Genesis 1

** Genesis is a name taken from the Greek, and signifies "the

book of generation or production;" it is properly so called, as

containing an account of the origin of all things. There is no

other history so old. There is nothing in the most ancient book

which exists that contradicts it; while many things recorded by

the oldest heathen writers, or to be traced in the customs of

different nations, confirm what is related in the book of


* God creates heaven and earth. (1,2) The creation of light.

(3-5) God separates the earth from the waters, and makes it

fruitful. (6-13) God forms the sun, moon, and stars. (14-19)

Animals created. (20-25) Man created in the image of God.

(26-28) Food appointed. (29,30) The work of creation ended and

approved. (31)

1,2 The first verse of the Bible gives us a satisfying and

useful account of the origin of the earth and the heavens. The

faith of humble Christians understands this better than the

fancy of the most learned men. From what we see of heaven and

earth, we learn the power of the great Creator. And let our make

and place as men, remind us of our duty as Christians, always to

keep heaven in our eye, and the earth under our feet. The Son of

God, one with the Father, was with him when he made the world;

nay, we are often told that the world was made by him, and

nothing was made without him. Oh, what high thoughts should

there be in our minds, of that great God whom we worship, and of

that great Mediator in whose name we pray! And here, at the

beginning of the sacred volume, we read of that Divine Spirit,

whose work upon the heart of man is so often mentioned in other

parts of the Bible. Observe, that at first there was nothing

desirable to be seen, for the world was without form, and void;

it was confusion, and emptiness. In like manner the work of

grace in the soul is a new creation: and in a graceless soul,

one that is not born again, there is disorder, confusion, and

every evil work: it is empty of all good, for it is without God;

it is dark, it is darkness itself: this is our condition by

nature, till Almighty grace works a change in us.
3-5 God said, Let there be light; he willed it, and at once

there was light. Oh, the power of the word of God! And in the

new creation, the first thing that is wrought in the soul is

light: the blessed Spirit works upon the will and affections by

enlightening the understanding. Those who by sin were darkness,

by grace become light in the Lord. Darkness would have been

always upon fallen man, if the Son of God had not come and given

us understanding, #1Jo 5:20|. The light which God willed, he

approved of. God divided the light from the darkness; for what

fellowship has light with darkness? In heaven there is perfect

light, and no darkness at all; in hell, utter darkness, and no

gleam of light. The day and the night are the Lord's; let us use

both to his honour, by working for him every day, and resting in

him every night, meditating in his law both day and night.
6-13 The earth was emptiness, but by a word spoken, it became

full of God's riches, and his they are still. Though the use of

them is allowed to man, they are from God, and to his service

and honour they must be used. The earth, at his command, brings

forth grass, herbs, and fruits. God must have the glory of all

the benefit we receive from the produce of the earth. If we

have, through grace, an interest in Him who is the Fountain, we

may rejoice in him when the streams of temporal mercies are

dried up.
14-19 In the fourth day's work, the creation of the sun, moon,

and stars is accounted for. All these are the works of God. The

stars are spoken of as they appear to our eyes, without telling

their number, nature, place, size, or motions; for the

Scriptures were written, not to gratify curiosity, or make us

astronomers, but to lead us to God, and make us saints. The

lights of heaven are made to serve him; they do it faithfully,

and shine in their season without fail. We are set as lights in

this world to serve God; but do we in like manner answer the end

of our creation? We do not: our light does not shine before God,

as his lights shine before us. We burn our Master's candles, but

do not mind our Master's work.
20-25 God commanded the fish and fowl to be produced. This

command he himself executed. Insects, which are more numerous

than the birds and beasts, and as curious, seem to have been

part of this day's work. The Creator's wisdom and power are to

be admired as much in an ant as in an elephant. The power of

God's providence preserves all things, and fruitfulness is the

effect of his blessing.
26-28 Man was made last of all the creatures: this was both an

honour and a favour to him. Yet man was made the same day that

the beasts were; his body was made of the same earth with

theirs; and while he is in the body, he inhabits the same earth

with them. God forbid that by indulging the body, and the

desires of it, we should make ourselves like the beasts that

perish! Man was to be a creature different from all that had

been hitherto made. Flesh and spirit, heaven and earth, must be

put together in him. God said, "Let us make man." Man, when he

was made, was to glorify the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Into

that great name we are baptized, for to that great name we owe

our being. It is the soul of man that especially bears God's

image. Man was made upright, #Ec 7:29|. His understanding saw

Divine things clearly and truly; there were no errors or

mistakes in his knowledge; his will consented at once, and in

all things, to the will of God. His affections were all regular,

and he had no bad appetites or passions. His thoughts were

easily brought and fixed to the best subjects. Thus holy, thus

happy, were our first parents in having the image of God upon

them. But how is this image of God upon man defaced! May the

Lord renew it upon our souls by his grace!
29,30 Herbs and fruits must be man's food, including corn, and

all the products of the earth. Let God's people cast their care

upon him, and not be troubled about what they shall eat, and

what they shall drink. He that feeds his birds will not starve

his babes.
31 When we come to think about our works, we find, to our

shame, that much has been very bad; but when God saw his work,

all was very good. Good, for it was all just as the Creator

would have it to be. All his works, in all places of his

dominion, bless him; and therefore, bless thou the Lord, O my

soul. Let us bless God for the gospel of Christ, and when we

consider his almighty power, let us sinners flee from the wrath

to come. If new-created unto the image of God in holiness, we

shall at length enter the "new heavens and new earth, wherein

dwelleth righteousness."
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