PART ONE: HISTORICALLY CONSIDERED
These two chapters of the Bible are intensely interesting for more than one reason. They are arresting as narrating the creation of the universe, and reconstruction of the world in which we live. They are interesting as giving us the description of things before sin came in with its train of sorrow and suffering.
Further, they have been the object of bitter and persistent attack on the part of sceptics and modernists. Such would fain reduce the story of creation to the realm of a fairy story, folklore and the like. One thing is very evident. Such writers very generally show a wish to discredit the creation story. They illustrate the Scripture which says, “The carnal mind is enmity against God” (Rom. 8:7). Romans 1:28 speaks of a class, which “did not like to retain God in their knowledge.” The result is such that they approach the subject with a bias in their minds, a desire to prove the Bible untrue. Their treatment of the subject often lacks fairness and common honesty, and, be it said, oftentimes common sense.
To begin with, the accounts of the creation of the world, other than that of the Bible, are clearly uninspired and the fruit of guess work. How could it be otherwise? There was no witness of the original creation. The tiny substratum of truth that may lurk in these stories comes from the original Bible story, which becomes distorted and disfigured almost out of all recognition as it is handed down from generation to generation.
For instance, in the Hindu religion, it is taught that our earth was flat and triangular, composed of seven stories, supported on the heads of elephants, whose ungainly movements were the cause of earthquakes. Mohammed taught that the mountains were created to act as chains and anchors to keep the earth from moving. In Greek and Latin philosophies the heavens were said to be a solid vault over the earth, studded with stars. Plato held that the earth was an intelligent being. Thales, a Greek philosopher (circa 636 B.C.) believed that water was the primordial germ. Heraclitus taught that fire was the primordial germ. Pythagoras (circa 500/600 B.C.) taught that number, whatever that might mean, was the primordial germ.
In what vivid contrast stands the dignified narrative of creation in Genesis 1. Even the modernist must concede this, or stand condemned as being so blinded by prejudice as to be incapable of sound and honest judgment.
In all the various accounts of creation, save the Bible’s, GOD is very largely left out of account. Genesis 1 begins with the majestic words, “In the beginning GOD.” Modernists often seek to hide God under such terms as “The Great First cause,” “Nature,” etc. In strong contrast to this, the name of GOD is mentioned no less than thirty-four times in the Bible narrative of creation (Gen. 1-2:3).
Creation demands a Creator. Let the evolutionist, if he pleases, trace creation to a single bit of protoplasm, the question arises whence did that bit of protoplasm with its myriad potentialities come; or better still, from WHOM did it originate? Some scientists aver that from this bit of protoplasm comes the whale and the minnow; the elephant and the midge; the giraffe and the mouse; the noble oak and the sweet forget-me-not; the mighty Niagara and the gently falling dew; the lofty Mount Everest, and the mote that floats in the sunshine. If all this were true, whence comes this marvellous bit of protoplasm, bursting with such varied and marvellous potentialities? Even Charles Darwin in the closing words of the Origin of Species, wrote,
“There is a grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into the first forms, or into one.”
If what Darwin said was true, why does not every scientist bow the knee in adoring worship at the display of such power and wisdom, infinitely beyond the power of man to understand, save in a very feeble measure? Yet, alas! it is not so . . . Scripture gives the real reason, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against GOD” (Rom. 8:7).
We have often noticed how a noisy minority can keep up a strenuous propaganda, which is calculated to deceive the unwary, who take their propaganda at face value. The attack on Christianity has never been more virulent and persistent than at the present time, whilst the defence has been too passive. We can however, point out outstanding names among scientists, who were firm believers on the Lord Jesus Christ—Sir Isaac Newton, the discoverer of the law of gravitation; Linnaeus, the great Swedish naturalist; Kepler, the great astronomer; Sir Humphrey Davey, the inventor of the miner’s safety lamp; Sir Michael Faraday, the great chemist; Sir James Y. Simpson, the discoverer of the use of anaesthetics in surgery, who, being asked what was his greatest discovery, answered, “I found out that I was a great sinner, and that Christ was a great Saviour;” Lord Kelvin, who declared,
“I am ready to accept as an article of faith in science valid for all time and in all space, that life is produced by life, and only by life.”
Need we enlarge on this list? These names are sufficient to show that great men of science with attainments reached by few have been found in the ranks of devout believers on the Lord Jesus Christ.
FIVE THINGS NECESSARY FOR CREATION
Herbert Spencer, evolutionist and sceptic, declared that five things were necessary for creation—Time, Space, Matter, Force, Motion. We would not suspect Spencer of being influenced by Scripture in this pronouncement, yet these are the very five things stated by Moses in Genesis 1:1-2
TIME — “In the beginning.”
SPACE — “God created the heaven,”
MATTER — “and the earth.”
FORCE — “God,” “the Spirit of God.”
MOTION — “The Spirit of God moved.”
How is it that Moses, living in the fifteenth century before Christ, should have put upon record these five essentials for creation, which Herbert Spencer, with all the accumulated knowledge of the nineteenth century after Christ at his command deemed necessary? Think of Moses in the desert inscribing the story of creation as found in Genesis 1 and 2, and further, that this story should have been preserved to mankind all down the ages is an astounding miracle. How blind is the man who fails to see the guiding hand of Divine inspiration as Moses wrote down the message given to him.
NO ROOM FOR PANTHEISM IN GENESIS 1
Pantheism is the belief that is current in the heathen world today. It asserts the eternity of matter. It declares that mind and matter are one. It declares that there is no God apart from nature or the universe. The pantheist believes that he himself, the flowers that grow in the field, the fruits on the trees, the water that flows to the ocean, the ocean itself, the elephant, the cow—in short, organic and inorganic matter are all God, immanent and inherent as part of the Supreme Being.
But the very first verse of the Bible contradicts this idea. We read,
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1).
It is clear that if God created, He existed before He created. Pantheistic theology is about as sensible as if I were showing you a table, and told you that the carpenter, who made it, was not only in the table, but that the table was the carpenter himself, that you could not distinguish between the carpenter and the table he made. Dr. Paley’s well known illustration of a watchmaker and the watch he made, that the watchmaker existed a good many years before he made the watch, and that he existed apart from the watch, still holds good. A table requires a carpenter; a watch requires a watchmaker, and surely this earth needs a Creator. So we read in the sublime words of Moses, “In the beginning GOD created the heaven and the earth,” words unmatched by any description of the creation in the writings of the ancients. GOD existed before creation. He is apart from creation. His almighty power brought it into being, and sustains it.
NO ROOM FOR UNITARIANISM IN GENESIS 1
Unitarianism affirms the oneness of the Godhead, but denies the truth of the Trinity—God, the Father; God, the Son; God, the Holy Spirit; Three in One; One in Three, One omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient God, the one Eternal Supreme Creator, “which is, and which was, and which is to come” (Rev. 1:4).
At one time Unitarianism was confined to Unitarian chapels, where the Deity of our Lord was denied, and as a consequence the atoning character of His death refused. Christ was extolled as a wonderful man, but no more. Their teaching was to set forth Christ as an Example to be followed, whilst He was stoutly refused as a Saviour. Alas! there is little need for separate Unitarian chapels today as Unitarian beliefs have largely spread among the formerly orthodox churches. A man or woman holding Unitarian belief cannot be a Christian. Their teaching is blasphemy.
We shall see now how Genesis 1 strikes a fatal blow against this heresy. The Hebrew language is not a rich language, but it is rich in its grammar in one particular, it possesses three numbers—singular, dual (standing for exactly two), and plural (standing for at least three). What made Moses write down the sacred word, GOD, in the plural?
Nor is he the only Old Testament writer that has done so. The word, GOD (Elohim), is found over 2,500 times in the plural, and only a little over 300 times in the singular. In the light of the full teaching of Scripture we can plainly see that the thought of the Trinity is therein enshrined.
This is further emphasized by the fact that the verb that follows the word GOD (plural) in Genesis 1:1—“GOD created”—is in the singular. This is very unusual to say the least. But if the plural form of the word, GOD sets forth a plural-unity, we can understand the plural word for GOD being followed by a singular verb.
There is one especial passage from the pen of the same writer, Moses, where we read,
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord [Jehovah, singular] our God [Elohim, plural] is one Lord [Jehovah, singular]” (Deut. 6:4).
Here in the very affirmation of the unity of the Godhead, there is emphasized the truth of the Trinity, Three in One and One in Three—one God. There is no room for Unitarianism in Genesis 1.
The truth of the Trinity, so patent in the fuller revelation that we get in the New Testament, is clearly latent in the Old Testament. How could Moses have dared to put the sacred name of GOD in the plural to be followed by a singular verb, were he not inspired? Here we have revelation. Even our modernist critics could scarcely have the audacity to affirm that this was a happy guess on the part of Moses. It is a plain proof of inspiration.
