Introduction: When we studied Genesis chapter 1, the Creation account
seemed very clear and straightforward. Genesis 2 raises the issue of
whether there is more than one story here. Is God less than clear?
What lessons for life can we learn from the Creation account? Let’s
dive in and find out!

  1. Creation Memorial

    1. Read Genesis 2:1-3. Why does the Bible say that God rested
      on the seventh day and made it holy? Was it fatigue? (The
      rest is keyed to His creation! The Sabbath is God’s
      memorial to His creation of the “heavens and the earth” —
      including the creation of us!)

      1. Normally, memorials are “things” that we look at to
        remind us of something in the past. Do you know of
        any “time” memorials like the Sabbath? (Birthdays,
        anniversaries, holidays.)

      2. How important is it that others remember your
        birthday on the exact day that you were born?

      3. Assume that you married for the second time. Your
        spouse has a hard time remembering things – but he
        remembers perfectly the birthday of his first spouse.
        Since it is a real pain to try to remember your
        actual birthday, would it be okay with you to
        celebrate your birthday on the birthday of his first

        1. To make life easier for your spouse, what if she
          just started calling you by the name of the
          first spouse?

        2. Are birthdays and names a fair comparison to the
          Creation Sabbath?

        3. Do you think it makes a difference if God’s
          position as Creator is heavily under attack?

      4. What do you think should be the practical consequence
        to us of God making the seventh day holy and blessed?

  2. Two Creation Accounts?

    1. Read Genesis 2:4-6. How can verse 5 say that no shrub or
      plant had appeared when this is after the Creation week?

      1. Is this a conflicting account of the Creation?
      2. Does this indicate that creation continued after the
        first week?

    2. It gets worse. Read Genesis 2:7-8. Is this a different
      version of the creation of man? A conflicting account?

    3. Now move down in this chapter and read Genesis 2:18, 21-23. Is this a third version of the creation of man

    4. Do we have two creation stories for the plants and three
      creation stories for humans? How do you explain two
      accounts about creating the plants and three accounts
      about creating man?

  3. Details, details!

    1. When you tell a story, do you tell all the details at

      1. What do you do with the added details? When do you
        give them?

      2. Have you ever had someone tell you the general
        outlines of a story and then later fill in some of
        the details?

      3. Is that what God is doing here in describing His

        1. What problems do you see, if any, with the idea
          that the Genesis 2:4-8 account of the creation
          of plants and humans merely provides more
          details about the Genesis 1:11-12, 26-27

        2. Is there anything in Genesis 2:4-8 that
          contradicts the account in Genesis chapter 1?

        3. What additional details do you find in Genesis
          2:5-6 about the plants? ( Genesis 1:11-12 simply
          indicates the creation of plants and trees.
          Genesis 2:5-6 tells us how God prepared the
          ground by setting up a watering system for the

        4. Assume someone told you that they just planted a
          tree in their front yard last weekend. A few
          minutes later they tell you how they dug the
          hole, how they amended the soil and put in a
          drip irrigation system for the tree. Would you
          assume they planted two different trees?

    2. Does the Genesis 2:7 account of the creation of man
      contain more detail than the Genesis 1:27 account?

    3. Last week we discussed whether we evolved from slugs. Do
      you like the Genesis 2:7 account better?

      1. Tell me what you like and do not like about the
        account of your creation? (I like the fact that I was
        “hand made” by God. I like the fact that it is His
        breath that is in me. I would have preferred to have
        been made out of gold or at least a nice hardwood.)

      2. Do you think there is a reason man was formed out of
        dirt as opposed to gold? (Yes. I think God is making
        the point that we are nothing without Him.)

    4. Does the Genesis 2:21-23 account contain more detail than
      the Genesis 2:7 account?

    5. If you don’t like my “detail” explanation, consider
      another explanation. The Chumash (Stone Ed.), a Jewish
      commentary, has a very simple and quaint approach to the
      origin of plants and Genesis 2:5-6. It says that when God
      created the plants in Genesis 1 they were waiting under
      the surface of the earth. They were waiting for man. When
      Adam came and prayed for food, and was ready to work the
      ground, God sent water and the plants sprung up.)

  4. Woman!

    1. Read Genesis 2:18. What was wrong with man being “alone?”
      (God does not explain this, except to say that two can
      help each other. See Ecclesiastes 4:9-10.)

    2. Read Genesis 2:19-20. Are we to understand that Adam
      looked for a “helper” among the animals? Do you remember
      your parents discussing their boyfriends or girlfriends
      and then teasing you about what it would be like if
      someone else had been your father or mother? Consider the
      stories Adam could have told to his children!

    3. Re-read Genesis 2:21-24. I believe God provides details in
      the Bible when He has an important reason to do so. What
      reason can you find for God adding the great detail of the
      creation of Eve? (Verse 24 gives us one reason – the very
      method of creation speaks to us about the nature of

      1. Last week someone told me after the class about
        another detail to be gained: “Man, when he loses the
        breath of life, becomes dirt. Woman, when she loses
        the breath of life becomes man.” Is the joker’s
        gender in doubt?

    4. Let’s look at this more seriously. What do you like about
      the way Eve was made? (Not made of dirt like Adam.)

      1. What do you think about Eve being made from a rib as
        opposed to a toe, hand or brain? (Suggests an

      2. Does the derivative nature of woman (that she was
        made from man) negate the equality idea? (Adam’s
        comment (v.23) is interesting. He argues for
        identity, not just equality.)

    5. What part of God’s Creation account is not under attack by
      Satan today? (The Sabbath, the Creation account, God’s
      marriage instruction are all under attack.)

  5. The Trees

    1. Read Genesis 2:9. What are God’s reasons for making trees?

    2. Let’s assume that you were the architect for the Garden of
      Eden. Would you place the Tree of Life and the Tree of the
      Knowledge of Good and Evil close to each other?

      1. Isn’t this a bit like driving your well for drinking
        water next to your septic tank?

      2. Why do you think God placed them as He did; life and
        death next to each other?

    3. Read Genesis 2:15-17. Did God explain why Adam should not
      eat of the tree of knowledge? (No. God just stated the
      penalty for eating it.)

      1. Why not explain? (I think this is related to the
        issue of God making us from dirt. We need to accept
        that we are mere humans and He is God. When He tells
        us to do something, He does not have to explain it to
        us to get our intellectual approval.)

    4. Did you notice Eve missed the meeting about the Tree of
      the Knowledge of Good and Evil? ( Genesis 2:16-17) If this
      is a third version of creation, instead of blaming the
      serpent for her sin in eating the fruit, Genesis 3:13, Eve
      should simply have said, “I missed that meeting!” (Since
      she did not raise that excuse, it is clear she knew.)

    5. Friend, God started out with a simple explanation for how
      He created everything. He set out a simple way to honor
      His work, and He set out a simple test of allegiance.
      Although we may want to blur right and wrong by trying to
      make them more complicated, God’s approach to us is pretty
      simple. Will you obey God, or will you cloud the issues?

  6. Next week: Paradise Lost.