Posted by: Jim Black | January 14, 2008

In the beginning… EDEN

We are continuing our study through the opening chapters of Genesis on Sunday morning and I am again blown away by the honesty and frankness of the Bible.  I have heard it said that it is usually the teacher who learns the most from the lessons he or she presents.  That has certainly been the case here!  The camera angle shifts from the ‘big picture’ of creation depicted in chapter one to the more personal account of Adam and Eve in chapter two.  I am struck by several things.  Let me encourage you to explore this chapter this week.  Of all the creation there was one thing that God said was not good.  That struck me as odd, because in the account in chapter one God makes a special point at the end of each day to say, “It is good.”  What could God have created that could have failed on this point, I wonder?  But then, I understand.  “It is not good for man to be alone,” he says in vs. 18.

To remedy this “problem” God sets about the task of creating woman and goes on to establish for us the grounds which will become the marriage relationship in vs. 24 and following.  But back up with me just a moment.  What is at the heart of verse 18?  Man wasn’t complete until God made for him a friend.  This sounds like such a simple thing and yet it is really quite profound.  Man (and woman for that matter) was created from the very beginning with the innate need for friendship… for relationship with others.  You would think that would be a fairly simple thing and yet it can be so difficult.

It seems to me to be especially ironic in our day and time that people have such a difficult time with relationships.  We live in a world where the ability for people to connect is easier than ever before… and yet there are so many who continue to live “alone” without personal relationships of a substantial nature.  Why is this?  We have technologies today which are designed to connect people.  From the old-fashioned telephone and the increasingly dated “e-mail” to the more tech-savvy text messenging and Facebooking… the opportunities to connect with people are like never before!  Why, then, would anybody be lonely?  Yet that is what so many of the statistics are telling us today.  The overwhelming need for people in the 21st century is relationships!  This shouldn’t surprise us.  Genesis 2 tells us that God hard-wired us this way.

There is much to explore in this great chapter and I am sure that we won’t exhaust its riches this Sunday… but let me encourage you to seek out people this week to connect with.  Look for those who don’t have the relationships in the body of Christ to draw support from.  Seek them out.  Encourage them.  Befriend them.  And, as you have opportunity, tell them about your relationship with the Lord… the ultimate need that each of us have!

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