Harmonious Life and Responsibilities
Copyright 2017 John Dunn
Published by F I Group, Inc. at Shakespir
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Bible Quotations From:
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. “The NIV text may be quoted in any form, up to and inclusive of five hundred verses without express written permission of the publisher, providing the verses do not amount to a complete book of the Bible nor do the verses quoted account for twenty-five percent or more of the total text of the work in which they are quoted.”
It is easy to look up Bible passages online at: BibleGateway.com
Susan C. Snow
Harmonious Life and Responsibilities
God created humankind to live forever in the first two chapters of the Bible (Genesis Chapters 1 and 2). In the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve experienced harmony: with God; with one’s self; with one another; and, with the rest of creation. God created us to live in harmony with all of his creation!
Harmonious Life Comes From The Tree of Life. The “tree of life” (Genesis 2:9) becomes “a river of water of life” when Eden is restored (Revelation Chapters 21 and 22). “On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations” (Revelation 22:2).
No place in the Bible is there a concise description of the tree of life, its purpose, nor how or why it is used other than “for the healing of the nations.” Yet the concept of the tree of life is woven, under the surface, throughout the Bible. Yet, the “Tree of Life” concept may have been hiding in plain sight and spelled out by Jesus in three words “Love one another,” with a five word example, “As I have loved you.” This concept will be discussed in more detail in eBook five of this series titled Role Model.
The fruit of the spirit must have been a natural result of the harmonious life. Of being obedient to the word of God in the Garden of Eden. “. . . the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control . . .” (Galatians 5:22 and 23).
It is well known that relatively little harmony is experienced between the first two chapters of the Bible and the last two chapters of the Bible. Disharmony begins in the third chapter of Genesis and continues today. The root causes of disharmony is discussed in more detail in the next eBook in the series titled It Is Not My Fault!
God Given Responsibilities
A. Subdue the Earth
God created us with inquiring minds! Just watch a baby. A baby is born with a natural curiosity. He or she will look at, pick up and test (taste) nearly everything he or she can find! Subdue means “to overcome or control by force, persuasion or training.” Subdue involves research, study and experimentation; then the wisdom to apply the knowledge in a practical, loving manner.
In the future “subdue the earth” (Genesis 1:28b) may be interpreted as “subdue the universe,” all of God’s creation.
As we get older we find more and more things that stimulate our curiosity. And hopefully we get a little more sophisticated in how we research, study, test and experiment. God gave us the responsibility to study his whole creation, including why and how he created all that exists. This is an ongoing endeavor.
Keep in mind God created humans with these characteristics / responsibilities. We have to assume God set limits as to what Adam and Eve could explore, and to what extent they could explore, in Genesis Chapters 1 and 2. Somewhat like a parent watching a young child and limiting the areas in which he or she can explore, and then interceding before the exploration becomes destructive or dangerous.
B. Rule, have Dominion
God created us to want to rule and have dominion. After God created humankind, he said to them, “. . . have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth” (Genesis 1:28c). The word used in Hebrew for “have dominion” implied that humans are to “walk among” God’s creation as a benevolent leader, not as a dictator. Again, keep in mind this responsibility was first given to obedient humans that lived in harmony with God, themselves, others and all of creation.
We have to assume Adam and Eve, in the first two chapters of Genesis, modeled their actions after the actions / word of God. Quite likely it was God’s intent that humans would use the subdue responsibilities to increase their ability to manage (rule over) all of God’s creation. Somewhat like a parent giving a child increasing responsibilities as his or her ability increases.
C. Work in and Take Care of God’s Creation
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15). It seems that God’s focus in giving humans this responsibility is to ensure that the universe that God created will continue to meet the needs of human beings. It seems this responsibility is added to (or appended to) the “have dominion” responsibility in Genesis 1:28c.
D. Be fruitful
God created us with the desire to: “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth…” (Genesis 1:28a). In the future this may be translated “fill the universe!” Note: God also blessed creatures in the sea and in the air and said, be fruitful and increase in number (Genesis 1:22).
Man and woman were created “In the Image of God” (Genesis 1:26-27). God allows us to continue creating. Two reproductive cells combine to form one, then “explode” (multiply rapidly) to form a baby nine months later. Some scientists call the genetic code in reproductive cells “the word” or blueprint that describes every detail of the baby that is to be born.
Is it any more of a mystery that everything in existence is developing according to a plan as “God said” in the Bible? Note the “embryo theory” in eBook two titled, Created By: The Word of God.
Once again, keep in mind this responsibility was first given to humans who were obedient to the word of God; who naturally had the fruit of the spirit. They lived in harmony with God, themselves, others and all of creation. They would be responsible in all of their actions and do nothing to harm one another.
Creation Story Retold
Genesis Chapter 2 gives a little more detail on God’s creation. At first there was no rain and no vegetation on earth, and no one to work the earth. God caused a mist or sub-surface water to irrigate the ground, and then God created man from the dust of the ground. God planted a garden with a variety of trees in Eden. The trees were attractive and good for food. Two very special trees were pointed our by God: The Tree of Life and The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Four different rivers watered the garden. God placed the man he created in the Garden to work it and take care of it. God told the man he could eat from any tree in the garden, but instructed him not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; if he did he eat from that tree, he would die!
