The creation narrative in Genesis 1-2 is in two parts. Not two stories but one. The first (1:1-2:3) concludes with the creation of Man. Mankind is the high point. The second (2:4-25) begins with the creation of Man as the high point and the place where God first placed Man to live, the Garden of Eden. And so, begins the Origin of Mankind.
Thus far in Genesis, we have looked to see God as Creator and as Creator God, He is personal, relational, mystery-mystery revealed as triune (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), greatness no one can fathom yet made known. Today we take just a glimpse of God as the provider. The Providence of God. This term relates to the Bible’s linear theme of God’s ongoing relationship with and to all he has made. God’s provision and commitment including his love for and his grace given.
Firstly, we may note how God gave his own breath, the breath of life to the Man he created (Gen 2:7). Then, God gave “…every seed-bearing plant… as food…” (Gen 1:29). Then, even in Man’s rebellion, in sin and shame, God provided clothing for Man to cover his newfound nakedness (Gen 3:21).
God did not give up in spite of Man’s wilful turning against him. Jesus acknowledges such provision, Look at the birds of the air….your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?……(Matthew 6:25-34). At every corner in spite of a sinful Mankind separated from God and seeking control and have power over creation, God is set firmly in the Bible as the one ultimately in control and whose provision remains. So the apostle Paul can say in such ultimate language, Christ is, before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Col 1:15-17). Also, the author of Hebrews, The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. (Heb 1:3). I must mention another high and lofty revelation brought down to our level that we may see God as God: “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgements, and his paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counsellor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them? For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be all the glory forever! Amen.” (Rom 11:33-36) now that is comprehensive and to the point. Just working out what this means…
God is creator and provider and the bottom line is in a world that thinks it owes us, God owes us nothing. Yet the providence of God is driven by love and commitment.
From the high and lofty we come down to the simplest of daily routines. The prayer Jesus taught, Give us this day our daily bread…. Many of us have the daily ritual of saying what we call, Grace, before we eat. I am not sure how this originated but the word, Grace, is most appropriate. Grace, meaning, that which we don’t deserve colludes with the Bible’s message of God as our, ‘Gracious provider’ and God owes us nothing. The prayer ritual before meals is indeed one of humble thankfulness.
We have just planted seeds from last year’s tomatoes in planter boxes in the hope of growing seedlings ready for the spring garden bed. I for one remain ever amazed how those single seeds grow into a large bush and produce so many tomatoes. How does it all come from that little seed? Now a Horticulturalist will give an excellent answer BUT Genesis tells me that God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant for food…” God indeed is provider and beyond our every day such needs God is the ultimate provider for all our needs and such great need we have, “For God so loved the world that he GAVE his only Son….” God gives hope at all times and hope when things are bleak. In our downtimes, the providential care and provision of God for his creation remains. The emphasis is on the collective and also the individual. But the one thing God has given just the once, for once is all that is required, is his Son whom we know as Jesus. There is no other one or event given other than Calvary’s Cross on which this same Jesus died for the sin of the world; no other name in heaven or on earth can we call upon other than Jesus, for here is God’s provision to bring Man back to God as it was before the Fall in Genesis 3. As God at first gave man coverings to clothe his shame so, God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16
PRAYER: May our prayer today be our own commencing with: “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgements, and his paths beyond tracing out! …” but this I know, God is for me and with me. Thank you, Lord, as I now begin this day you have provided for me. AMEN
HYMN: At Calvary by Casting Crowns
Years I spent in vanity and pride, Caring not my Lord was crucified, Knowing not it was for me he died on Calvary.