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Summary and Setting

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by Kristen C. Strocchia

“This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens. Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground.” Genesis 2:4-6

Image result for irrigated dirtI’ve always been told that chapter, verse and section title segmentations aren’t inspired–just the scripture itself was. That being said, it’s interesting that the six days of Creation make up Genesis 1, but that chapter 2 starts with Day 7–God resting [which we’ll come back to in chronological order]. Immediately after this we read, “This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created…”

Wait, didn’t we just come through a whole chapter of God creating the heavens and the earth? So how is it that we are hearing this same beginning in Genesis 2:4? Is it a do over? A different story?

Not at all.

Either 2:4 summarizes the Creation account which ended in 2:3 with God resting on Day 7, or it reminds the listener–because a lot of the earliest scriptures started out as oral tradition–that the same 1:1-1:2 format is being invoked. Big picture followed by a closer look.

Regardless, 2:4 summarizes the setting for the zoomed in account of the creation of man to follow. And this is followed with the additional setting information in verses 5 and 6–the earth is freshly planted dirt with irrigation streams running everywhere. Some translations say mist, others springs, but the point is that the earth was being supernaturally cared for in its infancy.

Moreover, even though God seeded the earth on Day 3, by Day 6 the seeds had not grown. Not surprising since still today it often takes a week or better for many seeds to germinate and sprout, others much longer.

So when we later read that God formed man from the dust of the ground [Genesis 2:7], we know that He didn’t have to make a space for this to happen. God didn’t weed or hoe under a section of earth to find the dirt to make into a man–He’d already set the stage just perfectly for the story. His story.

As the author of life, God has continually set the stage for every player in history who accept Him as Lord of their lives. And yet, each individual and journey is unique. Still, God is right there with each of us from the beginning–just as He was with Adam.

Have you accepted Christ as Lord of your life? Are you seeking his purposes for your journey?

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