Message: The message I saw clearly in Genesis 2 was that God created man to partner with him in all that he created. I saw a huge shift in the way God created things from chapter 1 to chapter 2. In chapter 1 he spoke things into existence and it was so. Scripture doesn’t tell us specifically, but it sounds so immediate. Then there is a noticeable change in wording in chapter 2 when it says that “God planted a garden”. He didn’t just speak it so, and I couldn’t help but picture God standing in the dirt carefully planting things that wouldn’t pop up instantaneously but would grow over time and with care. Further on it says that he caused trees to grow out of the ground. I wonder how long all of that took? Here is what peaked my interest. Verse 7 tells us that he formed the man and breathed life into his nostrils and he became a living being. THEN beginning verse 8 we see that God planted the garden and caused trees to grow etc. and THEN after all of that and after creating all of the rivers verse 15 tells us that he “took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to work it and watch over it.” I don’t know where he had the man stashed before he grew all the trees and the garden, but after God put him in the garden that became his purpose. But God didn’t want him to do it alone so took his rib bone and from him created a beautiful partner. After that he created all of the animals (from the ground ) and let the man name them all. To me this all SCREAMS partnership.
Command: The command I see in this is to work in partnership with God in what he is doing in me and around me. He is the creator and it is our job to do the caretaking work to nourish and cultivate what HE has created.
Promise: The promise I see here is that what we cultivate and take care of will grow and flourish.
Warning: If the promise is that what we cultivate and take care of will grow and flourish, the opposite is also true. If we don’t cultivate and nourish the things that God placed in our care it will not be fruitful and will overgrow or die in our negligence.
Application: This really causes me to think about the things that are in my care and evaluate how they are doing. I see a pattern in myself to kind of juggle my responsibilities so there are times when I am very on top of one area, but I kind of allow others to go on cruise-control for a while as I put extra energy in other places. This also reminds me of how important it is to make sure I am not taking on responsibilities that I shouldn’t be taking. Learning to say “no” has been difficult, and before anyone labels that as kind of a “beautiful flaw” I have to also consider that some of that might even come out of a prideful place. I might be taking on things I shouldn’t because I have an attitude that I might do a better job. Regardless of the motive, I need to list the things in my life that I am responsible for and ask myself the hard questions for each thing. Being busy does not necessarily mean we are being fruitful. When I evaluate the fruit of each thing it is easier to rule out what might be “good” but not “fruitful”.
Lord Jesus, please forgive me for the things I have treated with an “auto-pilot” mindset and help me to prioritize and eliminate things properly. Thank you for the privilege that you created us to actually partner with you- and forgive me for the times I have overstepped my place and acted like I was in charge or somehow in the place to tell you how to do things.