Wheel in the Wheel GENESIS
Click here for today’s reading: Genesis 2:4-25

It’s always fascinated me how a story comes together, whether it’s a play, a movie, a book…whatever. The direction that a story takes as it unfolds for the audience can make it an incredible journey! In any great story-work, you set the stage by establishing the scene, and you introduce the characters whose lives you are “invading.”

Filmmakers often use what is called an “establishing shot” or a “wide shot” to set the scene. In many films, this will be a high-level view of something…mountains, cities, underwater panoramas. Sometimes it’s a collage of shots that mean something to the story…a sweeping shot of a room, individual objects, or some other details.

But without the rest of the movie to give you the context of these “establishing shots,” it’s just a bunch of pictures up on a screen, or a bunch of words in a book or in a script. It’s a “30,000-foot view” of the story. In order to make the story meaningful, the storyteller needs to zoom in; to focus on what the story is about, and who is involved.

And so it is with Genesis 2.

Many non-believers use Genesis 2 to “prove” that Christianity is a sham, because it appears to them that the Creation story in Genesis 2 is vastly different from the one in Genesis 1. But is it? Or is Genesis 1 simply the “establishing shot” of the Creation? Genesis 1: the scene is set, literally. We see God building the scenery for the story, and teasing us with the appearance of the main characters.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

And God said, “Let there be…” and there was…

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.

Genesis 2 zooms in from establishing that God is the Creator of “all that we see, and all that we don’t see,” and focuses on those main characters: God, and the man and woman.

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. (verse 7)

Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. (verse 8)

 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him. (verse 18)

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 then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.  (verses 21-22)

The story itself has finally begun! In Genesis 1, God says “Let us make man in our own image.” In Genesis 2, we see the detail put into creating man and woman: forming the man from dust; breathing into him the Breath of Life; creating a partner for him.

It’s interesting to note God’s words in verse 18: “It is not good for man to be alone….” God created man in His own image and likeness, but He did not create a god. He created a new being, and even in the beginning, God proved that relationship is of utmost importance to this new being. Relationship with God, yes, but also relationship with fellow-beings.

Finally, in the last verse of chapter 2…

Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. (verse 25)

Man and woman, in the state in which God made them, living and working in the Garden God planted for them. Creation the way it was supposed to be…the way God made it. In chapter 3 we see God “walking in the Garden in the cool of the day.”

We don’t know how much time passed between Genesis 2:25 and Genesis 3:1, but I think it’s safe to assume that, until Genesis 3:1, God did walk in the Garden, His presence known by Adam and his wife.

Perhaps that is why Genesis 3 is even more heart-wrenching. Man is living in the presence of God on earth, and still chooses disobedience.