Lesson 2 - Junior
"Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised" (Psalm 145:3).
The World's First Tenants
The beautiful world was now ready for its tenants. God had made the fish and fowl and animals, and peace reigned every-where. But none of these animals would make up God's Church. They did not have the intelligence to worship God. The greatest and last work of creation was now to take place -- the creation of man who would worship and praise God.
God seemed to be calling a council when He said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." The Hebrew word used for "God" in the story of the creation is "Elohim," which is the plural form of the noun, telling us that there is more than one Person in the Godhead, and that God the Father was not alone.
The Apostle John said that Jesus was present in the beginning when God created the world. John wrote that Jesus was the Word of God, and "the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us" (John 1: 14). "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made" (John 1:3). And we know that the Holy Ghost was present, too, for "the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters" (Genesis 1:2).
Now the Godhead -- God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost -- is about to make man -- not as was said of the animals, each "after his kind," but in the image of God, and after His likeness. Man in his original state was pure and holy, and wanted to do the will of God. He had no evil desires, no illness, no sorrow nor shame.
This man was to be the beginning of God's Church, and God loved him. "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God" (I John 3:1).
Out of the Dust
God made man out of the earth, and biologists tell us that they find the 16 or more basic elements of our bodies in the dirt. After the judgement of death came upon man, God told Adam, "Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return" (Genesis 3:19).
God made man in His own image, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; "and man became a living soul." Though the body dies and goes back to dust, the soul will live on forever. It goes back to God who gave it ([ECC:12:7]).
Power over Creation
The man who was made in the image of God was given power over all the rest of creation. All the animals were subject to Adam, and had to obey him. All the plant life was created for his benefit.
God called the animals to come before Adam, and let him name them. There was a great procession of lions, bears, monkeys, horses, rabbits, and many other animals, which Adam named, but among them all he found no companion for himself. None of the animals were anything like him. He had been created in a class all by himself.
And never has anything been found by scientists and biologists to prove the theory that man descended from an animal. God made man a distinctly different creature in the beginning, in intelligence, perfection, and beauty. When man sinned, he lost that perfection, but he retained understanding and the capacity to worship God.
God saw that it was not good for man to be alone, so He said He would make him a mate. God meant that the man should love his companion. He caused a deep sleep to come upon Adam; and out of a rib, which he took from Adam's side, He made the woman. Thus the woman was a part of the man himself. Adam said: "This is now bone of my bones' and flesh of my flesh she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man,
When the work of creation was finished, God looked at it and was pleased. He pronounced it "very good."
The First Wedding
The first wedding ceremony took place in the Garden of Eden, and was performed by God Himself. God made a rule at that time, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife and they shall be one flesh." When Jesus commented on that statement, He added: "Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder" (Matthew 19:6). So God's law against divorce and remarriage has been from the beginning, one of the oldest laws of God.
The home for Adam and Eve was the Garden of Eden. All the world was a beautiful place in which to live, but God loved Adam and Eve so much that He made this specially beautiful garden for them. All manner of fruit trees grew in this garden to furnish them with food. The only duties given to Adam were to take care of the plants, and to gather the fruit he wanted to eat. There was no need for irrigation, for "there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground." It did not rain to spoil the harvest.
God provided everything that man needed, and gave him much more for his pleasure. Oh, the love of God that did all this for man!
"Love ever gives --
Forgives --- outlives
And ever stands
With open hands.
And while it lives, It gives.
For this is Love's prerogative "
To give --- and give -- and give."
The Forbidden Tree
There were two trees in this garden that were different from the rest. One was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and the other was the tree of life. There was no law against eating of the fruit of the tree of life. Man was made to live forever, and would never have died if he had not sinned.
But of the fruit of the other tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God said man should not eat. That was the only thing to which God said No in the Garden of Eden. There were no other restrictions placed upon Adam and Eve. They could do as they pleased to enjoy everything God had made for them.
So life began in this world, in peace and tranquillity, in the beauty of holiness. What a blessed state! The animals ate of the fruit of the vine, as did the people, and there was no killing. There was nothing to be afraid of. God had placed His blessing upon an His creation and had called it very good. All the works of His hands showed the love and Power of God.
The Bride of Christ
We can find in the story of creation a type of the Bride of Christ. As a rib was taken out of Adam to make the woman, his bride, so the special few who make themselves ready will be taken out of all Christendom to make up the Bride of Christ. Not all who say, "Lord, Lord," who pretend to be Christians, are going to go to Heaven. It will be just those few, here and there throughout the world, who are following the teachings of Jesus, who will be His chosen ones. We must be faithful until Jesus comes, and then He will take us to be His Bride. Jesus said, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne, (Revelation 3:21). Today the overcoming Christian is waiting to hear the announcement: "The marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready" (Revelation 19:7).
1. To whom was God speaking when He said, "Let us make man in our image"?
2. How do we know that Jesus was present in the creation?
3. What tens us that the How Spirit was there, too?
4. Out of what was man made?
5. Name some ways in which man is distinct different from the animals.
6. Where did the woman come from?
7. What law of God concerning marriage was given in the Garden of Eden?
8. What did Jesus say about the law of marriage?
9. What special place did God give to Adam and Eve for a home?
10. What one restriction did God give?