1. Our Relationship With Creation


We all need relationships in our lives, we all need relationships with our families, our friends and neighbours, our country, our spiritual family, the world and God.

Some relationships are good and healthy for us, whilst other relationships do more harm than good. But we all need them and have them in our lives.

In this lesson, we’re going to look at our relationship with creation.

When God created Adam, He created a beautiful paradise for him to live in.

‘The LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.) The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Ashur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.’ Genesis 2:9-14

We can imagine Adam admiring all the different kinds of trees that were great to look at. We can imagine him walking to the middle of the garden and admiring the two other trees, which may have looked different from all the others.

We can imagine his tastebuds when he bites into the juicy fruit the trees produced for the first time. We can imagine him sitting next to the rivers enjoying a cool drink from the river and enjoying the sound of the running water running through the land.

We can imagine him listening and feeling the cool and gentle breeze on a hot day. We can imagine him smelling the beautiful aroma coming from the resin and onyx. This was indeed paradise on earth.

‘The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.’ Genesis 2:15

When God created Adam, He put him to work in the garden and take care of it, why? Because He wanted Adam to learn the value of physical exercise and learn to take responsibility of caring for his own physical needs.

We all know that physical exercise is good for us, but we also know the principle if you don’t work, you won’t eat. That’s why Adam had to take care of the garden because if he doesn’t, he won’t reap any harvest from it and he would end up starving.

Let me share with you an example of what this garden may have looked like if Adam didn’t work in it and take care of it. Let’s look at the state of another garden, where the person refused to do any kind of work in it.

‘I passed by the field of a sluggard, by the vineyard of a man lacking sense, and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns; the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down. Then I saw and considered it; I looked and received instruction. A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.’ Proverbs 24:30-34

Imagine you were Solomon and walking by this vineyard. It’s a mess, it’s overgrown with thorns and nettles and the stone wall which was built to protect the vineyard is in pieces, it’s not fit for purpose.

Why is this garden in such a mess? Because the owner refused to work in it or take care of it. They are too lazy to work, they are more interested in sleeping, relaxing and chilling out. Their vine isn’t going to produce any kind of grapes anytime soon and as a result, poverty comes.

Again, it’s the idea of if a person doesn’t work, then they won’t eat. God created Adam to work in the garden and take care of it and God still demands that we work today, 1 Thessalonians 3:10.

Someone once said, ‘God gives the birds their food, but He doesn’t throw it into their nests.’ We must remember there were no benefit systems in Bible times and so, if you didn’t work, then that meant you would starve.

‘Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.’ Genesis 2:19

When God created Adam, He brought all the animals to him, why? Because He wanted Adam to name the animals, and learn the value of mental exercise.

Now if God wants Adam to name the animals, that tells us that Adam was able to communicate using language. God created Adam strong enough to work in the garden and He created him with the ability to think for himself and communicate.

Imagine the scene, this large-looking creature with big ears and a long nose comes to Adam, he looks at it and studies it and decided to call it an elephant.

Or maybe this tiny little creature with six legs crawls up his leg, he looks at it and studies it and decides to call it an ant. Giving a name to someone or something was understood in ancient times to be an exercise of authority.

‘Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’ Genesis 1:28

When Adam gave names to the birds and animals, he was exercising the authority that God gave him to rule over the living things. And his naming of Eve indicates that Adam was to have headship in the marriage even before the fall.

The evolutionist comes along and tells us that were simply animals and we evolved from the animals. But this text shows us that man is not only superior to all other living creatures, but it also shows us that the gulf between man and the rest of creation was further emphasised and endorsed when God assigned to him dominion over all other living creatures.

Adam not only had to use his brain to think and speak but he also needed to know just how special he was.

‘The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’ Genesis 2:18

Remember that God said it wasn’t good for Adam to be on his own.

‘But for Adam, no suitable helper was found.’ Genesis 2:20

And so, after bringing all those animals for Adam to name, Adam still didn’t have a suitable helper for him. He now knows that he was completely different from the animals and was a special creation. God was teaching Adam that he was different from the animals.

‘Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.’ Genesis 2:22-23

When God created Adam, He created Eve from Adam and brought her to him, why? Because He wants Adam to learn the value of having emotions.

Imagine when Adam saw Eve for the first time. Imagine the joy in his heart as he finally has someone who not only can speak to him but looks like him. We can almost feel the emotion in Adam’s words, he more or less says, wow, she’s beautiful.

Listen to how Solomon describes his wife in Song of Solomon.

‘How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes behind your veil are doves. Your hair is like a flock of goats descending from the hills of Gilead. Your teeth are like a flock of sheep just shorn, coming up from the washing. Each has its twin; not one of them is alone. Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon; your mouth is lovely. Your temples behind your veil are like the halves of a pomegranate. Your neck is like the tower of David, built with courses of stone; on it hang a thousand shields, all of them shields of warriors. Your breasts are like two fawns, like twin fawns of a gazelle that browse among the lilies.’ Song Of Solomon 4:1-5

Just as nothing could wow Solomon like his wife did, nothing could wow Adam like Eve did. She captured his attention and made him feel special. Oh, I’m sure he loved hanging out with the animals, but Eve made him feel emotionally complete and whole.

God never created anything without giving it a purpose. In the beginning, Adam’s purpose was to cultivate and care for the garden, and Eve’s was to help him.

‘That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.’ Genesis 2:24

‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.’ Genesis 1:28

But they were now able to fulfil God’s ultimate purpose for them. They were now husband and wife, and they were to go and have children and fill the earth with them.

God created us to work, He created us to think and use our brains and He created us with the ability to feel emotion, why? Because our relationship with creation helps us understand our relationship with our Creator.

It was God who created the garden and Adam worked in the garden and took care of the garden because he loved and trusted God and demonstrated that love and trust by being obedient to God.

It was God who created the animals and wanted Adam to name them, and Adam did so because he loved and trusted God and demonstrated that love and trust by being obedient to God.

It was God who created woman and when He brought her to Adam, he gave her name, because he loved and trusted God and demonstrated that love and trust by being obedient to God. In other words, our relationship with God is one of trust and obedience.

Arabian horses are trained rigorously in the middle eastern deserts. The horses must learn to fully obey their master. This obedience is tested by depriving the horses of water for many days and then turning them loose near water. As the horses get to the edge of the water, and just before they drink of the much-needed water. The trainer blows his whistle.

If the horses have learned to obey they turn around and come back to the trainer who then gives them as much water as they need. The trainer knows what his horses need and will not allow them to die of thirst, but they must trust him.

God created the garden, the animals and Eve because God knew what Adam needed. But He also created all these things to teach Adam the importance of obedience. He wants Adam to learn that he can trust God to take care of his needs.

God knows what you need and wants to supply you with what you need, but we must trust and obey Him, Philippians 4:19. And we demonstrate that trust by putting God first in our lives, Matthew 6:33.