HOPE CHAPEL Sunday Service Notes
Teaching Series: “In the Beginning: Genesis 1-3"
Today’s Topic: “Week 3: G O D Made Humanity”
Scripture: Genesis 1:26-2:25, 3:20
On the sixth day of Creation, God created the first humans--a man and a woman. What can we learn about our early beginnings from the Creation narrative? Does our modern day understanding line up with the Scriptural account? We will attempt to answer these and other questions as we focus on God's most special creation--the human race.
Today we are going to focus primarily on the second chapter of Genesis and the details surrounding God’s creation of humanity in particular.
1) Revisiting two creation account theory (2:4-5,7; 2:21-23, 3:20) - As was mentioned last week, some people believe that Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 represent two separate Creation accounts. However, a reading of Chapter 2 makes it clear in my estimation, that the events it describes are also the beginning of humankind, not simply Adam and Eve created apart from others who already existed. In verse five, the writer explains that no plants were growing because there were no people to tend to it. If someone believes that Genesis 1 represents an earlier creation of other people, where are they? Then we find in Genesis 3:20 that Adam names the woman, Eve, for she will be “the mother of all who live.”
Many people who have difficulty with the idea of God creating Adam and Eve only–who would populate the entire earth–ask the question, “Where did Cain get his wife?” The logical answer is that she was one of his sisters; whether they were together prior to his murder of Abel or subsequently, following his being punished and marked by God, we don’t know. We do know, however, that after he was banished, “Cain had sexual relations with his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Then Cain founded a city, which he named Enoch, after his son” (Genesis 4:17). The Bible doesn’t support the idea that people outside of the family of Adam and Eve existed.
2) Made in God’s image (1:26-27) - Our physical bodies are not in the ‘image’ of God; God is Spirit. So how are we, male and female, created in God’s image? There are a number of ideas espoused by biblical scholars and all may hold a part in the answer to the question.
Because we are all made in the image of God, “as Christians waiting patiently for the day [of Christ’s return], we [should] endeavour to treat people made in God’s image with dignity and respect irrespective of gender, race, age, nationality or economic status because we remember our King’s words that as we did for ‘the least of these my brothers, you did also to me’ (Matt. 25:40).” (Retrieved on 07/17/20 from
https://erlc.com/resource-library/articles/what-does-it-mean-to-be-made-in-gods-image/.) Jesus states that your treatment of others has a direct connection with your treatment of Him.
3) ‘Oneness’ of Male and Female (2:24) - This may be merely a reference to the marriage relationship, but I believe there is a greater context of ‘oneness’ within which God views all of humanity. When God created Adam, he was alone, but within him was contained all the physical & genetic matter required to create the woman. So when God took a rib from the man’s side, created this new being and brought the woman to Adam, he declares, “‘At last! This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man’” (Genesis 2:22-23). This is not a simple recognition by the man that she was the same species as him, but rather she was part of him. For further reading refer to
Not only that, but the whole of humanity is derived from the body of Adam; we all share his genetic material; we are one human race; one people. Those who choose Christ’s redemptive work on the cross become one people, too–the singular bride of Christ–through our spiritual rebirth in Christ. Might it be that our ‘oneness’ is as much a mystery as the Oneness of God in the Trinity? Part of being made in the image of God? In any case, it should cause us to look past what we consider great differences in the human race and see our sameness as all having come from Adam.
4) Meaning of the Hebrew word ‘ezer’ (ay-zer) translated ‘helper’ (2:18,20) - “The noun ezer is used twenty-one times in the Old Testament. Twice it is used in the context of the first woman. Three times it is used of people helping (or failing to help) in life-threatening situations. Sixteen times it is used in reference to God as a helper. Without exception, these biblical texts are talking about a vital, powerful kind of help. Yet when ‘ezer’ is applied to the first woman, its meaning is usually diminished to fit with traditional and cultural views of women’s roles” (Retrieved on 07/17/2020 from
The fact that God’s provided ‘help’ to His people uses the Hebrew word ‘ezer’ should give us pause. “Our help (ezer) is in the Name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth” (Psalm 124:8). Can we not rightly be accused of diminishing the help provided by God, when we diminish the kind of help God intended the woman to provide?
While still in the garden, God saw the need for Adam to have an ‘ezer’, but for what? We have often been told that the woman’s help was as a subordinate and followed along the lines of traditional gender roles. There are some who see woman’s role as supporting her family by providing support from home–cooking, cleaning, childcare, laundry, grocery shopping, etc. When God created a helper for Adam she didn’t do any of those things–they had takeout every night, we may assume slept under the stars with no house cleaning required and walked around without a stitch of clothing to take care of. Yet Adam needed a helper. What was his job? To have rule, take care of and create. So God provided him a woman to help in the work of ruling, caring, creating and also to enjoy relationship with, a being who was the same as him. Now, things did change in Genesis three, but that’s a discussion for next week...
5) They felt no shame (2:25) - Initially the man and woman lived without the effects of sin in their lives and were completely innocent of the knowledge of good and evil. They felt no shame–they had nothing to be ashamed of. They felt no fear–they had nothing to be afraid of. They knew no discord–they had nothing to argue about. When God created the first humans, they knew nothing of the ‘knowledge of evil’ and God knew that it was best that way. He gave them a simple rule, which provided them with the option to exercise their freewill; that rule made it possible for them to choose to stay in right relationship with God or reject Him and live life on their own terms. Unfortunately, we know what their freewill lead them to. We will tackle the topic of where their choice has lead the entire human race over the course of our shared history to the present day, next week.
So how are we to understand God’s creation of humanity?
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!