NO ROOM FOR IDOLATRY IN GENESIS 1
It is very evident that if the truth that GOD is the mighty Creator were grasped, man would not worship the creature. And yet men, with all the evidence of God’s “eternal power and Godhead” as seen in creation, have turned their backs upon God, their foolish hearts are darkened, and their imaginations vain. They have
“changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts and creeping things who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever” (Rom. 1:23, 25).
Because of this God has given them up to uncleanness. We have ample witness of this in heathen lands, where little girls are dedicated to the temple service, in reality brought up as prostitutes to serve the lusts and evil propensities of the heathen priesthood. We can see it when we behold men worshipping the beetle, the ibis, the bull, the serpent, the sun. The degradation of heathendom is ample testimony to the Satanic source of this departure from God. 1 Corinthians 10:19-20 clearly shows that behind the heathen idol is demon worship. That there is need for this warning is seen in that so late as the Apostle John’s first epistle (A.D. 90), it closes with the solemn admonition, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.”
NO ROOM FOR CHRISTIAN SCIENCE IN GENESIS 1
The late Mrs. Eddy, “The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science,” as she styled herself, wrote,
“There can be no substance in matter” (Science and Health, p. 90).
She was so foolish as to write,
“A cup of coffee or tea is not the equal of truth whether for the inspiration of a sermon or for the support of bodily endurance” (Science and Health, p. 80).
One cannot understand how sensible, educated people can believe such nonsense as no substance in matter. Genesis 1 gives it the lie direct. God created the heaven and the earth, the mountains, the flowing streams, the rocks, the valleys, the seas, the trees, flowers, fruits, animals, man, and looking upon it proclaimed it as very good. God created matter, which Christian Science says has no substance.
I wonder, when Mrs. Eddy was thirsty, whether she read a page of her book for refreshment, or had a cup of tea or coffee. Christian Scientists act like ordinary mortals in their everyday life and are daily playing false to their tenets; they wear artificial teeth and use spectacles like ordinary people, grow old and die. All this is in direct contradiction to their teaching.
NO ROOM FOR EVOLUTION IN GENESIS 1
In dealing with the creation of life, whether of vegetable, or animal, Moses used an arresting phrase no less than ten times, which is utterly destructive of the theory of evolution. He wrote,
“Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself” (Gen. 1:11).
“And God created great whales, and every living creature that moves, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind” (Gen. 1:21).
“And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creeps upon the earth after his kind” (Gen. 1:25).
There is a striking parallel to this in the New Testament. We read,
“All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is ONE KIND OF FLESH of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds” (1 Cor. 15:39).
The writer well remembers conducting a series of meetings, and in one of them dealing with the subject, Creation versus Evolution, he quoted this striking and decisive verse. Present in the audience was a gifted servant of the Lord, who was immensely struck with its force. For years whenever the writer met him he invariably spoke of the pleasure and help the quotation of this verse had been to him.
But what was meant by this oft-repeated phrase, “After his kind?” The Spirit of God surely meant something very definite by it. It clearly affirms that each species in nature is distinct from every other species, that there is no such thing as one species blending with another, that there is no such thing in nature as transmutation.
To make the matter clear, the meaning of species should be clearly understood. The dictionary explains species as follows:“A group of individuals having common marks or characteristics specialised from others of the same genus to which it is subordinate.” For instance, there is the canine species, including the wolf, the fox, the jackal, the dog, etc. There is the feline species, including the lion, the tiger, the panther, the cat, etc. The members of one species do not breed in their natural state with members of another species.
We must keep the difference between mongrel and hybrid clear in our minds. A mongrel is the offspring of two varieties in the same species. For instance, we might see a dog, which was half alsatian and half greyhound; or a barn fowl half minorca and half orpington. Such are the offspring of two varieties of the same species, and are FERTILE. Left to nature there is always the tendency with mongrels to revert to type, such as pouter pigeons, tumblers, etc., reverting to the original type of the species to which they belong, the common blue rock-pigeon.
On the other hand, hybrids are the offspring of parents of two different species. Left to nature these are very rare indeed. The commonest hybrid is the mule, the offspring of an ass and a horse, and very generally brought about by man’s arrangement. But hybrids are sterile, infertile, and CANNOT BREED. Nature stops the transmutation between two members of different species. That is the meaning of “after his kind.” That phrase alone kills the evolution theory, for theory it is without any proof in nature. The reason why this unhappy guess, dignified with the name of theory, should have deceived multitudes to the destruction of their faith in the Scriptures, is stated with devastating plainness and force in Scripture:
“And even as they did not LIKE to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind [margin, a mind void of judgment]” (Rom. 1:28).
Scripture nails the lie of evolution to the counter, and shows plainly why it has so largely succeeded.
Very leading scientists, such as Professor Patrick Geddes and the late Sir J. Arthur Thompson, however, acknowledge that evolution has not been remotely proved, and is still a complete enigma, which they hope some scientist in the future will be able to solve; but which we, who believe the Bible, know they can never do. They say:
“We must leave that rich mastery of THE EVOLUTION SECRET, we once hoped for, to the successors, we would fain send out so much better equipped” (Evolution, p. 232).
That is sufficient acknowledgment of complete failure to prove Darwin’s theories, and those of numerous writers on the subject of evolution.
We have now seen there is in Genesis 1 no room for Pantheism, no room for Idolatry, no room for Unitarianism, no room for Christian Science, no room for Evolution. Most certainly the Author of Genesis 1, God Himself, had prevision of what errors would come into the world, and gave an account of creation that would have preserved mankind from these evils, if it had been studied and believed.
In all these evil things a blow is alike struck at the very being of God. Moses, a mere man, could not have foreseen all this. What proof this is that the Author of Genesis 1 and 2 is GOD HIMSELF.
THE ORIGINAL CREATION OF THE WORLD
This is given in ten simple words,
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1).
How simple, how dignified, how profound! There is nothing approaching this in all the writings of the ancients. How evident is the hallmark of inspiration!
But geologists call for millions of years for the formation of the rocks. Supposing they are right in this, there is no difficulty. Scripture allows all the time that is necessary for the mighty changes that have taken place in the crust of the earth.
At the top of some editions of the Bible there is marked the date 4004 B.C., that is nearly 6,000 years ago. But that calculation is put there by the hand of fallible man. It probably is fairly correct in dating the creation of Adam. Indeed Archbishop Ussher’s date must have had Adam’s creation in mind, for who can tell when the original creation was?
Have we any light from Scripture as to this? We have. Genesis 1:2 says,
“The earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.”
Was this the condition of the earth in its natural state? It surely was not. Have we any ground for making this assertion? We have, for it says in Isaiah 45:18,
“For thus says the LORD that created the heavens; God Himself that formed the earth and made it: He has established it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited.”
In order that this verse may be abundantly plain, we put two Scriptures side by side, as rendered
The Authorised Version
“God formed the earth and made it; He has established it, He created it NOT in vain [A WASTE]” (Isa. 45:18).
The Revised Version
“And the earth was WASTE and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep” (Gen 1:2).
To view these Scriptures side by side is very illuminating. The former Scripture says the earth was found in a WASTE and void condition. The latter Scripture as emphatically states that in its original condition the earth was NOT IN A WASTE condition. The Hebrew word, tohu, is translated “without form” in Genesis 1:2. The same word, tohu, is translated “in vain” in Isaiah 45:18 in our Authorised Version. In other words, Genesis 1:2 states that the earth was found in a state of chaos and ruin, whilst Isaiah 45:18 states that the original creation was not so.
The first verse of the Bible records the original creation of the heaven and the earth; whilst the second verse states that the earth was in a state of chaos and darkness. Comparing these Scriptures one with the other, earnest Bible students have plainly seen that there was an original fair creation, and that some unrecorded catastrophe must have occurred, which reduced this earth to a state of ruin and chaos. The time that elapsed between verses 1 and 2 of Genesis 1, is sufficient to allow for any demands that may be deemed necessary for geological changes in the structure of the earth’s surface. But what that time was we cannot conjecture. Scripture is silent as to this and also as to the cause of this tremendous catastrophe to our planet. When Scripture is silent, it is impertinent for us to speculate. We must respect the silences of Scripture, as well as its revelations.
This view, that some mighty catastrophe had taken place, has been held for many years by many able expositors of the word. So far back as St. Augustine this view was held, so it is no new idea.
And further, there is confirmation of this view inasmuch as from Genesis 1:2 to 2:3, two different verbs are employed throughout—to create, and to make—indeed this is specially emphasized in the closing verse of the narrative, where we read,
“And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made” (Gen. 2:3).
