THE COVENANT OF CREATION
This is not actually called a covenant in the book of Genesis. But the substance is there. There is a relationship. There is a bond made in blood.
2. Two Aspects of Creation Ordinances.
a. General ordinances.
By creation ordinances, we are speaking of inviable laws which cannot be broken. Like the law of gravity, you do not break those laws, although by ignoring them they may break you.
(1) The Sabbath.
b. The special ordinance.
The focus of this covenant was centered upon the eating of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. But there seems to have been other means in which Adam could have violated the covenant.
THE SABBATH ORDINANCE
1. A Deliverance.
The Sabbath (Genesis 2:2-3) is a blessing to man. It is a deliverance from slavery to work. It guarantees the results of seven days of labor for six days worth of work. This is a grace ordinance (Exodus 31:16-17).
The Sabbath was to be a time of refreshing, both for God and for man (Exodus 23:12). This blessing also involves the setting aside of a time of worship. This comes because of the fact that God sanctified the day and made it holy unto Himself.
2. Various Manifestations of the Sabbath.
a. Multiple repetitions.
There is a multiple repetition of the Sabbath principle throughout the Scriptures.
(1) Weekly sabbaths.
(2) The Sabbatical year (Leviticus 25).
(3) The Jubilee year.
This was a time for glum bankers as all debts were considered to be canceled and family lands would be returned to ancestral owners.
(4) Christ as Jubilee.
In Luke 4:18-21 Jesus announced the coming of the Messianic Jubilee.
b. Linear Pattern.
There is also a linear pattern of the Sabbath as there was movement toward a goal.
3. Purpose for the Sabbath.
There are two reasons given in the Decalogue for the Sabbath.
a. A creation ordinance.
Exodus 20:8-11 links the keeping of the Sabbath with the fact that God first kept the Sabbath.
b. A redemptive ordinance.
Deuteronomy 5:15 links the observance of the Sabbath to the Exodus.
4. Sunday Sabbath.
Jesus rose upon the first day of the week. This was the completion of His work. It was His rest and it has provided a rest for us. This altered the pattern for rest. The resurrection is the greatest event in history - greater even than creation. A new world was created. Therefore it should not surprise us that the church has seen fit to observe the First Day of the Week as the Sabbath.
5. Evidences for a First-Day Sabbath.
There were actually three sabbaths associated with the Passover week.
The Passover week both began and ended with a Sabbath day. In addition to this, there may have been a regular Sabbath (although the fact that Israel was on a 28 day cycle might have made it possible that the Sabbath was always the same in relation to the Sabbath).
The wave offering was taking place on the first day of the week when Jesus arose from the dead.
Thus, the whole structure of the Jewish feasts were designed to give an anticipation of a New Covenant fulfillment upon the first day of the week.
At the same time, we ought to recognize that Paul often used the seventh day of the week for the purposes of Jewish evangelism (Acts 18:4).
THE ORDINANCE OF MARRIAGE
Marriage is a creation ordinance. It is not a matter of convenience of or society. It is not a human invention. Marriage finds its origins in God.
1. Interpersonal Fusion.
Because the woman was first taken from man, marriage becomes a fusion of the two becoming one. Genesis 2:22-24 suggests that the reason that the two become one flesh is because the woman was taken out of man.
Notice that this is an abiding condition. It is not limited to cohabitation, but continues even though the two might be physically separated.
There are two and only two who are to be joined in this interpersonal relationship.
In Mark 10:6-8 Jesus quotes the Old Testament but takes the liberty to slightly alter the text by mentioning "the two" instead of "they." By doing so, He underscores the fact that it is two and only two who are to be made one flesh.
2. Internal Structuring.
Genesis 2:18 says that the woman is to be a helper corresponding to the man. Paul says that the woman was made for the man and not the man for the woman (I Corinthians 11:9).
The Hebrew word negedh has the idea of "face to face with someone." This is the word used here. The woman is face to face with the man.
This does not mean that she is any less than the man. Genesis 1:27 clearly states that she is also created in the image of God.
I Corinthians 7:1
It is not good for a man to be alone.
It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
3. Sexual Abberations.
Polygamy, divorce and homosexuality all conflict with the pattern of creation. God says that He hates divorce (Malachi 2:16).
THE ORDINANCE OF LABOR
The principle of labor is related to the Sabbath. Labor implies the cultural mandate - that man is to subdue the earth for the glory of God. There is New Covenant legislation given which mandates the continuation of this ordinance of labor (II Thessalonians 3:10).
TESTING UNDER THE COVENANT
The question which was put forth to Adam is whether he would hear the word of God and accept the command which was given, not because the Te was poisonous, but because God had commanded it.