This week’s Torah Portion brings us full circle as we begin a new cycle. What a blessing it is to return to the beginning, may we see things we haven’t seen before, and be drawn closer to the our Creator and King.
As the book of Beresheit (Genesis) opens there are some key concepts that it brings forth:
- What Elohim created was טוֹב (tov) – good (1:4, 10 12, 18, 21, 25), and as a whole, very good (1:31)
- Living things produce after their kind (1:11, 12, 21, 24, 25)
- His creation was commanded to be fruitful and multiply (1:22, 28)
The physical implications of these principles are obvious, but there is an important spiritual corollary that needs to be considered as well. If creation produces after its own kind, and what was created was good, the offspring must also be good. Then enters the Nachash – the serpent. More importantly, then enters our rebellion. Adam and Chavah (Eve) decided that they were the best judges of good and evil. Rather than submitting to the wisdom of their creator, they chose to elevate their own wisdom. We all know the consequences of that decision…sin…corruption…death.
But what of the first commandment, to be fruitful and multiply. How was this impacted by the fateful decision of the first humans? Certainly, their children were human, they weren’t something else, something less than human. But were they good? Cain, Abel, Seth and the rest of their children were born into sin. They had a seed in them that was not good. Left unchecked this seed of self would grow and overtake them. It was the warning that Elohim gave to Cain.
“Then the Yahweh said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen?“ If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.””(Genesis 4:6–7 NASB – emphasis added)
Suddenly the possibility of the corruption and destruction of mankind became an almost certainty. The schemes of the nachash had fulfilled their purpose. Except that in the pronouncement of Elohim to His creation (often called the curses, though it was only the serpent and ground that was cursed) there was provided the plan of ultimate redemption through two steps. Once in the words to the nachash, then in the words to Chavah and Adam.
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.Genesis 3:15 NASB
This is the promise of one who would come to reverse what had happened so long ago. The promise of the Messiah, the anointed one who could fulfill Elohim’s plan in all perfection on behalf of fallen humanity.
But what promise, what solution was given to the mother and father of humanity? Consider…
To the woman He said, ‘I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, in pain you will bring forth children;’Genesis 3:16 NASB
Cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.Genesis 3:17 NASB
You see, the command to be fruitful and multiply and to produce after the same kind was never rescinded. To Adam and Chavah was given the task of being godly parents. Not only to produce offspring, but to train them to stand against the evil that they had passed on. To continue the call to be “good” in the sight of Elohim. They understood that on their own this wasn’t possible, so they looked ahead to the coming of Yeshua who would crush the head of the nachash. But they also understood that they had a part to play in righteousness. It would be hard work because of the curse, but they could still eat.
So it is with us today, though we have benefit and privilege of looking back at the promise and seeing the first part of its fulfillment. We must understand that salvation and victory is alone through the Messiah, but once that victory has been bought for us we must also continue the work and toil of mastering the sin that crouches at the door. Our highest calling is to teach our children the same, that they might have success int eh areas that we have failed. That we might produce after our kind, and be called by Elohim טוֹב מְאֹד (tov meod) – very good.