The margin of our Oxford Bible says “created to make.” That is illuminating. For instance a cabinet maker makes a table. But the tree from which the wood was taken needed a Creator. The tree has life, and the power of reproduction. That is where creation of organic matter comes in. The cabinet maker’s table has no such power. That is the difference between creation and making. Creation is the production of something out of nothing, as seen in the case of animal and vegetable life with powers of reproduction. Making is the production of something out of already existing matter.
Now the general word for creation occurs in Genesis 1:1. During the six days of reconstruction God took in hand the wrecked world, and brought cosmos out of chaos. Hence the word made occurs in the narrative in Genesis 1 and 2 no less than ten times, whereas the word “create,” occurs but five times in the same chapters.
That a great catastrophe wrecked this world of ours is confirmed by geology. The story of the rocks, the immense convulsions, table lands and mountains thrown down, and valleys and plains elevated—all tell a tale. Palaeontology confirms this too. There are fossil remains of gigantic carnivorous animals, of which the world, as we know it today, contains no living specimens. There were dinosaurs, ichthyosaurs, pterodactyles, etc., etc., extinct animals of immense size, which have passed away, leaving no descendants. An idea of their size is given when the skeleton fossil of a dinosaur’s thigh bone was found to measure six feet; the wing of a pterodactyle measured eighteen feet from tip to tip. No fossil of human remains is found in this period.
It is clear that a mighty catastrophe occurred, which resulted in the earth being covered with waters, and swathed in darkness.
THE FIRST DAY
We read that the earth was without form and void, that is, it was in a chaotic state. Darkness brooded over the dreary scene of desolation. Nature lay twisted and broken. Every sign of life was gone. Then God intervened. He would not allow the beautiful earth He had created to be wrecked for all time. So we read,
“And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Gen. 1:2).
It is ever thus. We are shut up to God. He is the great Creator, and now He is the only One capable of reconstructing a destroyed and dead world. And God said,
“Let there be light: and there was light” (Gen. 1:3).
The brooding darkness was dispelled by the omnipotent word. The rays of the sun, created, surely, as described in verse one of our chapter, was bidden to illuminate the scene. That the sun was already created is proved by the words,
“The evening and the morning were the first day” (Gen. 1:5).
This surely points to the diurnal movement of the earth revolving round the sun. This clearly means a day of twenty-four hours. To try to make out that “the evening and the morning” were vast stretches of time involves too many difficulties. One cannot fit into the narrative the idea of millions of years of night, followed by millions of years of day. The reason why the period theory is pressed, is we believe that scientists are unwilling to admit the power of God. They will not allow that He is the Sustainer and Controller, as well as the Creator of nature.
If God could create a world in a million of years, He can equally do so in a moment of time. Bring God in, and all difficulty vanishes. Indeed the Apostle Peter tells us,
“One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8).
Geologists may demand millions of years for certain results to be produced. God can perform in one day what we deem, in our feeble and very partial knowledge and wrong conceptions, should take millions of years to bring about. One thousand years may seem a long time to us. Generation after generation comes and goes. Dynasty after dynasty rises and vanishes. To God it is but a brief day.
God would not have called for the light unless there were to be eyes to profit by it. Light and sight go together, the one useless without the other. We conclude then that at the very beginning of the Divine activities, God had the end in view, even the blessing of man.
God saw the light that it was good. He divided the light from the darkness, calling the light Day, and the darkness Night.
It is significant that God speaks of the Day first and then of the Night. He calls the light good, not the darkness.
“God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).
The Day is before Him. We shall see that in detail when we come to the seventh day. But with man it is Evening first, and then the Morning. There is the struggle between darkness and light, and before the light the darkness pales, and the evening passes, and the morning comes. Man ever waits for the day to come.
THE SECOND DAY
“And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.”
The Hebrew word translated “firmament” would be better given as “expanse,” as it is marked in the reference column in some editions of our Bibles. The word, “firmament” comes from the Vulgate translation of the Bible in Latin by Jerome, and is unfortunate. The idea came to him from the ancients. Greek and Roman philosophies described heaven as forming a solid vault over the earth. Aristotle’s (B.C. 384-322) description was “a sphere studded with stars.” The little girl, who imagined the stars were gimlet holes let into the floor of heaven through which the glory of heaven shone, was not far removed from the learned philosopher in her ideas.
The meaning of the passage is plain. Up to now the chaotic earth was enswathed in water and enwrapt in darkness. Then God took in hand to reconstruct the earth. He decreed that there should not only be water on the earth, but by evaporation there should be water in the skies in the form of clouds. There was to be water below the expanse, that is on the earth; and water above the expanse, that is as seen in the clouds in the sky.
When one realizes that one inch of rain on an acre of ground, approximately an area of seventy yards square, weighs one hundred and one tons, and that often rain will fall on a whole country at one time, one gets some idea how vast is the weight of water above the expanse. By an arrangement of nature this enormous weight of moisture is suspended in space, and driven about by the winds, so that rain falls in the right places to fulfil God’s will. Psalm 148 says,
“Praise Him . . . ye waters that are above the heavens . . . stormy wind fulfilling His word.”
The great heat of the tropics and the great cold of the Arctic regions by their reaction on each other produce winds, without which rain would be unequally distributed.
Such is our Creator-God. What do we not owe to Him? Our very life, and the sustainment of it. Every breath we draw we owe to Him.
It is calculated that seventy per cent of the earth’s surface is covered by water, and thirty percent by land. The average height of the land above the level of the ocean is about 2,300 feet; while the astonishing average depth of the ocean is about 13,000 feet. If the earth had too great a proportion of land, we should have droughts and deserts. If too much water in proportion to the land, we should have floods that would destroy the crops and devastate large tracts of land. The arrangement, that exists, shows the wonderful wisdom of our Creator-God.
It is worthy of note that the word, Heaven, in Genesis 1:1, in the Hebrew original is in the dual number. Who told Moses to write it thus? What did he know of the atmospheric heaven where life can exist, where the birds fly and the clouds form; of the stellar heaven, those vast spaces where the atmosphere is so rarified that human life cannot exist? Do we not see the hallmark of inspiration here?
It is interesting to note that the Apostle Paul was caught up to the third Heaven (2 Cor. 12:2). The Jews would understand this. The first, the atmospheric heaven; the second, the vast stellar spaces; the third Heaven, the dwelling place of God.
It is deeply interesting to see the division between Heaven and Earth. God would constantly remind man that he is dependent on his Creator. Where is the sun, the centre of our system, the source of light and heat, the ripener of the fruits of the earth, but in heaven? Earth is dependent upon heaven. Whence come the refreshing life-giving showers on the thirsty earth, without which we should perish, but from heaven? Earth is dependent upon heaven. Would that men would recognise this. God emphasizes this very markedly in Genesis 1.
THE THIRD DAY
“And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called He Seas: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day.”
At every step we see how God had in view the creation of man. On the first day He said, “Let there be light.” But light would be of no use, unless there were eyes to see it. God had the creation of man in view. On the second day, we have the distinction made between Heaven and Earth. Man was to be taught his dependence on His Creator, a very valuable lesson indeed! If it were paid attention to, what a difference it would make in the world, and much for the better. The third day arrived. Again we see God’s gracious provision in arranging that the earth should appear, and the seas be gathered in their appointed places.
We have just been seeing how God planned the right proportion of water to land, so that due evaporation might take place, and clouds be formed, and rain descend upon the earth for man’s benefit, bringing him water to drink, and for the refreshment of the earth’s surface. We read,
“The earth which drinks in the rain that comes oft upon it, and brings forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receives blessing from God” (Heb. 6:7).
At the Divine behest grass appeared, herbs yielding seed, fruit trees yielding fruit, each after his kind, and bearing within them the power of reproduction, so that generation after generation the earth should yield her increase, and man should be sustained by the hand of a bountiful Creator. We confess that we stand amazed and confounded as we contemplate the wonders of creation. Linnaeus, the great Swedish naturalist, was so overcome by the sight of a mountain side covered by gorse in full bloom, like a veritable field of gold, that he fell on his knees in adoration before his Creator. No wonder!
Take a blade of grass and examine it closely. See the little veins, life ducts, that carry the nourishment of the soil to the plant. Sit under the shadow of the mighty oak, and ask how it is that it can stand without support above ground, and withstand the blast of the mighty tempest. On examination you will find massive roots stretching out at equal length under the ground in proportion to the upward lift of the tree. A thousand wonders of creation, nay millions of marvels stretch themselves before our gaze. No wonder the poet wrote:
“There is a God, all nature cries,
I see it painted on the skies,
I see it in the flow’ring spring,
I hear it when the birdlings sing,
I see it on the flowing main,
I see it on the fruitful plain,
I see it stamped on hail and snow,
I see it where the streamlets flow,
I see it in the clouds that soar,
I see it when the thunders roar,
I see it when the morning shines,
I see it when the day declines,
I see it in the smallest mite,
I see it everywhere abroad,
I FEEL, I KNOW, THERE IS A GOD.”
