Gleanings in Genesis by A. W. Pink

2. Christ In Genesis 1

In our first meditation    upon this wonderful book of beginnings we pointed out some of the striking    analogies which exist between the order followed by God in His work of creation    and His method of procedure in the “new creation,’’ the spiritual    creation in the believer. First, there was darkness, then the action of the Holy    Spirit, then the word of power going forth, and then light as the result, and    later resurrection and fruit. There is also a striking foreshadowment of God’s    great dispensational dealings with our race, in this record of His work in the    six days, but as this has already received attention from more capable pens than    ours, we pass on to still another application of this scripture. There is much    concerning Christ in this first chapter of Genesis if only we have eyes    to see, and it is the typical application of Genesis 1 to Christ and His work we    would here direct attention.

Christ is the key which    unlocks the golden doors into the temple of Divine truth. “Search the    Scriptures,” is His command, “for they are they which testify of Me.” And again, He declares, “In the volume of the Book it is written    of Me.” In every section of the written Word the Personal Word is enshrined—in    Genesis as much as in Matthew. And we would now submit that on the frontispiece    of Divine Revelation we have a typical program of the entire Work of    Redemption.

In the opening statements    of this chapter we discover, in type, the great need of Redemption.    “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” This carries    us back to the primal creation which, like everything else that comes from the    hand of God, must have been perfect, beautiful, glorious. Such also was the    original condition of man. Made in the image of his Creator, endowed with the    breath of Elohim, he was pronounced “very good.”

But the next words present    a very different picture—”And the earth was without form and void,”    or, as the original Hebrew might be more literally translated, “The earth became a ruin.” Between the first two verses in Genesis 1 a terrible calamity    occurred. Sin entered the universe. The heart of the mightiest of all God’s    creatures was filled with pride—Satan had dared to oppose the will of the    Almighty. The dire effects of his fall reached to our earth, and what was    originally created by God fair and beautiful, became a ruin. Again we see in    this a striking analogy to the history of man. He too fell. He also became a    ruin. The effects of his sin likewise reached beyond himself—the generations    of an unborn humanity being cursed as the result of the sin of our first    parents.

“And darkness was upon    the face of the deep.” Darkness is the opposite of light. God is light.    Darkness is the emblem of Satan. Well do these words describe the natural    condition of our fallen race. Judicially separated from God, morally and    spiritually blind, experimentally the slaves of Satan, an awful pall of darkness    rests upon the entire mass of an unregenerate humanity. But this only furnishes    a black background upon which can be displayed the glories of Divine Grace.    “Where sin abounded grace did much more abound.” The method of    this “abounding of grace” is, in type, outlined in God’s work during    the six days. In the work of the first four days we have a most remarkable    foreshadowment of the four great stages in the Work of Redemption. We cannot now    do much more than call attention to the outlines of this marvelous primitive    picture. But as we approach it, to gaze upon it in awe and wonderment, may the    Spirit of God take of the things of Christ and show them unto us.

I. In the first day’s    work the Divine Incarnation is typically set forth.

If fallen and sinful men    are to be reconciled to the thrice holy God what must be done? How can the    infinite chasm separating Deity from humanity be bridged? What ladder shall be    able to rest here upon earth and yet reach right into heaven itself? Only one    answer is possible to these questions. The initial step in the work of human    redemption must be the Incarnation of Deity. Of necessity this must be the    starting point. The Word must become flesh. God Himself must come right down to    the very pit where a ruined humanity helplessly lies, if it is ever to be lifted    out of the miry clay and transported to heavenly places. The Son of God must    take upon Himself the form of a servant and be made in the likeness of men.

This is precisely what the    first day’s work typifies in its foreshadowment of the initial step in the    Work of Redemption, namely, the Incarnation of the Divine Redeemer. Notice here    five things.

First, there is the work of the Holy Spirit. “And the Spirit of God moved (Heb. ‘brooded’)    upon the face of the waters” (v. 2). So also was this the order in the    Divine Incarnation. Concerning the mother of the Savior we read, “And the    angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the    power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy    thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke    1:35).

