Thursday, February 21

God's "Plan A"

At Quest, after looking at who God is and who people are, we looked at what God initially planed for the relationship between God and people to be like. In other words, what was “Plan A” before people came along and screwed it up?

We started off simply by reading the story of the Garden of Eden, in Genesis 2:4-3:13. Then we looked at some of the things we can learn from that story. Here are some of the things we came up with:

  • From the beginning, God intended to have a personal relationship with people. We see interaction between God and Adam in Genesis 2:15-21, before the creation of Eve. We also see in Genesis 3:8-9 that God made a habit of coming and walking in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. God’s plan was for there to be a close relationship between him and people.
  • God intended for people to be involved with caring for the garden. God intended for people to be an active part in managing God’s creation. Genesis 2:15 tells us that God put Adam in the Garden of Eden “to work it and care for it.” Genesis 2:19-20 tells us that although God had created all of the animals, he gave Adam the job of naming them. This shows us that God wanted people to be an active part of running creation.
  • Creation is an evolving thing. One of the very interesting things that we can see in the creation story is the words that God used to describe it. Consistently, when God looked at the things he created, he “saw that it was good.” It says this in Genesis 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21 and 25. God didn’t say that it was “perfect.” He said that it was “good.” God intended for there to be change and progress. We can see this by flipping to the end of the story. Revelation 21 describes what heaven is going to be like, and it describes a city. If the Garden of Eden was “perfect,” that is what heaven would look like. But instead we see things advancing from a garden to a city. Genesis 1:28 shows us that people are going to be part of that process of change.
  • We also looked at the fact that God made Adam first, and then some time later made Eve. Before Eve was created, God had Adam name all of the animals. In that process, Adam didn’t find a “suitable helper.” That’s when God made Eve. (Genesis 2:19-22). This led to the question of whether God alone is enough for us in our lives. Adam had a personal, physical access to God. They physically spent time together. They worked together. They took walks together. They had a friendship that looks very similar to the types of friendships we have today. And yet God saw that “it is not good for the man to be alone.” (Genesis 2:18). This suggests that God didn’t intend for us to only have a relationship with him. There is something more that we need, beyond just a relationship with God. We also need to have relationships with other people. In fact, “it is not good” for us to be without those relationships. So God intended for us to develop relationships, both with him and with other people.
Those are the highlights of our discussion about what God intended for things to be like before sin entered the picture. From there, we will move on to talk about some of the ways that God has tried to rebuild the bridges that were burned when people chose to sin and damage the relationship with God.

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