God formed out of the ground animals and birds. Man gave names to the animals and birds. Then God made Eve out of a rib of Adam.
Note: The next eBook in this series titled It Is Not My Fault! will discuss what happens in Genesis Chapter 3; when Adam and Eve eat the fruit of “the tree of the Knowledge of good and evil.” What happens when human beings no longer live with God nor obey his word will also be discussed.
Study / Discussion Topics
A. Harmonious Life
1. What is harmonious life?
2. Discuss the “Tree of Life” that God created. How is “The Tree of Life” related to “Harmonious Life?”
3. What does “Life” mean to you?
4. How does your definition of life, compare with the type of life God wants for mankind?
B. All the parts of our body were originally designed by God to work together for the common good. In the Epistles, in the New Testament, Paul compares the parts of a body working together, with people working together. Each part of the body is different and has a different function; similar to different people working together for a common purpose. For example, see: Romans 12:3 through 8, 1 Corinthians 12:12 through 31 and Ephesians 4:4 through 16.
1. How does the functioning of all the different parts within a healthy body compare with the harmonious life God created in Genesis Chapters 1 and 2?
2. Could a corporation, where different types of people work together for a common purpose, be an imperfect example of what Paul described in the passages noted? Why? Why not?
3. How could life in today’s corporations be improved?
4. What are you doing to make, the corporation(s) and group(s) with which you are associated, closer to the ideal you envision? The type that God wants us to have?
C. Discuss the four responsibilities God gave obedient human beings in the first two chapters of Genesis. Note: the answers to the following questions may seem obvious until we seriously try to answer them!
1. Why did God create us with the desire to explore, test and evaluate all of God’s creation?
2. Why did God create us with the desire to rule and have dominion?
3. Why did God give us the responsibility to work in and take care of his creation?
4. Why did God create us with the desire to be fruitful and increase in number?
D. Creation Story Retold
1. Why do you think it was necessary to retell the creation story?
2. What is the tree of life? Is it the tree or what it signifies that is important? Why is it so important?
3. What does eating from “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” signify? How might eating from it be a misuse of the desire God gave humankind to rule and have dominion?
4. Why is the creation story told in the words used in the Bible? How would you describe creation of mankind, animals and birds in terms of newer 21 Century technology?
Note: There are some significant differences between nineteenth and twentieth century technology and twenty-first century technology.
Thank you for reading this eBook. If it helped you, please take a moment to leave a comment at your favorite eBook retailer and tell others about this eBook. Thanks! John Dunn.
Books in the “Seven Chapter Bible Overview” Series
Book 1: Seven Chapter Bible Overview
Book 2: Created By: The Word of God
Book 3: Harmonious Life and Responsibilities (This eBook)
Book 4: It Is Not My Fault!
Book 5: Role Model
Book 6: We Live By Faith
Book 7: Eden Restored
Book 8: The New Jerusalem
About the Author
John Dunn is very interested in long term forecasting, prophesy, and Biblical studies. Relatively early in life he completed a teacher’s training course in the Bethel Bible Series. Later John wrote an extremely limited circulation newsletter for a few years titled The Association of Christians in Secular Careers.
John spent most of 2004 going through the Bible and writing a brief overview of what he considered to be the main concepts presented in each book. Currently he is updating and expanding his 13-year-old writings.
The author may be contacted at: [email protected] Please place “7 Chapter” in the subject line (or the email may go in the junk folder!). Thank you.
John Dunn’s website: john-dunn.figroupbooks.com
John Dunn has two series of eBooks:
Seven Chapter Bible Overview
Revelation: Transition to New Era
The harmonious life God created is based on obeying The Word of God. God created us to live in harmony with ALL of creation! God created us with inquiring minds to study anything and everything he created. God created us to want to rule and have dominion. God gave us the responsibility to work in and take care of his creation. God created us with the desire to be fruitful and increase in number. We suggest you use the eBooks in this series in group study / discussion sessions. Select a time and place for a group discussion. Then give invitations showing time and place of meeting along with the web address where each person can obtain their own eBook copy. Most of the eBooks in this series are very short, so it will take only a few minutes to read the eBook. The eBooks in this series will lend themselves to one or two half-hour or one one-hour discussion sessions. The chapters in the Bible covered in the "Seven Chapter Bible Overview" series are: Genesis Chapters 1, 2 and 3 John Chapter 1 Hebrews Chapter 11 Revelation Chapters 21 and 22. Books in the "Seven Chapter Bible Overview" Series include: Book 1: Seven Chapter Bible Overview Book 2: Created By: The Word of God Book 3: Harmonious Life and Responsibilities Book 4: It Is Not My Fault! Book 5: Role Model Book 6: We Live By Faith Book 7: Eden Restored Book 8: The New Jerusalem