God and Human Dominions
Gen. 1-3: I’m struck that part of being made in God’s image and likeness is ruling (over the animals and earth). He is a king, so it is natural that Adam-Eve (made in His image) will likewise exercise dominion in a (much smaller) way. I also find it interesting that Eve’s role was to come alongside as a “helper” not as a “subject” to be ruled. They were supposed to co-reign, in this sense. Though after sin entered, then it talks about a power-struggle for the man and woman. We’re living it today. It points me back to Eph. 5, where marriage is a reflection of the church. In this sense, it does say wives submit to husbands in everything (just as the church is to submit to Christ), but we are also meant to rule with Him and the submission is one out of willing love (not forced or foisted as a king would do with a vanquished foe).
God and Human Images
Gen. 5 – struck that Seth is said to be in the “image” and “likeness” of Adam. This is shortly after it says God made Adam in his own “image” and “likeness” (see Gen. 5:1-2). It shows that, again, we are a mirror of God. Even our having children (which I would extend to our having spiritual children), points to God and his glory in how He set things up.
Where Cain’s Wife Came From
Gen. 5 – I appreciate it showing how old people were when they had children. Forgot Noah was 500!!! You can see the ages start to steeply decline after the flood, for arguably a lot of reasons. But it also helps answer the age-old question: Where did Cain get his wife in Gen. 4? In other words, if it was only Adam and Eve and their children, how does it talk about a city with people already in Gen. 4? … Well… If you see that Adam and Eve could have kids right away. Then you see that they could keep having kids into their hundreds (even 500s!, like Noah). And you give, say, 3 years between each child (which I believe the gap would’ve been much smaller). It adds up REALLY QUICKLY. I’ll let someone else do the math here, but it doesn’t take that long to have 10,000+ if everyone is having lots of kids for lots of years. And that’s where I think Cain got his wife–it happened a good time later, when lots of multiplication was in effect.
God’s Friendship with Abraham
I’ve been meditating on God and Abraham. There is clearly a friendship unparalleled: God says, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I’m about to do…?” Consider John 15, where Jesus says that friends know the master’s will, whereas servants don’t. I believe Abraham is the only person in the Bible called a friend of God, actually (until the point of John 15–where Jesus makes a new way to become God’s friend). Possibly related, I was struck by the phrase: “He [God] brought him outside and said…” (Gen. 15:5). Almost like God walking with Adam in the cool of the day. What would it look like to be brought outside by God Himself?! I imagine it like a friend would put his arm on our shoulder and say, “Come here and let me show you something.” It just seems like a very intimate conversation.
“Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised” !! … Consider that! I totally forgot until reading it this time around. But it shows in a very poignant way that following God (and being His friend) can be very painful (even physically). But He was willing to do it. Later, He was even willing to sacrifice his son who would come from his circumcised member. The emotional pain I couldn’t even imagine.
When it talks about Sarai being beautiful and Abraham being nervous in Egypt, I think she was around 65 (Abraham was 75 when moving to Canaan, she was 10 years younger, and this happened shortly after that). At first blush, 65 and stunning sexual beauty don’t usually go together. But if you consider Sarah lives 127 years (Gen. 23), then this is pretty much half her age. In today’s equivalent, that might be a woman 40 or so years old. That makes a difference to think about. My wife is almost that age, and I’d be nervous to have her beauty seen by a bunch of gruff Egyptians!