There are many people who read the Bible and become very confused about its contents and meaning. One of the challenges for this is that many approach the Bible in a manner that is incorrect. Some people read the Bible hoping only to find the solutions to one's problems. Some people read the Bible simply as a historical reference point. Some people read the Bible trying to interject their own reason and experience to interpret its contents. These motives and techniques often present challenges in understanding the true intents of scripture since the Bible was written by men who were divinely inspired by the Spirit of the Living God to testify about the Living God. Thus, since God is holy and unlike any other created being, one must approach the scriptures in humility, emptying one's self of past experiences, seeking only to discover who the God of the Bible is. It is when one is willing to approach this scriptures in humility that one is able to better receive understanding and the benefits that come with that.
One of the portions of scripture that has been misunderstood as a result of incorrect approaches comes in Genesis 2:4-14. Many people have interpreted this portion of scripture to be a second creation account that is different and separate from the first that is found in Genesis chapter 1. This is incorrect. However, as a result of this incorrect interpretation, there have been a variety of ideas and creative theories that are completely unbiblical and have caused even more confusion amongst the church. The contents of Genesis 2:4-14 simply represent a more detailed account, with a more centered focal point of the creation account in Genesis chapter 1. The Word often does this. God communicated the Law to Moses in the Book of Exodus, yet the books of Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy repeat those laws in various ways in provide different details and explanations of the same laws. The multiple appearances of the same Law in those books does not mean that God gave different versions of the Law. The Gospels work the same way. The testimony of Jesus Christ is provided in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in very different ways throughout each book. Yet the Bible clearly reveals different thematic focal points, so presents the same facets of Jesus' life in different ways to prove different things about the same Jesus. Just because a narrative is presented in a different form doesn't mean its a completely new narrative. It simply means the author has a different intent with his presentation.
Since some misinterpret the testimony of Genesis 2:4-14, many of them have suggested that the creation accounts are myth. However, the intent of the author of these accounts does not in any way suggest that the creation accounts are myth. In fact, the presentation of the details in the Book of Genesis reveal that the author was presenting historical facts. The phrase "these are the records" appears 11 times in the Book of Genesis to introduce genealogies as historical documents that testified of the lives of real people. Adam is in all of them. Thus, whether one believes in the Bible's contents or not, the scriptures are written with the intent that readers receive its subject matter as historically verified facts. Such is clearly the author's motives whether one receives his writings as truth or not.
In Genesis 2:4-14 the Bible describes the formation of mankind with greater detail in order to illustrate God's purpose for His creation. Genesis 2:4-14 details the work of God to form mankind out of the dust of the ground in order to show that He is above all mankind. Humans are merely dust formed into something more valuable by the hand of the Living God. It is His work and will that have made mankind into something more beautiful and function than plain old dirt. Nevertheless, when one reads the scriptures, one must consider the point of one's origins - dirt. It is only by the hands of the Living God that one is able to be anything greater. Interestingly enough, the Hebrew word that is used to describe the substance that God created mankind from is the same word that is used to describe clay. Hence, the image of God being the Master Potter, and mankind being the molding clay is presented. Even more so in this image, one must acknowledge that God is the Master in charge of His entire creation. As clay, one has no right to dictate orders, develop opinions or rebel against the God who formed all living things. This is the idea that the Bible seeks to illustrate.
Genesis 2:4-14 also explains that God placed Adam in a certain part of the world for a certain reason. God placed Adam in the midst of 4 rivers - two of which still exist today (the Tigris and Euphrates rivers). As mankind was planted there, he was well taken care of with fertile soil and well equipped to do the things that God desired because of God's own provision. While Genesis chapter 1 reveals God's creative power and sovereign control of all things, the details of Genesis 2:4-14 reveal God's will and purpose. The Lord did not form Adam and let him wander around trying to figure things out for himself. Instead, God displays that He has a purpose and equipped Adam to succeed in that purpose. The details of Genesis 2:4-14 show that since God does these things, mankind is really in no position to formulate one's own agenda for life without the consideration of the Master. This is where the difficulty comes from in reading the Word and interpreting it properly. It is difficult to digest the idea that one should forfeit control over one's life over to God. It is difficult to accept the idea that one should surrender one's thoughts and desires over to God instead of seek the desires of our own minds and hearts without considering Him. Most people don't like to be told what to do. Most people don't like to do things in other ways different from their own. Yet the creation account places mankind far below the Living God and forces one to make a difficult decision. Will we acknowledge the truth as presented in the Bible, or formulate our own truth just so that we can do things our own way according to our own self-defined standards of "right?" If one truly believes that God is the Master Potter and humanity is simply His clay, this thought process will cause one to seek to live with a certain amount of humility, submission and dependency on the Living God through His Word. This is what God wants and will bless! On the other hand, if one does not believe that God is the Master Potter, and that we are something different than clay that He formed for a purpose, it is likely that those people are living without consideration of God, against His standards of righteousness and demonstrate various measures of pride in rejection of God's provision and intent. Only one of these ways of living pleases God. The scriptures are presented in the manner that they are in order to allow us as individuals to make a choice. Which choice will we make today?