Our food is the gift of God. Without the sun to ripen the crops, without the wind to carry the clouds over the land, without the rain to water the ground, without the power of the plant to gather nourishment of the soil, without its powers of reproduction, we should have no food. In the present largely artificial life of the present time, we pay only for rent, labour and transport, all else is the pure gift of God.
Why are men not thankful? If men would but learn the lessons of Genesis i what a different world we should live in;
THE FOURTH DAY
“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and. let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: and let them be far lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: He made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.”
We must bear in mind carefully that from Genesis 1:2 we have the story of the reconstruction of a ruined and chaotic world, which at the first had been created in perfection and beauty.
On the fourth day we have the setting of the sun and the moon in their appointed places in relation to the earth. Besides the sun being the source of heat, the ripener of the harvests, the power for evaporation in order that rain might descend on the earth, we are told it is to rule the day, and the moon to rule the night.
It has been thought by some that light was independent of the sun, that on the first day God created the light, and that on the fourth day He created the sun. But we are not told that on the fourth day He created the sun and the moon, but that He made two great lights. We believe that the sun and moon were created at the first, and were included in the statement that in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. What proves this, we believe, is the statement that the evening and the morning were the first day, proving the diurnal motion of the earth, in relation to the sun, resulting in day and night.
We are told these two lights were for signs and seasons and days and years. They are God’s great timekeepers. Every day they are signs to mankind. They declare the Creator’s “eternal power and Godhead” (Rom. 1:20). In the wonderfully vivid and beautiful language of Psalm 19, the heavens declare the glory of God. Day by day utters speech. Night by night shows knowledge. Its speech is known by all mankind. In the heavens has He set a tabernacle for the sun, which as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, rejoices as a strong man to run a race.
Moses blessing the tribes of Israel said,
“Blessed of the LORD be His land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that couches beneath, and for the precious things brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon” (Deut. 33:13-14).
They are for seasons. Spring ushers in summer; autumn succeeds summer; winter follows autumn, and the winter gives place to spring again. They are for years. The earth travelling round the sun in its orbit produces the year. How wonderful is God’s timekeeper.
We have the assuring promise that
“while the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease” (Gen. 8:22).
In five short words the arranging of the stars in their relation to this earth is stated—“He made the stars also.” When God made promise to Abraham, He told him that his seed should be “as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the seashore innumerable” (Heb. 11:12).
Sceptics have scoffed at this statement. But as telescopes increased in range and power, and remarkable stellar photography came to the fore, it was seen how vastly numerous are the stars. The Milky Way contains millions upon millions. Nor do we know that we have even touched the fringe of the mighty universe. Sir James Jeans, the great astronomer, tells us the stars are as the sand of the seashore for multitude. Multitudes of these stars are in reality suns, many many times larger than our sun. So we read of God,
“He tells the number of the stars; He calls them all by their names” (Ps. 147:4).
We can only exclaim that such knowledge is too wonderful, it is too high, we cannot attain to it. The late Dr. Alfred Russell Wallace, the great scientist and sceptic, as the result of his researches believed that our earth is the only place in the vast universe capable of sustaining human life. Thus we can understand how Genesis 1 is written from the standpoint of the earth. God’s delights are with the sons of men (Prov. 8:31).
THE FIFTH DAY
“And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that has life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moves, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day” (vv. 20-23).
On the fifth day God called into existence the denizens of the deep. He also created the birds and fowls of the air.
It is very instructive that Moses differentiated between every living creature that moves, which the waters brought forth, and whales. The Hebrew word, translated whale in our Authorised Bibles is also rendered dragon, serpent, sea-monster, sea-calf. There is no doubt that Moses differentiated between fishes, cold-blooded animals, and warm-blooded denizens of the sea, which suckle their young, and are obliged to come to the surface of the sea to breathe. Whales, porpoises, dolphins, seals, etc., come under this category, all of them of large size. Do we not see in this the meticulous care of Divine inspiration? What could Moses know of such things? What opportunities had he, first in Egypt, then forty years in the backside of the desert keeping sheep, then forty years in the desert leading the children of Israel towards Canaan, to study piscatology, that is the scientific study of fishes? And yet Moses made no mistakes in his narrative. How the simple yet profound account of the reconstruction of the world stands in vivid contrast to the fantastic fairy tales of the ancients when they wrote on the origin of the earth.
Seven words only are allotted to the statement of the feathered kingdom, the birds and fowls of the air with their beautiful plumage and wonderful flight, among them such contrasts as the soaring eagle and the humble sparrow; the mighty condor and the tiny humming-bird with its brilliant plumage; marine birds such as the tireless albatross and the greedy cormorant.
THE SIXTH DAY
“And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping things, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth. And God said, Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creeps upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day” (vv. 24-31).
The importance of the sixth day is seen in that no less than eight verses are required to describe its activities. On the third day the earth was covered by vegetation at the behest of God. Grass, herbs, trees in all their thousands of forms were created. But this was in view of the support of animal and human life. On the fourth day the sun and moon were set in their places—the sun, the source of light, heat and fertility; the moon, with its nocturnal usefulness; all was then in train for further development. On the fifth day the seas were stocked with life, and the fowls of the air were brought into existence.
Then came the moment for the creation of animal life, the living creature after his kind—cattle, creeping things and beasts of the earth, each after his kind. In two verses we get the phrase “after his [or their] kind” repeated. Why this fourfold repetition? We know that Scripture does not repeat itself in an aimless manner, but in this way emphasizes and draws particular attention to a striking fact.
We have already seen in our prefatory remarks why this is so, to emphasize that God will not allow confusion in His world. Left to themselves each animal mates with one of his own species. Any attempt at reproduction outside his own species is doomed to sterility.
Indeed these verses, and the succeeding verses most clearly rebut the evolution theory. We must either believe in the fact of God’s creation of animal and human life as given in this masterly chapter, or not. If we believe in evolution, in reality we give up the solemn testimony of Scripture as to the fall, the evidence of which is seen abundantly in ourselves and in the history of the world. We should have to give up the atoning sacrifice of Christ and the inspiration of the Bible, a solemn price to pay for believing in an unproved degrading theory, a mere guess without any scientific proof behind it, as first class scientists now allow.
Now we come to the highest part of God’s creation, the consummation of these six days of reconstruction we have been studying. We have arrived now at the point when man was created. The Divine activities that have preceded this, we can liken to an architect designing and carrying out the plans of a palace for a royal personage to be its occupant. So God prepared all the beautiful world around; sun, moon, stars, clouds, inorganic matter, vegetable life, animal life, with their myriad astounding wonders, all prepared for this moment of supreme importance when God created man, a creature with whom He could commune. How simple, how profound, how elevating is the description given of the creation of man.
The writer remembers seeing two schoolboys examining with great curiosity a cage full of monkeys. He overheard them telling each other what they had been taught at school, how they were descended from such creatures. They evidently fully believed this degrading lie. It reminds the writer of a story he heard of how an ugly man, loudly asserting that he was descended from an ape, flew into a rage, when the person to whom he was talking said, “Well narrowly examining your features, I can well believe that what you say is true.” Why get into a rage, because you are like your great-great-grandfather in features?
What a contrast between the degrading fiction of the ape-man slowly developing into the man-ape, his simian features proclaiming his bestial origin, and the majestic dignity of God saying, “Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness.”
The difference between man and the lower animal creation is very marked, physically, morally, mentally, spiritually. God says that He made man in His own image, and after His own likeness. Fallen man says that he is made in the image of the ape, and after its likeness. Believe God’s statement, and immediately the mind is elevated and filled with right and true ideas. Believe the latter, and you gravitate to the beast you falsely claim to be descended from. The former belief is elevating, the latter degrading.
So God created man and woman, and gave them dominion over the lower world around them. For their sustenance He gave them every herb bearing seed, and every tree bearing fruit and yielding seed.
