God has always been around and will always be around – he has no beginning and no end. The book of Genesis tells the story of our beginning which was designed and orchestrated by God. I want to look at this story with a slightly different perspective. I believe that we can safely assume that in the beginning God knew exactly what was going to happen. He was surprised by nothing. Even though some pretty bad stuff happened in the beginning, it was all part of God’s plan. I want to look at these early events with that in mind.
“Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” Genesis 1:2 (NIV)
Keep in mind, the alignment of planet earth within the solar system is critical to its survivability. God’s first order of business was to position our home in precisely the right place. He then spent six days landscaping and creating all manner of animals, birds, and creatures that move along the ground. Everything was “good” up to this point.
“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.” Genesis 1:31 (NIV)
As I’m sure you know, after a day of rest, God created the first human, Adam. Soon after that God creates the first woman, Eve. Adam is the Hebrew word for humanity. Eve is the Hebrew word for life. Up to this point everything was still pure and undefiled. Adam and Eve lived in a beautiful garden that supplied them with all they needed and they were blissfully enjoying each other’s company.
“Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” Genesis 2:25 (NIV)
This is where things begin to turn dark. God gives Adam and Eve a moral choice. Will they trust God to define good and evil, or will they decide to define good and evil for themselves? What happens next is not a surprise to God. In the beginning, God knew Eve would be deceived by the devil. God knew Adam would join her in the prideful desire to make their own moral decisions. He allowed this to happen so that He could toss them out of the garden and force them to try to get by without God.
“So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.” Genesis 3:23 (NIV)
This is the start of our struggle to become like God. This is the beginning of God’s grand training plan. God designed us to be like Him. He could have instantly given us all the knowledge and wisdom he possesses, but He knew we would appreciate it more if we earned those traits through experience. It is far more rewarding to work through a problem on your own rather than someone simply giving you the answer. In the beginning, God set us up in a long journey toward understanding his infinite wisdom.
“When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them.” Genesis 5:1-2 (NIV)
After stepping away from God’s moral direction, mankind settles into a long downhill stretch that leads to nothing but trouble. Without God, mankind is a selfish and evil bunch that simply doesn’t deserve to live in God’s grand creation. Again, this comes as no surprise to God. Indeed, he allowed this to happen so that the truth of life without God could be fully and completely comprehended. This was the second of the many grand lessons that would follow, designed to help mankind acquire knowledge and wisdom. Being tossed out of the garden was first and now God would wipe out all of mankind except for a few chosen souls in Noah’s family.
“Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.” Genesis 7:4 (NIV)
From this point forward, God takes a more hands on approach starting with Abraham. What we are to take away from these first two lessons is this: Mankind is lost without God. God has the power to destroy us all if he so chooses. In the beginning, God knew what His first two lessons would be and He knows precisely what His lessons will be for tomorrow. Nothing happens by accident in God’s design. God is never caught off guard. Everything happens for a reason. Our job is to take it all in and try to understand it within in the context of God’s grand design.
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Romans 1:20 (NIV)
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