s automatic.
But that view of reality and truth has to be informed from some sources. We have a choice of building our truth idea—how we attain truth, what is reality from biblical revelation. That’s a choice. But if we avert that choice, we reject that choice, so that the Creator/creature distinction no longer matters, then what are we left with? Either individual imagination or society, group imagination. But we feed our views from one source or the other.
So, the point is here that we need to be in the Word of God. That’s why our pastor has included a Bible reading plan for the year so our minds will be exposed to the Bible over and over and over in the middle of life’s changing situations.
Then once we have that, then we can determine what we ought to do. But what’s happening in social media is everybody’s talking that what we ought to do or what we ought to think. But they’re not considering—wait a minute, there’s is a worldview behind this. That’s usually not discussed. So that’s the product of Genesis 1.
Well, this morning we want to do Genesis 2. So, let’s turn to Genesis 2 and point out certain features of chapter 2. If you took a course in the Bible from a liberal or you took a course in the Bible at a university campus or whatever, they would start Genesis 2:5 with the idea that if you scan down in Genesis 2 you see, it always says the Lord God, the Lord God, the Lord God. But if you look at Genesis 1, it’s God. God did this, God did that. God and so on.
So back in the 1600s, 1700s, the higher critics that were starting up then said, “Oh, Genesis 2 is a totally different source document than Genesis 1 because the names of God have changed.” So, they called Genesis 1 by one name and they call Genesis 2:5 and following by another name and their basis for making that literary distinction was there is a profound difference in God’s names. Their explanation was that it’s because of the source materials.
Well, the answer to that was given a while back by Dr. Kitchen in a lecture on oriental studies at the University of Liverpool. Now he’s not necessarily a diehard fundamentalist. But here’s what he said because he is an expert at reading the Ancient Near Eastern literature from which these people said, “Well see. We see that in ancient literature, but its source material is different.”
Well, here’s Kitchen’s answer.
The relationship of a general summary-outline plus a more detailed account of one (or more) major aspect(s)—with differing styles for the two accounts—is commonplace enough in Ancient Oriental texts. … What is absurd when applied to the monumental Near Eastern texts that had no prehistory of hands or redactors should not be imposed on Genesis 1 and 2, as is done …
This is his British sense of language. British people can be very sarcastic in their thinking. He said:
They had no prehistory … should not be imposed in Genesis 1 and 2, as is done by uncritical perpetuation of a nineteenth-century system of speculations by eighteenth-century dilettantes lacking, as they did, all knowledge of the forms and usages of Ancient Oriental literature.
So, we accept that Genesis 1 is the overall summary. What we have in Genesis 2, is zeroing in on the sixth day and certain things happen on that sixth day. So, let’s look at the text because we’re doing in Genesis 2 what we did last week with Genesis 1. We’re going to look at the text then we’re going to say, “If I believe literally the Bible in Genesis 2, then I’m going to be in conflict with some of the ideas that are in the culture around me.”
Here we go. You’ll see right here immediately look at the name of God.
“This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created … before any plant of the field … “
“… 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.”
Clearly, he’s talking about a terrestrial condition that we don’t have today, and we’ll comment on that in a little bit. But the key passage here is, those words for plant of the field and herb of the field are talking about cultivated plants. It’s not just talking about botanical vegetation as is in day five. So, this is a little different and then you can immediately see by the vocabulary for it says:
“LORD God has not created rain.”
Why would rain the important? Because you think somebody has to water this thing that God’s building.
“The LORD God had not caused it to rain … there was no man to till the ground; but a mist went up.”
That’s the terrestrial condition that was going on.
Now let’s answer the question—why is God’s name different? Clearly, the author intended this. This is a deliberate change in God’s name. What does the word “LORD God” do that the simple word “God” doesn’t do? Well, the LORD God, the word LORD capitalized usually in English translation is Yahweh. That’s God’s covenant name. That means it’s focusing on God’s relationship with humanity. His covenant name is the name by which He signed the great covenants of the Scripture to have a dialogue with human beings. That’s Yahweh.
That’s why when Moses went up on Sinai and God had told him, “I want you to go lead these people out of captivity.” He said, “Yeah, but you know I got to say, ‘What is your name?’ ” God says, “I AM.” Of course, as Mike has taught in John you see that Jesus says, “I AM,” several times. It is a divine claim to eternal existence. “I AM,” God says, and so Yahweh is actually a Hebrew variation of the verb “to be”.
