WEEK 1, DAY 1

Mark Trotter52 Weeks of Pursuit

WEEK 1, DAY 1: TODAY’S READING: GENESIS 1—3

OVERVIEW:

Creation of all things; creation of Adam and his bride; their commissioning; temptation by Satan; Adam and his bride rebel against God—forfeiting the Garden of Eden, their relationship with God, and the ability to fulfill their commission.

HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:

The word “Genesis” means “beginnings.” The Book of Genesis records the beginning of the universe, man, woman, marriage, the family, sin, judgment, death, sacrifice, salvation, worship, civilization, false religion and war.

In the first 10 words of the Bible (Gen. 1:1), God sums up the five elements of science: TIME (“beginning”); SPACE (“heavens”); MOTION (“created”); MATTER (“the earth”); and ENERGY (“created”). In this simple verse, God destroys ATHEISM (“… GOD created”), denies POLYTHEISM (“… GOD (singular) created”), and dispels EVOLUTION (“… God CREATED“).

Man is the crown of creation. God formed the first man “in His own image and likeness,”  and gave him the place of dominion over the whole earth from Eden, the Garden of God. (1:26,28) Lucifer once held the position as the crown of creation (Ezek. 28:11–17; Isa. 14:12–14) and held dominion over the whole earth from Eden, the Garden of God. (Ezek. 28:13) Since Lucifer couldn’t have the place of God in the universe, he sought to have the place of God in the life of man. Sadly, he was successful. (3:6)

Some interesting things to note in today’s reading…

  God clearly defines marriage in the first two chapters of the Bible!

Sure, the world can invent its own scandalous definition of marriage—but the Creator of human life made His definition extremely simple and clear from the very beginning:

Marriage = One man. One woman. One lifetime. (Gen. 1:27–28; 2:24)

  Adam’s “Bible” only has two “verses!”

God’s instruction to Adam boils down to this:

1)  Enjoy the intimacy of the physical relationship designed for marriage partners of the opposite sex until the
     whole earth has been replenished! (1:28)

2)  Eat as much as you want… from any tree you want—except one! (2:16–17)
     Wow! How hard could those two things possibly be? Well, evidently—pretty hard! (See 3:6)

  Man’s “choice” is represented in a “tree.”

Before the foundation of the world, God made an incredible choice. He didn’t have to do it this way, but the glorious reality is—He did! And what He chose was that when He would create man, He would create him in a relationship with Himself. (3:8a) Through “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (2:17), God beautifully offered man the opportunity to exercise his will by making his own choice concerning this relationship. He could choose to CONTINUE his relationship with God by NOT eating of the tree—or, he could choose to eat of the forbidden tree, choosing to suffer the consequence of spiritual death (2:16–17), and thus, severing his relationship with the holy and loving God who created him.

As we will see in today’s reading, man made the fateful choice to sever his relationship with God in choosing “his own way”  by partaking of that tree, resulting in every person born from Adam’s corrupted seed entering this world spiritually dead (Rom. 5:12; Gen. 5:3), and thereby, separated from our perfectly holy God. (Heb. 7:26; Isa. 59:2) Wow! We can’t even get three chapters into the Bible before the entire human race has completely run amuck! Note, that like Adam, Isaiah 53:6 is clear that all of us made the same fateful choice Adam made: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to HIS OWN WAY.”

And yet, there’s “good news!” As we make our way into the New Testament, we find that the holy and loving God of the Bible is still offering man a CHOICE concerning his relationship with Himself! Because you see, God became a man in the person of Jesus Christ, and in His own body, bore the penalty of the curse of our sin through His death on the cross. But, be sure not to miss how the Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle Peter to word Christ’s incredible sacrifice for us in 1 Peter 2:24! Peter says, “Who his own self (Christ) bare our sins in His own body (watch this now…) on the TREE!” The Holy Spirit did the same thing through the Apostle Paul in Galatians 3:13, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is everyone that hangs (here it is again…) on a TREE!” Man’s relationship with God comes down to a decision we make—represented in the choice of a TREE! To state it succinctly…

*  The first man CHOSE to partake of the fruit of a TREE in the garden, CHOOSING to SEVER his relationship
    with God.

*  All of us have the opportunity to CHOOSE to partake of the fruit of the TREE of Calvary (the forgiveness of
    sin!), CHOOSING to ENTER a relationship with God!

Have you ever exercised your will in making that choice? (Acts 4:12; Rom. 10:9)

  The first recorded words of Satan in the Bible.

The first recorded words of Satan (3:1) come in the form of a question—and notice, the question has to do with the “words” of God, or what God “said” (“Yea, hath God said?”)—i.e. The Word of God! Questioning the Word of God will become Satan’s M.O. throughout the remainder of the Bible—not to mention the remainder of human history! (Matt. 4:3,6; 2 Thes. 2:2)

  The first temptation.