There are many things that differentiate man from the lower creation. Language is unshared by any but mankind. Compare a parrot’s scream or an ape’s grunt with the oratory of a Demosthenes, a Cicero, a Gladstone, a Spurgeon, a Daniel Webster, and you will find a gulf that cannot be bridged. Take writing, the complement of speaking; this too is unshared by the lower creation. You may compare a nightingale’s song with Beethoven’s melodies, but with writing there is absolutely nothing to compare in the lower creation. The same may be said of reading. Take calculation. The three Rs—the attainment of the ploughboy and the seamstress—are really wonderful, and mark man off from the lower creation. What does a wise dog know of logarithms, or a goose of algebra, or an ape of quadratic equations? Take song. Birds sing, but their songs are confined to certain notes and trills, which never vary. Compare these with the magnificent melodies of Beethoven, and Mendelssohn and Hadyn, the massive and multitudinous harmonies of an oratorio. Birds never sing in parts. Man has tenor, baritone and bass voices; women, contralto and soprano, and can blend their voices in harmony. Much more could be adduced on these lines did space allow.
We must, however, refer to one outstanding feature that marks man, a feature, which is completely lacking in the lower creation. God has equipped man mentally and morally with a nature and understanding that can grasp the knowledge that there is a God. Man is GOD CONSCIOUS.
Put a Bible between the bars of a cage in which an ape is captive. What will he do with it? He will examine it, come to the conclusion that it is not edible, play with it perhaps, tear out its leaves, but it brings to him no message. No thought of a Creator remotely crosses the mind of the ape.
What a difference between the irresponsible ape and Burns’ Cottar’s Saturday Night.
“The cheerfu’ supper done, wi’ serious face,
They round the ingle form a circle wide,
The sire turns o’er with patriarchal grace
The big ha’ Bible, ance his father’s pride,
Then kneeling down to Heaven’s Eternal King,
The saint, the father and the husband prays.
Hope springs exulting on triumphant wing,
That thus they all shall meet in uncreated ray
No more to shed the bitter tear,
Together hymning their Creator’s praise
In such society, yet still more dear
While circling Time moves round in an eternal sphere.”
The gulf between man and the beast is unbridgeable. A further point emphasizes this still more. We have noticed the phrase, “After his kind,” repeated ten times in Genesis 1. Scripture never repeats itself in a meaningless way. The repetition of this expression points out its very importance. It completely bars the way to the theory of evolution.
But it is very noticeable that in relation to the creation of man this phrase is not used. Why is it not used in this connection? The answer is, Because it does not in the slightest way apply to man. In a species we have animals alike in many ways, such as in the canine species we have the wolf, the fox, the jackal, the dog, etc., all different animals, but all linked under the heading of one species, and having much in common in appearance and disposition. But man is man wherever he is found. He may be white or black, but still a man, just as a horse may be black or white, yet still a horse. So man, whatever the colour of his skin, his language, his nationality, is man and nothing else.
Man is supreme in the creation of God. The Creator gave him dominion over the work of His hands, bade him be fruitful, multiply, and replenish the earth.
No wonder when the work of creation was complete, that we read,
“The morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy” (Job 38:7).
No wonder that God as He viewed with deep complacency the work of His hands, proclaimed it as VERY GOOD.
THE SEVENTH DAY
Genesis 2 begins with the statement that on the seventh day God ended His work, which He had made. The work of reconstruction had transformed this earth into a fair and beautiful place suitable as man’s environment in every way. God was pleased to set the seventh day aside as a day of rest for man. He blessed the seventh day and sanctified it. This is the origin of the Sabbath of the Jews, to whom God afresh gave them this day of rest. The fourth commandment, among the ten written by the finger of God on Mount Sinai, was
“Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy” (Ex. 20:8).
Let it be plainly understood that Genesis 2 is not a second account of creation and reconstruction, as so many people think. It is the story in detail of how God created our first parents, and how He chose a special place—the Garden of Eden—for their abode.
Throughout Genesis 1 God [Elohim, plural] is the word used to describe the Creator. In Genesis 2 two words are employed to describe Him—“The LORD [Jehovah, singular], God [Elohim, plural]. Why should there be this change in writing the name of God? Was Moses guided in this alteration? We shall see how fitting this change is, and how it only affords a fresh proof of inspiration.
It is strange that it was this very alteration that started Higher Criticism and Modernism. A profligate Frenchman, Jean Anstruc (1753), started the idea that there were two authors, one of Genesis 1, the other of Genesis 2, all because of the difference between the word for God [Elohim, plural] being used in chapter 1 and two words being used in chapter 2 for God—the LORD [Jehovah, singular], God [Elohim, plural].
Stranger still it is that this foolish idea should have caught on with many, leading to the most absurd lengths, so much so that Professor Julius Wellhausen thought he had discovered no less than twenty-two different authors of the books of Moses—all unknown.
The Revd. Dr. Hanson comments on such criticism in the following words:
“At the risk of outraging the proprieties, I venture to call it nonsense. Let a man believe in such analysis if he can; but for my part I do not hesitate to call it laborious trifling, which can only commend itself to those who have a theory to support, and impudence enough to offer it for the acceptance of thoughtful men. Such reconstruction is surely the most elaborate jest of modern times” (Invincible Certainties, p. 10).
What would be thought of criticism that insisted there were two authors of a history of Napoleon Bonaparte, because in one chapter this great scourge of Europe was referred to as Napoleon, and in the next chapter as Napoleon Bonaparte? We think any person capable of such reasoning would be considered mentally deficient, that it was criticism gone stark mad and childishly silly.
It is understandable why the name God [Elohim, plural] should be employed in Genesis 1. This chapter gives an account of how this world was made suitable for the habitation of man. It is the description of how God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit, acting in perfect concert—brought everything into ordered being for His own glory, and for the blessing and support of mankind.
It is equally understandable why the name of God should be given in two words, “LORD [Jehovah, singular], God [Elohim, plural] in Genesis 2. This chapter is not taken up with the story of creation or reconstruction as in chapter 1, but with the peculiar place man has in it, a place therefore in relation to God Himself. The name, Jehovah, is the covenant name that God takes in His relation to man. Long after this God said to Moses,
“I AM THAT I AM [this is the meaning of Jehovah]: and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM has sent me unto you” (Ex. 3:14).
Evidently the name is one of covenant blessing, God acting in grace to His creature for his blessing.
Instead of finding this an occasion for throwing doubt on the inspiration of Scripture, it only confirms in a most marked way the fact that the Scriptures are Divinely inspired.
In verse 5 Moses describes the condition of things before man was created. Rain had not fallen. A mist watered the face of the earth. But there was a blank.
“There was not a man to till the ground.”
In verse 7 we are told that the Lord God formed man of the dust of the earth. In this connection the late F. W. Grant’s translation of Psalm 139:15-16, is interesting:
“My frame was not hid from Thee when I was made in secret, embroidered in under-parts of earth. Thine eyes did not see mine inwrapping, and in Thy scroll all [parts] were written [which] daily were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.”
Then a special thing happened,
“The LORD God . . . breathed into his [Adam’s] nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Gen. 2:7).
This inbreathing was a special act of God, and differentiates man from the lower animal creation, which are also designated in Scripture as living souls. It is not till we come to the New Testament that we are plainly told that man is a tripartite being—“spirit, soul and body” (1 Thess. 5:23). The word of God, too, is said to divide asunder “soul and spirit” (Heb. 4:12). The soul of the beast perishes with its body at death. It ceases to exist. Man’s soul survives the death of the body, and has an endless existence.
In verses 8 to 15 we have the Lord God providing a special place of abode for His creature. He planted a garden eastward in Eden. In this garden of delight He made to grow every tree that was pleasant to the sight and good for food. In addition there were two trees of special significance, the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Then there flowed a river to water the garden. As it proceeded on its way, it parted into four heads, embracing a wide area. There is no doubt that the climate at that time was different from what it now is. It must have been a perfectly delightful spot. If God chose and prepared it, it must have been most desirable.
Then we read,
“The Lord God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it” (v. 15).
It is very illuminating that even in these days of man’s innocence, God did not intend man to be idle. He was to dress the garden and keep it. Labour would not be irksome. The ground was not cursed for man’s sin at that time. There were no thorns or thistles. Adam was given a task that was altogether pleasant, and to be desired. But God intended him to labour on the soil.
Then came the prohibition, not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In the day that Adam should eat of it he would surely die. Not that he should die the very day he partook of the fruit of the tree, but that the process of death would then begin in his body, and death would inevitably ensue.
Here was a test to man’s obedience. The wide range of delightful fruits made it no hardship to refrain from this one tree. Nay, further, it was a merciful hedging round of a real danger. Think for a moment. Adam knew the good. The good could only be a blessing to him. The knowledge of evil could only be defiling, and bring in its train nothing but sorrow.
Then we read that the Lord God formed the beast of the field and the fowl of the air, and brought them to Adam to be named. This he did, a marvellous tribute to his ability. Adam surely was God’s masterpiece. He must have been a marvellous man, spiritually, mentally, physically, fitted to take the place designed that God intended him to fill. But, however wonderful the beasts and birds might be, there was no companion for Adam himself.