So, in the history of heavens and earth, the LORD God had not caused it to rain so forth, and so on. So that’s a setup for the next set of verses.
“And the LORD God,”
I tried to underline it so it will be deliberately emphasized as we read it.
“The LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being. And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden and there He put the man He had formed. And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the middle of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”
There is quite a bit in here, but the big idea is—what is God doing? He’s setting up a garden. Now let’s think about—what is the difference between a garden and just the Earth with plants? We all know if we have a garden, it has to be tilled. It has to be taken care of. So, somebody has to take care of the garden whereas nobody is taking care of the wilderness. The wilderness is taking care of itself.
Here we have a direct and very important point made. From the very beginning man is seen as a gardener, as somebody who is working with the earth. Somebody who is changing the environment. We’ll see what goes on with that. That is key to the picture. The author here is drawing a picture.
There are two kinds of existence, and the reason I’m making a big point out of this is because one of the implications of Genesis 2 has to do with ecology and the environment and man’s relationship to nature. There are ideas in here that are not very, very friendly to the environmental movement and they know about it. I have a book here that I’ll show you about what has happened here.
But this is introducing an idea, an idea that separates two different kinds of earth. One is an earth made productive by people. It is fruit, it’s vegetables. Outside there may be some berries out there, but it’s not producing something in the same way a garden is producing. The difference between the garden and what’s outside the garden is an effort by man. It doesn’t happen by itself.
Then the next point, going through this chapter here a little bit … This is the last section in Genesis 2 that’s describing for us the terrestrial environment. It’s making statements about this, that if we think about it, we could come to one of two conclusions. One is, as the liberals have thought, that Genesis 2 is presenting a mythical land that never existed because it has features that we just don’t see today, like water watering in the garden spontaneously. Artesian wells we would call it today.
But then this.
“Now a river of water went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads … Pishon …”
And it describes it went “around Havilah where there is gold and onyx. Gihon … around Cush … Hiddekel … east of Assyria, … Euphrates.”
Now, what confuses people is that, well, the Euphrates River—that’s a modern thing. Israel knew about it. Yeah, but this is not a post-Flood description. This is an Earth that is different from the Earth we know. I’m going to go into that shortly.
First of all, let’s look at this.
“A river of water went out of Eden to water the garden.”
What does that imply about the terrain? It implies obviously, that Eden was on a mountain. Eden was a high land. The water is flowing out of Eden. It’s falling down with gravity. Now, what’s so interesting about this is there is a parallel. At the last Book of the Bible when we are seen to be in the eternal state, in Revelation 22, that’s the last chapter of the Bible. Revelation 22:1 is a description that John gives us of what he saw the eternal state was like. And it says:
“A pure river of water of life came from the throne of God and of the land to water the earth.”
So, it is an interesting thing that this is quite symmetrically parallel with the eternal state in that it’s not eternal, but in the way the water is. The water is coming out of Eden, which suggests that God’s headquarters is there in Eden. That’s where God would meet with Adam and Eve. From Him, from that area, that high land, then you have the water flowing out. It’s called Tigris, Euphrates, and so on. But that’s like York in England and the colonists come from England to the United States and what they call the city? New York. So, it’s a conservation of names, but it doesn’t mean conservation of the same terrain.
What is going on here, and it’s important we understand this. What is described in Genesis 2 is not a mythical land, but it is a land very different from ours. So, what we do with this? How do we interpret this? This is a setup hermeneutically for how we interpret passages in the Bible that speak of transitions.
I think I’ve got a slide here with five different cosmologies. Here we see five different descriptions of planet Earth. Each one varies from the other. So, obviously, it’s showing that in history there are these crisis points where God re-forms and reshapes the Earth.
The original heavens and Earth from Creation to the Fall. We don’t know how long that is. It’s just that we have the origin. There is no sin. There is no death.
Then we have after the Fall all the way to the Flood—the antediluvian heaven and Earth. We don’t know too much about that. It appears that the continents were all one. In fact, the creation scientists believe in their modeling now that we had Pangaea, meaning all the continents are together and if you see a map you can see South America and Africa fit pretty well together. And so, the world, the earth, in the antediluvian period is different than the Earth now.
