Omnipotence. In the opening chapter of Genesis, the God of Heaven did something no one else could do: He created everything out of nothing. In verse after verse of chapter one He simply spoke and fully formed things and creatures came into existence. As we read that opening chapter, our hearts and minds are granted the gracious privilege of beholding the origin of everything we see and God’s glory is on display as the sovereign Lord over the entire creation process. Turning our attention to chapter two, it appears that the omnipotence of God is one of the immediate attributes that is particularly noticeable.
In the first three verses of Genesis 2 we see, over and over again, phrasing that emphasizes God’s completed work of creation.
“Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished.” (Gen 2:1)
“And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.” (Gen 2:2)
“Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made”. (Gen 2:3)
The power of God is seen, not only in the act of creating, but in the work He completed.
He purposed to do it and could anyone stop Him? Of course not. The Lord purposes and no one can thwart Him (Job 42:2; Is 14:27). So as we behold God complete the work He began we’re reminded that so it is with every work that God purposes to do. He begins and He completes (cf. Phil 1:6). His plans stand firm forever (Ps 33:11) and His purpose always prevails (Prov 19:21). He sets forth His hand and no one is mighty enough to push it back (Dan 4:35). And, likewise, so it was with the Son of God. Even though John initially sought to prevent His baptism (Mt. 3:14), and even though Satan set before Him a series of temptations (4:1-11), and even though Peter tried to dissuade Him from His suffering (16:22), nothing could keep Jesus from finishing the work the Father had given Him. He set His face towards Jerusalem (Lk. 9:51) and no one could unsettle what was settled. And while we cannot hear the exact tonality of John 19:30, the words “It is finished,” shout to us, ‘Mission accomplished.’ Just as God began and completed the work of creation, so Jesus began and completed all that was necessary our salvation.
See His power not only by the fact that He created, but also in what He created. He caused a mist to grow up from the ground and water the entire Earth (Gen 2:6). He planted a garden and out of it caused every tree to grow (Gen 2:9). That alone is startling. Who of us could command and bring forth a mist from the ground to water plants? Or with a word bring forth a plant to be watered?
But not only that, consider the power of God on display as He created man and woman.
Some years back, my wife and I were going through portions of Genesis 2 as part of the children’s curriculum for our Friday Night Bible study. One of the illustrations in the lesson involved taking some dirt and putting it into a dish. Maybe you see where this is going; if not, hang in there. After taking a decent amount of dirt from a nearby plant pot and placing it in a paper dish, the kids were about to get a picture of merely the fringes of God’s unlimited power.
The illustration went something like this: Imagine a pile of dirt… sculpted into the shape of a man… and then simply, via the breath of God, that pile of dirt becomes a living being! A living being with eyes, lungs, a mind, a soul, and everything else that comes along with being a man created in God’s image! What power! I hope you don’t look at dirt the same way after considering that.
But wait… though the illustration was over, the display of God’s unfathomable power wasn’t.
To form a suitable helpmate for Adam, God put Adam to sleep, removed a rib from his side, and then formed woman out of the man’s rib. In case you missed that, God formed Eve out of Adam’s rib! I can’t imagine making anything from a rib! Yet God can form a woman, with eyes, hands, a brain, circulatory system, and everything else that comes with being a woman created in God’s image. Wow. What power.
Grace. Having spent as much time as we did on the attribute of omnipotence, and given the fact that we will consider this attribute in the following chapter (not to give it away, but if you’re familiar with chapter three you can probably already call to mind the text that demonstrates that), we will spend perhaps a little less time on this attribute here. But my-oh-my is it here to be seen!
For starters, God put the man He had formed in a well-watered (Gen. 2:6), beautiful garden eastward of Eden (vs.7); out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant for sight and good for food (vs.9); and the LORD didn’t leave man idle and bored but He graciously entrusted him with the responsibility of tending it and keeping it (vs.16) with the opportunity to eat freely from any tree except one (vs.17). Then, if providing a beautiful place and beautiful food and meaningful responsibility wasn’t enough, God, in His grace thought, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him” (vs.18b). So, the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam (which was also gracious) and He took one of his ribs, formed a woman, and brought her, like a father walking his daughter down the aisle, to Adam (vs.21-22). Adam’s poetic exclamation was proof enough that he was not disappointed or disenchanted with the wife God had made for Him (vs.23). All grace. And lest we forget, the divine grace demonstrated towards Adam in the creation of Eve points us to a mystery that is the pinnacle and climax of grace – the relationship and spiritual union shared between Jesus and His bride, the church (Eph. 5:31-32).