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Tag Archives: Creation

Does God Have The Right To Command Us?

"And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." (Genesis 2:16-17)

“The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)

Here in Genesis 2:16, we have God’s first commandment to man. With all of the blessings and gracious gifts that He had bestowed upon Adam and Eve, God laid down but one single rule that they were to follow; do not eat of a certain tree within the Garden of Eden.

One of the gravest and most severe forms of outright rebellion that people throughout history have taken against God is to question the fact that He even has the right to issue them commandments. It does not matter to them how easy the commandment might be to follow, they resent the fact that they have been given any commandment at all. They reject the idea that anyone, even their Creator, would retain any authority over them whatsoever. They feel that they have absolutely no one to answer to and are free to define their own morality, behaving any way they choose.

But God does have the right to command mankind. Why? Because He is the One Who has created us. We are under His authority because we live in His Universe. Here, at the very beginning of the Bible, God issues a single commandment to Adam . He makes no bargain with Adam, the Lord offers no promise of particular benefit or incentive for Adam’s continued obedience. He simply commands Adam to refrain from eating of one particular tree, and then tells him of the consequences that would result from disobeying.

The fact of the matter is that Adam was already enjoying the fruits of obedience to God. God’s blessing was on him and he had been given EVERY other tree in the Garden for food. Think about that for a minute: every single other tree was given to him without restriction. Every one. God had placed a boundary around one single tree and left the rest of the trees open for Adam and Eve to freely partake of.

The devil’s very first words to Eve in Genesis 3:1 are, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden?” He is subtly bringing to her attention the fact that God has placed a restriction upon her and Adam’s behavior. God has exercised His authority over the woman and her husband by placing a limit, a boundary upon their actions. This is what their rebellion would signify: the rejection of God’s right to command their behavior.

Do we ourselves not do the same thing at times? As simple and easy as this very first commandment are the commandments of Christ (1 John 5:3). Our liberty in Jesus allows us to partake of the fruit of a thousand trees, yet we so often eat of those few that He has set a boundary around. In our flesh, we, too, often resent the meager limits that are placed upon us and by doing so we question our Lord’s right to command and regulate our actions. We may not actually say such words, but our disobedience reveals our attitude.

If we love Him, we will keep His commandments (John 14:15).

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published August 12, 2009]

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

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Was The Garden Of Eden A Real Place?

"And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads." (Genesis 2:10)

“Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers” (Genesis 2:10)

Where was the Garden of Eden located? Today we are unable to pinpoint the exact location of it. We cannot be certain of the specific spot where it was. It is likely from the description given that it was somewhere in the Tigris and Euphrates Valley. No parameters are given concerning its size, perhaps it filled that entire valley. We may not be able to identify its precise site, but we can determine that the Garden is presented as an actual place.

That the Garden of Eden was not a symbolic or mythological paradise can be seen by the fact that specific landmarks are given in relation to its locale. Genesis 2:10-14 names four rivers which flowed out from a single source that originated in the Garden. The rivers are given by name and we are told about the lands into which they flowed. It would seem unlikely that Moses would provide such specific details if he were writing about a fictional place.

It would stand to reason, then, that since the Garden itself was an actual place, the events and objects mentioned in connection with it would be real and literal, as well. There is no Biblical basis for concluding that the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and the fruit which grew upon it were mythical or metaphorical, nor is there any support in Scripture that would suggest that Adam and Eve were not actual people who literally ate thereof. Eden is directly referred to by writers such as Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Joel while Adam is specifically mentioned in 1 Chronicles, Job, Luke, Jude, and throughout Paul’s Epistles. It seems that the future writers of Scripture took Moses at his word and believed the literalness of his account, maybe we would be wise to do the same.

The reason that some have suggested that the events and places described in the first few chapters of the Book of Genesis are not literal is not because the principles of sound Biblical analysis and the fundamentals of Scriptural exegesis have led them to such conclusions, but rather because of their own personal distaste for the supernatural. They feel embarrassed by the fantastic nature of the narrative and therefore seek to marginalize it in order to retain the appearance of intellectualism and sophistication. They take a similar approach in the New Testament when it comes to the miracles of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The problem with taking this approach to interpreting the Bible is, where do you draw the line? Once you reject one thing because it doesn’t appeal to you, it’s easy to reject other things. If you are going to wince at the believability of the first three chapters of the Bible, how are you going to accept the ones that follow? You simply cannot embrace John 3:16 and Romans 10:9 while rejecting Genesis 3:4-6. You either believe the Word of God or you do not. God has not given us the privilege of deciding which portions of His Word we like and which ones we don’t.

