Happy New Year! For the next few months, we will be diving back into the Old Testament, for the most part, as we are re-introduced to some notable persons who encountered God. May you be blessed by God’s Word.
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” 24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
As we go through our daily Bible readings for the next few months, we will focus on individuals who encountered God and were changed by God. This will be a biblical “Who’s Who”, to help you read highlights from the scriptures each day. Earth’s first individual was Adam, which in Hebrew is a play on the word ground, since God made Adam from the dust of the earth. Ha-adam means “man” or “red”, perhaps from the ruddy color of our skin?
It doesn’t matter to me what the first human looked like, or whether God made changes along the way to our stature and appearance. There may well have been early “versions” of humanity, from whatever age scientific carbon dating puts them. Let’s not worry about absolute chronological 24-hour days in the ordering of creation. God’s time is not the same as our time. What is important is that at some definite point, God called this person “Adam.” God put this person in a different category from other animals, birds or sea creatures. God lifted him up to a special status, a new relationship with God and with his mate, Eve.
God gave this person new privileges, yet with the privilege came also the responsibility of obeying God’s commands. God made promises to Adam, binding the Creator with his creation. God still makes promises, some of which will not be completely fulfilled until the end of time. Yet we bind ourselves with God, as God has bound himself with us.
We are not simply some random pairing of chromosomes and cells. We were made with intention and purpose, and so our lives are meant to be lived with intention and purpose, giving praise to God our maker. We are not a mistake, we were made in love; and if we do nothing else, may we give praise to our Creator every day of our lives.
God our heavenly Father, thank you for choosing to set in motion the miracle of life, to breathe in us your energizing Spirit and allow us to have a piece of you. Make us truly grateful for all the blessings we receive. Let us consecrate this day to you by choosing to live honorably according to your will.
Thank you for your love that inspired you and moves within us, for love changes everything. Thank you for calling us into relationship with you; help us walk in good paths to the glory of your name. Amen.