Second, the word issues    forth as light. “And God said (the word) let there be    light and there was light” (v. 3). So also as soon as Mary brings forth the    Holy Child “The glory of the Lord shone round about” the    shepherds on Bethlehem’s plains (Luke 2:9). And when He is presented in the    temple, Simeon was moved by the Holy Spirit to say, “For mine eyes have    seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people: a    light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel.”

Third, the light is approved by God. “And God saw the light, that it was good (v.    4). We cannot now enlarge much upon the deep typical import of this statement,    but would remark in passing that the Hebrew word here translated    “good” is also in (Ecclesiastes 3:11) rendered “beautiful”—”He hath made everything beautiful in his time.” God saw that    the light was good, beautiful! How obvious is the application to our incarnate    Lord! After His advent into this world we are told that “Jesus increased in    wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52), and    the first words of the Father concerning Him were, “This is My beloved Son    in whom I am well pleased.” Yes, good and beautiful was the    light in the sight of the Father. How blind was man that he should see in Him no    beauty that he should desire Him!

Fourth, the light was separated from the darkness. “And God divided the light from the    darkness” (v. 4). How jealously did the Holy Spirit guard the types! How    careful is He to call our attention to the immeasurable difference between the    Son of Man and the sons of men! Though in His infinite condescension He saw fit    to share our humanity, yet He shared not our depravity. The light of Christ was divided from the darkness (fallen humanity). “For such a high priest became us,    who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners (Heb.    7:26).

Fifth, the light was named    by God. “And God called the light Day” (v. 5). So also was    it with Him who is the Light of the world. It was not left to Joseph and Mary to    select the name for the Holy Child. Of old the prophet had declared,    “Listen, O isles unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; the Lord hath    called Me from the womb; from the bowels of My mother hath He made mention of    My name (Isa. 49:1). And in fulfillment thereof, while yet in    His mother’s womb, an angel is sent by God to Joseph, saying, “And she    shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus.”

II. In the second day’s    work the Cross of Christ is typically set forth.

What was the next thing    necessary in the accomplishment of the Work of Redemption? The Incarnation by    itself would not meet our need. “Except a corn of wheat fall into the    ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth    much fruit” (John 12:24). The Incarnate Christ reveals the spotless and    perfect life which alone meets the Divine mind, but it helps not to bridge the    awful gulf between a holy God and a ruined sinner. For this, sin must put away,    and that cannot be done except death comes in. “For without shedding of    blood is no remission.” The Lamb of God must be slain. The Holy One must    lay down His life. The Cross is the only place where the righteous claims of God’s    throne can be met.

And in the second day’s    work this second step in the accomplishment of human redemption is typically set    forth. The prominent thing in this second day’s work is division, separation, isolation. “And God said, Let there be a    firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from    the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were    under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was    so” (vv. 6-7). It is striking to note here that there is a twofold division.    First there is a firmament in the midst of the waters and this firmament divides    the waters from the waters, and secondly, the firmament divided the waters which    were under it from those which were above it. We believe that the    “firmament” here typifies the Cross, and sets forth its twofold aspect. There our blessed Lord was divided or separated from God    Himself—”My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?”; and    there also He was separated from man “Cut off out of the land of the    living.”

That the    “firmament” here does foreshadow the Cross seems to be clearly    borne out by the marvelous analogy between what is here told us concerning it    and its typical agreement with the Cross of Christ. Observe four things.

First, the firmament was purposed by God before it was actually made. In verse 6 it reads, “And    God said let there be a firmament,” and in verse 7, “And God made the firmament.” How perfect is the agreement between type and antitype!    Long, long before the Cross was erected on Golgotha’s heights, it was purposed    by God. Christ was “The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”    (Rev. 13:8).

Second, the firmament was    set in the midst of the waters. It is well known to Bible students that    in Scripture “waters” symbolize peoples, nations (cf.    Revelation 17:15). In its typical application then, these words would seem to    signify, “Let there be a Cross in the midst of the peoples.” Manifold    are the applications suggested by these words. Accurate beyond degree is the    type. Our minds immediately turn to the words, “They crucified Him, and two    others with Him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst (John    19:18). The geographical situation of Calvary is likewise a fulfillment:    Palestine being practically the center or midst of the earth.

