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Bible Study Day 1: From Dust to Dust

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Genesis 1 – 14

These are probably some of the most popular stories not only in the bible but in Western culture. From the creation of the world, to the fall of man, Cain murdering Abel, Noah’s ark, and then a sneak peak into Sodom and Gomorrah. I’m not going to dive too much into the broad basics of these stories which have been dissected for literally hundreds of years. How old is the earth really? Did humans evolve or not? How long is six days and so on. I lean more towards the scientific side of the conversation, but even then I don’t find the discussion in general very interesting. What I do find interesting are a few excerpts from the stories that I actually do want to dive deeper on.

17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’

“Cursed is the ground because of you;

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   through painful toil you will eat food from it

   all the days of your life.

18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,

   and you will eat the plants of the field.

19 By the sweat of your brow

   you will eat your food

until you return to the ground,

   since from it you were taken;

for dust you are

   and to dust you will return.”

After the creation of the world God allowed Adam to eat from any tree except the Tree of Knowledge, and was therefore subsequently punished when he did. Now what is interesting are the punishments God delivered. Adam’s punishment, and man in general, is to spend their entire life working. A never ending struggle to merely eat. Even the richest people in the world will see their assets bleed if not taken care of properly.

It’s a rather tragic punishment, and also poetic for one to ‘toil’ on the ground from which they came. Everything will be work, from making a living to merely just trying to survive, there is little to no rest. Lest us think that this punishment is singularly unique to laboring for our food. All of our desires will be unattainable and our goals will never meet our contentment without us willing it so. This is the punishment of disobeying, and of knowing. It’s a constant walk up stream where once we achieve one benchmark not a second passes before we began looking for the next one and so on and so on, “all the days of your life.”

This is the tragedy of life, like Bill Shakespeare once wrote, “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player. That struts and frets his hour upon the stage. And then is heard no more: it is a tale.” In His image, out of dust, and with His breath we were made. And because of our actions our kids and our kid’s kids will forever work to survive.

“For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

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