The Sofa Series: Genesis, Chapters 1-4 Week 1 Commentary

sofa-series-genesisWelcome to The Sofa Series. Our ultimate goal in the series is to not just understand more of the Bible, but through the series, get to know who God really is. Here on the sofa, you’ll pull up your comfiest chair, tuck your feet under your Snuggie, and dig into God’s Word. Here, we’re informal yet unafraid to dig into the hard-to-understand things in God’s Word. Here, all are welcome, regardless of how much you already know (or don’t!) about the Bible. Are you ready?

 

The Reading Plan: Week 1 

We study: The Creation, Eden, Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Lamech, wickedness, Noah and the Ark, the Flood, the Tower of Babel and covenant with Noah

Day 1: Genesis 1-2
Day 2: Genesis 3-4
Day 3: Genesis 5-6
Day 4: Genesis 7-8
Day 5: Genesis 9-11

January is a month of new beginnings. In fact, Genesis literally means beginning (Greek). The beginning of earth, beginning of humanity, and beginning of man’s relationship with God. In Genesis we watch as God gives man literally everything he could ever want, then in one fell swoop, man exchanges all of that for a life of hardship and pain. We watch in shock as Adam and Eve are expelled from the Garden, and see firsthand what happens when one gives an offering that is less than their best to God. We mourn with Eve, who loses both of her children when one son murders the other, and wait helplessly as Cain is expelled from God’s presence.

These first four chapters, bloated with controversy and drama, are representative of the life God intends for us when we trust Him compared to when we take matters into our own hands.

Day 1 Reading:

The creation: What a beautiful picture of who God is. In the beginning God takes what is formless and void, without shape or order, and literally forms order out of chaos. Earlier this year my husband and I moved to a brand new home. I have to admit, I absolutely love our kitchen. I love to entertain, and have amassed a collection of intricate and unique serving pieces. They don’t match, but they’re all special and unique to me. Specifically, I fell in love with the pot drawers, where I could stack my serving pieces within reach, instead of shoving them into some obscure shelf above the refrigerator. Little by little, those pieces and everything else were unpacked and put in its rightful place to help make our house a home. The simple act of getting everything into order was so peaceful for me, and such a necessary step to making our house a home. I imagine God was that way as He tucked every little thing in place in preparation for His final creation: man.

In Genesis 1, we see God not only create and form Earth, but also prepare to make our earthy house a home. As master builder, He creates a home where humans could live not only NOW, but for the future. (see Genesis 1:14)

And God said, “Let there be lights in the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.

God planned for a future for us – seasons and days and years. He prepared the earth and sky, created the land masses, birds, and fish, and then created Man. Everything He created prior to man He then gave man to manage. The earth. Plants. Animals.

Point to ponder: Of all the things God created – every animals, every plant, waters, oceans, waterfalls, mountains, beaches – all the lovely thing – how many things were created in His image? (Hint: Genesis 1:27)

Note that in Genesis 1:30, God speaks about everything that has been given the breath of life, but in Genesis 2:7, what makes us unique? Where did our breath of life come from?

Eden and Eve:

Genesis 2 gives us a picture of the place God created for mankind. Beautiful trees that brought forth fruit, plants, and winding rivers. As He asks man to care for the plants and animals, He makes one request. What is the one request? (Chapter 2:16-17). Adam does well with the garden, and God gives him an amazing opportunity in Genesis 2:19.

He brought all the animals to the man to see what he would name them, and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and the beasts of the field.

Points to ponder: Science would have you believe that man evolved from cave people – an undeveloped, unsophisticated neanderthal, wearing animal skins, caring clubs, and lacking the ability to communicate beyond grunts. But the Bible paints a different picture of the first man. First, we saw in Genesis 1:27 that God created man in his own image. Would a God of order and design (Genesis 1) make a neanderthal in His image? Second, look at what tasks God entrusts to man. To take care of the garden God had created, and to name every animal. Does a Neanderthal who can only communicate in grunts have the ability to name EVERY animal that God created? God specifically asks in Genesis 1:28 for Adam to

Fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground.

Could an undeveloped, unsophisticated grunt be given the representative authority over all the wonders God had created? Third, we see that God and Adam communicated with each other. They spoke and fellowshipped. Cave men, as science depicts the first man, would not align Biblically with how God’s Word describes the first man.   