Third, the firmament divided the waters. So the Cross has divided the “peoples.” The Cross of    Christ is the great divider of mankind. So it was historically, for it divided    the believing thief from the impotent thief. So it has been ever since, and so    it is today. On the one hand, “The preaching of the Cross is to them that    perish, foolishness,” but on the other, “unto us which are saved, it    is the power of God” (1 Cor. 1:18).

Fourth, the firmament was designed    by God. “And God made the firmament.” So was it    announced on the Day of Pentecost concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. “Him,    being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God” (Acts    2:23). So was it declared of old, “It pleased the Lord to    bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief.” The Cross was of Divine    design and appointment.

Is it not also deeply    significant that the words, “And God saw that it was good” are omitted    at the close of this second day’s work? Had they been included here the    type would have been marred. The second day’s work pointed forward to the    Cross, and at the Cross God was dealing with sin. There His wrath    was being expended on the Just One who was dying for the unjust. Though He was    without any sin, yet was He “made sin for us” and dealt with    accordingly. Does not then the omission here of the usual expression    “God saw that it was good assume a deeper significance    than has been hitherto allowed.

III. In the third day’s    work our Lord’s Resurrection is typically set forth.

Our article has already    exceeded the limits we originally designed, so perforce, we must abbreviate.

The third thing necessary    in the accomplishment of the Work of Redemption was the Resurrection of the    Crucified One. A dead Savior could not save anyone. “Wherefore He is able    also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him”; Why? “Seeing    He ever liveth (Heb. 7:25).

Thus it is in our type.    Beyond doubt, that which is foreshadowed on the third day’s work is resurrection. It is in the record concerning this third day that we read “Let the dry    land appear (v. 9). Previously the earth had been submerged,    buried beneath the waters. But now the land is raised above the level of the    seas; there is resurrection, the earth appears. But this is not all. In verse 11    we read, “And let the earth bring forth grass, etc.” Hitherto death    had reigned supreme. No life appeared upon the surface of the ruined earth. But    on the third day the earth is commanded to “bring forth.” Not on the    second, not on the fourth, but on the third day was life seen upon the    barren earth! Perfect is the type for all who have eyes to see. Wonderfully    pregnant are the words, “Let the earth bring forth to    all who have ears to hear. It was on the third day that our Lord rose    again from the dead “according to the Scriptures.” According to what Scriptures? Do we not have in these 9th and 11th verses of Genesis 1 the    first of these scriptures, as well as the primitive picture of our Lord’s    Resurrection!

IV. In the fourth day’s    work our Lord’s Ascension is typically suggested.

The Resurrection did not    complete our Lord’s redemption work. In order for that He must enter the    Heavenly Place not made with hands. He must take His seat on the right hand of    the Majesty on high. He must go “into heaven itself now to appear in the    presence of God for us” (Heb. 9:24).

Once more we find the type    corresponds with the Anti-type. In the fourth day’s work our eyes are removed    from the earth and all its affairs and are turned to the heavens! (See    verses 14-19). As we read these verses and gather something of their typical    import, do we not hear the Holy Spirit saying, “Seek those things which are    above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on    things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3:1, 2).

And as we lift our eyes    heavenwards what do we see? “Two great lightstypically, Christ and His people. The sun which speaks to us of “the Sun of    Righteousness” (Malachi 4:2), and the moon which tells of Israel and the    Church (Rev. 12:1), borrowing its light from, and reflecting the light of, the    sun. And observe their functions. First, they are “to give light    upon the earth (v. 17), and secondly, they are “to rule over the day and    over the night” (v. 18). So it is with Christ and His people. During the    present interval of darkness, the world’s night, Christ and His people are    “the light of the world,” but during the Millennium they shall rule    and reign over the earth.

Thus in the first four days’    work in Genesis 1, we have foreshadowed the four great stages or crises in the    accomplishment of the Work of Redemption. The Incarnation, the Death, the    Resurrection, and the Ascension of our blessed Lord are respectively typified.    In the light of this how precious are those words at the close of the six days’    work: “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all    the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made;    and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had    made” (Gen. 2:1, 2). The work of Redemption is completed, and    in that work God finds His rest!

As we continue our    meditations on the book of Genesis may God in His condescending grace reveal    unto us “wondrous things out of His Law.”


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