Genesis 2

Vs. 2, “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.”  Question: Was God tired?  I think it’s safe to say that the LORD God was not weary, but rather rested to give us an example (Exodus 20:8-11) for us.  Whether the official Sabbath day (Saturday) for the Jews or the Lord’s Day (Sunday) for the church, we still have the important reminder of a day of rest (vs. 1-3).  The author (Moses) continues to elaborate on the sixth day of creation as we are now introduced to Adam and Eve (vs. 4-25).  It’s surprising the level of detail we are given with the condition of the earth prior to God forming man from the dust of the ground (vs. 7).  Question: Have you ever wanted to see Eden?  This must have been an amazingly beautiful garden (vs. 8-14)!  Eden in Hebrew (eden) means delight or pleasure.  Question: Where was Eden located?  There are many hypothesis, but one of my Bible Dictionaries (ISBE) believe it must have been near the Persian gulf.  While there were many fruit trees, two trees are mentioned: The tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (vs. 9).  Question: Why would God do this?  Adam and Eve were perfect before the fall, but did have the ability to sin.  Think of it as a test.  We then see a huge blessing the LORD God would do in providing both man and woman in His image (Genesis 1:27).  Can you imagine a world with just men, or just women?  We certainly complement each other perfectly!

Regarding application…Free to Choose.  Vs. 16, “And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden.”  Adam and Eve were not robots who had no choice.   God gave them the freedom to choose to obey or disobey.  I heard a Pastor once say, “A ruler can only rule others if he can rule himself.”  They were allowed to eat of any tree except one.  Adam and Eve were given a choice.  Question: Are you choosing to obey God?  When I was little kid, we had a local drug store (Flicks) in town just a few blocks from my house.  My mom had given me specific instructions that I was not allowed to buy candy if I was out and about on my own.  For years, I obediently followed her rule and I chose to obey.  I honestly can’t recall when or if I disobeyed this rule, but I do remember when I was old enough to make my own choice.  I remember how strange it was to buy candy whenever I wanted.  And there was the twinge of guilt even when I knew there would be no consequences.  My mom didn’t give me this rule to be mean to me.  She knew the side effects of eating too much candy.  She knew how I could start wasting the little amount of money I had on frivolous things and begin to be irresponsible.  She had these rules for me because she loved me.  None of us are God.  We are simply His creation.  While we may never truly fathom the mysteries of His ways, we do know He has given us His word to guide us.  You are free to choose to obey the LORD God with a good heart.  Question: Will you?

Ezekiel 48

Vs. 35 “The distance all around will be 18,000 cubits. “And the name of the city from that time on will be: the Lord is there”  YHWH (Yahweh) Shammah =  the Lord is there.   There was importance to the allotment of the land to each tribe, but more importantly, we are reminded that God is present.  There must have been much comfort to those who heard this message of hope back in Ezekiel’s time.  Unlike the allocation of land in Joshua’s time, Ezekiel outlines a very fair distribution this time around.

Regarding application…Our Future.  Question: Wouldn’t it be nice to know our future?  In some sense, we already do!  God is intentionally showing us a future hope, that despite our current struggle, we may not get too discouraged.  From the beginning, God has desired to be with His people.  Adam & Eve in Eden was a setback, but God would send Jesus, Immanuel (God with us) to reconcile the broken relationship we had.  Our future is told in the Old Testament as well as the Apostle John reminding us in Revelations.  It’s always nice to end a book on a good note!  So when life gets rough and there seems to be no hope, remember our prophet Ezekiel and the hope that God gave us!