Bible Studies for Life Sunday School Lesson for June 2

Here’s the Bible Studies for Life Sunday School Lesson for June 2, written by Bryan D. Gill, D.Min., Director of the Office of Faith, Learning and Vocation, Samford University in Birmingham.

Bible Studies for Life Sunday School Lesson for June 2

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By Bryan D. Gill, D.Min.
Director of the Office of Faith, Learning and Vocation, Samford University

GOD’S PROMISE OF FRUITFULNESS

Genesis 1:26–30; 2:16–17; 3:16–19

I get jealous of Adam and Eve when I read Genesis 1. I know jealousy is not an admirable trait, but there is a deep longing in my soul to live in peace with God in a garden. Can you imagine what that might’ve looked like? Peace with God and peace with His creation is what I think we all long for.

A call to return to Eden is embedded in our souls like a distant memory of the way things should be. Is peace with God and peace with His creation possible again?

God commands us to be fruitful and serve as stewards of His creation. (1:26–30)

The words used here describing God’s charge to Adam and Eve in relation to creation are “dominion,” “rule over” and “subdue.” It’s important to remember that this is before sin entered the world. To rule over something in a sinless world looks very different than in a world tainted by sin. It is only by looking at the reign of Jesus that we can see how a true, sinless ruler would act.

Ruling over the earth does not mean that we can ravage the land and strip it of all its riches for our own enjoyment. That’s what sinful kings would do. To rule over the earth as stewards of God’s creation, we should subdue it with the fruit of the Spirit. To destroy the earth for our own gain is to destroy something that God called good. If God calls something good, we should do our best to care for it in the way He cares for us.

God calls for obedience and loyalty. (2:16–17)

I never schedule time to weed my garden. I simply walk through the path and admire the beauty of each plant thriving where I planted it. Occasionally, I will see a tender weed trying to stake its claim in my garden and I pull it up. When I look back after each stroll, the weeds are gone.

While we often focus on the one rule Adam and Eve broke, life in Eden was more about fellowship with God than following rules.

If the point was to be better rule followers, God would’ve given us more rules. Instead, He gave us more of Himself by sending Jesus to restore our fellowship. Our obedience to God looks a lot like walking with Him in the garden and listening to His voice. The more we walk with Him, the more He will pluck the weeds from our lives.

Living in obedience to God is achieved not by following a set of rules but by actively seeking fellowship with Him and walking with Him daily.

Breaking God’s covenant carries serious consequences. (3:16–19)

Tilling the ground is much more enjoyable when the soil is rich than when it is dense and rocky.

Planting a garden is fun, but tending it and making sure the bugs, weeds and rodents don’t overtake it is difficult. For Adam and Eve, they saw the sinless and sinful world. While their circumstances changed from inside to outside the garden, God’s plan for them didn’t. They were still expected to care for God’s creation.

The only difference was that it would be much more difficult going forward. God’s plan for us today is still to care for and watch over His creation in the same way a good ruler would. We often forget this because it’s very difficult, and we feel like our efforts are pointless for an overwhelming task. Nevertheless, we must obey God even when it’s difficult.