THE CREATION OF WOMAN
And now we arrive at a most interesting section of chapter 2. The Lord God determined to furnish Adam with a helpmeet. He caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep, removed one of his ribs, closed up the flesh, and with this rib He made a woman, and presented her to the man. It is noticeable that the Hebrew word here translated rib is in every other case translated, no less than nineteen times, as side.
The woman was thus formed, the complement of man. We can understand how necessary the affection and companionship of woman is to man, and man to woman, as the two together make one whole, the one not complete without the other.
When Adam came out of his deep sleep, he was greeted by his fair companion, a vision of rare beauty, a woman, God’s masterpiece, a wife, a helpmeet, a companion, a sharer of his life.
Adam recognized this when he said,
“This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh” (Gen. 2:23).
How intimate the relationship. Taken out of man (Ish) she was called woman (Isha). Marriage is instituted for man and woman’s comfort and joy, and for the procreation of the human race. In Genesis 1 man and woman are exhorted to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, to subdue it, to have dominion over it, Adam being head over all. A man is to leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife, one in affection and interest, each the complement of the other.
So the narrative ends with man and woman naked and unashamed, so pure and innocent were they.
So ends the story of man upon this earth before sin came in with all its train of stiffering and sorrow.
PART TWO: TYPICALLY CONSIDERED
That we are justified in treating Genesis 1 and 2 in a typical sense, we can prove by a reference to one or two Scriptures. We read,
“Adam . . . is the figure of Him that was to come” (Rom. 5:14).
“The first Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit” (1 Cor. 15:45).
Here we have a warrant for considering Adam as typical of Christ. Again,
“For God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6).
Here we have the warrant for considering God’s command, “Let light be” in Genesis 1, as typical of God’s gracious dealings with the souls of men, illuminating them with Divine light. Further, without straining in any way, it will be seen that there lies enshrined typically in Genesis 1 the sovereign actions of God in this world from the spiritual point of view.
“THE SPIRIT OF GOD MOVED UPON THE FACE OF THE WATERS”
How lovely was the earth as first created, how beautiful were man and woman, masterpieces fresh from the hand of their Creator. But just as a great catastrophe wrecked the original creation, and rendered the work of reconstruction necessary, until God could pronounce His handiwork very good, so man fell and sinned, rendering necessary the work of redemption and of the Spirit of God, till the new creation flawless and perfect shall arise in all its beauty and glory, and be established for ever.
The first step taken in the reconstruction of this earth is given in the following words,
“And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
This is the first particular mention of one of the three Persons of the Trinity—Father, Son and Spirit, one God, one in will, purpose, power, knowledge, wisdom. The Spirit of God is the great moving force throughout Scripture—the unseen sovereign Power, carrying out the will of the Godhead.
Just as the Spirit of God brooded over the face of the deep, so it is the Spirit of God that produces the new beginning in man, that is necessary, if God has to do with man for his eternal blessing. Just as the original creation, wrecked and chaotic, needed an outside omnipotent power for the work of reconstruction, so sinful man needs an outside omnipotent power to lay hold of him, change him, and bring him into reconciliation with God.
How astonished Nicodemus must have been, a minister of the synagogue, a man of repute and blameless life, to be told by our Lord,
“Ye must be born again” (John 3:7).
We could have more readily understood these words being addressed to the woman at Sychar’s well, that wretched sinner, living in open sin, with a hectic career of sin and shame behind her. But it would have lost much of its force, if that had been so. Addressed to a man of Nicodemus’ stamp they come with tremendous force. The very best in fallen man will not do for God.
And how does the new birth come about? Just as the Spirit of God moved in Sovereign will upon the face of the waters, so now
“The wind blows where it lists, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it comes, and whither it goes: so is every one that is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8).
The natural man dislikes the truth of the sovereignty of God, for it makes nothing of man. His will is not consulted. But if the Spirit of God had not moved in the reconstruction of the chaotic earth, it would have remained in that condition for ever. And if the Spirit of God had not taken the very first step with sinners, who are dead in trespasses and sins, we should all have remained unregenerate and sitting in darkness.
And yet there is a wide difference between the two actions of the Spirit of God. In the former God was pleased to take the material of the wreckage of the original creation, and use it in the great work of reconstruction, and form it anew. But in the case of sinful man, God does not, and cannot, use the old material.
Nicodemus might have thought, “Is there nothing in me fit for God to use? Has all my testimony in the synagogue, my blameless life to go for nought?” Hard lesson indeed to be learned, but until it is learned in the soul there is no progress in divine knowledge. Our Lord said emphatically to Nicodemus,
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6).
Without this new birth there can be no entrance into God’s kingdom.
The Apostle Paul learned this lesson well. He, who as touching the righteousness of the law was blameless, had a revealing sight of himself as in God’s presence when the light above the brightness of the sun struck him down on the road to Damascus. In the light of that experience he wrote,
“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners: OF WHOM I AM CHIEF” (1 Tim. 1:15).
Have we all learned this salutary and necessary lesson?
LIGHT AND DARKNESS
The very first act of God following the brooding of the Spirit of God over the waters, the scene of dreary waste, of chaotic darkness, was the command,
“Let there be light: and there was light.”
What a wonderful change! Who has not felt the terrifying effect of darkness! A step in the wrong direction may mean death. A man can be completely lost, even within a hundred yards of his own home.
“Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun” (Eccl. 11:7).
Instead of brooding darkness, the light illuminated the scene. This act of God is distinctly typical, as we have already seen in 2 Corinthians 4:6.
Just as God commanded the light to dispel the darkness of a chaotic earth, so God by His Spirit has shined into the hearts of the believers, in order that the light should shine out—the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. What a magnificent statement, profound and wonderful, spiritual, light entering the soul of man, altering his whole conception of life, giving him a new and Divine orientation, assuring the believer that the eternal life begun on earth will be carried on in all its full tide of blessing throughout eternal ages.
Perhaps the most satisfactory answer a seeking sinner can make is, “I see.” For that presupposes two things—light and eyesight. Light is of no use to a blind man, and eyesight is of no use in total darkness. Divine and spiritual light has come through the Lord Jesus. The new birth carries with it spiritual eyesight. An unconverted man may understand the statements of Scripture after the fashion of believing an item of historical fact, or the working out of a mathematical problem, but he cannot really comprehend anything Divine or spiritual, however keen his intellect, he cannot see its spiritual import and beauty.
Scripture is plain as to this. We read,
“The natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14).
So that when a soul really and truly receives the truth of God, it becomes wonderful light in his soul, and if it shines in, it is intended that it should shine out, and it will do so, for just in the proportion that
“The entrance of Thy word gives light” (Ps. 119:130),
so will the outshining take place.
When we were writing the earlier part of this book, we noticed that God called the light good, but did not say this of the darkness. In nature darkness surely is beneficent. After the toil of the day comes the rest and peace of night. But spiritually darkness is looked upon in Scripture as typical of evil, hence it is not called “good” in Genesis 1:4, as light is. We read,
“Ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light” (Eph 5:8).
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Eph. 5:11).
“Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night nor of darkness” (1 Thess. 5:5).
The great lesson that God would teach us is, that He puts a great distinction between light and darkness in their moral meaning. The Christian should be very definite. He should walk in the light. He should shun the unfruitful works of darkness. The danger is that the Christian may seek to do this in the wrong spirit. There is such a thing as religious flesh, that would make itself big over a mere mechanical separation from worldly things in an outward way. Christians acting in this way are only a stumbling block to the world. There is no power in religious flesh. True Christian walk is the expression of the Divine nature.
The Apostle Peter describes those, who make an unreal profession of Christianity, but whose tastes and nature are unchanged. He tells us they will break away from the restraints of religious flesh, and it will happen to them according to the true proverb,
“The dog is turned to his own vomit again: and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire” (2 Peter 2:22).
The sheep on the other hand would be miserable in the mire. It loves the green pastures and the still waters. So with the believer. He possesses a nature to which the ways of sin and worldliness are not attractive. Believers on the Lord Jesus Christ have been made
“Partakers of the Divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4).
Such should have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. Such will hail the light. A spiritual nature is the deciding factor.
“AND THE EVENING AND THE MORNING WERE THE FIRST DAY”
If the Scriptures were uninspired, we should surely have reversed the order, and have written that the morning and the evening were the first day. Man’s mind runs naturally on morning first and then evening. We speak of the morning of life, and of the evening of life. Darkness for man follows light. We have first the infant, then the child, the youth, the mature man, the old man, the decrepit man, and finally comes the darkness of death.
