Lesson 1: A Humanitarian from the Beginning

Study Guide Pages 3-10

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When did God begin showing his love?

Imagine being Adam and Eve right after they were created. Talk about a mind-blowing experience. Everywhere they looked, there were magnificent sights to take in. Trees of every shape and size bearing a wonderful variety of fruit. Flowers abounding in a dazzling array of colors. A seemingly endless selection of herbs and plants to sample.

And then there were all the animals! Massive elephants trumpeting. Majestic lions roaring. Nimble monkeys chattering. Colorful birds chirping. On and on it went. No zoo, no matter how spectacular, comes close to what Adam and Eve experienced in Eden.

Especially because everything lived in perfect harmony! God had created a perfect world where death did not exist. In fact, there was nothing negative. No fear. No pain. No sorrow. Only total peace and joy.

But Adam and Eve didn’t just live there. God put them in charge of this magnificent world. He told them:

“Have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth”

Genesis 1:28

In this and in other ways God showed that Adam and Eve were the crown of his creation.

Another way he showed this was by creating them in a different way. He created everything else by just speaking. Talk about power! He just spoke and the entire universe, with all its wonders and intricacies, instantaneously came into being. But the pattern changes when he creates Adam and Eve. He created Adam from the earth and Eve from Adam.

More importantly, he created them in his image – a concept that has often been misunderstood. People often think this refers to a physical image. But other Scriptures show this was a spiritual image, namely, that like God, they were holy and without sin.

In all this, God shows how, even from the very beginning, his focus was on helping mankind. That, from the very beginning, he was a humanitarian – the ultimate humanitarian.

Key Bible Verses

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Genesis 1:1

 

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Genesis 1:26-28

Questions to Consider

  1. What do we learn about God from the way he created the world?
  2. What do we learn about God specifically from the way he created Adam and Eve?
  3. In what ways did God demonstrate that Adam and Eve were the crowns of his creation?
  4. Agree/disagree: Adam and Eve looked like God.
  5. How were Adam and Eve to rule over the earth? What did this rule entail? What didn’t it?
  6. How does God’s giving relationship with Adam and Eve, “in the beginning,” help us understand his giving relationship with us now?

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