God makes a place to be with his people.
The Summary of God’s work as recorded in chapter 1.
- 2:4a reveals the creation of the cosmos (cf. 1:1)
- 2:4b reveals the formation of the land (cf. 1:2-2:3).
The Setting of God’s work in chapter 2.
- In 2:5a “no bush of the field” refers to the absence of cultivated plants (i.e. the absence of a garden), and “no small plants of the field” refers to the absence of the weedlike plants that are a result of the fall.
- In 2:5b-6 the explanatory clause offset by em dashes foreshadows the garden and the fall as well: rain is God’s provision in the garden and his means of judgment in the flood; the work of man is a blessing of God in the Garden, but it becomes a curse after the fall; the waters, which bring life in the garden, bring death in the flood.
God makes a man and plants a garden.
- The “formation” hints at artistic care.
- The “dust” reveals the earthiness of humanity.
- The “breath” shows that we are more than bodies.
- God gives us the gift of life; we are “living creatures.”
- God places Adam in the garden.
- “Every tree” reveals the abundance of the garden.
- “Pleasant … good” reveal the graciousness of God.
- The two trees show us the necessity of obedience.
- The rivers reveal the provision & location of the garden.
God gives the man a job.
- “Put” indicates rest; Adam is at home in the garden.
- “Work … keep” reveal the priestly nature of Adam’s work.
God gives the man rules to live (or die) by.
- Adam is told to feast on every tree, but one.
- Adam is told to fast from only one tree in the garden.
- The tree’s knowledge differentiates the intellectual awareness of evil and the actual experience of evil.
- The result of obedience is life.
- The cost of disobedience is death.
God gives the man a wife.
- It is “not good” that Adam is alone, i.e. without a helper.
- Adam needs a “helper” if he is going to fulfill his call.
- Adam’s helper should be a good “fit” for him.
- Adam can find no such helper in all of creation.
- God makes Adam sleep and he makes Adam a helper.
- God presents Eve to Adam.
- Adam EXCLAIMS joyfully and poetically about his helper.
- God ordains marriage: man and wife publicly form a new family and privately become one flesh.
God’s work concludes with shalom, not shame.