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The Creation of Man

There are two Biblical accounts of the creation of man. In Genesis 1, as we looked at earlier, we read that God created humans, male and female, in his own image, giving them instructions to multiply and fill the earth.

 

The Hebrew word for image is can be translated shadow, phantom or illusion. God is described as a Spirit (e.g. John 4:24) but He does appear visibly at various times throughout Jewish history (e.g. Gen 12:7), often as an angel (e.g. Gen 16:7). He is described by the prophet Ezekiel as having ‘the likeness of the appearance of a man’ although emanating a brightness like fire (Ezekiel 1:26,27). He is finally represented in the human form of Jesus 4000 years later. The first people may have been primarily spiritual beings, although they had the physical capability to breathe and procreate. Undoubtedly they were far superior beings to what we are today being made in the image of God. This is exactly in opposition with the evolution theory, that would have us believe that man evolved from lower physical forms, and the soul and spirit would have come about as a step in the evolutionary process.  

 

In Genesis chapter 2 we read about the specific creation of Adam formed from the dust of the ground, which comprises the elements, into whose nostrils God breathed life so that he became a living and breathing soul (Gen 2:7).

 

Eve was not a direct creation, but fashioned from a rib taken from Adam in the worlds first operation (Gen 2:21-22). This sounds strange until we put a modern perspective on it: that God took some of Adam’s cells and cloned Eve.

 

Together they had many children (Gen 5:4) of whom the first two were named Cain and Abel. In a fit of sibling rivalry and jealously, Cain murdered Abel. This was not a very good start to the human race.

 

The only kind of human that we see living on this planet today are actually fallen and sinful, a shadow of what we were created to be, subservient to the death sentence which was put on mankind in Genesis 3. In the beginning God used to walk and talk with Adam in the Garden of Eden as a friend, prior to the rebellion of man against God.

 

So we can consider man as appearing in 3 forms. Firstly in the image of God, which is spirit; secondly taking on a form of physical perfection: and thirdly as a fallen being. All we see today on earth is the third form, weak and sinful, a pitiful creature compared to what was originally created. Adam and Eve must have been magnificent specimens of man and womanhood, perfect in body, mind and spirit and beautiful to behold. Certainly not something to be covered up with clothing. God was very pleased with them. Since the fall, no one can ever recapture that state of perfection. To become even a shadow of what we should have been, we need to be reborn of the Spirit of God as a new creation. ‘Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is’ (1 John 3:2)

 

We are told that God finished creation on the sixth day and completed everything. He rested on the seventh day. So nothing more was added to the universe. It was complete and subject to the first law of thermodynamics. No matter or energy is lost from the physical universe: it is only interchanged. We are born physically using recycled elements and when we die, we return to dust (Gen 3:19).

 

However, the spirit in man is eternal and lives forever either in Heaven with God, or in Hell without Him. So when is the spirit of man created? There is a hint given in Jeremiah 1:4 that God knew us before we were conceived. Paul the Apostle writes: ‘According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love’ (Eph 1:4). If the first law is applicable to the spirit world, then it is possible that everyone who has ever lived was actually created on that sixth day. Every person ever born or yet to be born is simply waiting the wings ready to come on stage. Or like a game of cricket, where each of us is waiting our turn to bat. Some score a century, whilst others are out for a duck. It’s just a theory that we cannot prove, but if it is to be believed, it would have rather serious implications for abortion!

 

Adam and Eve

Can we really believe that God created one man in the beginning from which all future generations came? How do we know that man has not evolved from so-called lower animals, fighting his way through to survival? Did this happen by chance or is evolution the means by which God brought man into being?

The God who is described in the Bible is filled with love for his creation. Why would he choose to use such a barbaric method as survival of the fittest for the creation of man if there was an alternative?

