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Creator and the Created
Adam and the Garden
Ever wondered just what it was like in the first days after God made Adam? I often look around at the amazing beauty here and think of what it could have been like as Adam walked around his home. Did he realize just how amazing and wonderful the earth is?
She's just the right distance from the Sun. A few thousand miles closer and she'd be too hot to sustain life. A few thousand miles further away and she'd be too cold for life! Astronomers tell us that there's just a thin band in the solar system where life sustaining planets can exist. it's between 70 and 110 million miles from the sun. At 65 million miles Venus is too close for life (and the atmosphere is too thick with temperatures of 400 degrees Celsius in it's daytime) and at 120 million miles Mars is too far away. Yet at 93 million miles the earth is the right distance for life to thrive! God placed us just where he wanted us.
The sun constantly bombards the Earth with ultra violet light. The Earth seems to know that too much UV is harmful to life and has a magnetic field (called the Van Allen belt) that forces most of it away from the Earth yet lets just enough through to sustain all life on the planet and even lets it thrive.
Just outside the Earth's orbit are pieces of rock big enough that if they come crashing to earth they can destroy all life on the planet. So just far enough into space God placed two giant bodies or planets to sweep the solar system of harmful meteorites. Jupiter sweeps the inner solar system every eleven years and Saturn sweeps the outer solar system every twenty six years. Just a few of the things God placed in the system that we take for granted and Adam to his dying day had no idea about!
The Bible tells us that God actually planted a garden here on the earth. Moses when he was writing the account tells us the name of four rivers that flowed just to the North of the garden (they joined each other to the north and flowed in). We can't be certain of exactly where the garden was but the names he used were of two rivers that we still use today and two others that he tells us that at the time of writing they still got gold from that area.
The Tigris is the easternmost river and flows pretty much north to south starting in Southeastern Turkey. In southern Iraq it's joined by the Euphrates river and they both flow into what is now the Persian Gulf.
The Persian Gulf is actually only a recent addition to the geography of the region as apparently at the dawn of the age of man (even evolutionists only date this as a few thousand years ago) the area was dry land with a massive mountain chain holding back the ocean at the strait of Hormuz. Further down there is evidence of two dried up river beds stretching right across what is now Saudi Arabia. Could this be the garden of Eden?
We'll never know for sure where it is and many places have been proposed. The geography of the earth has changed as a consequence of both the fall and the flood but it's a tantalizing thought.
Is this the place?
Did it really happen?
For the last two hundred years men have challenged whether the events Garden really took place. But then in 1872 in London a man named George Smith, an ex Bank note engraver turned student of Assyrian culture and cuneiform writing made a discovery that was to change the way we understand our Bible.
Since the early part of the nineteenth century European archaeologists had been digging up just about any site that might be remotely connected to the Bible and either keeping the treasures for themselves or shipping them back to museums in their home countries. In London vast quantities of artifacts and ancient writing had been accumulated. Smith was working on some of these seeking to translate them when he stumbled across a clay tablet re-telling the story of creation and the flood. The thing that shocked him was that as far as he could tell it was at least five hundred (and maybe a thousand years older) than the Bible's account!
Up until this it was commonly thought that the Genesis story couldn't be real simply because it wasn't written down at that time but some seven hundred years later (People thought that the early parts of the Bible weren't compiled until 700 BC). But here was an account of creation from Babylonian records going back to at least 2,000 BC and seemed to be a copy of a much earlier tablet!
All of a sudden people woke up to the fact that the Garden of Eden was a real place. The fruit of the trees in the Garden were real fruit and the Garden has things to teach us.
The message of the Garden.
The Garden was the special place where God walked and talked with Adam (Mankind) as one talks with a friend. It was a place of communion with God. Where the garden might be isn't really all that important (though for those who live to dig up obscure facts like I do it can be fun!) but what went on there and how things changed when Adam was banished from the Garden are vital for our understanding not only of Genesis but of the whole way God deals with men since then.
There Adam was, in the most awesome place that any man has ever seen, talking with his creator just like he'd talk to a friend and yet the Bible says God saw that he was lonely. How did that show?
The Bible says that man is made in the image of God, but God isn't lonely as there are three in the trinity, indivisible I know but still three and yet Man was only one! I've never fully understood how man is made in God's image, maybe it is the idea of being a 'tripartite being' (Body, Soul and Spirit) but I don't think we really know what it means.
