Hello High Schoolers and Middle Schoolers! I’m one of the local pastors in town, and one of my main jobs is to study the Bible. So I have come today to speak to you about some basic points about the Bible.
One of my favorite books in the Bible is the book of Genesis, especially chapters 1, 2, and 3. I have grown to love the book of Genesis because it teaches you a lot about how God works. In other words, God works in patterns.
Here’s an illustration of what I’m saying. Before you build a house, before there is construction, you go to an architect so that he will make a blueprint, a drawing, or a pattern. Later, the contractors, electricians, and carpenters build the house. A pattern is set first, and then the house is made.
This is very similar to Genesis 1, 2, and 3. But let me tell you the relevance of all this. A lot of times you want to know why God does certain things. Why do things appear the way they do in creation? What is the reason I am here in this world? Well, when you see the patterns of what God is doing in the book of Genesis it shines a light on so many things in your life and answers these types of questions.
There are three patterns that I want to talk about today, and the first one is the pattern that God set in the way he worked with dirt. The way God works with dirt in the book of Genesis teaches you a lot about how God works and His intentions toward you.
The first time dirt is mentioned in the book Genesis is on Day 3 of creation. On that Day of creation, all the waters were gathered to form the Seas and became lower than the land, and the dirt appears. There’s a distinction between the Land and the Seas. At that time, though, the dirt is dry, barren, and naked. The dirt is not covered up with anything. It is like a barren desert. But later on Day 3, God covers the dirt with grass, grain, and fruit trees. God glorifies the dirt with vegetation. Here we see the beginning of a pattern. God takes dirt, and then God glorifies the dirt.
Then on Day 6, God takes some dry dirt and forms it into the design of a man. Now this is literal history. It’s not a make-believe story. This is the actual origin of the human race, where all of us came from.
Then God comes down and breathes into the nostrils of that dirt. He breathes the breath of life into it, and he glorifies that dirt, a little bit more, into a man. The man comes alive. So you have “Mr. Dirt-bag” there. His name is Adam, because he came from the ground, which in Hebrew is the word adamah.
Adam looks around. He realizes it’s not a good idea to marry an animal. So there you see that bestiality is wrong. He is all by himself. And God says, “It is not good that man should be alone.”
So what is God going to do? He is going to put Adam through a type of death and resurrection. God puts him to sleep, into a deep coma. And God takes a chunk out of his side. Now some translations say it was a “rib,” but the literal Hebrew word means “side.” God takes that side out of Adam, closes up the wound, and—this is what the Hebrew word means—God “builds” that side. Now in Genesis, God has “created” heavens and the earth. God “made” outer space. He “made” the lights in the sky, and he “formed” the man. But this chunk out of Adam’s side was literally built by God into the first woman.
Again, we see God’s pattern with dirt. He takes dirt, glorifies it into a man, and then takes a chunk out of the man and glorifies it even more into the first female. What does all this teach you about God’s intentions, His heartbeat, His desires? The answer is that He wants to continue to glorify things.
And here God’s image is expressed in the male and the female. The first is Adam. The last is the female. And this is explains why Eve—just as with all you girls—would have longer hair than Adam. What is your long hair a sign of? Well, it covers you. And when God joins man and woman together – she brings that glorious hair covering to the marriage, symbolizing her role in the marriage. She is like the grass covering the dirt-ground on Day 3 with glory and beauty. She covers the man with her glory.
To speak personally, I remember before I got married my house was pretty much a wreck. But after I got married, my wife designed and decorated every room in the house, and it was beautiful.
All men love to see and appreciate the glory and the beauty of the female. This is why God designed marriage the way He did, with male and female. Here you can see the beauty of God’s process and His desire to glorify people. It also gives you an indication of why you are different as male and female.
Adam is “formed” first. He is a man of strength. Also God gave him a command before He built the woman. God told Adam, “Do not eat from that tree”. So after God built the woman, Adam was responsible to teach her about God’s command. So Adam was created to be strong and responsible.
But you know one gift that women have and that a lot of men do not have? It’s the gift of sensitivity. This is why, boys, you do not speak to girls the way you speak to your younger brother. This is why you treat women with more sensitivity, because she is sensitive. This is part of her gift, because in a social setting, women are sensitive to all the undercurrents, to all the relationships and things. She has greater intuition. She’s sensitive to the feeling of all the things in a room and the emotions. You boys are oblivious. You just can’t see it. But a woman can educate you on all that.
