Before your community group meets:
Read through Genesis 2:4-17. What are some of the ways that God takes care of Adam in the garden? Are there any things he did that went “above and beyond” what was needed?
Read Psalm 139 and write down a few sentences with observations about how God describes his knowledge of his people
Genesis 2 teaches us that God desires to be known and loved as he knows and loves his people. What are some of your daily, weekly and monthly spiritual activities to grow in your knowledge of God and relationship with him?
The Garden of Eden is our first Biblical image of a Temple. Even though it is not a building, it is a place and space built by God for the purpose of humanity dwelling with him in fellowship. Temples were places where Heaven (God’s realm) and Earth (humanity’s dwelling place) overlapped and were designed to be places of worship and fellowship with God. As we study Genesis 2 we will see how God provided for Adam and Eve in a way that communicated that they were created for intimate relationship with him and we will see how the Garden is set up as a place and space for that fellowship to take place.
Genesis 2 shows us a picture of an ideal world and relationship with God. Sin will enter the world in chapter 3 through Adam and Eve’s disobedience, disrupting the creation like a virus. Fortunate for us, God did not give up or abandon his people, the entire storyline of the Bible is about God’s work to redeem humanity from sin and to establish his dwelling place with humanity once again. This is why God will begin to work to rescue and save humanity from sin through faithful people like Seth, Noah and Abraham. But more than that, it is why God the son took on flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14), revealing what life with God looks like and taking our sin to the cross so that we may have a new heart, life and relationship with God once again through faith. It is why God, the Holy Spirit, dwells in the hearts of his people (Romans 5:5). And it is why the Bible ends with a vision of a new heavens and new earth where God once again dwells with his people.
This is tremendously good news for followers of Jesus. It tell us that God wants to be known and loved as he knows and loves us.
At your community group:
Take 15-20 minutes to share about how God has been at work in your life, prayer concerns and pray for one another.
How did God speak to you through the scripture and the sermon this week?
Scripture and Discussion Questions:
The sermon this week focused on how God created his people to be in intimate relationship with him. We see this in how God formed Adam, made the Garden beautiful, provide for their needs and gave them purpose and boundaries. As you answer the questions below, think about how they relate to God’s desire to be known and loved as he knows and loves his people.
Read Genesis 2:4-17 as a group. As a group, list out 5-6 observations you have from how God created Adam. What does this teach us about who God is?
What do the two trees in the garden represent? Why are they in the middle and what does that tell us about the purpose of the Garden?
Why did God fill the Garden with beauty? What is the role of beauty in the world today?
What are some of the rhythms in your day and week that help you draw near to God as he draws near to you?
Read through Genesis 2:10-17. What was Adam’s purpose in the garden? Look specifically at verse 15. What does this teach us about the Garden?
The ESV Study bible says this about verse 15:
“The man is put in the garden to work it and keep it. The term “work” (Hb. ‘abad; cf. v. 5; 3:23; 4:2, 12; Prov. 12:11; 28:19) denotes preparing and tending, and “keep” (Hb. shamar) adds to that idea. Since this command comes before Adam sinned, work did not come as a result of sin, nor is it something to be avoided. Productive work is part of God’s good purpose for man in creation.”
Work here is not talking about a “9-5 job” in an office or a shop somewhere. The image here is of a gardener who is growing what God’s given him stewardship over. It is any area of intentional investment to care for what God has placed in your life. What has God given you stewardship over to intentionally cultivate and grow for his glory?
Spend some time in praying for the areas of life that God has given you stewardship over that he desires for you to invest time, energy and effort into for his glory.