Genesis 1-5; Matthew 1-2

Week Number
1

You have started an important journey, the journey to know God better.

God’s story begins with His great act of creation, but quickly moves to the heart of the rest of Scripture—God’s relationship with us and our relationship with God.

The early chapters of Genesis tell us about that relationship through the experiences of Adam and Eve. Genesis 2 and 3 tell about God’s actual presence with Adam and Eve: how He gave them a home of infinite variety and beauty, how He provided for them, how He talked with them and guided them, how He gave them meaningful work, and how He wanted to be part of their lives. It is the story of an intimate relationship—not one of indifference between the Creator and His creation.

If only the story ended there. However we know all too well that it does not, for Adam and Eve disregarded God’s directions to them and sinned. And God was forced to punish them.

Sometimes in these beginning chapters of the Bible, most of the attention is directed toward the sin of Adam and Eve and its dreadful consequences. But woven between their sin and God’s punishment are two unchanging factors: God’s constant love for them and His desire to continue their relationship. We see His love in action immediately following their punishment when “the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife” (Gen. 3:21).

Clothing that Makes a Difference

Now clothing may seem like a trivial matter to us compared to the introduction of sin into the world. But clothing demonstrated God's continued love for Adam and Eve and His concern for all aspects of their lives.

God made clothing for Adam and Eve because He cared about their emotional needs. Because of their sin, Adam and Eve became aware of their nakedness and were troubled by it. So God made clothing to ease their minds.

Clothing reflected God’s care for Adam and Eve's physical needs. Before they sinned, there had been no thorns and thistles to hurt their skin; now there were. So God made clothing to protect them from harm.

And clothing showed God's attention to Adam and Eve's practical needs. Fig leaves weren't durable enough to be clothing, and Adam and Eve would have spent much of their time replacing their coverings. So God taught them how to make clothing, giving them a new and needed skill.

A Greater Need

Before God took care of Adam and Eve’s emotional, physical, and practical needs, He wanted to attend to their greatest need—a restored relationship with Him. Adam and Eve's sense of failure could have kept them from any relationship with God, for we see that one of their first actions toward God after disobeying was to hide from Him. But God did not allow them to remain helpless and confused. He called to them, “Where are you?” (Gen. 3:9).

God, of course, knew where they were. The real question was whether Adam and Eve would run away from God because of their sin or whether they would run to Him in recognition of their desperate need for Him. Adam and Eve chose wisely and came out from among the trees to be in God’s presence.

Yes, punishment awaited them, but love greater than the sting of that punishment also awaited. Adam and Eve had failed to obey, but God's love, forgiveness, and care for them were far greater than their failure.

Genesis 4:25 tells of the continuing relationship between Adam and Eve and God, for it says that when Eve gave birth to Seth “she said, ‘God has granted me another son in place of Abel, the one Cain killed.’” Eve gave God loving credit for what brought her much joy, the birth of another child. These few words point to the enduring relationship between God and Eve.

As we read through the Bible, we will learn many things about having a personal and loving relationship with God; for just as God wanted to be with Adam and Eve, He wants to be with us. And that is what this journey is about.

© 2010 Arlina Yates

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