In the beginning, God chose you and me in Christ. Then He created the heavens and the earth. That is the incredible and humbling truth of Eph. 1:4. “He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.” That means before one star pierced the sky, before one blade of grass pushed through the soil, before one particle of dust floated through space on a just created wind, you were already in His mind and already loved.
The whole gospel of Creation, Fall, Redemption, Reconciliation, and Restoration is expansive and wondrous. It not only spans all of time, it breaks loose from both ends of that spectrum and pushes into eternities past and future. God’s plan for His people predates time itself and will continue long after time ceases to matter.
The first words of God reveal clues to His original design, a plan only restored by the power of His gospel. As the Spirit of God was “hovering over the waters,” He had a dream.
God wanted a people:
Genesis 2:8-- Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.
Adam was created outside of Eden. Yes, the Garden had been created for Adam, but it was God’s sovereign choosing that “put” him there. Without God’s activity, without His grace, Adam would have lived outside of God’s plan.
Genesis 1:26-27 -- Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…
Genesis 2:7 -- The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
Perhaps this is part of the curse. God warned Adam and Eve that they would die if they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Yet, after their sin, they lived hundreds of years. We know there was a “spiritual death” at that moment, a severing of the perfect relationship between God and man. Physical life continued, but at what cost? I wonder if Adam and Eve experienced what David begged God not to do: the removal of this breath of life. Certainly, man can be alive apart from God’s Spirit, but we are not truly “living.”
There are curious details about the location of Eden, given in Genesis 2:10-14. The rivers are named and their courses described. The “natural resources” are listed and there is a sense of borders to this first promised land. It is a reminder that we will live with real people, in tangible places, among all the blood, sweat, and tears of real life.
Genesis 2:15 -- The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
A crucial part of our mission is to expand God’s Kingdom and rule.
Genesis 1:28 -- God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."
Genesis 1:29-30 -- Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.
Genesis 2:9 -- And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground--trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.
Only the whole gospel restores us to our original design. God still wants a people dependent on His grace, alive by His breath, and drawing on His limitless resources to carry out His mission in the environment He has placed us into. In the beginning, He chose this dream. And He chose you and me to fulfill it. Then He created.
Walk WITH Jesus,