Out of the Ground

Genesis 2

December 15, 2022

In the second chapter of Genesis, I notice a repetition: God brought out from the ground; out of the ground God formed man, out of the ground God caused to grow every tree good for food, the tree of life, out of the ground a mist rose from the ground, out of the ground God formed every beast and bird and living creature formed from out of the ground and of course out of the dust of the earth God formed man. Fifteen times we see some reference to the ground, the earth, out of Eden, around the land, into the garden. I cannot help but wonder at the repetitious emphasis on soil. Science has discovered “soil” is home to billions of bacteria, fungi and microorganisms, both living and non-living. “Scientists think there is more life in one teaspoon of soil than there are people living on earth.” The earths soil is full of life. And there is no where we see this more clear than here in the second chapter of Genesis. The earth is the center piece of this chapter, we are made privy to the life it holds, the teaspoon of life it contains. Although the chapter begins with heaven and earth being completed, heaven seems to drop into the background and out of site while earth becomes the protagonist. and God gives Adam a front row seat by forming Adam first, God lets Adam witness and experience God bringing things forth from the earth– out of the ground.

God must want to work together with his son, the one he made in his likeness[1]. God already completed the heavens and the earth. He doesn’t need or ask Adam to help him create, he is simply giving him tasks to do like a father or teacher might do, encouraging Adam to help him maintain, rule, lead. God rests from his work of creating but he doesn’t retire indefinitely. After resting God continued to work. He quickly recognized there was no man to cultivate the ground, SO while man was the last one God created, he becomes the first one formed and made to live. This was man’s invitation to join in the work God would continue.  

Adam was tasked with cultivating, keeping, calling and cleaving. Adam was not only formed from the living dust particles of the earth, he was created in the image of God, and brought to life by the breathe of God. This made Adam more than capable of the expectations God had for him. in these expectations, we see glimpses of God’s original intention; God plants the garden but asks Adam to cultivate it. God caused the trees to grow but Adam is charged with keeping God’s commandment. God forms the animals but Adam gives them names, God fashions a woman but Adam has the role of cleaving and multiplying. It’s this beautiful partnership between God the Father and Adam the Son, almost an unspoken covenant; “I’ll do this and you do that.” but He didn’t do His part, that is the first Adam and so much was lost.

While heaven and earth are mentioned together in the very beginning of the this chapter after God rests there is no more mention of heaven for the remainder of the chapter.  We know, like earth, the raw components of heaven are completed and created.  Was there more to bring forth from heaven? Heaven is a vast and vital part of Gods plan, yet here in this chapter and onward heaven seems to disappear. We see everything coming from the ground and nothing coming from heaven, heaven is completed full stop. It’s from the ground that God works in this chapter of life not from above. Like the garden, Heaven is shut up to Adam.[2] And a little bit to us. Later we will find out that the earth is quickly lost and corrupted by the very man that was charged to cultivate and keep it. The earth becomes cursed, rather than blessed; rather than bringing forth life, Adam unveils death, thorns , thistles and toilsome labor and the very gates of life closed[3]. God taught Adam to bring forth life and instead he brings forth death. Where is our hope? Where is heaven in these verses and moments of total despair?

Perhaps heaven’s harvest is not missing from chapter 2, but hidden, preserved. In time we understand how important heaven is to God’s story and ours.  Heaven produces the very bread of life. In a way as much as God forms man from the dust of the earth, the son of God emerges from the particles of Heaven, un-corrupted by sin. At the end, not out of the ground and the earth, but out of heaven will come the new Jerusalem, the holy city, the bride of the Lamb. , his is what we have to look forward to. God completed the heavens and the earth. The beginning is about the earth’s economy, the end is about heaven’s.  If the earth is teeming with life, just imagine what heaven is teeming with. Earth is a footstool, but heaven a throne. Earth contains life, but heaven eternal life.  If God chose the first Adam, from whom we all come, to join him in cultivating the earth in the beginning, how much more will God choose the last Adam, from whom come the redeemed, to cultivate the place from which He came, from heaven. The task at hand for the children of God is to join God in the work of heaven, ushering in the kingdom. To watch him close, to follow in his footsteps to keep oneself unstained by the world. In the beginning God brought that which would fill the earth, at the end God is bringing that which will fill his kingdom. Heaven is not missing from this account, it’s just being preserved.

Out of the beginning the end is revealed the bible says, just as the earth was in the beginning pregnant with possibility teeming with living things that God formed from the ground, so heaven is pregnant with life eternal. As you move through the day today remember : there is more! We just cannot imagine what God has planned for us in heaven or what he plans on bringing forth from heaven! We see in part. Genesis two shows God preparing, but We never get to see the true full intention God had for Adam in the garden because Adam fell.  It is my and the hope of heaven, this new life, this new work, this new partnership with God that we have in Christ that will show us what God had purposed for his sons, and I look forward to being part of His great work[4].


[1] Incedently this relationship Christ restores between God and man when he comes not only by calling God father but by the work he did on the cross reconciling the two once again.

[2] God is silent in regards to heaven until he brings the flood upon the earth, and again until he begins to interact with Abraham. Heaven then becomes a hope.  

[3] Eventually even the beast who is the serpent of old comes forth from the earth, we read in revelation.

[4] A work not mixed with good and evil, not tainted with curse and toil but a pleasure and joy to us who believe, a pure undefiled and holy task for his people to cultivate and keep. Christ in the clouds, the new heaven, the new city of God the Holy city of God. So that finally God intention of dwelling with his people will be fulfilled.

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