The Scripture phrase, evening first and morning last, is designed and inspired. Man fell. Spiritual darkness intervened. Spiritual ruin took place. The Spirit of God moves. Light enters the soul of man.
“The darkness is past, and the true light now shines” (1 John 2:8).
Not only is this true in the broad sense of the word, but true in the history of numberless individuals. And if it is a question of the course of this world for the Christian, we read:
“The night is far spent, the day is at hand” (Rom. 13:12).
Spiritually whether with the individual or the world, it is evening and then morning, darkness and then light. Light will eventually triumph over darkness. Hallelujah!
“The path of the just is as the shining light, that shines more and more unto the perfect day” (Prov. 4:18),
a day that never knows a morning, and will never know an evening—an eternal day.
The second day of reconstruction came, God dividing the waters under the expanse from the waters above the expanse. The expanse God called heaven. What are we to learn from this typically?
The farmer of all persons must recognize the dependence of earth upon heaven. Is there a lengthened drought? Do the crops wither in the fields? What does the farmer do? He scans the heavens earnestly to see if there are any signs of a break in the weather. Is his land deluged with rain day by day, till his fields are waterlogged, and the crops are rotting in the fields? What does the farmer do? He looks again and again at the sullen skies, and longs for the sun to break through. He knows the vital importance of heaven from a material standpoint.
But there are spiritual needs in the souls of men. Sad indeed if the material dependence of earth upon heaven, which no sceptic can deny, leaves any with no spiritual link with Heaven. Spiritually we are as dependent upon Heaven as the earth is dependent on the heavens from a material standpoint.
Where is help to come to poor sin-stricken sinners, but from Heaven? Where did our Saviour come from? From Heaven. The prodigal in the wonderful parable of Luke 15 exclaimed in his misery,
“I have sinned against HEAVEN and before Thee.”
Any person out of touch with Heaven is in a sad and perilous condition. All the terrible misery in the world is occasioned by men being out of touch with Heaven.
If the sentence in the Lord’s prayer were full responded to,
“Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven” (Matt. 6:10),
we should have
“On earth peace good will toward men” (Luke 2:14).
What a glorious day it will be when Heaven shall rule this poor sin-stricken, death-ridden world, sodden, as it is, with tears and blood. Our Lord Jesus Christ shall yet reign in righteousness. He will yet fulfil the Melchisedec priesthood. As King of righteousness and King of peace,
“He comes to break oppression,
To set the captive free;
To take away transgression,
And rule in equity.”
EARTH AND SEAS
On the third day God caused the dry land to appear. This He called Earth, and the gathering of the waters called He Seas. Doubtless in Genesis 1 the Earth refers to the whole land surface, just as the Seas refers to the oceans that belt the globe. But what is the typical meaning of this division between the Earth and Seas? The Earth is typical of the land of Israel, which we shall plainly see as we develop this thought.
The Israelites are the only people chosen of God as His earthly people. The land of Israel is the only land specially chosen by God to be their land. The land of Israel is constantly referred to in Scripture as the land.
“He . . . will be merciful unto His land and to His people” (Deut. 32:43).
“And that ye may prolong your days in the land, which the Lord sware unto your fathers to give unto them and to their seed, a land that flows with milk and honey” (Deut. 11:9).
One passage is very decisive, showing that we have justification for speaking of the nations as Seas in contrast to Israel as the land, or the Earth. If the nations are set forth as Seas, there is only one nation that can come typically under the heading of Earth. We read,
“The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sits, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues” (Rev. 17:15).
It will be noticed that by far the greater part of the history of the Old Testament is taken up with “the Land,” that is with the history of God’s earthly people, the children of Israel. Other lands, Egyptian, Assyrian, Chaldean, Moabite, Philistian, etc., are mentioned simply as those, whose actions affect “the Land”—the history of God’s chosen people. There was one little bit of Earth’s surface where God put His name, and wherein He worked to a plan, which is gradually unrolled in the Scriptures, and is still unrolling before our eyes. Nay further, the history of the world, before Abraham was chosen to be the recipient of God’s promise, that in his seed all the nations of the earth should be blessed, was all leading up to that moment. And in a future day all the nations of the world will go up to Jerusalem to worship. God’s promise to Abraham will yet be literally and completely fulfilled.
And though “the times of the Gentiles” began when Judah was carried into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar, yet God has His earthly people before Him for blessing under the personal reign of Christ. Much that is happening in the world today tells us that this day is not far distant.
The surrounding nations may well be called Seas.
FRUITFULNESS AND FERTILITY
When God brought the dry land into existence, He bade it bring forth grass, and herb yielding seed, and fruit trees yielding fruit. The earth was the one green spot surrounded by the Seas. The one spot where food for the sustenance of man was springing up.
This is typical of the part that Israel had to play for God in this world. Where was there any spiritual light in this world save in the land of Israel? The surrounding nations were sunk in all the depravity of heathendom. Israel alone had the knowledge of God. The question is asked,
“What advantage then has the Jew or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly because that unto them were committed the oracles of God” (Rom. 3:1).
The light of God in Old Testament times was centred in the Land of Israel. There was the Temple at Jerusalem, where God dwelt between the cherubim in the holiest of all, till the idolatry of the Israelites drove His Presence away (Ezek. 9:3; 10:4; 11:22). Every known writer of the Books of the Old Testament, with the possible exception of the Book of Job, were Israelites. In the Old Testament we read of many saints of God connected with Israel. We read too of even Gentiles coming into blessing through contact with Israel. Our Lord said when here on earth,
“Salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22).
“AND GOD MADE TWO GREAT LIGHTS”
The fourth day arrived, and reconstruction had greatly advanced. Light dispelled darkness, the relation of Heaven to Earth had been established. Dry land and seas were found in their appointed places. Fruitfulness and fertility clothed the scene with verdure, delightful to the eye, and affording sustainment to animals and man, yet to be created.
Then the time arrived when the great luminaries of day and night were placed in right relation to the newly reconstructed scene—the sun, the greater light to rule the day; the moon, the lesser light to rule the night.
We now ask, Of what are they typical? The answer is Christ and the Church. The sun and the moon do not shine at one and the same time. The sun shines by day. The moon by night. That is just the present relation between Christ and His Church. Our Lord, in His earthly life, was the light of men, but wicked men led by religious rulers crucified Him. In His absence the Church is to shine for Him in this world.
Even in Old Testament times Christ was likened to the sun.
“Unto you that fear My name shall the SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS arise with healing in His wings” (Mal. 4:2).
That day is still future. Christ will yet reign over this earth. He shall yet have His rights.
But what did our Lord say of Himself when here on earth? It was said of Him at His birth,
“The dayspring [margin, sunrising] from on high has visited us” (Luke 1:78).
Our Lord Himself said,
“I am the Light of the world” (John 8:22).
“As long as I am in the world, I am the Light of the world” (John 9:5).
This last Scripture shows that being cast out of the world, and rejected, He is not now in that character in relation to the world.
The illustration of Sun and Moon supports the view we put forward. The only light the earth gets at night is that which comes from the moon, but the moon has no light of her own; she only sheds forth reflected light. There is strictly no such thing as moonshine. What we call moonshine is in reality reflected sunshine. So the Church has no light, but what she has from Christ. It is an evil thing when the presumption of ecclesiasticism claims that the Church teaches, and puts the authority of the Church equal to, or above, that of the Scriptures.
The moon shines in the night. We have seen how this world is looked at as in darkness, whilst the believer belongs to the day.
“Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness” (1 Thess. 5:5).
So it is the privilege of the Church through its members to pass on the testimony and light of Christ, to witness for Him in this dark world in His absence.
THE REPLENISHING OF THE SEAS
The fifth day arrived. There were the vast stretches of ocean and sea. God called into existence the denizens of the deep, the fishes, and all that move in the waters, and also the fowl of the air. We have seen in Revelation 17:15 that the waters, which John saw in his apocalyptic vision, were symbolic of peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues. Does it not seem that the peopling of the seas is symbolic of God’s gracious work among the Gentiles through the Gospel? The Old Testament testimony was confined very largely to the children of Israel. Our Lord was sent unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. The great feature of the New Testament is, however, the Gospel of God going out world-wide to the veritable ends of the earth. The commission of our risen Lord was:
“Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matt. 28:19).
“And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47).
And when we come to the Gospel of John, written long years after the three synoptical Gospels were written, this wide-spread preaching of the Gospel is still more marked. “God so loved the world.” “Whosoever” repeated again and again is world-wide in its appeal. No longer is God’s message confined to the children of Israel. It goes out to the ends of the earth.
