Creation, Corruption, Rescue, Restoration – Part 2

The first story we encounter in the pages of Scripture is what we might call the “Creation Narrative”. As far as I am concerned, this is Genesis 1-3. You will see the four elements of Creation, Corruption, Rescue and Restoration here in a summary:

Chapter 1 – God creates everything and everything he creates he calls “Good”. In 1:26 Man and Woman are created. They are given dominion and authority over all of the created order. The text is careful to the point of redundancy to make sure we know that Man and Woman are made in God’s own “Image”. They are commanded to be fruitful, subdue the earth, and rule over it. At the end of the 6th day, God looks over everything including Man and Woman and calls it “Very Good”.

Chapter 2 goes back to 1:26-30 and magnifies it do give us more insight and detail. In 2:7-8 God creates the Man and puts him in the garden called Eden. In 2:15-19 we read that God gives man certain commands. He tells him what his role is: to cultivate and keep the garden. He tells him what he must never do: eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 2:18-23 is about the woman being created. She is said to be man’s helper because man left by himself isn’t a good thing. 2:24 gives us a great verse to read at weddings but it tells us more importantly that once Man and Woman are together, they are one. Then, 2:25 offers us summary and foreshadowing. Even though they were naked, everything was good so there was no shame. God’s created order was just as he intended it to be. Man and Woman lived in the manner in which God intended them to live.

Then Chapter 3 introduces the antagonist, the Serpent. The Serpent deceives the Woman and the Woman and Man together disobey God’s singular command (Remember they are both in the image of God and they are here both corrupting that Image). They eat of the forbidden tree. Suddenly in v7, shame comes upon them and they attempt to hide it. v8-24 then describe the repercussions of Man and Woman’s disobedience. They have corrupted creation. God’s intention for humanity and creation has fallen. Everything is now out of sorts. Man and Woman will have difficulty in relationship to one another, in work, in childbirth because of this corruption. Creation will be resistant to man’s attempt to subdue it and turmoil will result in the created order because of the corruption of sin. Man and Woman experience shame and attempt to hide from God.

But, even in the terrible sorrow that has come with this corruption, there is hope. In 3:15  God says to the Serpent, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.” The single seed of the woman will step on the head of the Serpent. I understand this to be a primordial reference to the work of Jesus on the cross and in His resurrection. Further pointing to this is 3:21 where God kills animals to cover the shame of Man an Woman’s nakedness. They had previously attempted to cover it with plant leaves, but God requires something more. Death now enters Creation for the first time because of Corruption. But these references in 3:15 and 3:21 are pointing forward to Rescue and Restoration. God will deal with the Serpent through the Seed of the Woman and it will require blood. But, when this happens, humanity and all of Creation will be Restored.

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