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published August 9, 2009]

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

God Breathed Life Into Man

"And 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 soul." (Genesis 2:7)

“Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7)

Human beings were created differently than any other of God’s creatures. God commanded the earth and the waters to bring forth every plant and animal, every fish and bird. But when it came time to create man, God “formed” him.

As a potter fashions clay into the shape he desires, the Lord took the dust and clay of the Earth and formed man into what He desired. Then He breathed life into his nostrils. This “breath” was the spirit of man, complete with its own will, its intellect and reason, and its capacity for morality and fellowship with his Creator. All of the things that separate man from the animals. Man was made a living soul.

With a body that was created from and tethered to this Earth, and a spirit that was breathed into him by the God of Heaven, so would the foundation be laid that would eventually become man’s struggle between that which is of the flesh and that which is of the Spirit. This dichotomy within the very nature of man would serve as the type and metaphor for the struggle within every believer as he is drawn toward the things of God in his spirit, yet pulled toward the things of Earth within his flesh.

The human body, as intricate and wonderfully made as it is, is not what defines a person. It is this spirit which God breathes into him. It is this spirit which bears the image and likeness of God. It is this spirit which died the day that Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the forbidden tree, and it is this spirit which must be “born again” if we are to ever live in the presence of God. Since the Fall of man in the Garden of Eden, people would be born with a corrupted spirit. People are not born as a “living soul”, but as a “lifeless spirit.”

When we make Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, He breathes a spirit into us that is full of life. It is an incorruptible spirit that comes from the Holy Spirit and bears the image of God. We move from spiritual death to Spiritual life and are made a new creation in Jesus Christ. When we die, our bodies return to the dust of the Earth from which they came, but our spirits return to our Heavenly Father who breathed them into us when we placed our faith in His Son.

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published August 6, 2009]

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

God Is In Control Of His Creation

"And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good." (Genesis 1:10)

“God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:10)

Throughout the process of Creation given to us in Genesis 1, we are repeatedly told what God called the various things that He created. Day, Night, the Heavens, the Seas and the Earth. The reader obviously already knows what these things are called, is it not redundant to state that God called them by these names?

It is actually quite significant that we are told that God called them by these names. The prerogative of the Creator is to designate by what name His Creations shall be called. Like the parent of a newborn baby or the author of a book, God is demonstrating His dominion over these things by being the One to name them. What right does God have to name these things? He has the right because they belong to Him.

Throughout the rest of Scripture, we are not told what anybody else called the heavens, or the seas, or the Earth itself. It does not matter. Only the name assigned to the object by its Creator is important. Now, obviously it is not the name itself that carries the importance. Man in his diversity of language would utter countless different words to signify these things. I am not even certain that it was the Hebrew term itself as it appears in the original text of Genesis that God spoke in naming these things. But we are told that God exercised His right as Creator and that He named the objects of His Creation because they belonged to Him. What an amazing privilege that God would bestow upon Adam when He allowed him to name the animals that He Himself had created (Genesis 1:19)!

The Earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof (Psalm 24:1, 1 Corinthians 10:28). He owns the beasts of the forest and the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10). God has the ultimate power and control over His entire Creation, He is Sovereign over it. How is it that we so often forget this? Cannot the God Who has power over all the Earth provide for and protect those who are His own?

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published July 17, 2009]

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

God Has Provided Us A Home

"And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so." (Genesis 1:9)

“And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.” (Genesis 1:9 KJV)

Terra Firma. Dry, solid ground to walk on. God would not create man until the Sixth day, but He was already preparing a place for Him on the Third. God pushed back the waters vertically to open a space for the skies and horizontally to reveal dry land. The Psalmist tells us that the waters retreated at the command of God (Psalm 104:7).

In the Book of Job, one of Job’s friends, Bildad, emphasizes the utter insignificance of man in the grand scheme of the Universe (Job 25). But in his response, Job refers to the awesome power and greatness of God even by this very act. God divided the seas by His power and set their boundaries (Job 26:10,12). Why did He do that? To give us a place for our habitation. He prepared a place on this Earth for us to set our foot upon and to walk.

Jesus comforted His disciples with the fact that He was going to prepare a place for them (John 14:2-3). Just as He prepared the dry land for us to walk upon while we live here on Earth, He is preparing the place for us to set our foot on in the next life. He has again set the boundaries of our habitation and provided a place for us to live. In the grand scheme of the Universe, we truly are small, but we are not insignificant. God cares enough for us to provide a place for us to walk, in this life and the next.

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published July 15, 2009]

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

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