This is a large section of biblical material. I know that! However, it is marked by familiar stories – Adam/Eve, Cain/Abel and the entire Noah narrative. In this lesson, you will have the opportunity to examine the big picture as well as look at some particular lives in the context of a discussion about God’s purpose. On the one hand, this lesson offers a chance to be reminded about God’s grand purpose for humanity. In Genesis 2, we read of how Adam and Eve were placed in the Garden of Eden and had the opportunity to fulfill God’s purpose for humanity. On the other hand, this lesson offers a chance to review how Noah lived in a fallen world and yet discovered his purpose in service to God.
After the cosmic assertion of 1:1-2:4a, this text (Genesis 2:4b-3:24) focuses on human persons as the glory and central problem of creation. These are the children of The Eighth Day (Thornton Wilder). Delightful creation is finished. Sabbath is celebrated as a sign of new life. Now human destiny in that world must be faced. The destiny of the human creature is to live in God’s world, not a world of his/her own making. The human creation is to live with God’s other creatures, some of which are dangerous, but all of which are to be ruled and cared for. The destiny of the human creation is to live in God’s world, with God’s other creatures, on God’s terms.
-Walter Brueggemann, INTERPRETATION: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching, Genesis, John Knox Press, 1982, p. 40
FOCAL PASSAGE: Genesis 2-9
As the story unfolds in the book of Genesis, God’s design for His creation has been affected by the sinfulness of humanity. He has responded with judgment as we have already read. As humans were banished from the Garden of Eden and the Curse became a reality, the human story has taken many tragic turns. However, God did not sit idly by and allow things to just “work themselves out.” Instead, He responded by offering hope to His creation through His grand plan of redemption. He chose to accomplish the redemption, rescue and restoration of His creation through people. Abram (Abraham) will respond to God’s call on his life and thus, discover his very purpose for existence. As you seek to better understand your purpose for your life, read these passages this week and learn some lessons from Abraham – both positive and negative.
ISSUES/QUESTIONS TO ADDRESS