Genesis 1** Genesis is a name taken from the Greek, and signifies "thebook of generation or production;" it is properly so called, ascontaining an account of the origin of all things. There is noother history so old. There is nothing in the most ancient bookwhich exists that contradicts it; while many things recorded bythe oldest heathen writers, or to be traced in the customs ofdifferent nations, confirm what is related in the book ofGenesis. * God creates heaven and earth. (1,2) The creation of light.(3-5) God separates the earth from the waters, and makes itfruitful. (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 andapproved. (31)1,2 The first verse of the Bible gives us a satisfying anduseful account of the origin of the earth and the heavens. Thefaith of humble Christians understands this better than thefancy of the most learned men. From what we see of heaven andearth, we learn the power of the great Creator. And let our makeand place as men, remind us of our duty as Christians, always tokeep heaven in our eye, and the earth under our feet. The Son ofGod, one with the Father, was with him when he made the world;nay, we are often told that the world was made by him, andnothing was made without him. Oh, what high thoughts shouldthere be in our minds, of that great God whom we worship, and ofthat great Mediator in whose name we pray! And here, at thebeginning of the sacred volume, we read of that Divine Spirit,whose work upon the heart of man is so often mentioned in otherparts of the Bible. Observe, that at first there was nothingdesirable to be seen, for the world was without form, and void;it was confusion, and emptiness. In like manner the work ofgrace in the soul is a new creation: and in a graceless soul,one that is not born again, there is disorder, confusion, andevery evil work: it is empty of all good, for it is without God;it is dark, it is darkness itself: this is our condition bynature, till Almighty grace works a change in us. 3-5 God said, Let there be light; he willed it, and at oncethere was light. Oh, the power of the word of God! And in thenew creation, the first thing that is wrought in the soul islight: the blessed Spirit works upon the will and affections byenlightening the understanding. Those who by sin were darkness,by grace become light in the Lord. Darkness would have beenalways upon fallen man, if the Son of God had not come and givenus understanding, #1Jo 5:20|. The light which God willed, heapproved of. God divided the light from the darkness; for whatfellowship has light with darkness? In heaven there is perfectlight, and no darkness at all; in hell, utter darkness, and nogleam of light. The day and the night are the Lord's; let us useboth to his honour, by working for him every day, and resting inhim every night, meditating in his law both day and night. 6-13 The earth was emptiness, but by a word spoken, it becamefull of God's riches, and his they are still. Though the use ofthem is allowed to man, they are from God, and to his serviceand honour they must be used. The earth, at his command, bringsforth grass, herbs, and fruits. God must have the glory of allthe benefit we receive from the produce of the earth. If wehave, through grace, an interest in Him who is the Fountain, wemay rejoice in him when the streams of temporal mercies aredried 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. Thestars are spoken of as they appear to our eyes, without tellingtheir number, nature, place, size, or motions; for theScriptures were written, not to gratify curiosity, or make usastronomers, but to lead us to God, and make us saints. Thelights of heaven are made to serve him; they do it faithfully,and shine in their season without fail. We are set as lights inthis world to serve God; but do we in like manner answer the endof our creation? We do not: our light does not shine before God,as his lights shine before us. We burn our Master's candles, butdo not mind our Master's work. 20-25 God commanded the fish and fowl to be produced. Thiscommand he himself executed. Insects, which are more numerousthan the birds and beasts, and as curious, seem to have beenpart of this day's work. The Creator's wisdom and power are tobe admired as much in an ant as in an elephant. The power ofGod's providence preserves all things, and fruitfulness is theeffect of his blessing. 26-28 Man was made last of all the creatures: this was both anhonour and a favour to him. Yet man was made the same day thatthe beasts were; his body was made of the same earth withtheirs; and while he is in the body, he inhabits the same earthwith them. God forbid that by indulging the body, and thedesires of it, we should make ourselves like the beasts thatperish! Man was to be a creature different from all that hadbeen hitherto made. Flesh and spirit, heaven and earth, must beput together in him. God said, "Let us make man." Man, when hewas made, was to glorify the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Intothat great name we are baptized, for to that great name we oweour being. It is the soul of man that especially bears God'simage. Man was made upright, #Ec 7:29|. His understanding sawDivine things clearly and truly; there were no errors ormistakes in his knowledge; his will consented at once, and inall things, to the will of God. His affections were all regular,and he had no bad appetites or passions. His thoughts wereeasily brought and fixed to the best subjects. Thus holy, thushappy, were our first parents in having the image of God uponthem. But how is this image of God upon man defaced! May theLord renew it upon our souls by his grace! 29,30 Herbs and fruits must be man's food, including corn, andall the products of the earth. Let God's people cast their careupon him, and not be troubled about what they shall eat, andwhat they shall drink. He that feeds his birds will not starvehis babes. 31 When we come to think about our works, we find, to ourshame, that much has been very bad; but when God saw his work,all was very good. Good, for it was all just as the Creatorwould have it to be. All his works, in all places of hisdominion, bless him; and therefore, bless thou the Lord, O mysoul. Let us bless God for the gospel of Christ, and when weconsider his almighty power, let us sinners flee from the wrathto come. If new-created unto the image of God in holiness, weshall at length enter the "new heavens and new earth, whereindwelleth righteousness."
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