And when we come to the Acts of the Apostles we find one, who fiercely persecuted the Church of God, suddenly converted, and commissioned by Christ in glory to be the Apostle of the Gentiles. We follow the story of the missionary labours of the Apostle Paul, as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, and note how diligently and at what cost to himself he laboured to carry the Gospel of God to the Gentiles.
The Lord in glory said to him,
“He is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My name before the Gentiles, and kings and the children of Israel” (Acts 9:15).
The Apostle Paul was the first great missionary to carry the Gospel to strange lands. Since his day we have the record of much missionary effort from the time of St. Augustine, who came as a missionary to the shores of Kent, England, when that country was pagan and idolatrous, to the days of Carey, Judson, Martyn, Moffat, Livingstone, Paton, Hudson Taylor, etc., etc. God speed every missionary labourer in the fields white already to harvest. India, China, Japan, Africa, North America, South America, the far-off islands of the Pacific—all can furnish many thrilling tales of devoted missionaries, many of whom energized by the Spirit of God to carry out our Lord’s commission to evangelize all nations, have laid down their lives in this blessed service.
THE SIXTH DAY
On this day God called into being the beast of the earth, cattle and every creeping thing. What is this typical of?
We have just seen how the peopling of the seas is typical of the blessings of the Gospel of God reaching out to the Gentiles, which is characteristic of the present Church period. That period may come to an end at any moment, even by the coming of our Lord to catch up His Church to be with Himself in the Father’s house.
When that moment comes we know from Scripture that God will then call the Jew back to the land of Israel in view of the time when our Lord shall return to this earth as King of Israel and Son of Man with universal dominion. The Jew was set aside governmentally when Judah was deported to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar, and with that monarch “the times of the Gentiles” began. The Jew was set aside religiously when they rejected Christ, and refused the last testimony at the stoning of Stephen.
“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (Rom. 11:25).
“The fulness of the Gentiles” means that through the Church period Gospel blessings are flowing forth to all nations. But when the right time comes we read,
“And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written. There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob” (Rom. 11:26).
Even today we see the beginning of this wide-spread movement for blessing among the Jews. The time for spiritual enlightenment will come as the consequence of deep soul-repentance brought about by the sorrows of “the great tribulation.” That is beautifully prophesied in Zechariah 12:10-14. Already tens of thousands of Jews have returned to the land of Israel. Cities, harbours, agricultural colonies, industries, have sprung up, all telling the tale of an awakening national life in the land of their fathers. The terrible wave of anti-Semitism that has spread over Europe is helping to drive the Jews to the only country on earth for which they hold the title deeds. Nothing can withstand God’s purposes for his ancient people. His promise to Abraham will be fulfilled to the very letter, that in His seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.
This is the typical meaning of the earth being populated with the beasts of the earth, cattle and creeping things. This falls into beautiful position between the Gentiles being blessed, and the moment that is coming when Christ shall reign over His ancient people as their Messiah, and over the whole earth as Son of Man, the Church as the Bride, the Lamb’s wife associated with Him in His triumph.
MAN AND WOMAN
We come now to the great climax of the work of reconstruction. The work of reconstruction is very wonderful, but along with it there was the creation of life—vegetable life, marine life, air life, land life. To these was now added human life. Man was created. Special detail is given, not only in Genesis 1, but amplified in Genesis 2. It is very significant that in all the lower creation, the female is never mentioned as the complement of the male. But in the case of the creation of man we are told,
“So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.”
Nay, further, in relation to the lower creation there was no charge given them to multiply and replenish the earth. That is left to instinct and nature. But in the case of man we have the admonition,
“Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth” (Gen. 1:28).
In the case of the lower creation each member of it is to fulfil its purpose and life, but in the case of man he is put at the head of the whole creation. That Adam was typical of Christ is definitely stated in Romans 5:14,
“Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of Him that was to come.”
This of course was not so after Adam’s fall with all its terrible consequences, but Adam was created sinless and innocent with Eve at his side, the Head of God’s fair creation and reconstructed scene, which He pronounced as “VERY good.”
We need not go over the ground of woman’s creation as given in the first part of this book, but we must add some remarks that did not find their place there.
In Genesis 2 we have the account of Adam falling into a deep sleep, his rib or side being removed, and recovering from this deep sleep to find a helpmeet by his side, of whom he exclaimed in wonderment and delight,
“This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh” (Gen. 2:23).
This surely is a very beautiful picture or type of Christ and the church. It is not here a picture of Christ dying on the cross for the individual sinner, but rather the work of Christ on the cross from the Divine standpoint; not so much from that of the need of redemption, though redemption must be, but as stated in Ephesians 5:25:
“Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it.’’
The blessed Lord went into the deep sleep of death in order that out of it might come forth the delight of His heart, His church, His bride. God uses the relationship that is nearest and dearest in human life, the only one that speaks of union, to set forth the wonderfully near place the church has to Christ, which will be fully displayed in the day that is coming.
It is touching that in these two chapters, Genesis 1 and 2, devoted to the description of what took place before man’s sin marred the fair scene, we should find this beautiful typical scene of Christ and the church. It is indeed striking there should be a type of death, the deep sleep, before sin came in.
The Spirit of God uses the relationship of husband and wife in Ephesians 5 to illustrate the relationship of Christ to His church. Nay further, it is not that the relationship of husband and wife is a convenient illustration, but it is clear from Ephesians 5 that that marriage relationship was modelled on what God had in His mind, the relationship of Christ and the church. That is to say the relationship of Christ and His church was in the Divine mind in the counsels of eternity, and in time the relationship of husband and wife was instituted. So we find Ephesians 5:30 re-echoing the words of Genesis 2:23, which we just quoted, putting them in an infinitely higher and eternal connection, “For we are members of His [Christ’s] body, of His flesh, and of His bones . . . This is a great mystery but I speak concerning Christ and the church” (Eph. 5:30, 32).
What then is the full typical meaning of man and woman? We notice very specially Genesis 1:26,
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let THEM have dominion.”
We noticed on the fourth day that in the two great lights, the sun to rule the day and the moon to rule the night, we had the type of Christ as the Light of the world whilst here on this earth. In the night of His absence His church is to shine in the light of Christ, just as the moon reflects the light of the sun in the darkness of night. We pointed out that when the sun shines in noonday splendour the moon is not visible, when the moon sheds her silvery light the sun it not visible, that they do not shine together at the same time.
But on the sixth day, when man, God’s masterpiece, appeared upon the scene, and there was presented to him a helpmeet, a bride, a wife, and they are bidden to have joint dominion, Adam being the Head of the creation, together they jointly held dominion.
This is typical of the millennial scene when Christ, and His church associated with Him, will reign over the whole earth. Then,
“The creature itself shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Rom. 8:21).
Hallelujah! Christ comes and comes to reign. Associated with Him will be His church, His bride, every member of the body of Christ from the day of Pentecost till that glad moment, soon to arrive, when the ears of the ransomed of the Lord will be gladdened by the summoning shout of their Lord, the sleeping saints raised, the living changed, all caught up to be for ever with their loved Lord, in due time to come out with Him when He shall come to reign over this earth, fulfilling the type we have just been considering.
THE FINAL TRIUMPH OF GOD
We come now to the seventh day. We note it is not said to have an evening and a morning. God rested from all His work which He had made, sanctifying the seventh day, and setting it apart as a day of rest. Of what is this typical? It is surely typical of the new creation scene we all look forward to, when He, who sits on the throne, will make all things new. We have no positive description of that eternal day that will never know an evening or a morning, but which will be one glorious eternal DAY. Scripture gives us some idea of why this must be so.
We read how the Apostle Paul had the marvellous experience of being caught up to the third Heaven, the dwelling place of God. There he heard things unspeakable, and unlawful for a man to utter. He was given a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet him, so that the flesh in him might not be exalted above measure.
If that were so, we may not expect any positive description of the surpassing wonder of the new Heaven and new Earth, the New Creation scene, wherein righteousness shall dwell.
Suffice it to say that the only description of this wondrous scene is confined to telling us what is NOT there—no tears because there will be no sorrows; no pain because there will be no disease; no crying (crying meaning a cry of anguish, forced by mental grief) because there will be no such thing as mental distress; last of all, no death,
“The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (1 Cor. 15:26).
All that makes this life sad and sorrowful, all the manifold effects of sin in this world, will have no counterpart in that glorious scene,
“Oh! to praise Thee there, Lord Jesus,
Oh! to grieve and wander from Thee
Earth’s sad story
Closed in glory
On yon shore.”
Hebrews 4 takes up the point of view of the rest of God. The sanctifying of the seventh day is mentioned as typical of this very distinctly.
“For He spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all His works” (Heb. 4:4).
Believers are exhorted to labour to enter into that rest, and, when they do so, they will rest from their labours as God did from His.