What’s in a name?
19 Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.
Naming gives a sense of ownership. If you name something, that gives you a personal connection to it. Ownership does not give us the right to do with it as we please however. It is much like the husband/wife relationship. Adam will name Eve but he doesn’t own her but rather bears responsibility for her. He must take care of her and look out for her.
We are meant to be both masters and caretakers of the creation that God has given us. God us the earth to use to meet our needs. Or to put it more bluntly, trees are not people too! With that said, we have been bad stewards of creation at times. We have done some things to seriously mess up the planet. This week one of the top stories is oil washing up on the coast of Louisiana. This isn’t a natural disaster but a human made one.
Despite the fact that humans have an obvious impact on our environment, let’s not be foolish. We are the stewards of the earth, but God is still the creator. All of the calls of impending doom because of global warming, the hole in the ozone layer, acid rain, nuclear winter, or anything else is hogwash. The end will come according to God’s timing and plan, and not before.
Have humans harmed our environment? Absolutely. Should we do a better job to keep the air and water clean? Yes, if for no other reason than we breathe and drink it. Have we made so great an impact that we have altered God’s plan for the earth? Not a chance. To say anything contrary is to deny that God is in charge of the planet and not us.
Creation of Eve
Vs 18, 20-24
18 The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs [and closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he 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, ‘
for she was taken out of man.”
24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
As Adam is naming all of the animals of the earth, they parade past him and he realizes that none of them are like him. He is the only one. So God decides to make a companion for Adam and He creates Eve.
This does not mean that every person is meant to get married. Instead, this emphasizes the importance of relationships. Adam did not have a wife, but he also did not have a family or friends. God fulfilled all three needs at the same time by providing Eve. Some people are perfectly fulfilled in their relationships with friends and family and they shouldn’t feel as if they are required to get married if they don’t want to.
But this does provide the foundation for marriage. Verse 24 is quoted by Jesus in regard to marriage and is often included in wedding ceremonies. Marriage forms a new relationship and requires an alteration of old relationships.
The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
The final verse of chapter 2 sets the stage for chapter 3. We could say that ignorance is bliss but that would put too much of a negative spin on the situation. There is no sin in their nakedness. Because of this, there is no reason for shame.
8 Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 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. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Before we move to chapter 3, I just wanted to note what was said about the tree of knowledge of good and evil and the other trees.
1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ”
4 “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
This is the heart of the sermon because it tells us how Satan works and gives us an idea of what we are up against. Satan is a liar. But rarely is he so bold as to tell outright lies. I hesitate to use the analogy but he’s more like a politician. He says something to make us jump to a conclusion that is untrue.
His first tactic is complete truth but with the intent to deceive. He asks a simple question, “Did God really say that you must not eat from any tree in the garden?” He calls God’s goodness into question and causes Eve to think that God is holding out on them.
Satan does the same thing today by causing us to believe that we’re missing out on all of the fun by wasting our time in church when we could be watching tv or out with friends. He makes us think that our life is incomplete because our spouse isn’t satisfying our emotional or physical needs so we ought to seek out someone who does. He makes us think that the problems of life are too much to handle and a couple of beers, another cheeseburger, or a fantasy romance novel will allow us to escape.
Satan’s second response is filled with a half truth. God knew that the knowledge of good and evil brought immediate spiritual death and later physical death. Satan downplays this in assuring Eve that she wouldn’t die – he leaves out the word immediately. The knowledge of good and evil does cause us to be like God but that isn’t a good thing. It means that we are responsible for the choices we make. It is much easier to just follow what God tells us to do but now we are responsible for making the right choices in some very difficult situations.
A number of years ago my uncle was in a wreck and wrapped himself around a telephone pole. They flew him to a trauma center where they discovered that he had a lacerated liver and he ended up losing 30% of it. The doctors told him that he was lucky, not just because he had survived the crash but because the wreck had sliced part of the liver completely off. They were able to remove the part and stitch him back up. If the liver had only been partially cut, by law they would have had to attempt to save the whole liver and he likely would have died from blood loss during the procedure.
The law seems impractical in this case but it also makes things clear cut. If the doctors acted on their instincts and those instincts turned out to be wrong, they’d have to live with the consequences. God’s laws provide clear cut guidelines. When we start making our own decisions, then we are forced to live with whatever consequences come from them.
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
8 Then 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. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”
10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
On the Serpent
14 So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,
“Cursed are you above all the livestock
and all the wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.”
16 To the woman he said,
“I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing;
with pain you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.”
17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’
“Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat of it
all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.”
The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.
We’ve seen some of the ways that Satan tries to trick us. We must be on our guard against these tactics.