Then we come to what the Earth is now—the postdiluvian heaven and Earth, which after the violence of a global transformation, we now have the Earth that we know with separate continents and so forth. Different climate. Climate was warm back before the Flood.
Then we come to that Second Advent of Christ. Then we have the millennial heaven and Earth. That goes from the day of the Lord, the return of Christ, to the eternal state.
Now when Christ comes, how do we interpret Revelation and the passages that deal with the day of the Lord? Do we interpret them literally? Well, you see you can interpret one literally you might as well interpret the rest literally. You can’t change your hermeneutic as you run through the Bible. Jesus says we are going to have different heavens and a different Earth. That shows you that we are dealing with a totally different way of looking at world history. This is something we have to come to grips with as Christians that are serious about the authority of the Scriptures.
Now we come to the implication. We’ve looked at Genesis 2. We’ve seen God planting a garden. We see God putting man in the garden, and now what has happened?
Well, if you have been in English literature, you’ve run across this person, Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau lived in this little shack for two years by Walden Pond up in Massachusetts. Henry David Thoreau was a crusader for taking care of nature. This is a statement that he made about the Puritans. Here it’s a kind of warning for us to be careful about how we do take care of the Earth.
Men should tread gently through nature. Let us religiously burn stumps and worship in groves while Christian vandals lay waste the forest temples to build miles of meeting houses and horse sheds and feed their box stoves.
What he’s getting at is, and this is true, the farmers, when they first started in Massachusetts, cleared the fields, but they also took out most of the forests. This is what he’s arguing is that nobody is taking care of the forests. Well, how did modern lumber companies take care forests? They grow trees like a garden. So, they harvest trees in one section, but while they’re harvesting trees in one section, they’re growing trees in another.
So, in one sense, Thoreau was right in his criticism. So, he pricked our conscience, so to speak. But what he did is he was also a deist who worshiped nature—that the idea of man is we participate and become one with nature. Well, right there we got a difference. God says man is to take care of nature, but he’s not to idolize or to worship nature. This later became an issue.
I have a book up here strangely entitled Nazi Ecology: The Oak Sacrifice of the Judeo-Christian Worldview in the Holocaust. Mark Musser, a friend of mine, spent years of his life as a missionary in Ukraine running over by railroad to Germany to interview older people that lived through the Nazi regime. What he discovered was that the people in Thoreau’s time set up a philosophy of nature that Hitler and the Nazis became romantically attracted to.
For example, the label on the SS Corps, the hard-core Nazis, was an oak tree. When Jesse Owens in the Olympics won, instead of getting a medal from Hitler, he got a pot with an oak tree that is still living in Chicago. So, Musser writes this when he’s tying this together.
“Romantics like Thoreau reserved a special hostility for Christianity.”
So, we as Christians need to be aware of this.
“… a special hostility for Christianity. In their minds …”
That is in the minds of the Romantics like Thoreau.
“… in their minds it was a rival worldview which had sharply disjointed man from the natural world. …”
See this is all flowing out of Genesis 2.
“Troubling for the Romantics, a transcendent personal God created a natural world outside of Himself … ”
That’s Genesis 1.
“… in the Genesis account. As such nature was distinct from God. … According to Mosaic law, nature cannot be worshipped for the simple reason it is created by God. As such God and God alone is to be worshipped since He is the Creator. God and nature thus are absolutely distinct in the Bible. They cannot be confused with each other in a holistic one.”
“As difficult as this may seem to modern evolutionary environmentalists … ”
Now we’re going to get another little conflict here based on Genesis 2.
“As difficult as this may sound to modern evolutionary environmentalists, while the natural world is ultimately made for God’s own glory, it is also made for man. More insulting still, marriage is then instituted by God with a specific mandate to accomplish—subdue and fill the earth. This is precisely why Adam needed a helpmate in Eve.”
So, I hope to make us a little more conscious that this is why we seem to be out of tune. Let me just warn us about our vocabulary. Yes, God put man over nature. That’s true, but we are responsible as what to nature? As creatures. Who are we responsible to? God as the Creator.
Yes, we are over nature, but we’re not loose with anything we want to do with nature. We have to approach nature as something we care for because God has given us a job to do, and we take care of it. But we don’t worship it.
