•  3 min. read  •  grade level: 10
But now as introductory to the creative week, we have the Spirit of God brooding over the dark and watery waste, planning and arranging this earth as a sphere for the display of the ways of God and as a dwelling for man (ver. 2). Wondrous were the counsels respecting this earth. Here were to run the wheels of God's government as seen in vision by the exiled seer of Chebar (Ezek. L). Here the course of creature responsibility was to be fully developed in the sorrowful history of the first man. Here, too, the Lord of Glory passed along in silent, enduring, resistless love. Here, also, grace rose in holy triumph, over the misery of man. Here, too, has been witnessed the grandest of all facts, and the accomplishment of the grandest of all the divine and eternal counsels, THE LAMB SLAIN. Here, also, where sin and death reign, where creation groans, and hearts are broken, glory will yet brighten its dreariest plains for one thousand years.
We may here remark, that Scripture does not determine the antiquity of the earth (that is an open question solvable by science if she can), nor does it assert its creation in six clap. The age of Adam, and not of the earth, is noted in the earliest chronological portion of the Word of God (Gen. chap. 5.), and all the subsequent dates likewise respect man; neither is the earth said to have been created in six days, and really the distinction between "creating" and "making" (see Gen. 2:44These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, (Genesis 2:4)) is important in these studies: "In six days the LORD made heaven and earth" (Exod. 20:1111For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. (Exodus 20:11)).
We come now to the creation of man and his place of lordship and dignity in the beautifully ordered scene. We have had light thrown upon a ruined, dark, and watery waste. What a scene of desolation the light revealed! Next, we had the waters divided and a beautiful expanse formed, but as yet untenanted. Then followed the appearing of the dry land; instantly, at the divine Word, it clad itself with beauty and vegetation. The sun then poured his golden beams upon the beauteous earth, and as he slowly sinks in the west, the pale and silvery light of the moon—the, queen of the night—aided by the brilliant starry host, illuminate the earth and heaven; then the waters are filled with life, and heaven with flying bird; lastly, the land is occupied with cattle, beasts, and moving creatures. What then I Is the work complete As yet there was no intelligent, responsible creature morally competent to express the Creator in the vast and sinless scene. Where could you find amongst the various forms of organic life in heaven, earth or sea, a being who could lead creation's praise, enter into the moral perfections displayed by God in His beauteous workmanship, represent Him therein, and become the vehicle of the divine thoughts to the waiting creation. Hence God will work in the absoluteness of His sovereign will, and create a man in His moral likeness, fitted to be His representative in power on the earth. This was truly a work worthy of the Creator, and surely it was fitting that thus a moral link should be established between the Creator and His work.—Sand Book to the Old Testament, by Walter Scott, p. 14.