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Genesis 3:1-7

1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, `You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, `You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.'” 4 The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5 “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.

One of the biggest temptations of man has always been power. Many men and women have started out in ministries with honorable intentions, but the allure of power goes to their head, and they lose focus on what they are supposed to be doing. The lust for power pushes them further and further from where they should be, and before they know it, their ‘ministry’ looks more like a conquest. It isn’t just those in ministry that have to worry about this though. All of us, in our every day jobs encounter power struggles, and we need to examine our motives constantly. Are we living to glorify God, or are we just trying to climb the ladder of success to be the one at the top? Let Adam and Eve be a warning to those with lofty ambitions. Live every moment to please God, and you won’t have to worry about doing the climbing.

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Genesis 2:18-25

18 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper 1suitable for him.” 19Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for 2Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. 21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. 22 The LORD God 3fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. 23 The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones,
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”

24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

If the creation of man was unique, just as much so was the creation of woman. God looked through every creature He had created to find a suitable partner that would be a perfect complement to the man, and he found none. So He took drastic action, and took a rib from the man to be his starting piece. From that God crafted the perfect companion for man, and Adam called her Woman. It makes me all the more grateful for my wife, knowing that God took this much time and effort to create her. She is indeed a unique creation, the complement (in many ways the opposite) of man.

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Genesis 2:1-17

1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. 2 By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven. 5 Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the LORD God had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground. 6 But a mist used to rise from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground. 7 Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. 8 The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. 9 Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

10 Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers. 11 The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 The gold of that land is good; the bdellium and the onyx stone are there. 13 The name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around the whole land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is Tigris; it flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

15 Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. 16 The LORDGod commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

You don’t have to go too far in this passage to get something practical. After creating everything, God rested. Was He tired? Surely not, but He was designating a day for rest to set an example for us. This caught my eye this morning when I first read it, and then there was a blurb over at Relevant Magazine that summed it up perfectly, Give it a Rest: Why taking a Sabbath isn’t just a “nice idea”. From the article:

If you refuse to rest, it will catch up to you, which means rest is not an option—you will rest. It will either be something you learn to do on your own or something you learn through a heart attack or some kind of emotional breakdown. I think most of us would prefer choosing the scenario rather than just letting it happen dramatically.

I’ve worked hard at resting (no pun intended), because I realize it’s importance, but I know I still fall short on this. I even have software that reminds me to take periodic breaks at work, and I find myself hovering over the Skip button far too often. It’s far too easy to let Sunday become a blur of activity, when it was designed by God to be a day of refueling. A day dedicated to the renewal of our entire body, mind, and soul. I need to do better. We all do.

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Genesis 1:26-31

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; 30 and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so. 31 God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

This isn’t going to be a particularly spiritual insight, but what I noticed in the passage is that God didn’t tell Adam he had given him all the beasts of the earth or birds of the sky as food. He gave man every plant yielding seed, and every tree bearing fruit with seed as food. Don’t get me wrong, I love meat, and have no intention of giving it up, but it seems that God originally intended for man to be vegetarian before the fall. Something seems to have happened after that, because even Able, the son of Adam was raising sheep before Cain killed him. Perhaps it was just for the wool, but that seems a bit overkill to raise sheep just for clothing. Even further on, when God was instructing the Israelites in their sacrifices, there was typically a portion of the meat kept for the priests, which would seem to indicate God’s approval of eating meat. What do I get out of all that? Eat more veggies. Seriously, a diet without them can mess you up.

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Genesis 1:14-25

14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. 16 God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also. 17 God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. 19 There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.

20 Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.” 21 God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. 22God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.

24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so. 25 God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

If you’ve ever watched the Discovery Channel, and in particular, Planet Earth, you know that there are some incredible animals on this earth. Things like the Bird of Paradise just boggle the mind, or the Jesus Lizard that can almost quite literally walk on water. Then there are animals that migrate thousands and thousands of miles like the Humpback Whale. How on earth would they know to do that?

On day five, God put it all together in one gigantic display of creativity. I think he might have been showing off just a little bit, but who can blame Him? I think He did a pretty phenomenal job.

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Genesis 1:1-13

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was 1formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was 2moving over the surface of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

6 Then God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7 God made the 3expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so. 8 God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.

9 Then God said, “Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. 10 God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them”; and it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good. 13 There was evening and there was morning, a third day.

In day 3, I noticed that God created plants and trees, but it doesn’t stop there. It notes that he created them to produce seed after their kind, so that they could reproduce. Why? Why did they need to reproduce? Humans didn’t need that until after they had fallen and been cursed with a mortal life. So humans were even created unique in that respect (among others). We were originally created to live forever, but plants, trees, and even animals were always destined to die, and give birth, in an endless cycle. Only man (and woman of course) was intended to have fellowship with God for eternity.
After writing this, I walked out the door, and started driving to work. I was driving directly towards the sunrise, and then it hit me. God created that. When He created light, he knew how it would interact with the clouds, and the dust in the air, and everything else to make a gorgeous sunrise. He made light to contain the various colors that we take for granted every day. And He made it just to be beautiful.