Have you ever thought you would like to have God send a message just for you? Well, He has! You will find it in the first three chapters of Genesis. Today’s devotional is a summary and application of that message. May it bless you richly.
Because of Calvary,
Genesis 1:1-3:24 (ESV)
1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7 And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. 8 And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.
9 And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.
11 And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.
14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.
20 And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” 21 So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.
24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
The Seventh Day, God Rests
2 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.
The Creation of Man and Woman
4 These are the generations
of the heavens and the earth when they were created,
in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.
5 When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, 6 and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground— 7 then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. 8 And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
10 A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there. 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Cush. 14 And the name of the third river is the Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.
He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 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.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.
8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
14 The Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”
16 To the woman he said,
“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be contrary to your husband,
but he shall rule over you.”
17 And to Adam he said,
“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”
20 The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. 21 And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.
22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24 He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.
“The planet earth was created by an all-powerful God. This God was not a machine, but a person who could think, act, feel. Though he is one God, he himself is made up of three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. So by his very nature, God relates to others.
“When God created, he decided to make more than a programmed, mechanical universe. He created other beings who could think, act, and feel….
“The first man and woman on planet earth had a fantastic future. A whole perfect world to rule! And they could exercise all sorts of choices. They were free, not like the bird who had to conform to a prearranged pattern. ‘Eve, shall I build a stone house, or a mud hut?’…
“So here is the situation: one man, one woman, free human beings. ‘Free’ does not mean that ‘anything goes,’ however. God is moral. The humans’ freedom means that they may stick to — or not stick to — the right, by their own free moral choice. The will also be able, because they are not some sort of robots, to experience — or else reject — love for each other, and love for God.
“However, this freedom carries an expensive price tag. The choices they make will affect their world. They won’t be ‘pretend’ choices. They will be for real! Human beings have to take the consequences for their actions….
“God gave these first humans, Adam and Eve, a test point to show their willingness to obey him. And he didn’t leave them in the dark about the consequences. He spelled it out quite clearly….
“Meanwhile, another person entered the scene: an evil being who wanted to lure the first people to their downfall…. The Bible tells us that before God created man, he created another kind of thinking life outside of our planet. These creatures, which the Bible calls angels, were actually higher forms of life than humans: more intelligent and more powerful.
“Like men, angels were also free to choose whether or not to serve and love their Maker. And one of the highest-ranked and most powerful…decided to challenge God. He hoped to fight God and win, and rule the universe! Many other angels joined his side. But the rebellious angel lost the battle, and was thrown out of heaven….
“Satan was slinking around the earth, scheming how to spoil the beautiful new world and the humans who walked it in harmony with God…. When Satan, disguised as a snake, came to Eve, he got her to wonder why God had forbidden them to eat the fruit. Satan hinted that God was trying to keep something good away from Adam and Eve.
“Eve had a choice. Should she trust that God knew what was best for her, or choose not to believe him? She took some of the fruit, and gave some to her husband, who also chose to eat it.
“The Bible makes it quite clear that the decision they made was deliberate. There was a temptation, yes, but the responsibility for the choice had to be carried by this unhappy couple. They had chosen not to believe and obey what God had told them.
“The result: death…. In it are wrapped up all the other aspects of suffering: psychological and physical torment, cruelty, sickness, war, hate, hunger. Worst of all, there was the death of the happy relationship between the human being and the Creator. You see, God is good, love, light. And if these two chose death, that could not be included under the umbrella of God’s fellowship….
“So, what have we now? God’s independent creation said ‘No.’ The resulting evil was like the smell that occurs when a skunk is disturbed. The odor goes everywhere. In this case, the cancer of death crept slowly but surely into all aspects of life….
“This great, good, all-loving God responded immediately to the unleashing of death into the new planet. He promised that these human beings would have a new chance to have fellowship with him, because he was going to provide a way that the evil could be paid for by somebody else.
“You see, the idea was that God himself would come to earth and live and die, to provide a way for the price of the broken world to be paid — and for a new world to be started.
“So God’s Son, Jesus, died in history…. Furthermore, Jesus rose from the dead, promising life forever to anyone who would believe….
“It is this sacrifice of Jesus that makes Christianity such a different religion. Other religions list lots of acts or states of mind that have to be achieved before God will accept a person. But this message from God says: ‘Yes, you are guilty. You have failed, sinned, ruined the perfect world. You can’t be good enough. But I love you. I love you so much that my own Son came to your planet and shared your sorrows. He took your punishment.’…
“If you accept this gift, you can come back into God’s circle of light and love, and purpose. That choice matters, too. We aren’t doomed to hopelessness.” [Susan Schaeffer Macaulay, How To Be Your Own Selfish Pig and Other Ways You’ve Been Brainwashed, (Elgin, IL: David C. Cook Publishing Company, 1982), p. 72-78]