Beginnings are important. The foundation of a building, the introduction to a book, both depend on their beginnings. In an age of evolutionary and process thinking in academic circles and the quick-fix mentality of the man on the street – we rarely look at beginnings. Change is everything and everywhere; all is thought to be in flux. Biblical revelation starts with the book of beginnings, Genesis. To think clearly and correctly, you must “think God’s thoughts after Him.” It seems obvious that God considered the beginnings of man very significant.
Whether or not we should start at the beginning is by no means left to speculation. The apostle Paul often had to settle disputes between Christianity and pagan philosophies. He had to settle issues within the churches. In disputes over proper roles of sexuality or role gender, he typically appealed to the beginning or creation order. In this, Paul agreed with Jesus, who often went back to the original order and intent of God the Father in creation. This original order is viewed as the way things should be. Pre-Fall perfection was made by God’s heart and hand. So the question really is, how did things begin.
The Bible is clear: God created the world. He spoke and it came into being. All He created was good; in fact, very good. It was the best since God’s ways are perfect and above human criticism. So, to find out how God designed the world is to discover its best operation. How did He start?
God Himself is center stage. The creation of the world and its subsequent history revolves around an eternal God who creates out of nothing by the word of His power. Man must begin and end with god Himself if he would think and live correctly. Nothing about Adam’s life was independent from God or His Word. Man was given dominion over creation. In the image and likeness of God, he reflected God’s creative control. Man’s life-and-work is personal, a covenantal service to God under God’s control and for His glory.
Everything in creation was subservient to man in his task of service to God. As a prophet, priest and king under God, man was to use creation in a covenantal, sacramental way. All creation was at man’s disposal to aid him in his service to and worship of God. This may well have been the symbolic sacramentalism behind the tree of life. Man was placed in a family relationship to accomplish his God-ordained task. Again, the question: How did God start the world? He created it out of nothing, placed it under man’s dominion, and then put man within a family context. God created a family.
God did not start with a church, a government, a business, or a voluntary organization. He started with a family – a husband and wife who were to rule over the creation and to produce godly offspring. These godly children were, in turn were to start new families, spread out, and fill the earth. All other societal organizations were present within the family in germinal form and developed out of the family to become separate entities with their own jurisdictional authority. Therefore since all entities flowed out of the family, it (the family) is the building block of society and it is little wonder that it has been the epicenter of spiritual warfare since the creation epoch. If we are to envision what God want’s for his people, we must return in our thinking to Pre-Fall perfection for our model; and in that pre-fall perfection there is only one thing – a family.