Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

for (not instead of, but unto) righteousness. Then, if
righteousness was “counted” unto Abraham, he had none
of his own. Believing God, righteousness was reckoned to
Abraham's account.

In Genesis the believer's security is strikingly illustrated.
The flood of Divine judgment descends on the earth, and
swallows up all its guilty inhabitants. But Noah, who had
found grace in the eyes of the Lord, was safely preserved in
the ark, into which God had shut him.

In Genesis the truth of separation is clearly inculcated.
Enoch's lot was cast in days wherein evil abounded, but he
lived apart from the world, walking with God. Abraham
was called upon to separate himself from idolatrous Chal-
dea, and to step out upon the promises of God. Lot is held
up before us as a solemn example of the direful conse-
quences of being unequally yoked with unbelievers, and of
having fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.

In Genesis God's disciplinary chastisements upon an err-
ing believer are portrayed. Jacob is the standing example
of what happens to a child of God who walks after the
flesh, instead of after the spirit. But in the end we are
shown how Divine grace triumphs over human frailty.

In Genesis we are shown the importance and value of
prayer. Abraham prayed unto God and Abimelech's life
was spared (20:17). Abraham's servant cries to the Lord
that God would prosper his efforts to secure a wife for
Isaac, and God answered his petition (chap. 24). Jacob,
too, prays, and God hearkened.

In Genesis the saint's rapture to heaven is vividly por-
trayed. Enoch, the man who walked with God, "was not,”
for God had translated him. He did not pass through the
portals of death. He was suddenly removed from these
scenes of sin and suffering and transported into the realm
of glory without seeing death.

In Genesis the divine incarnation is first declared. The
Coming One was to be supernaturally begotten. He was to
enter this world as none other ever did. He was to be the
Son of Man, and yet have no human father. The One who
should bruise the serpent's head was to be the woman's
“Seed."

In Genesis the death and resurrection of the Saviour are
strikingly foreshadowed. The ark, in which were pre-

served Noah and his family, were brought safely through the deluge of death on to the new earth. Isaac, the beloved son of Abraham, at the bidding of his father, is laid, unresistingly, on the altar, and from it Abraham "received him back as in a figure from the dead."

In Genesis we also learn of the Saviour's coming exaltation. This is strikingly typified in the history of Josephthe most complete of all the personal types of Christ—who, after a period of humiliation and suffering was exalted to be the governor over all Egypt. Jacob, too, on his deathbed, also declares of Shiloh that “unto him shall the gathering of the peoples be” (49:10).

In Genesis the priesthood of Christ is anticipated. The Lord Jesus is a Priest not of the Aaronic system, but “after the order of Melchzedek.” And it is in Genesis that this mysterious character, who received tithes from and blessed Abraham, is brought before our view.

In Genesis the coming Antichrist is announced, announced as “the seed of the serpent” (3:15). He is seen, too, foreshadowed in the person and history of Nimrod, the rebel against the Lord, the man who headed the first great federation in open opposition to the Most High.

In Genesis we first read of God giving Palestine to Abraham and to his seed: “And the Lord appeared unto Abraham, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land (12:7). And again, “For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever” (13:15).

In Genesis the wondrous future of Israel is made known. “And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered” (13:16). “And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed” (22:18).

In Genesis the judgment of God on the wicked is solemnly exhibited. Cain confesses his punishment is greater than he can bear. The flood comes on the world of the ungodly and sweeps them all away. Fire and brimstone descend on Sodom and Gomorrah, till naught but their ashes remain. Lot's wife, for one act of disobedience, is turned into a pillar of salt.

What a marvelous proof is all this of the Divine Authorship! Who but the One who knows the end from the beginning, could have embodied, in germ form, what is after

wards expanded and amplified in the rest of the Bible ? What unequivocal demonstration that there was One super, intending mind, directing the pens of all who wrote the later books of Holy Scripture! May the blessing of God rest upon us as we seek to enjoy some of the inexhaustible riches of this book of beginnings.

ARTHUR W. PINK. Swengel, Pa.

1. CREATION AND RESTORATION

GENESIS 1

The manner in which the Holy Scriptures open is worthy of their Divine Author. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” and that is all that is here recorded concerning the original creation. Nothing is said which enables us to fix the date of their creation; nothing is revealed concerning their appearance or inhabitants; nothing is told us about the modus operandi of their Divine Architect. We do not know whether the primitive heaven and earth were created a few thousands, or many millions of years ago. We are not informed as to whether they were called into existence in a moment of time, or whether the process of their formation covered an interval of long ages. The bare fact is stated: “In the beginning God created, and nothing is added to gratify the curious. The opening sentence of Holy Writ is not to be philosophized about, but is presented as a statement of truth to be received with unquestioning faith.

“In the beginning God created." No argument is entered into to prove the existence of God: instead, His existence is affirmed as a fact to be believed. And yet, sufficient is expressed in this one brief sentence to expose every fallacy which man has invented concerning the Deity. This opening sentence of the Bible repudiates atheism, for it postulates the existence of God. It refutes materialism, for it distinguishes between God and His material creation. It abolishes pantheism, for it predicates that which necessitates a personal God. In the beginning God created," tells us that He was Himself before the beginning, and hence, Eternal. “In the beginning God created," and that informs us He is a personal being, for an abstraction, an impersonal "first cause,” could not create. “In the beginning God Created the heaven and the earth,and that argues He is infinite and omnipotent, for no finite being possesses the power to create," and none but an Omnipotent Being could create the heaven and the earth."

“In the beginning God.” This is the foundation truth of all real theology. God is the great Originator and Initiator. It is the ignoring of this which is the basic error in all human schemes. False systems of theology and philosophy begin with man, and seek to work up to God. But this is a turning of things upside down. We must, in all our thinking, begin with God, and work down to man. Again, this is true of the Divine inspiration of the Scriptures. The Bible is couched in human language, it is addressed to human ears, it was written by human hands, but, in the beginning God—holy men of God spake, moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:21). This is also true of salvation. In Eden, Adam sinned, and brought in death; but his Maker was not taken by surprise : in the beginning God had provided for just such an emergency, for, “the Lamb” was "foreordained before the foundation of the world” (1 Pet. 1:20). This is also true of the new creation. The soul that is saved, repents, believes, and serves the Lord; but, in the beginning, God chose us in Christ (Eph. 1:4), and now, “we love Him, because He first loved us.”

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” and we cannot but believe that these creations were worthy of Himself, that they reflected the perfections of their Maker, that they were exceedingly fair in their pristine beauty. Certainly, the earth, on the morning of its creation, must have been vastly different from its chaotic state as described in Genesis 1:2. “And the earth was without form and voidmust refer to a condition of the earth much later than what is before us in the preceding verse. It is now over a hundred years ago since Dr. Chalmers called attention to the fact that the word "was' in Genesis 1:2 should be translated “became," and that between the first two verses of Genesis 1 some terrible catastrophe must have intervened. That this catastrophe may have been connected with the apostasy of Satan, seems more than likely; that some catastrophe did occur is certain from Isa. 45 : 18, which expressly declares that the earth was not created in the condition in which Genesis 1:2 views it.

What is found in the remainder of Genesis 1 refers not to the primitive creation but to the restoration of that which had fallen into ruins. Genesis 1:1 speaks of the original creation; Genesis 1:2 describes the then condition of the earth six days before Adam was called into existence. To

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsæt »