Beginning Created God's Heaven Heavens Preparing

1:1 In the {a} beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

The Argument - Moses in effect declares three things, which are in this book chiefly to be considered: First, that the world and all things in it were created by God, and to praise his Name for the infinite graces, with which he had endued him, fell willingly from God through disobedience, who yet for his own mercies sake restored him to life, and confirmed him in the same by his promise of Christ to come, by whom he should overcome Satan, death and hell. Secondly, that the wicked, unmindful of God's most excellent benefits, remained still in their wickedness, and so falling most horribly from sin to sin, provoked God (who by his preachers called them continually to repentance) at length to destroy the whole world. Thirdly, he assures us by the examples of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the rest of the patriarchs, that his mercies never fail those whom he chooses to be his Church, and to profess his Name in earth, but in all their afflictions and persecutions he assists them, sends comfort, and delivers them, so that the beginning, increase, preservation and success of it might be attributed to God only. Moses shows by the examples of Cain, Ishmael, Esau and others, who were noble in man's judgment, that this Church depends not on the estimation and nobility of the world: and also by the fewness of those, who have at all times worshipped him purely according to his word that it stands not in the multitude, but in the poor and despised, in the small flock and little number, that man in his wisdom might be confounded, and the name of God praised forever.

(a) First of all, and before any creature was, God made heaven and earth out of nothing.

1:1 Observe here.

1. The effect produced, The heaven and the earth - That is, the world, including the whole frame and furniture of the universe. But 'tis only the visible part of the creation that Moses designs to give an account of. Yet even in this there are secrets which cannot be fathomed, nor accounted for. But from what we see of heaven and earth, we may infer the eternal power and godhead of the great Creator. And let our make and place, as men, mind us of our duty, as Christians, which is always to keep heaven in our eye, and the earth under our feet. Observe

2. The author and cause of this great work, God. The Hebrew word is Elohim; which

(1.) seems to mean The Covenant God, being derived from a word that signifies to swear.

(2.) The plurality of persons in the Godhead, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The plural name of God in Hebrew, which speaks of him as many, tho' he be but one, was to the Gentiles perhaps a favour of death unto death, hardening them in their idolatry; but it is to us a favour of life unto life, confirming our faith in the doctrine of the Trinity, which, tho' but darkly intimated in the Old Testament, is clearly revealed in the New. Observe

3. The manner how this work was effected; God created, that is, made it out of nothing. There was not any pre - existent matter out of which the world was produced. The fish and fowl were indeed produced out of the waters, and the beasts and man out of the earth; but that earth and those waters were made out of nothing. Observe

4. When this work was produced; In the beginning - That is, in the beginning of time. Time began with the production of those beings that are measured by time. Before the beginning of time there was none but that Infinite Being that inhabits eternity. Should we ask why God made the world no sooner, we should but darken counsel by words without knowledge; for how could there be sooner or later in eternity?

1:1,2 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.

Beginning Created Earth First God's Heaven Heavens Preparing

Beginning Created Earth First God's Heaven Heavens Preparing