Recently I read a book that said that the Human mind can't be explained by chemical reactions in the piece of grey matter that is our brains. The writer argued and quoted neuroscientists in his argument that the Human mind has qualities about it that take it into the fourth dimension (that of time and space) He argued that when we 'shuffle off this mortal coil' it's our consciousness that lives on. All the brain does is control the bodily functions and regulate the body's systems!
Adam is lonely and no matter how many animals God brings to him (some decided to stick around, some out of wanting a pack leader and others for more mercenary reasons (yes I love our Dog and Cats) but Adam needed a helpmate so God creates Eve
Adam and Eve
We often talk of Adam and Eve as if they were their real names but that's not the reality. The truth is the names Adam and Eve are the Anglicized versions of the Hebrew words.
Adam The Hebrew word for Mankind is (Hebrew: אָדָם) and Adam is the closest we have to pronounce it.
Eve is pronounced Hawwah and literally means 'Living one' because she is the mother of every living Human being.
Adam was created first and was created in God's image, but Eve was also created in the image of God (with a body, soul and spirit) She was created equal to Adam but with a different function, that of a helper to man.
We know from modern Genetics that we are all descended from one common Human couple who lived between 6-8,000 years ago but the names we are given in the Bible are more than just names of people, they are descriptions of the whole Human Race. Adam is the not just the father of all Mankind but his name is also the name given to the whole Human race. Eve is not just the mother of Humanity but is the name given to life itself. She is the mother of all living Humans and as such it's only fitting when we talk of the two from we are all descended that we call them by their own names. Adam and Eve
What happens when we don't listen
How well did Adam know God?
Seems a strange question right? I mean Adam knew God as his creator right? They used to walk in the Garden in the cool of the day so he must have known him well right?
The Bible seemingly has two accounts of the Creation. Some scholars say that Genesis chapters one and two are two separate accounts of Creation that came to us from two separate sources before they were put together in our Bible. That's not necessarily true but there are a couple of important points for us to realize when we read the account.
You see, in Genesis chapter one and two we have two different names for God that are used. (that's how the scholars say there are two accounts) but one thing to remember is that in ancient and modern Middle eastern cultures names are important.
Your name describes who you are! It says everything about you that your parents wanted to tell the world, even today children are given names in those cultures not because their parents thought they were nice names but because the parents wanted to make a statement of whom this child will grow up to be!
I've got personal experience of this. I spent a number of years in the Middle East, first in Egypt and then in Iraq, while I was in Egypt my Egyptian friends told me they didn't want to use my English name (Lawrence literally means a King without a crown and comes from the Latin) but they wanted to give me an Arab name so they literally re-named me Tariq that means 'one who knocks' and usually means a forceful person (they proved pretty accurate).
Throughout the Bible we see people given names that describe what they are going to be. Jesus is named because of what he will achieve at Calvary (incidentally the Jewish way of pronouncing the name is Yeshua or Joshua in the English)
In Genesis chapter one God uses the name Elohim. It's literal meaning is 'The creator' In Genesis chapter one it's the plural form (Eloah being the singular and doesn't appear until Genesis chapter 7) So Adam knew God as the creator who is eternal.
Actually we're not 100% sure how this was pronounced because Hebrew letters like their Arabic counterparts doesn't have vowels as separate letters but each consonant (there are twenty six of them) has three possible vowel sounds that are written on the letter. The problem is that this name is considered so holy that the ancient Rabbi's starting around 400 BC started refusing to write the vowel sounds on the name because it was too holy a name to be said by unclean lips! The closest we can guess is Yahweh (but it's not 100% sure) it literally means 'Self existent or eternal
Some theologians tell us that this is the only 'proper name' for God used in the whole Old testament and all the rest are compound names that use this as the base on which to build.
Adam knew God as the creator and he knew God as holy yet we don't know much more of what he knew about God. Adam didn't have the privilege of 6,000 plus years of a record of God's dealing with man that we have but he did walk with him in the Garden just as we will one day have that same joy of walking with him in Heaven
How well do you know God?
What's your walk with God like?
God wants to talk to you
God created Adam to tend his creation. We have the same responsibility of tending that creation but he also wants to talk with us just the same way he used to walk and talk with Adam. It's not hard and you don't have to learn archaic English to do it. Just start telling him. Some of the best prayers are the shortest. A simple "Lord help!" is all it might take and you'll be surprised at the response. Some of my most amazing answers to prayer have come to that cry!
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