The story of Creation and the Garden of Eden is well-travelled ground for the Christians (and some non-Christians) in the Manosphere. I want to discuss an aspect of it that I have never realized before last night, and have never seen discussed–though I might have just missed it. Each part is a really short bit that isn’t talked about in scripture explicitly, but is unavoidable once you see it between the lines. By unavoidable, I do not mean that I have the answer, but that it is a question that should definitely be asked.
One of the ways in which the stories of the Bible, and the parables of Jesus, are so good is because they are the field in which new treasures are always being found.
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”
This is part IV of a series in digging for what is under the surface. I was going to do several parts, but I have some things I want to say, and I need to get through this so I can build upon it. You can find the other parts here: Part I, Part II, Part III.
Before I start Genesis chapter 2, I want to point out that in Chapter 1, God never says that anything is evil, or not good. This is one of those negatives of the picture to which we should pay attention. God is not on a manic spree saying everything He does is good simply because He did it. He is working deliberately, and when the work is finished, then He assesses it. It is then that He pronounces it good.
I need to be very careful here, but it seems to me that something happened before the appearance of man; something God does not approve of (in the sense that He would proclaim it good) happens. At some point Lucifer rejects God’s authority, and becomes evil, he becomes the Devil–the Adversary, or Prosecutor; and Satan, the Deceiver. We know from the story of Job that Lucifer comes before the Lord and accuses man of sinfulness–which God allows! Regardless, God does not take the time to say, “This is not good”, or “This is evil.” In other words: He does not go around bemoaning bad things that happen, or pointing out faults (though He will later).
Which brings up a question: If God wants us to do right, and does not want us to do wrong, why does God allow the existence of Satan in the first place?
Which brings up another question: What is Satan doing while God is creating the universe, light, day, the Earth, plants, and animals?
I’ll come back to this in another post.
The first three verses of Genesis 2 are strangely placed to me, because they are clearly linked to the process of creation that is in chapter 1.
2 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.
Why does God rest? Is He tired? If so, in what sense? God “hath not a body like man”, so he can’t be physically tired. He’s also omnipotent.
I think this is the first example of God, the father and husband of mankind, condescending to man. God could just tell man to rest every so often, but He has expressed Himself so far as a god of action. His way is to be with us, not just give direction. He seldom speaks, and when He does it is to praise. When He gives direction it is a positive, and it is an exhortation to be like Him:
28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.”
God has already been fruitful. He has multiplied everything. He has filled the earth, and subdued it. He has dominion over all things, and nothing He has made is forbidden Him. So, when God rests, this is him living in understanding with the weaker vessel; treating us as heirs with Him of the grace of life from the beginning of time. Where else do we see this?
7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.
It’s not a matter of being “right”, or “good”, or “fair” for God to rest. It is a necessity for man to rest, and because God wants to be with man, He rests with us. When we don’t rest, we are expressing multiple things:
- We know what we need better than God.
- We are insulting Him by working when He rests (as if we are the stronger)
- Worst of all: We are spurning his affections.
A very common thing to see in the household of a “Good Christian Woman”–in addition to the monstrously painful sin of a wife denying her husband fleshly pleasures–is the less painful but still utterly rebellious and dysfunctional charade of industry. It often occurs when a man asks his wife to recline with him, and she insists that she doesn’t have time for him because she’s too busy cleaning the house.
Who would say cleaning the house is unimportant? To ask the question is to miss the point.