God's People - Adam
First of all, thanks for joining us to read this weeks blog. This week we are going to be starting off a brand new series 'God's People', where we will be taking a look at some of the key figures throughout the Biblical narratives. We are going to be starting with the first man Adam.
So let's start by exploring Adam's name. The first time that Adam is mentioned in the Bible is:
Genesis 1:26 (NIV)
26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
When we look at the Hebrew word used here we find the word אָדָם, pronounced aw-dawm'. This term actually translates more closely to being 'mankind' as it isn't gender specific although in many modern translations it is written in the masculine form. Interestingly, the actual Hebrew term here is also known to represent the word 'red' referring to mankind's reddish coloured skin when God created us. When you look at the word Adam in an etymological context (I know that's a long word but it basically means the origin and development of a word) then we see that the word 'Adamah' is also used in the word of many historical Jewish scholars, as this word has links to the idea of 'red clay' from which God made the first man, Adam.
The next point that I want to pick up on is the fact that God created Adam in His likeness. God had already created the animals of the earth, and though we hold similarities to many of them, Adam, and in turn us also, was created to be set apart from them. This means that there is a distinct gap between both humans and animals but also humans and angels, we are not told anywhere that heavenly beings are created in God's image, which again set's Adam apart from them. I'm not going to dive into the depth of Biblical discourse around what is actually meant by 'in our image'. But two perspectives that I would like to highlight if you want to explore it further are; the idea that Adam's physical image is in the likeness of God and the idea that Adam's personality, morality and spirituality are a reflection of the three parts of God (Father, Spirit and Son). There are so many more angles and interpretations of this and I would recommend looking into it as it really helps us understand what it is to be human.
The final thing that I want to highlight about Adam is his weakness. In recognition of the fact that just like God, humans are made to be relational beings, God created Eve. Through the deception of Satan, Adam and Eve eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil and become sinful:
Genesis 2:6-7 (NIV)
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband,who was with her, and he ate it.7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realised they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Upon eating the forbidden fruit, Adam realised his nakedness and all of the negative emotions and thoughts that can often flood our lives came upon him. In his shame he goes on to hide from God:
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
I think this is a brilliant image of a father and son. How often do we mess something up or commit a sinful act and think that we can hide from God? If you read on you come to see God calling out to Adam and Eve and asking them why they are hiding, not because he didn't already know but because they needed to see the wrong in their actions. The only thing that can separate us from God is us and it's been that way since the beginning. Thankfully, we know that God had already got a plan in place to overcome this sin through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
So to recap, what can we learn from Adam?
God created us to be set apart.
God created us in His image.
God created us to be together.
God loves us that much that he calls to us in our sin and has paid the price for our wrong doings, all so that we might return to Him.
Lord, I pray that we might be secure in the knowledge that you set us apart, that you loved us so much that you would sacrifice Jesus, the human embodiment of your own self, to pay the price for our transgressions. I pray that we might learn from the mistakes of Adam and that we might turn to you for our guidance, comfort and care.