More Details Regarding Mankind's Origin
At the close of the sixth day, God saw that His creation was "very good." There were no imperfections; it was flawless! And this is precisely what we expect from an eternal Being who is omniscient, omnipotent, and omni-benevolent. God did not create evil, though it would introduce itself into the world soon enough--thanks to the devil! I believe a case can be made that the devil himself was created to be "good," but he chose the path of wicked rebellion. For a more thorough study of the devil, particularly his origin, please consider our archived lessons from 07/09/05 and 07/16/05.

"Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made" (Gen. 2:1-3). After six days, His work is complete. The laws of nature are now fully in motion at this point. To say that God "rested" literally means that He ceased or desisted from any more creating. He certainly did not need to stop due to fatigue or loss of power. He stopped only because His creative work was complete. It is important to keep in mind that Moses (the writer) lived a couple thousand years after the events of the creation week took place. This fact opens up the door for the possibility of certain statements Moses records having primary application to those in his day (and not Adam's day). I believe we have an example of precisely that in 2:3 where we have a reference to something that actually happened in Moses' lifetime. When the text says that God sanctified the seventh day, He did not do this for man until Moses' day at Mt. Sinai (cf. Exo. 20:8-11). That was when the Sabbath law was given. The patriarchs of old (like Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, etc.) did not keep the Sabbath law, per se, for they lived prior to its commandment. The Sabbath law was in force for approximately 1500 years, until Jesus died on the cross and abrogated the entire Old Covenant. Today, we live under the New Covenant, and while it is certainly wise to rest as needed from our labors today and learn from the Old Testament example, it is not mandated that we today rest every seventh day of the week (i.e., Saturday).

There is a significant shift in focus starting in Genesis 2:4. God has told us what He wanted us to know in general about the creation week. Now, He will begin to tell some more of the creation week specifically as it pertains to the history of mankind.

"This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD GOD made the earth and the heavens, before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground. 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 being" (Gen. 2:4-7).

Man was made of the dust of the ground! Why is this recorded? Perhaps to keep man humble and prevent him from forming too high of an opinion of himself. Though he is made in God's image spiritually, his physical makeup is dirt! God breathed life into man. I believe this refers to man's soul (i.e., the life force within him that other animals share; cf. 7:21,22). In addition to this breath of life, man also possesses a spirit, made in God's image, which other animals do not possess.

"The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" (Gen. 2:8,9). "Eden" means a place of pleasure or realm of delight. Without a doubt, this would have been the most wonderful home earthly man has ever known--it would have been perfect in every way! Here two specific trees are identified. The tree of life was designed to provide eternal life on Earth for those who partook of its fruit. It would have served its purpose had Adam and Eve not sinned and consequently lost access to it (cf. 3:22ff). The fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was the only thing forbidden mankind. We will have more to say about it in the coming verses, and why its existence was necessary.

"Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads. The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one which skirts the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good. Bdellium and the onyx stone are there. The name of the second river is Gihon; it is the one which goes around the whole land of Cush. The name of the third river is Hiddekel; it is the one which goes toward the east of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates" (Gen. 2:10-14).

Thank you for listening, and may the Lord bless you as you strive to do His will.