Where Are You? Genesis 3

Then the whole picture of perfection dissolves with one statement:

“Where are you?”

God created mankind like himself, in his own image, so there could be relationship, so there could be trusted dominion.

But God also left a door open to mankind. The birds, plants, animals, all followed God’s ways because of how they were created, without spirituality, without relationship that includes choice. But to mankind, he left open the door to choose to relate to him, to respond in gratitude and love, to be able to work on “dominion” together.

I have no idea of how much time passed between Adam’s creation and this choice. It must have been wonderful, God and man in perfect relationship. We get a little picture of just watching them name animals together. I imagine God bringing creatures before Adam, and Adam responding to each one in awe and admiration for what God had done. The vibrant colors, the intricate designs, the amazing ways of responding to heat and cold – they all must have amazed Adam and Eve.

And think about them in the garden, having dominion over them. Again, I don’t know completely what this means, but I would imagine the scene would have been more merry than Disney’s Goldilocks in the forest, playing with the creatures!

Then enters slithering doubt enters and everything grows dim.

I wonder if things would have been different if Adam had not tried to cover his sin with words or skins? What if he had run to find God, to confess his doubts, failings, and now new power? What if he had fallen on his knees, would have God extended forgiveness, grace and mercy in that moment?

We’ll never know, because it didn’t happen that way. No only did Adam sin, but he did not repent and ask forgiveness, blaming others who blamed others.

God, as he is all knowing, knew this was happen, but I can’t help but think it crushed his heart. He wanted Plan A to work and loved every minute that it did. But he also knew that eventually, he would need Plan B.

The rest of the Bible is Plan B, less than God’s perfection in relationship to man in his own image, and the road back to his perfection in relationship.

And he’s still calling us into relationship, “Where are you?”

How do we answer?

Helpers – Genesis 2

Then the Lord God said,
“It is not good that the man should be alone;
I will make him a helper…

The story continues to unfold – out of a beginning, out of a God, out of a creation, out of a unique being created in God’s image.

This spiritual state in which God created mankind made him relational.

God is relational. Remember Genesis 1 – “Let us make man in our own image?” God is an “us” and “our.” It’s hard to wrap our heads around “us”, especially at this beginning point without the rest of scripture, but there are parts of God who uniquely relate to each other. They are one, but separate, and they fulfill each other.

In the same way, man/Adam desired something that was equal to him, who had a spiritual side, who could be one with him, relating to him, completing him. In all of creation, there was nothing like him. Only God, by creating from a part of Adam something that was “flesh of his flesh” and yet uniquely different (for completeness), was able to finish his creation of mankind “in his image.”

We are created for relationship, and just like Satan attacks the other foundational premises, he attacks relationships. He tears us apart and reinforces the thought that we would be better off as an island, alone. But even if as an individual we could be better off, mankind as a whole would not.

We were created to be “helpers” to each other.

How can I do that today?

Mankind – Genesis 1

Then God said,
“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
And let them have dominion…”

Creation has so many twists and turns, and there is a part of me that would like to inspect each nuance, but we would be here for eternity! In fact, I bet that part of what we will be fascinated with…for all eternity. 

But if I’m just hitting some high points, it’s got to be the creation of mankind. After all, the Bible is the story of God’s relationship with mankind. So we have to look at mankind’s beginning…

“Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness.”

Much has been written about what this means, but with my limited intelligence, it seems simple to me. Mankind has a sense of God, of spirituality, that none of the rest of creation conceives. Mankind asks the questions, “Is that all there is?” and “Is there more beyond me?”

They long for a connection with their creator.

Some have argued that we don’t know if animals or plants want connection with God. They have a dependency on what God provides, but they don’t seem to be looking for relationship, unless we project our own emotions onto them.

And because man has spirituality within him, God gave him purpose, to have dominion over all the earth God just created. Now, we might debate if this was a good or bad decision but remember this was before sin. I’m sure God, creating man in his own image, had hoped that he would have continued in his image, with holy, responsible dominion over the earth.

God created mankind with a purpose, with a power, that the rest of the earth does not have…

Which is still true today.

In The Beginning – Genesis 1

In the beginning
The heavens and the earth.

So simple, yet so profound…

We have a beginning point, from which all things radiate. We don’t know exactly when it is, although scientistic have been trying to pinpoint it for centuries. In some form, the earth may have existed before this “beginning,” with this “beginning” being the part of creation that relates to mankind, who the Bible is written to. But there is a beginning point.

But before that beginning point, there is a God who existed. Before there was heaven and earth, there was God. Just as scientists have tried to pinpoint the beginning, they have tried to pinpoint who or what God is. And just like the nebulous “beginning,” they can’t seem to embrace who or what God is. Mankind just has an innate sense that something exists beyond their own knowledge and powers and is fascinated with trying to define (or dismiss) it.

This God, created. Things did not come into being randomly, without plan or design. They came with a designer. And with that design came systems of multiplication for a future.

Isn’t it interesting how the world pushes back on this “beginning,” this “God” who existed before the beginning, this “designer” of the present and the future? They even push back on maleness and femaleness saying we can choose what sex (or no sex) we want to be. 

It’s as if mankind is trying to take control over things that are so much bigger than them, in rebellion of believing in something so much bigger than them.

Wouldn’t it be easier to “cease striving?” Wouldn’t it be easier to just relax in the idea that there was a beginning, there is a God, this God creates?

I know some may think I’m unscientific or naïve, but I choose to rest in these simple facts. It answers so much for me, as the story unfolds. 

It gives me peace as I rest in something much bigger than myself.