Jan 2, 2022

Genesis 2, Matthew 2; Optional Psalm 2, Proverbs 1:8-9

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GENESIS 2 – Gen 2:2-3 – “on the seventh day God finished His work…So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy…” It wasn’t a COMMAND to observe a day of rest until the Mosaic law, but at the end of the first week of creation God has now established the 7-day week, and the PRINCIPLE of how important REST is. Also see Psalm 127:2, Mark 4:26-29. When we get to where the Sabbath rest is commanded for Israel, we’ll mention how some Christians believe we are not REQUIRED to observe a particular day any more, and are called to rest EVERY DAY in what Jesus has done. Others still believe that they SHOULD observe a day (and Romans 14 makes clear that BOTH of these groups can be glorifying God). But we’d be foolish to ignore this principle of needed rest!

Gen 2:4 – “These are the generations of” or “This is the history / account of” – A common phrase in Genesis, used by God when He’s FOCUSING IN on a smaller group. He’s related the creation of the whole earth, now He’s FOCUSING IN on the creation of the first man and woman.

Gen 2:15 – Notice that work PRECEDED human sin. The CURSE (after the first sin) was that work became difficult and often frustrating.

Gen 2:17 – AFTER emphasis in 2:8-14, 17 on all that God has GIVEN, He also makes one restriction. Satan will emphasize in 3:1 what they CAN’T have.

Gen 2:18 – The first “not good” in the Bible! And it’s not sin – it’s man being ALONE. God made us for relationship (and NOT just with Him)! See also Heb 10:24-25 and all the “one another” commands in the New Testament, designed to be fulfilled in a local church with other believers.

Gen 2:18-25 – The order of creation and the language of Eve being Adam’s helper / help is not whimsical or arbitrary. After establishing males and females as EQUALLY made in God’s image and being co-entrusted with subduing and filling the earth (Gen 1:26-28), God is establishing complementary roles in marriage. The fall into sin has TWISTED how we sometimes handle these roles, but the differences and roles are part of God’s good gift of creation. See also 1 Cor 11:7-12, and for how God applies this to church leadership, see 1 Tim 2:8-14.

Gen 2:24-25 – God’s design for marriage – one man and one woman for life. We’ll see that God recognizes and regulates divorce and polygamy, but NEVER recognizes homosexual “marriage”. When Jesus was asked HIS view on marriage, He re-affirms this initial pattern (see Matt 19:3-12). God is not embarrassed by sex – He invented it, and commands that the only righteous outlet for sex is between a man and a woman in marriage. Heb 13:4 is clear that any other sex will be judged by God. (Don’t miss that the only perfectly whole human, Jesus, NEVER had sex. So, contrary to the world, you do NOT have to have sex to be whole / complete / fulfilled.) The ONLY Scriptural mentions of homosexual sex are with condemnation and warnings of judgment. When we put this with the truth that every person is made in the image of God in Gen 1:26-28, we must be kind/respectful to ALL people, and part of that kindness is passing on how clear God is about sexuality in the Bible.

MATTHEW 2 – Matt 2:4-6 – The religious leaders were quoting Micah 5:2, which hundreds of years before Jesus was born told the town where the Messiah would be born. A huge theme in Matthew is how Jesus fulfills what had been written in the Old Testament (see Matt 1:22, 2:5, 2:15, 2:17, 2:23, and many more through Matthew). The next verse SHOULD have been that all of Jerusalem (or at LEAST the religious leaders) left to make the 6 mile trip to Bethlehem to see if the Messiah had been born. But only the wise men left, obeying one more verse they had just learned. And they didn’t get sidetracked / frustrated / discouraged that nobody else seemed to care.

Matt 2:14 – ANOTHER life changing command to Joseph that he awoke and simply OBEYED (see also Matt 1:24). Oh, may we respond like this!

Matt 2:15 – Quoting Hosea 11:1, but there it’s clearly referring to ISRAEL. Through the New Testament, we’ll see that Jesus PERFECTLY fulfills all that the human race and Israel were SUPPOSED to be / do, but have fallen woefully short.

Matt 2:17-18 – Such a SAD fulfillment of Scripture, and THIS time God the Father protected His own Son. But only that Jesus could grow up, perfectly living the life we SHOULD live but don’t, and then laying down His life on the cross as a perfect sacrifice for all who turn to Jesus in repentance (turning away from our own way) and faith.

Optional Psalm 2 – A “Messianic Psalm,” because although it refers somewhat to David’s merely human kingly line, much of this can ONLY be fulfilled in Messiah Jesus. Acts 4:23-31 shows how the early church in a time of persecution used this Psalm to encourage themselves in the Lord and His sovereign control over all that happens. The sad, evil things that Herod in Matt 2 might have seemed to “get away with” WILL someday be held to full account (eternally in hell). Jesus is God’s Anointed (see Ps 2:2 – Messiah / Christ both mean “Anointed”) King, who will one day break His enemies with a rod of iron.

Ps 2:11-12 – “Rejoice / celebrate with trembling” – what we should aim for and pray for in times of gathered worship and in the rest of life. May we all heed the advice of these two verses, and avoid perishing (see notes yesterday from Psalm 1). And instead, those who joyfully (with trembling) receive God’s Son as King receive this: “Blessed are all who take refuge (OR ‘put their trust’) in Him.”

Optional Proverbs 1:8-9 – Much of Proverbs is counsel from a godly parent (and if you didn’t have this in your life, you can access it now), and if received it adds beauty and value to your life.