Genesis 1-3 From the Garden to the Ghetto BC 2/96
I. GOD MADE MAN IN HIS IMAGE
Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion (rule) over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. 28 And God blessed them, and God said to them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion (rule) over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.
Implications of God being the Creator:
1) He owns it all
2) He can do with it whatever He wishes
3) He sustains it
4) He rules over it (any exercise of dominion within the creation must come at His permission)
5) He can destroy or re-create His creation at will.
We are Created in His Image and after His Likeness. (1:27) God is seen in Genesis 1 as ruling over all. He speaks; it happens. His will is done. Man was created to have dominion, to rule over the earth v 26 & 26. Dominion is a blessing of God, lost by the first Adam, regained by the second, shared with those who follow in the footsteps of the future ruler of the world to come. (See Heb 2).
Obedience is the Key to Exercising Dominion Gen 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to work it and to keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.
Although God's creation was good, indeed, very good, it was not the best. It was impossible for man to demonstrate the higher, nobler virtues. God created the best way to the best of all possible worlds by providing a stage on which people could chose (through obedience) to demonstrate and acquire the nobler virtues. Eventually there will be a new creation which is best, which will be populated by those of proven character, who have demonstrated the higher virtues. The audience of the current show is Satan and his angels (Eph 3:10). We're pawns to demonstrate to Satan & Co. that the God who holds all pleasures is worthy of obedience (cf. Job). Satan desires to prevent us from enjoying the glory he grasped at (and lost).
II. Rebellion (Independence) is the Essence of Sin and the Loss of Dominion
6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, (desirable for gaining wisdom) she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also to her husband with her; and he did eat.
Man has an innate desire for: power, pleasure, and possessions. Satan's will is to have us meet those desires on our own, immediately rather than in God's plan (cf Jesus ruling over all). Satan's way is a deceptive, time-saving short-cut to godliness. God's commands are not to keep us from good, but from evil. His commands flow out of His infinite goodness and are for our good. [Temptation always comes in disguise. Deceit = promise one thing deliver another.] Our ability to resist Satan's deceptions is directly proportional our ability to accurately wield the sword of the Spirit, the Bible.
1 John 2
Lust of the Flesh
Good for Food
Lust of the Eyes
Pleasant to the Eyes
Pride of Life
1Jn 2:15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the pride of life (boasting of what he has and does)--comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.
7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
Man's attempts of covering his sin are always cheap and inadequate because he doesn't think he's that bad, or that God is really worthy of a life. The penalty for rebellion against a great king is always death. A life is required. In ancient near east covenants and treaties between a Suzerian and a Vassal (greater power, lesser power), to "live" meant to exercise dominion under the terms of a covenant; to "die" meant to be deposed from rulership under the terms of the covenant. ("I put the unfaithful vassal to death [slew] and led him captive to my capital where he served out the rest of his days in my dungeon.")
Man Lost the Right to Rule through the Fall (Independence) Our God always keeps His promises. He is a God who blesses and curses, revealing His nature as good and just and loyally loving. If we disobey, He can't fulfil His promise to bless, so He must fulfil His promise to curse. What did Adam and Eve lose? Or in what way did they die? Physical? Spiritual? Relationship with God? In II Cor 5 the apostle Paul equates being naked with a lack of glory. Our natural tendency is to refuse to accept responsibility for our sin. Every sin can be explained (but not excused) by factors in our environment. In a perfect environment it would be easy to not sin. However, we live in imperfect environments, and therein lie our tests.
The "Son of Man" Gained back the Dominion and Shares it with those who are Faithful to Him.