When we compare Genesis 3:6 with Matthew 4:1–11, we find that Satan tempted the Lord Jesus Christ the same way he tempted the woman… through the lust of the flesh (“the tree was good for food”), the lust of the eyes (“it was pleasant to the eyes”), and the pride of life (“a tree to be desired to make one wise”). Notice in 1 John 2:16, God lets us know that those are the only three plays in Satan’s playbook! He continues to run those three plays—for the simple fact that they keep working! In Christ’s case, however, the temptation was resisted. James 4:7 says, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”  Note also that our Lord was successful in resisting the temptation by quoting Scripture that applied to each of Satan’s specific attacks! (Ps. 119:11)

  The Author of the Bible (God!) establishes its THEME by the second chapter!

One of the things we will discover as we make our way through the 52 Weeks of Pursuit is that the God of the Bible is extremely ordered, patterned and structured. In fact, one of the ways He uses to call our attention to something particular that He wants to make sure we don’t miss in His Book—is by breaking His pattern! It’s kind of His way of saying, “You may want to slow yourself down here and see what’s really going on!” Such is the case in Genesis 2:1–3. Notice that on each of the successive “days” in chapter 1, God’s unmistakable pattern at the conclusion of each day was to say, “And the evening and the morning were the 1st day… 2nd day… 3rd day… 4th day… 5th day… and 6th day.” (1:5,8,13,19,23,31) But something strange happens on the 7th day! The ultra-patterned God—suddenly breaks His pattern! As He gives us the details concerning the 7th day, for some strange reason He is careful to omit from the text the anticipated phrase, “And the evening and the morning were the 7th day.” Interesting. And what becomes even more interesting is what He does include in His description of this 7th day! Because we find that, first of all, this is a day that God BLESSED. Hmmm. It makes you wonder what was so special about this particular day that God chose to “BLESS” it? Secondly, we find that this is a day that God SANCTIFIED. The word “sanctified” means “to set apart.” God set this particular day apart to Himself!  In other words, God said, “This day is Mine.” Or, “This is My day!” Again, it makes you wonder why He would feel the need to do something like that? I mean, since He was the One who created every day, weren’t they all His anyway? Did He really need to set a particular day apart in order for it to be “His?” And then, thirdly, we find that this is a day in which God RESTED. Wow! Rested? Really? Are we to assume that the omnipotent God of the Bible got Himself just plum “tuckered out” from the exhausting work of speaking things into existence on the previous six days? Did He really need a day to refresh Himself? Somehow, I don’t think so!

What God is doing in 2:1–3 is giving us a glimpse into how He thinks—and thus, how He reveals truth in His supernatural Book. Because you see, when we take the details of this 7th day, and begin to compare them               (1 Cor. 2:10,13) with what God reveals throughout the remainder of the Bible in terms of the unfolding of human history—it gets very exciting!

Because God finds another very interesting way to get our attention in another passage toward the end of the Bible in 2 Peter 3. In verse 8, He inspires Peter to write, “But beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing…” In other words, there may be some things in this Book that you’ve missed along the way—but just make sure this one doesn’t get added to the list!” Oh, okay, Peter—so what’s this “one thing” we better be sure not to miss? Here it is! Peter continues, “… that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day!” And obviously, God is letting us know here that, as God, He doesn’t count time the way we do. That’s an important truth, but somehow it doesn’t seem to merit the fanfare of being “one thing” we better be sure not to miss!

However, if we were to take that little equation in verse 8 (one day = one thousand years)—and plug it into the first time “days” are mentioned in the Bible in Genesis 1 and 2, what it would say to us is that after 6000 years (each of the first 6 days X 1000), the next 1000 years (represented in the 7th day) would be a period of 1000 years on this planet that would have no EVENING or MORNING… it would be the most BLESSED thousand year period in the history of the world… it would be a time when God would be at REST… and it would be a period of time known as His Day—”the LORD’S DAY,” or “the DAY of the LORD.”

And do you realize that from this point in the Bible, everything in it will be wrapped around that very THEME—and pointing to that very DAY!

What DAY? The 7th Day! And it just happens to be…

  A 1000 year “day” that has no “evening or morning.” (Rev. 20:1–5; 21:23)

  It is a 1000 year “day” that is called throughout the Bible, “the Day of the Lord,” or simply, “that day” —
    because He SANCTIFIED it as such.

  It is a 1000 year “day” when God will be BLESSED like no other time in human history because His Son is
    receiving the glory that is due His name. (Ps. 29:2: Phil. 2:9–11; Ps. 66:4)

  It is a 1000 year “day” when sin has been vanquished, and God is finally at REST. (Heb. 4:3–5; Acts 3:19–21…
    “times of REFRESHING”…”times of RESTITUTION.”)

May “THAT DAY” be our PURSUIT through the Bible—and through our lives! (2 Tim. 4:8)


CHRIST IS REVEALED:

As CREATOR – Genesis 1:1 (John 1:1-4; Heb. 11:3; Col. 1:16-17)

As the SEED OF THE WOMAN – Genesis 3:15 (Isa. 7:14; 9:6-7; Gal. 4:4)

In ADAM – Genesis 2:21-24 (John 19:34; Eph. 5:28-32)

*Note: God caused a sleep to fall upon Adam, and from the substance that came from his side, God formed for him a bride. God caused a “sleep” to fall upon the second Adam, Christ (1 Cor. 15:45-47), and from the substance that came from His side, God formed for Him a bride.

As the SACRIFICIAL LAMB – Genesis 3:21 (Prov. 27:26)