Provision (Genesis 1:29-30; 2:8-14)

Bible Commentary / Produced by TOW Project

To Work in God’s Image Is to Receive God’s Provision (Genesis 1:29-30)

Since we are created in God's image, God provides for our needs. This is one of the ways in which those made in God’s image are not God himself. God has no needs, or if he does he has the power to meet them all on his own. We don’t. Therefore:

God said, "See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. (Gen. 1:29-30)

On the one hand, acknowledging God’s provision warns us not to fall into hubris. Without him, our work is nothing. We cannot bring ourselves to life. We cannot even provide for our own maintenance. We need God’s continuing provision of air, water, earth, sunshine, and the miraculous growth of living things for food for our bodies and minds. On the other hand, acknowledging God’s provision gives us confidence in our work. We do not have to depend on our own ability or on the vagaries of circumstance to meet our need. God’s power makes our work fruitful.

God Equips People with Provision for Their Needs (Genesis 2:8-14)

The second cycle of the creation account shows us something of how God provides for our needs. He prepares the earth to be productive when we apply our work to it. “The Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed" (Gen. 2:8). Though we till, God is the original planter. In addition to food, God has created the earth with resources to support everything we need to be fruitful and multiply. He gives us a multitude of rivers providing water, ores yielding stone and metal materials, and precursors to the means of economic exchange (Gen. 2:10-14). “There is gold, and the gold of that land is good” (Gen. 2:11-12). Even when we synthesize new elements and molecules or when we reshuffle DNA among organisms or create artificial cells, we are working with the matter and energy that God brought into being for us.