God from a Covenant Perspective
4 These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created,
in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.
Let’s begin with an overview of where we are in Genesis.
- These are the Generations of
This is an instance here in chapter 2 of an obvious mistake of a chapter break. The break should be at 2:3 and 4 starts a new chapter.
4 These are the generations
of the heavens and the earth when they were created,
in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.
This phrase is important in Genesis. It is the literary divide in the story. In other words, we are starting a new literary unit!
- A new story in three parts
Divisions in Genesis: v. 4 “These are the generations of…” Ten times in Genesis this is phrase is used. It marks a change in the story. Type the phrase into Bible Gateway search bar and you can easily find them.
Just as an aside, the word day is used in verse 4 here in a non-literal 24 hour way.
- Man in paradise
- The fall
- Two different families of people
Chapter 4- 6:8
This is a complete cycle that ends in judgement and destruction. It’s a story. It’s reality. It’s a long period of time. Process, moving quickly or slowly depending upon your perspective.
Now, let’s start to look at the Second Creation account. Why two accounts?
- A Different Name for God
35 times the name God is used from 1:1-2:3 Each time it is Elohim. 11 times from 2:4 to the end of 2. Each time LORD God. This is an instance here in chapter 2 of an obvious mistake of a chapter break. The break should be at 2:3 and 4 starts a new chapter.
The “problem” of multiples. Multiple creation accounts. Multiple names for God. I’m not entirely sure why this is a problem, but it bothered folks in the past and they invented some trouble to get around it. Multiple authors! JEDP
- The names for God have caused trouble. JEDP
Graf-Wellhausen Hypothesis or JEDP Theory
Authorship of the texts: NT says Moses. That could mean all Moses, mostly Moses, compiled by Moses, attributed to Moses, but from a different source. Some of this is undoubtedly true. Deuteronomy, attributed to Moses contains his death. Moses did not record his own death.
- Way too much is made of this in my opinion. Oral transmission of stories can allow for much of the trouble people face here.
- LORD God is Yahweh Elohim
Yahweh is “I AM”
This is the name for God given in Exodus 3:
13 Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.”[a] And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘The Lord,[b] the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.
Name reflects character. I AM WHO I AM. “I will be what I will be.” God is self-defining. Therefore, God must reveal Himself. This is a very important point about God. We are dependent upon God for information concerning Himself!
We learn some things about God from creation itself.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
But, we need more information about God in order to relate to Him properly. And God takes the initiative!
God reveals Himself to Adam.
God reveals Himself to Abraham.
God reveals Himself to Moses.
God reveals Himself through Jesus, who is the image of the invisible God, the exact imprint of God’s nature! Jesus said, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father!”
Jesus Christ is God’s revelation to you about Himself. It’s that simple. He is the Word of God!
So, what is the purpose of Moses using different names for God in Genesis 1 and in Genesis 2?
Psalms 24 will give us an example!
The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof,
the world and those who dwell therein,
2 for he has founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.
(Ownership= God as Creator)
3 Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
(Relationship= God as Covenant Savior)
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false
and does not swear deceitfully.
5 He will receive blessing from the Lord
and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
6 Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob.
God’s relationship name: The name that He revealed in covenant to Moses? Yahweh! LORD.
John conveys the very same idea in John 1: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
- It’s Yahweh that is revealed to man
This is really an important point. There are obviously many different ideas about God and what He is like. You can take classes about religions of the world. God knows He is invisible. And the common idea today is that of the elephant. One person feels the trunk and says the elephant is like a snake. One feels the leg and says it’s like a tree. One feels the side and says it’s like a wall. They all need to learn from each other. There is definitely some truth to that. The common idea is that there are many paths to God. And I can accept that IF and this is a huge IF, the God we come to is Jesus Christ.
Many paths to Jesus, Whom God is drawing people toward so that they might come to Him.
God has revealed Himself. He has done so in nature. He is Elohim. He has made man in His image and they have great abilities as a result of this. But in order to be in covenant relationship with God a person must know God’s covenant name, they must know the covenant. And that is why when God speaks of creating man, Moses uses the covenant name.
God desires a relationship with man. This is not a small point.
Does God desire a relationship with you? Do you desire a relationship with God? Why is this relationship hard? God is invisible. Why is God invisible? He is not invisible to Adam. That story is coming up. What makes God visible in your life?
Obedience to His Word.
The Holy Spirit.
Hebrews 11:1,6 Faith is the conviction of things not seen. What is not seen? God. And so without faith one cannot please God. We must believe that He is and that He rewards those who seek Him with diligence! Do that!!!!!
- It is Yahweh that is revealed to you!
31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”
Israelites were slaves where? What set them free from their slavery? An argument ensues that lasts to the end of the chapter.
39 They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, 40 but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did.
They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.
51 Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.”52 The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?”
56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” 57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”
John 9: Enacted parable
John 10: I am: the good shepherd, the gate for the sheep,
22 At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. 24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”
31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” 33 The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.”
John 14: 8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
- This is your great opportunity!
You can know God! And now you are at Sinai.
You stand before Jesus in John chapter 6. 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?”29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”
Acts 16: 29 And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family. 34 Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God.
You must choose to believe that God is there and that He will reward your obedience with life. “Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the life.”