Happy New Year, sweet sisters! I hope this finds you well and eager to get this year going on a good foot! What better way to start the year, than by diving back into the story of our creation?Here we go!
After six days, God looks back on His creation, and sees that it’s awesome (my word, not His). He then spends the seventh day resting. Now, I can’t even begin to guess why God would NEED to rest, but clearly He had His reasons. Perhaps it was to give an example to His people and set the basis of why we have a day of rest. The USCCB speculates that this is laying the foundation for the Israelites’ custom of keeping the Sabbath.
God then works on some necessities for the Earth’s plants: He sends a mist to rise up from the ground to water the plants, as there was not yet a rain or man to cultivate the plants. The logistical planner in me loves reading that part.
He created man out of dust (which calls to mind Ash Wednesday—“Remember man, that you are dust” comes from this very passage), and breathed life into his nostrils. For me, the idea of God breathing life into Adam’s nostrils calls to mind imagery of the Holy Spirit. It is like God is not only giving Adam LITERAL life, but spiritual life, as well. We don’t hear anything of Him breathing life into the animals, He just created them and told them to be fruitful and multiply and that’s what happened.
Now God creates Eden. Out of the ground in Eden, God,
“caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil” 2:8-9
Dun dun duuuunnnnn. Foreshadowing! Not only did God create us in a special way, He created a special place in which he put man! He put trees that we’d need to eat from, and ones that He just thought we’d like to look at! Feeding our bodies and providing great ambiance. That seems like a pretty sweet deal, to me.
Next we’re given some geography to wrap up today’s discussion.
“A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four river” 2:10
Pishon, which flows around a land full of gold, Gihon, which flows around Cush, Tigris which flows east of Assyria, and the Euphrates.
The places named in this section, according to the USCCB, is mostly derived from ancient Mesopotamian geography. They go on to explain,
“Eden may be the name of a region in southern Mesopotamia (modern Iraq), the term derived from the Sumerian word eden, “fertile plain”… (USCCB).
With all of the tumultuous happenings and turmoil in the region that could have once been the Garden of Eden mentioned in this very creation story, let us keep our brothers and sisters in Christ currently living in the Middle East in our prayers.
Let us pray that this is the year our world leaders achieve some sort of stability and peace in that region. It can be hard to understand the history of violence and hardships faced by many people in the Middle East, but the Lord taught us to love one another, as He loves us.
There’s something special about God forming man and giving man His own breath. Does this remind you of any other time in our lives?
What about Confirmation?
God could have created man out of anything, or nothing at all. Do you believe that since God knew man would fall and be buried in the ground upon his death, he chose to make man out of the dust knowing man would return to the dust?