 

‘Survival of the fittest’ is the antithesis of Biblical teaching. Fitness in terms of strength, speed or cunning relate only to the physical, denying the right of survival to those weak or spiritual. Jesus himself laid down his life and produced no physical progeny and hence could hardly be regard in this category. God has chosen the weak things of this world to confound the mighty and the foolish things to confound the wise (1 Corinthians 1:28). Adam and Eve walked not only with each other, but they walked and talked with God. God gave them instructions not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil or else they would die. The day came when Satan disguised as a serpent enticed Eve to eat of the fruit saying ‘You shall not surely die, but you shall become as God’. He was challenging Eve to commit the very same sin for which he had been cast out of Heaven: the desire to be as God, amounting to the sin of pride. God created man to be dependent upon Him, and the desire for equality and independence from God is the most sinful attitude possible.

The Bible teaches that sin entered the world as Adam and Eve listened to Satan and disobeyed God. Rather than becoming like God, they became like Satan. Instead of being raised, they fell. The theory of evolution does nor recognise sin as described by God. Strength, speed and cunning are the prerequisites for survival. Forgiveness, dependence and submission would be weaknesses for survival, and individuals having those attributes would be wiped out.

As described in Genesis, Eve, after being enticed by the serpent to disobey God, then persuaded Adam to follow. The result of this rebellion according to what God had told them, should have been death, and it was. The death they experienced was an immediate separation from God followed a physical death sentence, which would be carried out over a period of several hundred years. Death was never part of the original creation plan, but came about as a result of disobedience. Up to that point man and woman were naked and unashamed and unafraid of God, but following their rebellion, they became both ashamed and fearful and hid themselves pathetically with fig leaves. They expected to be killed, but at this point we get the first hint of substitutionary atonement. One or more animals were killed for the skins to make clothes to cover their nakedness. Animals were made to experience death in order that their guilt could be covered and they were allowed to live a while longer. But their quality of life was far inferior to that which they had known previously. Never again would they know the intimate relationship that they had with God before they sinned.

 

Where did Cain get his wife?

This is one of the old chestnuts; a question designed to make the Biblical account look ridiculous. Either there were other people around before Adam and Eve or Cain married his sister. The first possibility negates the scripture and the second implies incest.

It should be recognised that the Bible does not give a history of every early person that ever lived – just those who are significant to the plot. Cain and Abel are critical in that a major sin was committed by the filial murder of Abel.

The reason why Cain killed Abel is not totally clear, but here is a suggestion. We are told that they brought an offering to the Lord; Abel brought a lamb; Cain brought produce of the ground. The lamb was acceptable to God but the produce was not. We are not told how this was made clear, but, as they did not have a box of matches, it is possible that God would show his acceptance by ‘fire from heaven’ (e.g. 1 Kings 18:38). Anyway, however disapproval was shown, it resulted in jealousy and Abel was murdered. This is the second occasion on which we get the hint of the true meaning of sacrifice. Produce was not acceptable, but a lamb was. This is the beginning of preparing mankind for the ultimate sacrifice of the Lamb of God.

 

Abel was dead and Cain was banished to walk the earth as a vagabond for his sin. Adam and Eve had many other children after these (Genesis 5:4) from whom Cain took a wife and had children. However, the ancestral line of interest then transfers to Seth, from whom the lineage of Abraham and Israel comes.  It is obvious that both Cain and Seth took as wives close relatives, either their sisters or cousins as did everyone else in those days. How else could they fulfil the instruction to populate the earth? The law concerning incest was not given until over 1000 years later. Given two people to start with, obeying God’s commandment to fill the earth; without contraception, death or disease, which came later. Let’s say for simplicity each family comprised 4 children and a generation gap of 25 years, how many people could result? In 1000 years there would be 40 generations, which would produce 2 to the power 40, which is 377 Billion people. This is 60 times the current world population.

Adam lived well over 900 years and the generations following lived similar length of time. In those days the genetic code was pure and not subjected to any great degree of entropy. The full radiation power of the sun was shielded from mankind by the water vapour that surrounded the earth, which largely disappeared when the flood came. Hence mankind could truly have been a greater population prior to the flood than the number of people on earth today. No problem for Cain or anyone else to find a wife!

 

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