Having read Genesis 2 many times, it has been refreshing this morning to see it in a new light. Genesis 1 shows us the grand and cosmic side of creation. God speaks and all of the universe comes into existence. It is epic and majestic in its description. Chapter 2, however, shows a more personal and intimate side of Godâ€™s creative work. Here are a few examples: God finished His creative work in chapter 1 but it is in 2 that He rests.
In chapter 1 God created man but in 2 He formed him from the dust and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. How much more personal could this creative act be? God performed the original CPR on Adam. It was His divine breath that brought Adam to life and made him a living soul.
In chapter 1 God creates all plant life but in 2 He â€œplantsâ€ a garden. His garden is not merely functional because Godâ€™s creative touch makes it both pleasant for food and to the eyes. A beautiful and scenic landscape was important enough to God that He prepared the garden this way just for Adam. Even food was not merely an essential but a pleasant delight in Godâ€™s design.
In chapter 1 God creates man but in chapter 2 He gives enough personal attention to Adamâ€™s situation that he recognizes his lonely plight and declares that it is not good. God did not merely wind up His creation like a mechanical clock and let it go. He cared so much that He observed Adam and actively sought to order his life in a way that would be best for Him! Its humerous how arrogant I can be when I think that Iâ€™ve risen above the need for a woman, when it was God who originally designed men and women to be together. It is a beautiful picture of Godâ€™s intimate love for His creation that He recognized Adamâ€™s need and created a woman for him!
In chapter 1 God creates the animals but in chapter 2 He forms them out of the ground and then brings them to Adam to personally name them. He loves even the creatures that He created, so much that He applies personal attention to making sure that they are named!
Many scholars have concluded that the differences between chapters 1-2 of Genesis indicate that varying sources were used to compile this information. Moses was not the sole author as the Bible declares but one who merely collected various traditions and writings, compiling them into the Pentateuch. I believe, however, that God merely wanted to show us two sides of His nature in these two chapters. God is majestic, mighty, grand and high above His creation as suggested in chapter one. He is also personal, intimately concerned and directly involved with His creation, as seen in chapter two. This is assuring and affirming for us because He sees our needs, cares for us intimately and knows us by name!