Genesis 2

* The first sabbath. (1-3) Particulars about the creation. (4-7)

The planting of the garden of Eden. (8-14) Man is placed in it.

(15) God's command. (16,17) The animals named, The making of

woman, The Divine institution of marriage. (18-25)

1-3 After six days, God ceased from all works of creation. In

miracles, he has overruled nature, but never changed its settled

course, or added to it. God did not rest as one weary, but as

one well pleased. Notice the beginning of the kingdom of grace,

in the sanctification, or keeping holy, of the sabbath day. The

solemn observing of one day in seven as a day of holy rest and

holy work, to God's honour, is the duty of all to whom God has

made known his holy sabbaths. At this time none of the human

race were in being but our first parents. For them the sabbath

was appointed; and clearly for all succeeding generations also.

The Christian sabbath, which we observe, is a seventh day, and

in it we celebrate the rest of God the Son, and the finishing

the work of our redemption.
4-7 Here is a name given to the Creator, "Jehovah." Where the

word "LORD" is printed in capital letters in our English Bibles,

in the original it is "Jehovah." Jehovah is that name of God,

which denotes that he alone has his being of himself, and that

he gives being to all creatures and things. Further notice is

taken of plants and herbs, because they were made and appointed

to be food for man. The earth did not bring forth its fruits of

itself: this was done by Almighty power. Thus grace in the soul

grows not of itself in nature's soil, but is the work of God.

Rain also is the gift of God; it came not till the Lord God

caused it. Though God works by means, yet when he pleases he can

do his own work without them; and though we must not tempt God

in the neglect of means, we must trust God, both in the use and

in the want of means. Some way or other, God will water the

plants of his own planting. Divine grace comes down like the

dew, and waters the church without noise. Man was made of the

small dust, such as is on the surface of the earth. The soul was

not made of the earth, as the body: pity then that it should

cleave to the earth, and mind earthly things. To God we must

shortly give an account, how we have employed these souls; and

if it be found that we have lost them, though it were to gain

the world, we are undone for ever! Fools despise their own

souls, by caring for their bodies before their souls.
8-14 The place fixed upon for Adam to dwell in, was not a

palace, but a garden. The better we take up with plain things,

and the less we seek things to gratify pride and luxury, the

nearer we approach to innocency. Nature is content with a

little, and that which is most natural; grace with less; but

lust craves every thing, and is content with nothing. No

delights can be satisfying to the soul, but those which God

himself has provided and appointed for it. Eden signifies

delight and pleasure. Wherever it was, it had all desirable

conveniences, without any inconvenience, though no other house

or garden on earth ever was so. It was adorned with every tree

pleasant to the sight, and enriched with every tree that yielded

fruit grateful to the taste and good for food. God, as a tender

Father, desired not only Adam's profit, but his pleasure; for

there is pleasure with innocency, nay there is true pleasure

only in innocency. When Providence puts us in a place of plenty

and pleasure, we ought to serve God with gladness of heart in

the good things he gives us. Eden had two trees peculiar to

itself. 1. There was the tree of life in the midst of the

garden. Of this man might eat and live. Christ is now to us the

Tree of life, #Re 2:7; 22:2|; and the Bread of life, #Joh

6:48,51|. 2. There was the tree of the knowledge of good and

evil, so called because there was a positive revelation of the

will of God about this tree, so that by it man might know moral

good and evil. What is good? It is good not to eat of this tree.

What is evil? It is evil to eat of this tree. In these two trees

God set before Adam good and evil, the blessing and the curse.
15 After God had formed Adam, he put him in the garden. All

boasting was thereby shut out. Only he that made us can make us

happy; he that is the Former of our bodies, and the Father of

our spirits, and none but he, can fully provide for the

happiness of both. Even in paradise itself man had to work. None

of us were sent into the world to be idle. He that made our

souls and bodies, has given us something to work with; and he

that gave us this earth for our habitation, has made us

something to work upon. The sons and heirs of heaven, while in

this world, have something to do about this earth, which must

have its share of their time and thoughts; and if they do it

with an eye to God, they as truly serve him in it, as when they

are upon their knees. Observe that the husbandman's calling is

an ancient and honourable calling; it was needful even in

paradise. Also, there is true pleasure in the business God calls

us to, and employs us in. Adam could not have been happy if he

had been idle: it is still God's law, He that will not work has

no right to eat, #2Th 3:10|.
16,17 Let us never set up our own will against the holy will of

God. There was not only liberty allowed to man, in taking the

fruits of paradise, but everlasting life made sure to him upon

his obedience. There was a trial appointed of his obedience. By

transgression he would forfeit his Maker's favour, and deserve

his displeasure, with all its awful effects; so that he would

become liable to pain, disease, and death. Worse than that, he

would lose the holy image of God, and all the comfort of his

favour; and feel the torment of sinful passions, and the terror

of his Maker's vengeance, which must endure for ever with his

never dying soul. The forbidding to eat of the fruit of a

particular tree was wisely suited to the state of our first

parents. In their state of innocence, and separated from any

others, what opportunity or what temptation had they to break

any of the ten commandments? The event proves that the whole

human race were concerned in the trial and fall of our first

parents. To argue against these things is to strive against

stubborn facts, as well as Divine revelation; for man is sinful,

and shows by his first actions, and his conduct ever afterwards,

that he is ready to do evil. He is under the Divine displeasure,

exposed to sufferings and death. The Scriptures always speak of

man as of this sinful character, and in this miserable state;

and these things are true of men in all ages, and of all

18-25 Power over the creatures was given to man, and as a proof

of this he named them all. It also shows his insight into the

works of God. But though he was lord of the creatures, yet

nothing in this world was a help meet for man. From God are all

our helpers. If we rest in God, he will work all for good. God

caused deep sleep to fall on Adam; while he knows no sin, God

will take care that he shall feel no pain. God, as her Father,

brought the woman to the man, as his second self, and a help

meet for him. That wife, who is of God's making by special

grace, and of God's bringing by special providence, is likely to

prove a help meet for a man. See what need there is, both of

prudence and prayer in the choice of this relation, which is so

near and so lasting. That had need to be well done, which is to

be done for life. Our first parents needed no clothes for

covering against cold or heat, for neither could hurt them: they

needed none for ornament. Thus easy, thus happy, was man in his

state of innocency. How good was God to him! How many favours

did he load him with! How easy were the laws given to him! Yet

man, being in honour, understood not his own interest, but soon

became as the beasts that perish.
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