Next, we meet Eve. She is AMAZING! All of us ladies are descendants of the first Eve. But EVE is unique to every other creation on earth. Every other creation is created from dust – God formed it individually. But Eve is formed from Adam, for Adam. Now before the women’s lib groups call me out for setting womanhood back 4,000 years, let’s look at what God intended woman to be.

✔ A helper for Adam (Gen 1:18) – God does not place woman under man for him to rule over her. She was his equal – a helper, not a subordinate.
✔ God’s gift to Adam (Gen 2:22)
✔ Her husband will be devoted to and united with her (Gen 2:24)
✔ All of her needs will be provided for by her husband (Gen 2:24)
✔ They would become one flesh (Gen 2:24)

God made the perfect woman for Adam, who would need nothing in return. All of her emotional and physical needs would be met. Together, they would commune with God, fulfilling her spiritual desires as well. Eve never felt a sense of loneliness or wanted for anything (Genesis 1:18), because Adam was always by her side.

Day 2 Reading:

The Fall:

Eve meets with the serpent in the garden. Here’s where we see Eve make a decision that changes the course of events for not just her, but all of mankind.

The man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord called to the man, “Where are you?”

Of course God knew where they were. He knew what they ate and He’s watched what they’d done. But in asking them, He gives them the opportunity to repent. Instead, Adam and Eve make excuses, play the blame game, and turn on each other rather than take responsibility for their sins.

As you read day 2, how much of Adam and Eve do you see in yourself?

✔ She desired wisdom, but listened to the wrong voice for that wisdom. (Genesis 3:1-2)
✔ She’s easily deceived: (Gen 3:4)
✔ She was prideful, and only called on God when she was in a pinch. (Gen 3:6)
✔ She made a decision based on her fleshly desires. (Gen 3:6)
✔ Adam placed His walk with the Lord in Eve’s hands. (Gen 3:6, 17)
✔ Adam took no responsibility for his actions, but blamed someone else for their influence. (Gen 3:12-13)

As a loving parent, God has to follow through with punishment, but we also see His compassion. They’re banned from the garden, and where Eve was once Adam’s equal, she is now his subordinate. In Genesis 3:21, how do we see God provide for the now-naked Adam and Eve. Hint: This is also the first instance of the shedding of blood.

Key verse: If you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door. It desires to have you but you must master it. Sin sure does beckon, doesn’t it? Just like the serpent did in the garden, sin paints itself in a much shinier light than it actually is. And just like in the garden, we won’t see the results of our actions until we take a bite of that forbidden fruit. Mastering something takes time. One doesn’t master the art of karate, or playing an instrument, or painting large murals overnight. It requires dedication and focus. We have to be the same when conquering the sin that beckons us on a daily basis.

Cain and Abel:
Even though Adam and Eve failed miserably, they still walked with God and served Him. Eve gives glory to God for the birth of her son. Can you imagine what the first pregnancy was like? These days we google, ask social media, and query our doctors for what is “normal.” But for Eve, there was no such precedence. She would be the ultimate ancestor of every child to come. She birthed Cain first, a farmer, then Abel, who kept the flocks.

I used to think that Cain killed Able because Able brought a meat sacrifice, but look closer at the verse 3:

In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. But Abel brought fat perorations from some of the firstborn of his flock.

It wasn’t what Cain brought, but what he brought. In Numbers 18:12 when Aaron and his sons are called into ministry the Bible says this,

All the best of the fresh oil and all the best of the fresh wine and of the grain, the first fruits of those which they give to the LORD, I give them to you.

You see it’s not that Cain brought fruits and vegetables. It’s the quality of his offering. He brought some. Over time. When he remembered. But Abel brought the best, the fattest, the firstborn. You see, God gives each of us talents, skills, and abilities. Cain and Abel didn’t both have the same skill set. But one brother chose to give an offering back to the Lord that reflected both his thankfulness for those gifts, and his faith that God would continue to provide. The other brother (Cain) brought an afterthought. In a jealous rage Cain killed his brother, and was banished from not just the garden and his mother and father, but was cursed to be a restless wanderer. Ultimately, he received the worst punishment of all when he left the presence of God (Gen 4:14). Eve, who birthed two sons lost one to murder, and one to exile. I can imagine she mourned not only the loss, but lived with the daily reminder that is was she who introduced sin to the world to begin with.

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