Genesis 2:1-3 (NIV) 1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. 2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
On verses 1-3: God did not rest on the seventh day because He was tired. Rather He rested as an example for all of us, that we would rest from our work once a week so that we can be renewed, restored and refreshed (Exodus 20:8-11). Often times it’s a lack of rest, a refusal to obey God’s command to rest, that causes problems for us physically, emotionally, spiritually and relationally.
Genesis 2:4-7 (NIV) 4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created. When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens— 5 and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground, 6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground– 7 the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
On verses 4-7: For many decades some scholars have suggested that Genesis 1:1 to 2:3 and Genesis 2:4-25 contain two contradictory accounts of creation and must have been written by two different authors or groups of authors. I believe the better view is that in Genesis 1:1-2:3 the author gives us a big picture summary of creation, and then starting in Genesis 2:4 the author zooms into the details of the story of man’s creation and subsequent fall into sin. If we were to compare Genesis 1-2 to a movie, the first part (Genesis 1:1-2:3) is like the general overview with opening credits and then starting in Genesis 2:4 we get to the main story involving God and mankind. In the end the Bible is not a story talking about God’s relationship to all of creation generally, but the specific story about God’s relationship with people: including God’s love for humankind, humankind’s fall and separation from God, and God’s subsequent effort to win back and restore humankind to Himself through His Son Jesus Christ. The Bible is a love story between God and people, between God and us.
Genesis 2:8-14 (NIV) 8 Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground–trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.) 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Asshur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
On verses 8-14: These verses describe the garden called in which God placed the man (v8), the trees God made to grow in that garden, including the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (v9), as well as the four rivers that irrigated the Garden of Eden (v10-14). The goal is to show that the Garden of Eden was a lush, beautiful and bountiful place God created for man. God is a great provider who provides generously and lovingly for His people.
Heavenly Father, it is amazing that as great as You are and as vast as creation is, Your heart would be captivated by creatures as small, weak and wayward as us. I will never understand why You love us so much or why You pay so much attention to people. But I thank You that You do. Your love has captured my heart and breathes life into me. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!