Those that have joined us for Bible Study can tell you one really important concept that comes out of our earliest creation story. It begins in Genesis 2 (chapter 1 was written later). GOD creates the earth and all of the creatures of the earth. Then from the soil (adama), the first human (adam) was taken. The name, Adam is therefore derived from the soil, just as the first human is formed from the soil.
- This mercy is expressed in two essential ways. One is the promise that if they eat the fruit they will die. When they eat the fruit, GOD doesn’t kill them. That doesn’t sound like much today, other than to say “Wow, so GOD isn’t super cranky! What does that have to do with mercy?” The gods of the time were known for their fickle willingness to kill followers who stepped out of line. So for this god to not be so fickle and to not kill is revolutionary.
- The second merciful thing is that these “punishments” aren’t really punishments. Now, I can’t speak for what GOD does to the snake, but GOD gives the two humans each something pretty remarkable. First, GOD gives the woman childbirth and birth pangs. It’s easy for a man to say this, but those birth pangs are not punishment as we normally understand it. For those that have given birth naturally can attest, these pangs are signs: they are clues of what to do next. Where the labor is at. When a person is with a mother to help her through this time and interpret those signs, she is able to do the most remarkable thing ever…
- GOD gives women the very power of creating life. This is what Eve proclaims in giving birth to Cain: that she is able to do the very thing that GOD did in creating Adam (and her).
- As for the man, GOD gives him an important job. A job that will allow him to know his origins and to give purpose to creation. He is to till the soil (from which he came)