Focal Passage: Genesis 2:4-9, 5-18
In Genesis 2:4 we find a new reference to “God.” In Genesis 1:1 – 2:3 we find the word “Elohim” in the Hebrew which is translated “God.” The word refers to God as the Creator. In Genesis 2:4, we find the phrase “LORD God.” “God” is the Hebrew word Elohim, while “LORD” in all capitals comes from the Hebrew word known as Yahweh or Jehovah. Yahweh speaks of the redeeming covenantal God; the God who is to be known.
I. God gave Adam life. According to Genesis 2:7, man was made differently from all other creatures. Verse 7 states the LORD God formed man. The word translated “formed” was not used to describe the creation of any other creatures. The word “formed” indicates the act of creating with careful design. The word “formed” provides the picture of a potter shaping clay. This testifies that God was hands-on in shaping man’s physical frame. Man is not an afterthought, nor is he an evolved being. He is an intentional product fashioned by the infinite mind of the LORD God.
II. God gave Adam luxury. Genesis 2:9 says, Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food: the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Two trees are specifically named in the beautiful garden provided for Adam. Both trees are found in the garden. Once Adam sinned by eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil he was excluded from ever entering the garden of Eden to eat from the tree of life. Ponder what it would have been like if he had eaten from the tree of life after eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He would have known evil and would have been unable to die. Scary thought. To demonstrate that there is consequence for sin and to demonstrate that man needs God, God removed Adam from the garden and did not permit him to return. The tree of life is a foreshadowing to the tree of life referred to in the book of Revelation (Revelation 2:7, 22:2).
III. God gave Adam work. Adam, before there was rain and before there was sin, was to cultivate God’s garden (Genesis 2:15). This truth proves that work was and is not part of the curse on sin. Man was to work before the fall. God sees work as good. Work isn’t a curse; it’s an opportunity. After man sinned, work became more difficult and sweat was involved as a judgment but that was not God’s original intent for work. Genesis 2:16-17 provides the first command in the Bible. God commanded Adam to eat freely from all the trees except one. Adam was given the privilege to be a steward of God’s garden and with privilege there is responsibility. Adam was not to eat from one specific tree which God made (the tree of knowledge of good and evil). Prior to eating the fruit from the forbidden tree, Adam and Eve knew not of sin or of evil. When Adam and Eve ate of the tree, they became like God in one sense, for they could then discern between good and evil. On the other hand, when Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden tree, they became unlike God in that they lost their innocence and eventually experienced physical death.
IV. God gave Adam companionship. Adam was alone and needed a companion (Genesis 2:18). Companionship is necessary in marriage and in life. God made us to be connected, not isolated. God created woman to be the perfect help mate for man.
— Westmoreland is senior pastor of Hopewell Baptist Church, Savannah.