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 ofwoman, The Divine institution of marriage. (18-25)1-3 After six days, God ceased from all works of creation. Inmiracles, he has overruled nature, but never changed its settledcourse, or added to it. God did not rest as one weary, but asone well pleased. Notice the beginning of the kingdom of grace,in the sanctification, or keeping holy, of the sabbath day. Thesolemn observing of one day in seven as a day of holy rest andholy work, to God's honour, is the duty of all to whom God hasmade known his holy sabbaths. At this time none of the humanrace were in being but our first parents. For them the sabbathwas appointed; and clearly for all succeeding generations also.The Christian sabbath, which we observe, is a seventh day, andin it we celebrate the rest of God the Son, and the finishingthe work of our redemption. 4-7 Here is a name given to the Creator, "Jehovah." Where theword "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 thathe gives being to all creatures and things. Further notice istaken of plants and herbs, because they were made and appointedto be food for man. The earth did not bring forth its fruits ofitself: this was done by Almighty power. Thus grace in the soulgrows 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 Godcaused it. Though God works by means, yet when he pleases he cando his own work without them; and though we must not tempt Godin the neglect of means, we must trust God, both in the use andin the want of means. Some way or other, God will water theplants of his own planting. Divine grace comes down like thedew, and waters the church without noise. Man was made of thesmall dust, such as is on the surface of the earth. The soul wasnot made of the earth, as the body: pity then that it shouldcleave to the earth, and mind earthly things. To God we mustshortly give an account, how we have employed these souls; andif it be found that we have lost them, though it were to gainthe world, we are undone for ever! Fools despise their ownsouls, by caring for their bodies before their souls. 8-14 The place fixed upon for Adam to dwell in, was not apalace, but a garden. The better we take up with plain things,and the less we seek things to gratify pride and luxury, thenearer we approach to innocency. Nature is content with alittle, and that which is most natural; grace with less; butlust craves every thing, and is content with nothing. Nodelights can be satisfying to the soul, but those which Godhimself has provided and appointed for it. Eden signifiesdelight and pleasure. Wherever it was, it had all desirableconveniences, without any inconvenience, though no other houseor garden on earth ever was so. It was adorned with every treepleasant to the sight, and enriched with every tree that yieldedfruit grateful to the taste and good for food. God, as a tenderFather, desired not only Adam's profit, but his pleasure; forthere is pleasure with innocency, nay there is true pleasureonly in innocency. When Providence puts us in a place of plentyand pleasure, we ought to serve God with gladness of heart inthe good things he gives us. Eden had two trees peculiar toitself. 1. There was the tree of life in the midst of thegarden. Of this man might eat and live. Christ is now to us theTree of life, #Re 2:7; 22:2|; and the Bread of life, #Joh6:48,51|. 2. There was the tree of the knowledge of good andevil, so called because there was a positive revelation of thewill of God about this tree, so that by it man might know moralgood 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 treesGod set before Adam good and evil, the blessing and the curse. 15 After God had formed Adam, he put him in the garden. Allboasting was thereby shut out. Only he that made us can make ushappy; he that is the Former of our bodies, and the Father ofour spirits, and none but he, can fully provide for thehappiness of both. Even in paradise itself man had to work. Noneof us were sent into the world to be idle. He that made oursouls and bodies, has given us something to work with; and hethat gave us this earth for our habitation, has made ussomething to work upon. The sons and heirs of heaven, while inthis world, have something to do about this earth, which musthave its share of their time and thoughts; and if they do itwith an eye to God, they as truly serve him in it, as when theyare upon their knees. Observe that the husbandman's calling isan ancient and honourable calling; it was needful even inparadise. Also, there is true pleasure in the business God callsus to, and employs us in. Adam could not have been happy if hehad been idle: it is still God's law, He that will not work hasno right to eat, #2Th 3:10|. 16,17 Let us never set up our own will against the holy will ofGod. There was not only liberty allowed to man, in taking thefruits of paradise, but everlasting life made sure to him uponhis obedience. There was a trial appointed of his obedience. Bytransgression he would forfeit his Maker's favour, and deservehis displeasure, with all its awful effects; so that he wouldbecome liable to pain, disease, and death. Worse than that, hewould lose the holy image of God, and all the comfort of hisfavour; and feel the torment of sinful passions, and the terrorof his Maker's vengeance, which must endure for ever with hisnever dying soul. The forbidding to eat of the fruit of aparticular tree was wisely suited to the state of our firstparents. In their state of innocence, and separated from anyothers, what opportunity or what temptation had they to breakany of the ten commandments? The event proves that the wholehuman race were concerned in the trial and fall of our firstparents. To argue against these things is to strive againststubborn 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 ofman as of this sinful character, and in this miserable state;and these things are true of men in all ages, and of allnations. 18-25 Power over the creatures was given to man, and as a proofof this he named them all. It also shows his insight into theworks of God. But though he was lord of the creatures, yetnothing in this world was a help meet for man. From God are allour helpers. If we rest in God, he will work all for good. Godcaused deep sleep to fall on Adam; while he knows no sin, Godwill take care that he shall feel no pain. God, as her Father,brought the woman to the man, as his second self, and a helpmeet for him. That wife, who is of God's making by specialgrace, and of God's bringing by special providence, is likely toprove a help meet for a man. See what need there is, both ofprudence and prayer in the choice of this relation, which is sonear and so lasting. That had need to be well done, which is tobe done for life. Our first parents needed no clothes forcovering against cold or heat, for neither could hurt them: theyneeded none for ornament. Thus easy, thus happy, was man in hisstate of innocency. How good was God to him! How many favoursdid he load him with! How easy were the laws given to him! Yetman, being in honour, understood not his own interest, but soonbecame as the beasts that perish.
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