There are then some basic lessons that we might get from Genesis 2 which may be of personal benefit. Indeed many have looked towards the institution of the marriage covenant and have drawn long sermons for Valentine’s Day banquets. I just want to touch on a few things as an overview and as a leading thought into Genesis 3.
The first thing that bears some importance is that God is referred to as Yahweh God instead of Elohim God. It could be a stylistic shift but I think it has a purpose in the text made more evident in the next chapter. God is in a Lord to Servant relationship with Man.
The next thing that stood out to me was that when God created Man he created man first and then created the woman—filling a need. I don’t take this to mean that the man is more important especially since God notes that it is not good for man to be alone in contradistinction to all of creation being called good by God. Therefore the one who fills up what is lacking in man winds up being pretty important yet that doesn’t seem to be the goal of that story. Rather that God saw the need, God showed man his need and God provided an answer to man’s need—a God who takes the initiative and who teaches so that men rely on Him.
Another thing that struck me as important was man had a God given role as a cultivator. Creation needed a tiller of the soil and God provided that tiller. We see man was put in a perfect garden and was told to tend it and to guard it—these are not primarily tilling tasks but more stewardship tasks. We have the commandment from God in chapter one that man is to go out into the earth and subdue it which entails all aspects from tilling to guarding. Therefore, I would take the garden to be a training field for man so he would see the end-goal of his future labors.
Lastly I noticed how God’s word is still a major theme running from chapter 1. God creates on the basis of His word and here in chapter 2 God is giving a command. The basis of the command is “You can eat all except X. If you eat X you will die.” The next chapter will show us how God’s word stands in these conditions.