Theme: Relationships and order
(Key verses: Gen 1:1; Gen. 2:4; Gen. 5:1; Gen. 6:9; Gen. 10:1; Gen. 10:32; Gen. 11:10; Gen. 11:27; Gen. 25:12; Gen. 25:19; Gen. 36:1; Gen. 37:2)
The title of this book “Genesis” is from the Greek word “genesis” (Hebrew “tôledâh”) which is translated as “generations” in several verses in Genesis (ref. Gen. 2:4; Gen. 5:1; Gen. 6:9; Gen. 10:1; Gen. 10:32; Gen. 11:10; Gen. 11:27; Gen. 25:12; Gen. 25:19; Gen. 36:1; Gen. 37:2). We are concentrating on various themes in our study in the book of Genesis and in our last study we touched on the most important theme in the scriptures, namely that God, the Father is the Cause of all things. Everything starts with Him and through Jesus, who is joined with the Father to form the Godhead, all things were created and is still 100% under their control:
Gen 1:1 NKJV In the beginning God [Hebrew: “ĕlôhı̂ym” = plural = Father and Son] created the heavens and the earth.
Isa 45:5-7 NKJV I am the LORD [Hebrew: “yehôvâh” = part of the “ĕlôhı̂ym”], and there is no other; There is no God [Hebrew: “ĕlôhı̂ym” = plural = Father and Son] besides Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me, 6 That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting That there is none besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other; 7 I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.’
In Genesis the relationship in the Godhead between God, the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ, proves that there was no trinity “from the beginning”. The general theme of “genesis” or “generations” is intimately tied to the theme of relationships, as the Godhead demonstrates. We will discuss the theme of “generations and order” in today’s study. Everything that exists in this creation is of God, the Father, through or by the Lord Jesus, which includes ‘the book of the generations of Adam’ who also reflects this order as the Adam includes two (male and female) and through this relationship the human race expanded:
1Cor 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
Gen 5:1-2 NKJV This is the book of the genealogy of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. 2 He created them male and female, and blessed them and called them Mankind in the day they were created.
Although it all starts as a physical generation, it is through this temporary or dying process that a new generation of the spiritual ‘seed’ shall be born who will serve God’s ultimate spiritual purposes:
Psa 22:30-31 A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation 31 They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.
Gen 2:4 These are the generations (Hebrew: “tôledâh”) of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,
The Hebrew word “tôledâh” for generations has built into it various other meanings and concepts that relate to all the dynamics of family life and procreation, amongst others. We know God is introduced to us as a Father through Jesus and we are still learning what the Fathers’ heart is all about. The Father is a loving family person and this is how He wants us to see Him first and foremost. Although nothing and nobody can add to, or take away from what and who the Father is, the concept of family shows us that He desires also an ultimate spiritual relationship with each one in His human creation. He is love and in Genesis He introduces Himself to us as a God who creates and value relationships:
1Jn 4:8 The one who does not love has not known God. For God is love.
From this relationship in the Godhead we can see that everything in the physical creation shows a vital relation to others in some way – nothing can exist alone. Within these relationships different dynamics or forces come into play, for example the forces of co-operation and also opposition. As far as co-operation is concerned, the relationship between the Father and the Son as the ultimate model as they also serve as a witness to each other also. In the beginning God created two “generations” for our learning:
Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Gen 2:4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,
The creation of heaven and earth is placed right at the start for us to get our attention, despite Babylon’s efforts to distract us. Spiritual Babylon wants us to believe that the opposite of heaven is hell, but that is not true throughout the Scriptures. An “eternal hell” is not ‘in the beginning’. It is a false teaching “from the beginning”. Heaven is opposed to earth and through these two opposing “generations” an important relationship is established by which God helps us to see how He is working in us to fulfil His plan. The visible things come to us first to serve as a type or shadow to give as a better understanding of the antitype or fulfilment which is only in the deeper or hidden spiritual or ‘invisible things of Him’:
Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world in his works clearly seen, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse;
In the beginning God created these two opposing “generations” which actually works together to fulfil the sum of His purpose (ref. Rom 8:28; Ps 119:160). We have been placed first in a situation where we learn mostly by things that oppose each other as Genesis 1 and 2 bring to the fore – darkness and light, night and day, evening and morning, evil and good – as they all relate to the generations of the first Adam and the last Adam. From our human point of view we meet the physical first before we can get to the spiritual:
1Co 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
Through the one we learn about the other. This dichotomy is the essence of understanding God’s modus operandi of how He is teaching us to finally bring us all into His spiritual family eventually. We cannot know what good is unless we first encounter evil. We cannot know what light is unless we first experience darkness. We cannot know what the last spiritual Adam, Jesus Christ, is all about unless we do not first meet the first fleshly Adam in all its earthly glory. But the temporary earthly or terrestrial glory has nothing in comparison to the heavenly or celestial glory of the last Adam – flesh is completely the opposite of the spirit (ref. John 3:6):
1Co 15:40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
The best that the flesh can dish up stinks in the presence of the glory of the spirit of God. Even while we are given a promise of the spiritual life as only an ‘earnest’ or a down payment now, we are coming to a better knowledge and understanding how much greater the fullness of the glory of Christ is:
Eph 1:13-14 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
God declared that it is not good for any human being to be alone because that is how God wants us to know His relationship with all humans, and how He wants us to learn:
Gen 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone will make him an help meet for him.
