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Genesis 2: The Representatives are Crowned

As the train is racing down the tracks, Jude is running on the bridge above, ready to hop onto the moving train. The opportune time comes and Jude leaps onto the train and lands. However, just when Jude thinks he has his footing, he slips and falls off the train when, at the last moment, his friend Alonzo grabs his arm and pulls him back to the top of the train cart.

In this situation, Jude needed a friend, a partner, to get onto the moving train. The bible describes the relationship between God and man in many ways. However, one of those ways which is vital to the biblical story is rarely talked about—partnership. In Genesis 2, God creates human beings and enters a partnership with humanity. God is not introduced as a dictator of creation. God is introduced as the one who creates the world. God gives up some of his authority over the world to humans.

Understanding that God commissioned humanity to rule the earth on his behalf explains how we can serve such a good God, but also have bad things happen in the world. God surrendered His authority of the world to humans. God has limited His own intervention in worldly affairs to the will of humanity. If God intervened every time, the humans messed up. Then taking care of creation would be a very one sided partnership. The partnership that God established in Genesis 2 with humanity was one that required something from both sides. God created everything and gave human life, while the humans now are tasked with taking care of everything that God has created.

Genesis 2:15-22 (NIV) “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 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.’ The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’ 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. 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. 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. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.”

In chapter two, we do not get a repeating of the covenant in between God and man that is in chapter one, but we get action steps on how to be fruitful and multiply.

One thing that I have over read until my most current reading of Genesis 2 is that when God says, “It is not good for man to be left alone, I will make him a helper suitable for him.” God first forms the animals—not Eve. Every living being on the earth was created with being a suitable helper to humans. That means every living being on the earth we are supposed to interact with and care for.

Where Eve comes into play is that God allows Adam to find that no other being on the earth can fill the role that woman will play. Eve was not a second try to please Adam. It would be foolish to think that women were an afterthought. Instead, Adam had to see that all the other things on the earth cannot compare to women.

We are called to live as God’s representatives to all creation. Not just humans, but to every part of creation. The only way that we can rule successfully is by choosing God’s wisdom and life. Genesis chapter 3 and the rest of the Hebrew bible reveals the full consequences of choosing our own wisdom, rather than God’s.

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