Genesis 2:4-6 God is the Promise Keeper who presides over the souls of man
Genesis 2:4-6 God is the Promise Keeper who presides over the souls of man
This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven. 5 Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the Lord God had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground. 6 But a mist used to rise from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground.
In this section, the narrator turns his attention towards the affairs of man. Yahweh Elohim is not only man’s Creator, He is the Promise Keeper who is faithful and righteous to save and to bless. In today’s devotion, we learn that God is the Promise Keeper who presides over the souls of man. Hence, believers can be bold and courageous in all their daily challenges.
This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven.
The word account (toledoth) is usually taken to mean “to bear children”. “This is the account of…” draws readers towards the affairs of a generation proceeding from the heavens and the earth. Here, we observe a change in the word order: from the heavens and the earth… to … earth and heaven, hints at the narrator’s change of perspective towards the affairs of man.
Another point worth noting is how the divine title Lord God is used here. The name God (Elohim), the sovereign Creator, is used together with Lord (Yahweh), the Promise Keeper who initiates covenants of blessing and salvation with Abraham and Moses (Exodus 6:2-4). The combination Lord God portrays the Creator as one who enters into a covenant relationship with His chosen people.
Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted…
This describes the barren state of the earth before man is created. Shrub generally refers to inedible vegetation and plant, the cultivated food producing vegetation. The text explains the reason for its barrenness: the lack of rain and there is no man to cultivate the ground. A mist used to rise from the earth provides subsistence moisture to the vegetation but insufficient to irrigate edible vegetation and trees. The fundamentals of existence are explicitly presented: The role of man is to cultivate the ground turning it into a fruitful habitat that which is conducive for life, and God’s role is to provide rain. The absence of either results in uninhabitable barrenness.
Because our God is the Promise Keeper, we can be bold and courageous in our daily challenges.
When the narrator changes perspective from the creation of the heavens to the earthly affairs of man, the name Lord (Yahweh) is introduced as the Promise Keeper. The word God (Elohim) happens to be an ordinary name used to address a divine being. Yahweh is used uniquely to relate with His covenant people – Israel. The psalmist has this to say concerning the gods of the nations and Yahweh of Israel.
For all the gods (Elohim) of the peoples are idols,
But the Lord (Yahweh) made the heavens. Psalms 96:5
Even as the name Yahweh is made to surface as early as the conception of man, it is only at the time of Moses did God reveal Himself as Yahweh, the Promise Keeper (see Exodus 6:2-4). From then on, the name Yahweh, becomes intimately associated with His covenantal relationship with Israel. Why did the author of Genesis use the name Yahweh at the point of man’s conception: Then Yahweh formed man of dust from the ground? Because God wants to show that the Creator and the Covenant Keeper is one. What differentiates Yahweh from the gods of the peoples is His faithfulness to save and to walk with those who love Him. In Jeremiah 31:3, Yahweh appeared to him (the prophet Jeremiah) from afar, saying, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.”
Many churchgoers pray to God incessantly about everything, but they do not put their trust in Yahweh and His promises. As a result, they are in a perpetual state of worry, their prayers are no more than cries of desperation and fear. How then should believers place their trust in Yahweh in their daily struggles? Believers should cease begging God for help but be ready to listen to His instructions. Believer who read God’s word regularly will be able to hear His voice and understand what they should do. Proverbs 3:5-6 says,
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
Prayer becomes a spiritual discipline to acquire wisdom and to reinforce the knowledge of God’s promises. In the process, we become bold and courageous to do all that He commands. As Yahweh commands Joshua to conquer the land, He says to you today, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9. Do not be afraid of the circumstances and threats before you, but subdue them with the army of angels that God has placed in your charge.
The God who supervises the rain clouds will also preside over the souls of man.
The fundaments of existence involves the obedience of man and the provision of God. The land remains barren until man start to cultivate it and God sends rain upon it. God has so determined that without the touch of man, the land will not flourish. Thus, man must keep working to make the environment conducive and productive for life. At the same time, man must understand that unless God provides rain, his work amounts to nothing. The psalmist says,
Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman keeps awake in vain. Psalms 127:1
While man does his part, God searches his heart and rewards him accordingly. Therefore, man must not only be diligent, he is accountable to God, to be just, merciful and humble in all his ways. God has promised to cause rain to fall on those who are generous. Proverbs 11:25-26 says,
The generous man will be prosperous,
And he who waters will himself be watered.
He who withholds grain, the people will curse him,
But blessing will be on the head of him who sells it.
Many successful people suppose by their efforts alone have become who they are. As a result, they become proud and selfish, having little compassion towards others. Such must learn to recognise that God is the source of rain and all blessings giving glory due Him. Job 37:11-12 says concerning the sovereign dominance of God over all creation,
Also with moisture He loads the thick cloud;
He disperses the cloud of His lightning.
It changes direction, turning around by His guidance,
That it may do whatever He commands it
On the face of the inhabited earth.
The God who supervises the rain clouds will at the same time exercise full control over the souls of man. Jesus warns those who does not fear God, and who hoards wealth without due consideration for the poor, “You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?” Luke 12:20. But for those who trust in the God who supervises the rain clouds will be exalted and lifted to safety,
He gives rain on the earth
And sends water on the fields,
So that He sets on high those who are lowly,
And those who mourn are lifted to safety.
He frustrates the plotting of the shrewd,
So that their hands cannot attain success.
He captures the wise by their own shrewdness,
And the advice of the cunning is quickly thwarted. Job 5:10-13
Are you accustomed to mulling over your daily problems as opposed to the promises of God? Yahweh, the Promise Keeper is able to keep you from falling and to help you accomplish the calling He has deposited in you (see Jude 1:24). Make it a practice to saturate your mind with God’s word and His promises the first thing in the morning. Allow God’s peace and assurance to settle into your heart fully before embarking on the challenges of the day.
Do you fret when you see the wicked like a parasitic plant extending its branches while feeding on others and on the weaknesses of the poor? The God who supervises the rain clouds sees every heart and every act committed and He will vindicate the righteous. Therefore, rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him… Cease from anger and forsake wrath… Do not fret for it leads only to evildoing… In a little while and the wicked man will be no more… But the humble will inherit the land and will delight themselves in abundant prosperity. Psalms 37:7-11.
Dear Lord, I praise you that you are the God who presides over all creation and nothing escapes your attention. As I rest in your faithfulness and wisdom cause your boldness to arise in me and give me courage to fend for the weak and for righteousness. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.