While reading and enjoying Genesis chapter 2, with the help of the Life-Study and the footnotes in the Recovery Version, I was impressed with the seven figures presented in Genesis 2. Actually, this picture has been drawn by God Himself in His Word and reveals to us what is in His mind and what He is seeking.
The first figure in this picture is “Man” whom God made of clay – an earthen man (Gen 2:7). According to the Scriptures man of clay is a vessel to God (2 Cor 4:7). A vessel is an object into which we can put something. Man was made to contain God and express God.
The second figure is “the Tree of life” (Gen 2:9). The tree of life is a symbol of our Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is the tree of life. John 1:4 says, “In Him was life.” Life is in Christ, and Christ is the source of life. The tree of life signifies Christ as life to us (John 10:10; 14:6).
The third figure is “The River of life” (Gen 2:10). The Lord Jesus tells us in John 7:38-39 that if man believes into Christ, out of his innermost being will flow rivers of living water. This living water will spring up within us and will flow out of us. The flowing river in Genesis 2 is a figure of Christ as the life-giving Spirit gushing up within us as a fountain and flowing out of us as a stream (John 4:14).
The fourth, fifth and sixth figure is “Gold, Bdellium, and Onyx Stone” (Gen 2:12). If we were to enter the tabernacle and look around, we would see gold all around us. The tabernacle was full of gold. With the tabernacle there is the high priest, who serves the Lord. If we were to enter into the tabernacle at the time the high priest was serving the Lord, we would see gold, onyx stone, and precious stones. This shows us that these precious items were for God’s building and the priestly service. Also that the Lord’s building and the Lord’s priests are the same. 1 Peter 2:5 says that we are both a holy priesthood and living stones which are being built up as a spiritual house to the Lord. We are both the priests and the stones. Bdellium is a pearl-like substance and is also material for God’s building(we see in Rev 21:21 that the twelve gates of the holy city are twelve pearls). So at the end of the Scriptures we see the same materials at the beginning. At the beginning the materials were scattered but at the end these materials have been built into a city, fulfilling God’s eternal purpose which is to have a corporate expression.
The seventh and final figure is a “Bride“. The holy city, New Jerusalem, built of the three kinds of costly materials, is actually the bride, the wife of the Lamb (Rev 21:2, 9). The bride in Genesis 2, who signifies the church, was to be married to Adam, who typifies Christ (Rom 5:14). We also see this in Ephesians 5, which reveals that Adam and Eve are types of Christ and the church.
In summary this whole picture shows us that God is seeking a group of people who, having originally been made of clay, will receive Him as life by eating and drinking Him so thay they will be transformed in their nature from men of clay into precious stones. Then by being transformed, they will eventually be built up together to be the Body of Christ, the tabernacle of God, the bride of Christ, built with gold, pearls, and precious stones. This is the picture of the entire Scriptures, and this is the eternal purpose of God.