Author: Pastor Paul A. Bartz
Genesis 1 gives us an overview of the creation of everything, including man. But man is of such importance in the creation (a point which evolutionists deny), that God uses most of Chapter 2 to focus in on additional details on the creation of the humankind. We can learn a lot about who and what man is from these details. Before going any further with the study read Genesis 2:7-25 to get an overview of our topic.
1. Verse 7 tells us that God formed man of the dust of the ground. We can say that man is quite literally hand-made by God. This tells us about the nature of God’s dealing with us and is in exact contradiction to evolution.
Theistic evolutionists say that God made us, but that He used “natural processes” to do so. This passage clearly says that God personally and individually made the first man (and woman too, as we shall see), by hand.
Scripture’s big message about God is that He still personally works in individual lives through the Gospel – not through “natural processes.”
2. Note that man was not complete when his physical form was completed. He was not a living being until God breathed into him the breath of life. While Scripture talks about the breath of life being in all living creatures, many passages discuss how different man’s very nature is from the other creatures.
The difference is especially expressed by Scripture in the position, responsibility, and moral place man has in God’s creation. These items, too, belong in our catalog of knowledge about man.
3. In verses 8 and 9 we have some startling information about the place which God gave man as a home. We call it startling because we see here some things which we might not normally think that God cares about. God, we are told, planted a Garden for man to live in. The fact that He is described as “planting” rather than simply creating it out of nothing is important.
Although God could have given His personal care to it no matter how He made this garden, the fact that the text states that He planted it stresses the fact that God took personal concern to make every aspect of the Garden pleasing and pleasant for the crown of His creation.
Verse 9 stresses this again by pointing out that God provided every tree that is pleasing to the sight. God cares about beauty! And He has made man to appreciate beauty too. Such things are not to be thought of as luxuries which are unnecessary, but as part of the essence of both man and God. The same goes for good food as far as man is concerned.
4. The presence of the Tree of Life figures in especially after the Fall into sin. Whether man had to eat from it periodically to maintain physical immortality, or whether one eating was good forever, as some have speculated, is not answered by Scripture. Perhaps the most helpful comment on the Tree of Life which we have seen relates this tree to the Son of God Himself.
5. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil brings us to some important knowledge about man. As we find out later, after the Fall into sin, man was not only holy and perfect morally and physically, he was also completely innocent of good and evil. Man before the fall has been described as being ignorant of evil, capable of evil, but only desiring God’s will.
This situation of innocence reminds us that there are objective standards of good and evil. Morality and immorality do not depend on man’s understanding or definition of them – they are objectively real and outside of man.
This again is in complete contradiction to the humanistic beliefs of the world which are a result of evolution. When man eats of this tree, he becomes aware of the objective standards of good and evil, and in addition, his conscience begins to be a tool of torment and/or false comfort.
6. Verses 10 through 14 document the pre-Flood location of Eden. It was, indeed, a very real place! But those who have tried to locate Eden since the time of the Flood have forgotten an important point which Martin Luther pointed out almost 500 years ago, and which any creation geologist will point out today: The Flood so changed the face of the earth that the riverbeds which existed before the Flood no longer exist. There are post-Flood rivers which have been named after these pre-Flood rivers, but they are by no means in the same locations, or the same rivers.
7. Man’s naming of all of the animals in verses 18 through 20 tells us a lot about man’s intelligence at the very beginning, as well as making the point that man is so unique that no animal can be a complete and fitting partner for him. Animals can provide company and affection, but man also requires a partner in the creation of beauty and intellectual pursuits. This section shows, in an obvious way to even the uneducated, that there is a huge gulf separating man and animals.
8. Verses 21 through 25 give us information on the creation of woman. Since no suitable helper was found for man, God personally hand-made a woman from the rib of man. The details of what happened are amazing. God caused a deep sleep to come over Adam in order to remove a rib. This reminds us of the way in which surgeons today work.
The fact that Eve was made from part of Adam has led some to call her the first clone. However God did this, we see His personal and individual involvement and concern with mankind once again.
9. Woman is not inferior or superior to man. She is flesh of his flesh. And she is made to be different from man in complimentary ways. Many efforts throughout history have been made to see woman as higher or lower than man – or even as identical to man. All of these will ultimately fail because man’s nature has been set by God.
10. Adam’s statement in verse 23 reveals to us another dimension of the great knowledge, and even foreknowledge, that Adam had as he describes how man will leave his parents and be joined with his wife in the marriage relationship.
Adam may have been innocent of the knowledge of evil, but he certainly had a lot of practical knowledge, knowledge of the human essence and needs, and even knowledge of future events.
11. Clearly the first human beings had no forefather but God, as Scripture later states. We can also gather from this summary description of man’s knowledge that he was highly intelligent and had unlearned knowledge – knowledge of things which we today must be taught.
There is no reason to think that Adam could not also have written and done a lot of other things which we might associate only with “civilized” man. The source of the idea that Adam, as the first man, must have been ignorant, and perhaps even a brute, is evolution – which has even become an influence upon Christians. Scripture indicates that Adam was the very opposite of an ignorant, stupid brute.