Read This Week’s Passage: Genesis 1
A Close Creation
Genesis 1 and 2 tell different aspects of the same creation story. While detailing the beginning of the human story, they simultaneously provide us with an introduction to God. In this introduction, God is identified by what He does. He creates, so He is the Creator. Although the idea of identifying God by what He does seems to be simplistic at first, it gets more nuanced and profound as we dig a little deeper.
For example, every aspect of creation is made by the Word of God with the exception of Adam and Eve. God formed Adam with His own hands and breathed into him His own breath. The picture portrayed is that of the great God of the universe bending over a mound of dust on the ground and shaping together a beautiful but lifeless form—concluding with God intimately placing His lips over Adam’s mouth or nose and implanting into Adam God’s own breath—His own life. There seems to be no reason that necessitated this kind of act from God in the creation of humanity except that God cared enough for Adam to do things this way. When Adam and Eve opened their eyes for the first time, they saw the face of God. Could He have been so close that they could see in God’s eyes their very own reflection?
In the Garden of Eden, we also find a very significant insight about education. God Himself takes Adam and puts him into the garden to dress it and keep it (Gen. 2:15). Caring for the garden was God’s means of teaching and educating Adam and Eve—this was in effect the first system of education in Scripture. What God does not do here is as significant as what He does: He doesn’t allow Adam to discover the garden on his own. He doesn’t have an angel direct him through the garden. Instead, God places on Himself the responsibility of teaching Adam and Eve. And He does this through the human privilege of communion between finite humanity and the infinite Godhead.