The “help” in this verse was pointing to Eve and her relationship with Adam. It is not referring merely to a task which Adam was supposed to perform. It was in essence the need to be in a loving relationship first and from this basis of love any task or commandment will be done with the knowledge that it is all ‘by Him’ – not our efforts. We are working out our salvation because He is working it all in us (ref Phil 2:12-13):
1Jn 5:1-3 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God. And everyone who loves Him who begets also loves him who has been born of Him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, whenever we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome.
Rom 5:1-5 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through Him we also have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice on the hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only this, but we glory in afflictions also, knowing that afflictions work out patience, 4 and patience works out experience, and experience works out hope. 5 And hope does not make us ashamed, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the holy spirit given to us.
Our acts (or fruits) show our measure of faith and love. For faith and love to grow we must experience opposing forces called afflictions or tribulations. When we are given to accept this truth we, like Paul, ‘glory in tribulations’ because we are in a relationship of love and have peace with God – we rejoice and act against our natural inclination to complain because we all complain and contend with God in our initial stages, like Job. We learn as we mature that opposition and tribulation produce patience, experience and hope:
2Co 4:8-11 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.
To our natural man in us it seems that we are losing when we are actually winning and take possession as we act and do His commandments. Eve was a help to Adam and it serves as a type of the relationship between Christ and His body, the church. The body fills up or complements the Head as He complements the Father:
Eph 1:22-23 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
The body builds itself up with this love of the Father in Christ as it grows into the things the Head is concerned about as it relates to other members in that body:
Eph 4:15-16 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
There are several relationships captured for our learning in the book of Genesis from which we learn something about the dynamics of co-operation and opposition. Genesis 2 shows the theme of man in a relationship with his physical environment (called “materialism”) which cannot meet his deeper needs of companionship. He is given a wife to associate with him on a human or social level, but this social relationship did not prepare them to properly handle spiritual matters because they were both naked – physically and spiritually:
Gen 2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
It is already in chapter 3 of Genesis where Adam and Eve’s co-operation was tested by an opposing spiritual entity in the form of a snake. This failure showed them so many things about themselves and all earthly relationships of which they did not know about. Trials and tribulations come through our relationships with people most of the time. But our battle is not with flesh and blood because evil spirits (which manifest in the natural behaviour of people) are sent by God alone. Nobody moves a finger without God, and God knows the best way for us all the time:
Job 23:10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
Isa 48:10 Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.
Adam and Eve were banished from their initial physical environment for a good purpose. For them, however, this was just the start of their education process which typifies our journey of getting to know and be like God. From here onwards the social relationships within Adam and Eve’s family life went through excruciating pain when their first son murdered the second born with all the lessons that came with that for us. The first born (“a man from the LORD”) is ‘of the wicked one’ as he typifies the seed of the serpent in us. ‘This generation’ of our natural man opposes the generation of the spirit man from our natural birth as we, like Cain, murder Abel who is the type of the new spirit man:
1Jn 3:11-13 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous. 13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Luk 11:51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the temple. Truly I say to you, It shall be required of this generation.
Throughout these various generations in Genesis God reveals also who He accepts and who He rejects as types of those who will come up in the first and second resurrection respectively. It is God alone who makes these choices which are not dependant on a human’s will. God is the cause of what we choose and what we do:
Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
Rom 9:16 So then it is not of the one willing, nor of the one running, but of God, the One showing mercy.
Everything within our physical generation is not going to last – it only serves a purpose that transcends itself. All relationships given to us are not our choice, but God’s. God is the Father of all relationships and He works the dynamics of all these relationships we are placed in everyday of our lives. Nobody and nothing crosses our path by accident. They are all very important in forming us, both the good relationships and the bad relationships – they work together. For example, outward conflicts points to something in our own hearts that God is bringing our attention to which He is working on at that moment. Spiritual maturity is a process as our spiritual eyes inside are enlightened with the spiritual Light of God that shines in our initial spiritual desolateness and state of vanity and darkness:
Gen 1:2-3 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
Eph 1:17 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,