Now you say, “Well, nobody worships it.” Sorry, these are college students in New York City worshiping a god of nature. So, this is what they get for $100,000 tuition.
This goes back 100 years ago with Teddy Roosevelt. There was a great earthquake in San Francisco and in order to guarantee water to San Francisco, people who lived in San Francisco wanted to build a dam. So, Teddy Roosevelt had two guys, John Muir and Gifford Pinchot. These two guys articulated two attitudes to nature.
John Muir said, “No dam. We cannot allow it to change nature.” He used the word “preserve” nature. That’s why we have great federal lands, and they can’t be developed. Preserve nature. But Pinchot was closer to the Bible. “Nature is to be conserved, but it should be carefully managed for the good of man.” So, there’s a difference going on here.
Now the second point as Musser most points out, is added to the kind of insult to nature. We have something else and that’s Genesis 2:15.
“The Lord God took man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.”
The verb “tend” there to put in a garden is Hebrew abad. When you look at that vocabulary term, it’s used consistently later in the Bible for priestly work. The idea is that man is to take care of the garden, but it’s to be viewed as a divine calling. So, it’s responsibility. It’s not just going out and raping nature.
But then the next word that is used is shamar, and that’s a word that is used to guard and protect. We aren’t going to get into that this week. That’s for next week when we get Genesis 3.
But there’s going to be a struggle, a cosmic struggle, between the human race and the host of Heaven for dominion. We are the ones that were given dominion and that didn’t settle too well with certain powers. So, this is why man is warned from the start, “I’m giving you dominion, but you take care of it.” There’s a threat to it. So that’s why the Lord God commanded man saying:
“Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you will not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you will surely die.”
There’s an embedded battle going on to protect the dominion of the Earth and it’s right here in Genesis 2. It explodes in Genesis 3, and it goes all the way through the whole of eschatology of why Jesus Christ in Revelation 5 all of a sudden He and He alone is qualified to open the scroll. Many commentators say what that scroll is, is the dominion of the earth. Jesus Christ is earning from His work on the Cross and redemption, He is qualified as the next Adam to take over dominion on the Earth that was lost in Genesis 3.
The point here is that there’s a federal headship and this is what makes us as human beings redeemable. The host of Heaven are not redeemable. There’s no sign whatever in the Scriptures that the host of Heaven that do sin can ever be saved. They are individuals. They were created as individuals.
The human race was not created as individuals. It was created with just one man and one woman. We all come from him. We all have the genes of Adam and Eve. And in some way, which is very difficult to comprehend, Paul in Romans 5 says this:
“By one man sin entered the world, and death by sin. Thus, death spread to all men, because all sinned.”
Theologians would say that we sinned in Adam. How the heck did we sin in Adam? It gets into this idea of federal headship. But then Paul says:
“If by one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and that gift by grace for one man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.”
So, when we are adopted into Christ, we share His federal headship. That’s justification. It’s His righteousness we share—not our contaminated version of what righteousness is. So, this gets back into how dominion sets up. See there’s a lot of stuff here in Genesis 2.
Let’s go now to the environment, the view of the environment is under man given by man. Man is over the environment. If that’s offensive to modern environmentalists, the next one surely is.
“And the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone, I will make a helper comparable to him.’ Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. Whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. And Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.”
That is, there wasn’t another personal creation out there. So, God did this whole thing to teach Adam by experience. He said, “You go out and see if you’re attracted to any of these creatures.”
The problem here is that personal beings—we can’t have social life without somebody else. We need it. One of the remarkable things about the Bible in revealing the Trinity is that within the Godhead there’s the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit that have mutual fellowship with each other. No other religion can show you a personal God, a truly personal God, because our Trinity God is personal because He is continuing independently of us creatures. He has within the Trinity a social dimension to His being. Allah does not.
The question now becomes another little feature that is going on here about this experiment that God gives to Adam. That is how did Adam learn to speak? Who taught him to speak? Well, obviously, God must’ve taught him.
But here’s an interesting fact. Arthur Custance was … He’s dead now, but he was a Canadian physiologist that worked with the Canadian Army on battle injuries and so on. He wrote a little pamphlet here I have, Who Taught Adam to Speak? This is what he writes.
“Speech was always assumed to be instinctive. But the discovery from time to time of ‘wild’ or feral children without speech, showed clearly that speech results only when there has been social contact. Moreover, such contact must be with speaking individuals.”
