Our daily reflections follow the M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, designed for those who want to read the whole Bible in one year. Each reflection focuses on one of the chapters from that day's readings. Darllenwch rhain yn Gymraeg.
The second chapter of Genesis is a different creation story, complementing the first. This one focuses not on the grand architecture of the universe, but on the human world. The first man is formed from the dust of the ground: he is of the earth, like everything else. But he's more than just another mammal; of him alone it's said that God 'breathed life-giving breath into his nostrils' (verse 7). Eve shares in his nature. The Puritan commentator Matthew Henry famously wrote, in words that were rather advanced for his time: 'The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.'
There are trees in the garden, one giving life and one the knowledge of good and evil. The river that waters Eden divides into four, watering the whole human world of the Israelites who first told the Genesis stories. In other words, what happens in Eden and the choices made there flow out into the lives of everyone. This isn't just the story of two people; it's our story too. We were made by God to live in harmony with him, with each other, and with the beautiful world he made.