Perception and Genesis 2

FullSizeRenderI would like to offer a thought about perception. Perception can be defined as the way you think about or understand someone or something. Perception has to do w/ the ability to understand or notice something. But as we all know perceptions of the same thing or situation can vary from person to person. CS Lewis in his novel The Magicians Nephew said, “What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.” This reminded me of a story you have probably heard about a wealthy father, who decided to send his son off to understand and appreciate how fortunate he was. So he decided to send his son to what the father considered to be a very poor family out in the countryside. When the son returned three days later, the father said: “Well son, did you see how poor people can live?” “Yes father, I did,” said the son. “Tell me what you saw,” said the father. “Well, I saw that we have expensive lamps imported from Europe, and they have stars. I saw that we have one dog, and they have four dogs. I saw that we have a swimming pool in our garden, and they have a creek that never ends. So, thank you, father for showing me how poor we are.”[1] What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing.

Genesis 2 is another account of creation, a different angle on the same story.

I invite you to read it, and 2 questions: What is God doing in the given section in relation to man? And, as a result of His actions toward man in the text, how would you describe God (God is _______)? Genesis 2:4-25:

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 Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, 6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. 7 Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. 8 Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 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. [Dropping down to v. 15] 15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man: You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die. 18 The Lord God said: It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him. 19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the mans ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. 23 The man said: This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called: woman, for she was taken out of man. 24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. 25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

What is God doing in relation to man in this passage? I observe 3 things that speak to who He is. God gives life. He gives purpose. And, He gives relationship. So in light of this, how would you describe God? I believe in this passage we see God revealing Himself as a generous provider, and that is the good news. God provides life, purpose and a companionship.

The challenge for us can come when we consider perceptions. From the text, God could be perceived as one who restricts and takes. Looking at v. 17, God give Adam some restrictions on his freedom. As a result, God could be perceived as a discourager, controlling, and distrustful. Considering the challenging situations we find ourselves in, God could be perceived as mean, neglectful, and harsh. So what shall we do with the good news? The difference to me is that we can accept the invitation to trust in God and rest in Him. God is worthy of our trust to provide, even in the face of struggle. God reveals Himself as a generous provider. My prayer is that He would show Himself as such to you this season, and that you would accept His invitation of rest in the midst of the storm. Our God is good. He is a generous provider, and He loves us


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