That’s the mother and her baby.
“We have on record the case of two feral children, brought up entirely in the wilds, without any human companionship.
How they survived was amazing. Wolves came and brought them meat. It’s a thing that’s been researched.
“… without any human companionship except that they were themselves companions in isolation, who never between them spoke a word of any kind. Thus, we find that even the presence of another human being, and the possession of a truly human brain, do not in themselves constitute the necessary framework within which speech must inevitably appear. … We are still left with the problem as to who started the process, for the process must be started by someone. … It is not until a child discovers what is the meaning of his or her sound to others, and then deliberately makes the sound with this meaning attached to it, that the child speaks.”
So now we have God bringing Eve to him and how He makes her.
“And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, …”
That’s the first operation under anesthesia in history.
“… and he slept, and He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the LORD God …”
Notice His name, LORD God.
“… had taken from man He made into a woman and He brought her to the man. And Adam said, ‘This is now bone (or the substance) of my substance and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called ishshah.’ ”
… which is the Hebrew word ishshah, woman.
“ …because she was taken out of man,” ish and ishshah.
Clearly God had to tell Adam what He had done and brought them together. Of course, Matthew Henry has that, and I think Mike does this in his marriage counseling and wedding the famous statement.
“The woman was not made out of his head to top him, not out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected and near his heart to be loved.”
So, this is how man and woman were created.
God is not a sexual being. But He has what we call masculine characteristics, but He also has feminine characteristics. I’ll give you two instances.
One is in Matthew 23 on Palm Sunday. He is coming into Jerusalem, and He says to Jerusalem, “I know what’s going to happen to you. You’re going to reject Me.” Basically, what He’s saying … and listen to what He says. “I wanted to gather your children together, as a mother hen gathers her chickens.” That’s clearly a feminine insight and God Himself incarnate is speaking that.
And then the next thing where you can see that is that marriage occurs at the point where man’s destiny to have dominion over nature occurs.
So now we have a kind of … it sounds like a nonromantic view of marriage … but it’s what the large picture in God’s economy is that marriage sets up families and families are God’s tool for dominion. It has all kinds of implications.
But one of the other things besides God showing His femininity on Palm Sunday—here’s one, a great passage. You might want to study this one, Proverbs 8:14 and following. It’s talking about wisdom. And interestingly, in the Book of Proverbs, wisdom is feminine, not masculine. So, here’s what wisdom says.
“By me, king’s reign, princes, nobles, and judges rule. The Lord possessed me at the beginning of His way before His works of old. In the beginning, there was the earth. Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman.”
This is a lady speaking.
“… as a master craftsman and I was daily His delight.”
This is why in the Old Testament young men were cautioned about marrying pagan women. It’s not that they were bad people, but it was that they have a pagan view and you’re going to depend on them and it’s going to affect your thinking. Of course, Solomon is the great example of that.
We have then this tension between marriage and family. But that plays out in another way and that is that … Let me show you the implication here.
Now we have these. These are the after-effects.
The man assigned dominion over nature, not to be joined with nature.
Human sexuality is shaped by marriage design, not my imagination.
Final responsibility for education is assigned to parents, not the state. Why are parents assigned it? Because the family is the basic social unit.
So, this is why we are so concerned with how we are thinking about things.
Of course, we have this in the bulletin. Down at the bottom you either rely on biblical revelation or you rely upon your own imagination. We have people relying on their own imagination to set up all kinds of social relationships that are causing confusion throughout the land.
One of the people that has spoken to this with great authenticity is Rosario Butterfield. I have her works down here. Some of you have seen her on television. She was a lesbian professor at Syracuse University who taught the whole thing. She’s got her Ph.D. in the field, but then she says this, and I think we have to listen to her because here’s a lady that for many, many years lived in a lesbian community and was a proponent of it. This is what she says.
“The concept of sexual orientation was first used by Freud ...”
Always track ideas back to when they started. Ideas have consequences. People say, “Oh well, this is a modern thing. This is something that we are just doing.” No, it’s Freudianism. I’m a Christian and you’re a Freudian. So let’s acknowledge our differences here.
“The concept of sexual orientation was first used by Freud …”
Look what she’s saying.