I only know this because this is the experience I had with my wife. She is always educating me on the undercurrents that I cannot see. I’m oblivious to all that. Being married to her makes me appreciate the sensitivity, the wisdom, the intuition that the female brings to a marriage.
So we have seen God’s pattern and process of glorification in the way He works with dirt. And, jumping to the end of the Bible in the book of Revelation, do you know how much God wants to glorify you? He wants to pick you all the way up and position you so that you sit with Him in glory forever. God wants to take dirt and glorify it more and more to be like Him. That’s why you’re made in the image and likeness of God. God wants you to be more and more like Him.
II. Outer Space
Now the second pattern I want to talk to you about is seen in how God worked with Outer Space. You look up into space and think, “That’s just the way it is.” But it is a very big deal in the Bible.
When God first made everything on Day 1, the Angel Heavens and the Earth were very close together. But on Day 2, God put a barrier between the Angel Heavens and the Earth Zone in which we live. Then on Day 4, God expanded that barrier with the infinite stars and galaxies that you see above you. Why? Why did God put that barrier above us—the darkness of Outer Space—there in Genesis 1?
He did this primarily so that you cannot see Him. He put a massive barrier between you and Him. This means you have to walk by faith, not by sight, because you can not see God right now. God does not want you to see Him yet. You have to wait till you get to heaven. That barrier is like a massive fence. It’s a boundary that we cannot go across until we go to heaven and ascend to the Throne Room.
So we see that God puts that massive barrier there, on a big scale. And what God does on a big scale, He will do on the small scale as well.
For example, in the Garden of Eden there is a barrier. He told Adam, “Do not eat of that tree.” And Eve—with her superior wisdom—deduced and understood that they should not even touch that fruit. Of course you know the rest of the story. The serpent, used by the Devil (a rebellious angel), came and deceived the Woman to eat. But Adam was with her, overseeing it all, and should have never let it happen. So the Woman was deceived, but Adam sinned with a high-handed sin. He was responsible. But you can see that they crossed the barrier that God set in the Garden, which was a barrier of space. God was saying, “Don’t go beyond that point.”
There’s also a barrier in Genesis 2 with time. God rested on Day 7 and He wanted his people to follow His pattern. God wanted them to stop working and to rest on that day of the week, on the Sabbath day. In the Old and New Testament, there are times you do things and there are times you do not do things.
After God kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden, another barrier was set up. He removed them from the Garden so they could not eat from the Tree of Life. Later in the Old Testament, there is a Tabernacle set up. It symbolized God’s presence, and you could not go past its barriers. Over and over again in the Bible, God has His barriers set up.
Another barrier is that he made male and female. Two distinct individuals. Two different sexualities.
Why are all these barriers in the Bible? Well there are three reasons for barriers in the Bible and in our lives.
1. Patience: Some things you are not ready for. You have to wait. You have to be patient. That’s why God told them not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. They were not ready for it.
God wanted them to grow up. God wanted them to obey. And one day they would have a right, with His permission, to have the Tree of Wisdom. That tree was really a Tree of Wisdom, but they were not ready for it. They “jumped the gun.” They grabbed for it too early. And that’s what Satan tricked them about. The catalyst of that sin was in getting them not to wait for it.
It’s very similar when your parents tell you to get a driver’s license before you drive. You need to wait. You may need to drive a 4-wheeler before you drive a car. You need to know how to stay in the lanes. When you grow up, then you can drive. So there is a barrier there for a time.
This is the same reason why God wants you to wait till you get married before you have sex. He knows there are times to do good things and times not to do good things.
2. Not Good: The second reason God puts barriers in our lives is because some things, in and of themselves, are not even good. You think about illegal drugs. You think about bad people. In the book of Proverbs chapter 1 the basic message is “Stay away from the bad people. Do even try to be friends with them.” If someone tries to convince you to go steal with them, do not even go along with them. There are things in the world that are not good for you, so God put barriers there.
