David Pawson - Genesis Pt3
Thoughtful Thoughts 16th November 2018. Genesis Part 3. “Harmony”...
Our “interest getter” last time was for David Pawson’s introduction to Genesis. In it we looked at arguments which students can have ready on the tip of their tongue to defend themselves in school or at Uni., for believing that the only realistic explanation for creation is God.
The paradise we lost...
In this interest getter for David’s overview on Genesis, I’m looking at what Genesis says about creation, before it was ruined by disobedience, when creation was still perfect. Genesis shows us what we have missed out on. It explains how we got here, and how things were before our disobedience ruined everything. We wouldn’t know any of that without Genesis.
So this time we are looking at the paradise that we lost and which is rarely talked about...in which all of creation lived in harmonious order, peace and joy.
Now, in case someone is falling asleep reading our little blog, thinking “why should I care”?, I’ll give you a “heads up” on what’s coming! You might be interested to know what your future looks like if you are a disciple of Jesus Christ, because there is to be a “mark two” version of paradise, with
people populating it who won’t spoil it, because they are chosen for wanting to be made righteous.
Before we get carried away with the future paradise that’s been promised, we need to go back to the paradise we lost, as we are looking at creation. Then harmony existed in the Garden of Eden.
Jesus believed in the Genesis account as being factual and historical. In the Garden of Eden there was harmony in creation itself, and also between God and man, even to the point where God came into the Garden of Eden to communicate with Adam. That harmony was heaven on earth!
The Hebrew word for this kind of perfect, peaceful, harmonious order is summed up in “Shalom”. It was enjoyed by all creation. Genesis 1:29 tells us that man was originally a vegetarian, and the next verse tells us that animals were too! Even the lion didn’t eat the lamb back then!
The harmony just after the world was created, was like the relationship between my dog training sister, and her young Standard Poodle called “Harmony”. Harmony is already winning prizes for obedience even though she’s only about two, (so her name, is a perfect description of their relationship!) Harmony’s obedience does not come from a fear of punishment, but from a relationship of complete trust. Harmony accepts the pecking order, that she has an owner and master, because she obeys my sister. Harmony trusts my sister to look after her, and in that pecking order she finds security.
Now, that harmonious order is what God put into His creation. There was a benevolent pecking order. Man was the brains of the outfit. He was given the common sense to look after the creatures God made, and when man’s heart was perfect, it worked perfectly.
a). Mankind is a creature in the sense that we are created by a Creator; - albeit with a difference.
We are told that man was made in the image of God 1:27 and God breathed into him; 2:7. That extra comment is not made about any other creature God made. The literal translation of the Hebrew word for that is that God “breathed the soul of life”.
b). When God made woman, she was made from a man’s rib, and not from dust. All creatures EXCEPT woman, were made from the dust of the earth, including man. The woman was made from the superior ingredients of spare ribs! God cloned woman from man.
c). Man was created to be a vegetarian; Genesis 1:29. (Animals were also vegetarians at first,1:30.)
d). God gave the vegetarian man the job of taking care of His creation. At the time that man was put in charge he was still perfect and managed creation benevolently, (like a vet). When the vertical harmony between God and man was right, there was also harmony between man and creation itself. And the name for it was, “The Garden of Eden”! (Google “Christian the lion” for fun!)
Harmony. That’ll be heaven!
If you want to see what paradise regained will look like, read Revelation 21. You can see what God is going to do in future! It will be bigger and better than the Garden of Eden and inhabited by people who made a choice to one of God’s obedient people. God’s family will experience what it could have been like all along to live in harmony, when they live in God’s “paradise regained”, a brand new Garden of Eden, mark 2, called “The New Jerusalem”. There, God will walk again with His people, and harmony will be restored, and you can be part of it!
How? Read Acts 2:38 for starters. Become like the Recabites in Jeremiah 35:18-19, who were gentiles who decided to become part of God’s people through obedience to God, and who God just loved them for doing. In Jeremiah 35 we learn God loved the obedience of the “Recabites” so much, that these one-time gentiles, who had chosen to become Jews, were given a very privileged position by God, (v.19). God loved them for their obedience (18) and He compared them to the disobedient Israelites that He had been having to put up with, and who He was about to punish by sending into exile.
I’m John Dunning and that’s “Thoughtful Thoughts” for another week.
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