“… to resituate sexuality from its biblical/creationist context to … the foundational drive that determines and defines human identity. … Freud maintained that belief in the God of the Bible was a ‘universal obsessional neurosis.’ The category of sexual orientation carries with it a cosmology of personhood that undervalues image bearers of a holy God. … Sexual orientation … creates fictional …”
“… fictional identities that rob people of their one true one: male and female image bearers.”
So, this is a very significant development.
This is why we have lawsuit after lawsuit. Right now, for example, we have the College of the Ozarks fighting all the way up to the Supreme Court because the Federal Government has redefined sexual discrimination to refer to transgenders and refer to the people who are boys who want to go into girls’ bathrooms. So that the people on the campus of Chicago, “No, we’re not going to have boys going in girls’ bathrooms on this campus.” The Federal Government said, “Yes, you will.” So now we got to go to the Supreme Court and spend millions of dollars in the lawsuit for that.
So, this is the chaos. Next. American College of Pediatricians. They’re filing a suit with the Supreme Court because the Christian pediatricians are saying, “I am not going to participate in trans therapy and inject children with hormones.” They say, “Yes, you will. You are an MD. You are a pediatrician and you’re going to do that as part of your professional duties.” So, they’re before the Supreme Court. You see where this goes. See the chaos that this invokes in society. Ideas have consequences.
Here finally is an attack. I’ve shown this here before, so I won’t spend time on it. But here’s why the state is trying to replace parents. This is a lawyer. Notice it’s a feminine lawyer.
“This essay explores the choice many traditionalist Christian parents (both fundamentalist and evangelical) make to leave public schools in order to teach their children at home, thus in most instances escaping meaningful oversight. … Society need not and should not tolerate the inculcation of absolutist views that undermine toleration of difference. … If a parent subscribes to an absolutist belief system premised on the notion that it was handed down by a creator, that it (like the Ten Commandments) is etched in stone and that all other systems are wrong, the essential lessons of a civic education … often seem deeply challenging and suspect. … Such ‘private truths’ have no place in the public arena.”
So, this is the thought that’s out there. And, of course, it’s a little confused. We have to be careful. We are not being intolerant to people as such. Every person as an individual has value because they’re made in God’s image. We have to be careful as we work with people that come from these areas to treat the person with respect regardless of what they say about us. Make the issue the idea. It’s not the person. The person is accepting this idea. So, we have to make sure we disagree on the ideas here. We disagree on what is truth.
So finally, I want to give you a conclusion like I did last week with a verse from Scripture, Psalm 139:13–16. This is the NET translation. This is such a great place for people who are searching for their identity. Psalm 139 is the key Bible passage on getting your identity. What did David say?
“Certainly You made my mind and heart; You wove me together in my mother’s womb, I will give You thanks because Your deeds are awesome and amazing. … My bones were not hidden from You when I was made in secret and sewed together in the depths of the earth.”
See that expression, “the depths of the earth.” Do you know what that’s a metaphor of? Genesis 2, when God made Adam from the dust of the earth and made Eve out from Adam. So, David is thinking in terms of Genesis 2, when he writes this.
“Your eyes …”
Here’s where it’s a key point.
“Your eyes saw me when I was inside the womb. All the days ordained for me were recorded in Your scroll before one of them came into existence. How difficult it is for me to fathom Your thoughts about me, Oh God.”
What David is saying is my identity and your identity come from God. We don’t know all the reasons why He made us like He did.
Carol and I knew of a friend of ours, a Ph.D., a lady that was an English literature teacher actually. One of her sons was born with a cleft lip and it was very hard for him among other children to be socializing with a cleft lip. So, his mother worked with him and one of the places in the Bible she went to was what God said to Moses.
When God called Moses, and Moses we think stuttered—that he had a problem with speech. He said, “I just can’t do it.” What does God say? “I made your mouth. I made your tongue. It wasn’t an accident Moses that your speech is like that.” And it wasn’t an accident for this boy to have a cleft lip. But God in His forming hand in the womb had, it says here “all the days for me were recorded in your scroll.” He has a meaning and a purpose and an identity. It comes from God, not how I thought last Tuesday afternoon. God has a plan for our life.
“Father, we thank You for the revelation that we have through Your Word. We thank You. The fact that God—You made us. We know from John’s Gospel that it was the Son of God that was speaking in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2. We thank You that we know the Son of God through the incarnation in our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.”