3. Confusion: The third reason God puts barriers in our lives is because God does not like confusion, nor does he want us to confuse things. Earlier I mentioned “bestiality.” Adam understood, just by looking at the animals, that he should not have sex with the animals. Later in Leviticus, God actually had to tell the people, “You better not try to have sex with an animal.” You may think this is crazy, but this is what they did in pagan cultures. And God does not want confusion to come into the human race.
Nowadays we have a lot of confusion. There are a lot of academics that try to say, “Let’s confuse male and female. Let’s confuse their roles. Blend it all together.” Well the good news is that God gave you a good biology teacher. And God loves biology. All you have to do is look at your biology and your anatomy to know who you are. But the Devil likes to confuse a lot of that stuff.
There are barriers to respect and honor. In the Old Testament, if you wanted to be holy, if you wanted to be righteous, one of the best things you could do was simply honor the barriers that God put up.
I know it is frustrating and hard to live in a life of barriers. Right now, we are all in a barrier of time. I have to stop speaking at 11:20 AM. You live in a world where the bell rules your life. The bell rings and you have to go from this class to that class. Then the bell rings and you’re out of class—and then you have to drive home staying between the lanes. If you cross that striped lane in the middle, you might get killed in a head on collision.
This is why it’s important when you build a house to have walls. You put a wall between your bathroom and your living room, so nobody can see what is in the bathroom, and you can flush the toilet.
This is why you wear clothes: so you can cover up things that nobody should see. There’s a barrier.
What God does on the big scale—putting Outer Space above us—is a sample and symbol of what God does in the little parts of our lives. It helps you realize: “I can trust the Bible. I can trust God. And I can do my best to honor the barriers that God sets up, because I know that He has good intentions in my life. God has a goal that I can strive for.”
And if you want to really be successful, you need to have a biblical mindset so that you can argue against the confusion—at least in your brain. You can realize how the world is confusing barriers and wants you to do what is not good for you. It will try to get to you to grab for something that you should wait on. This is why it is called “forbidden fruit.”
And all this really shows you that God loves you, and that by giving you these barriers, He simply wants you to grow up.
So the way God works with Dirt shows you that God wants to glorify you. The way God works with Outer Space shows you that God wants you to grow up and become more and more like Him.
Lastly, I want to show you the pattern that God set about forgiveness. After Adam and Eve sinned, one thing that God did was to bring Adam and Eve back together. God gives “desire” back to the woman and re-establishes the man as a husband to “rule,” because Adam had given that role to the Serpent. God casts the Serpent down to be a crawly wiggly thing, and God exalted the man back up, basically saying, “Now, you’re the husband. You are going to rule. Not the Serpent.” God gives love back to the woman, and He glues them back together.
But don’t you remember what God promised them? God promised them that they would die when they ate of that tree. Did they actually die physically, right then and there? No. God had mercy. God took an animal, and He killed it in the Garden of Eden. Then God stripped all the skin off of that animal. There was a sacrifice in the Garden of Eden. God took that leather garment, and He clothed Adam and Eve.
What you see there is a substitute and a sacrifice that took the death penalty for Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. You remember what I said about them taking from the Tree of Knowledge and how they grew up too fast? Well, God wanted them to wait for the proper garments, the proper clothing, because they were naked in the Garden. They should have waited to have that fruit. But when they grabbed for that fruit too early, God honored their decision and basically said, “Now you have to grow up. Here are your clothes. You’re forgiven. But you have to move out of the Garden.”
They grew up too fast. And they had to move downstream with all the curses, but also with all the promises of God’s redemption.
That sacrifice of the animal looked forward to the forgiveness that would come through the sacrifice of Jesus. So even there, God gives you a pattern and a prototype of how He covers people in their sin, how He comes to them and even moves forward with them after they have messed up and grabbed the forbidden fruit. He does not leave them behind; He moves them out. But He moves them out with the promises of forgiveness, with reconciliation, and He continues to glorify humanity.
Your God is a merciful, good, and compassionate God. He moves you along with the promises of the Covenant, the promises of salvation, and the promises of glorification.
(This article is based on a speech given to a local Christian school. The original speech can be heard here: (https://tinyurl.com/yx8vykvq.)
Eric is a husband and father of four children. He has served as a pastor in Centreville, MS since 2005. Outside of church work, he might be found helping coach a sport, talking about the Bible at school, playing chess, hunting deer, or even mowing his lawn.
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