Midrash on Genesis Chapters 1-3 Part 5

Study 5. The Seven Days of Creation.

Day 3

“And God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters He called “seas.” And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning-the third day” (Genesis 1:9-13).

 A Supreme artist

As we continue to look at the creation itself we can clearly see illustrated for us God’s eternal plan of redemption for the human race. Every act of creation itself speaks of the new creation in Christ. Out of the waters that cover the earth dry land appeared just as out of the “waters” of the womb a baby comes forth into the world. In the Bible the word “waters” can also refer to peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. (Revelation 17:15) Just as the land seperated the waters so the power of the gospel would go forth into every nation, every culture and in every language. God Himself, being eternal and foreknowing all things, even from the very foundation of the world also foresaw the fall of man that was to come. God’s original plan of creation included man and God Himself determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. (Acts 17:26b) Also when we see God’s creation we see a wonderful diversity and variety in His creative acts. He certainly is no “stereotyped” God but a wonderful and creative being who is the supreme artist!

In the image of God

Once the dry land appeared God went to work designing and creating all kinds of plants and trees with their glorious and unique display of beautifully blended colours. In everything that He created God saw that it was very good, being Himself the creator and author of life and not death. (Acts 3:15) Again in these acts of creation we see something new and unique coming forth, something being born, a new beginning. Notice that there were “seed-bearing plants” that could reproduce fruit and give birth to other seed-bearing trees and plants as the wind carried the seeds into the soil of the earth. Indeed in the parable of the sower we see this principle of the seed of God’s Word, blown by the Spirit into the soil of the human heart causing regeneration and fruitfulness “after its own kind” in the image of God Himself.

After its own kind

Notice again that the seed was “after its own kind.” They were not designed to be “mingled seed” but each plant unique in itself. In fact God says in His Word that He hates a mixture. As it is written, “Do not mate different kinds of animals. Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed. Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.” (Leviticus 19:19) In the Bible a mixture always speaks of impurity. We cannot have sin and righteousness working side by side in our lives as believers. What does light have in common with darkness or Christ with Satan? You cannot mix the pure seed of God’s Word with the seed of sin, hypocrisy or false doctrine as it is also written, “a little leaven leavens the whole lump.” (1 Corinthians 5:6) (Galatians 5:9) When we see the earth bringing forth vegetation “after its own kind” we see an illustration of the fruit of the Spirit produced by the new creation. The seed of God’s Word goes forth into the receptive soil of the human heart reproducing in the life the very nature and character of God Himself. As it is written, “Through these He has given us His exceedingly great and precious promises (the seed of God’s Word) that through these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:4).

 Fruitfulness

Out of the dry land fruit and vegetation came forth, fruit after its own kind. Again we see illustrated the spiritual dryness of the heart devoid of the divine life of God until the Spirit comes to sow the seed of God’s Word into its soil causing it to become fruitful. As it is written, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience. Kindness, gentleness, goodness, meekness, faithfulness and self-control.” Against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)  As we have already seen God tells us that we must not plant the soil of our field with mixed seed. This clearly tells us that His people are unique and that their character is different than the character of people in the world who do not know Him. As it is written of the Lord Jesus, “Who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous for good works.” (Titus 2:14) By the standards of the world true Christians will look “peculiar” but by God’s standards they are unique because by their actions they expose the unfruitful works of darkness in the world and particularly in the lives of the unsaved.

The righteous and the unrighteous

Just as God separated the light from the darkness, the land from the seas and the different kinds of trees and vegetation so He makes a distinction between the righteous and the unrighteous. Indeed as the last days are now upon us the Lord calls His faithful followers to become more righteous as the unsaved become more unrighteous. As it is written, “Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy” (Revelation 22:11). The “seed” of the woman would be different than the “seed” of Satan.  Christ and his descendents would be different than the Antichrist and his descendents. In Cain and Abel we can see the difference between those who belong to Christ and those who belong to Satan. As it is written, “Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brothers were righteous” (1 John 3:12).

God is Love but also Holy

Even though God knew that man would fall into sin and rebellion against Him He also foreknew that through the work of Jesus at the cross the earth would ultimately fulfil the original purpose for which it was created. During the Millennium the earth will become a virtual Garden of Eden once again. In fact everything God does for His creation is good because He Himself is infinitely wise and good and always has man’s best interests at heart. As it is written, “The Lord is righteous in all His ways and loving towards all He has made” (Psalm 145:17). On the other hand we also see that God is a Holy and Righteous God who cannot look upon sin and who makes a clear distinction between the fruit of righteousness and the fruit of sin and rebellion. Yet at creation God saw that everything was good. In other words He did not create sin and rebellion neither was there anything in creation that was not created perfect.

The kindness and severity of God

Who then can fully understand “the kindness and severity of God?” (Romans 11:22) The Bible tells us that “God is angry with the wicked everyday” because of their evil acts yet at the same time loving towards sinners. If He excused sin and did not deal with it and let men into heaven regardless then heaven would become as polluted as the earth. No God is totally just in everything that He does and never makes mistakes. He is perfectly fair in everything He says and does without exception. As it is written of Him, “For You rule the peoples justly and guide the nations of the earth” (Psalm 67:4b). For the sinner who persists in rebellion and sin it will be a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God, however, for the saint who is trusting in Jesus alone for salvation it is a wonderful and blessed thing to know that underneath them is the everlasting arms of their Saviour.

Formed and sustained by water

Everything in creation itself was formed and sustained by water. As it is written, “That long ago by God’s Word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and with water” (2 Peter 3:5). It would seem that after God created water He used that water to create everything. Of course water in the Bible is a symbol of the Holy Spirit and His life-giving and creative power. Indeed the Spirit of God hovered over the waters ready to go to work, ready to go into action at God’s command. The word for “water” Peter uses is in the singular and not used in the plural sense as it is in Genesis. The Holy Spirit Himself has the power to bring forth the new creation. It was His life and power that Jesus offered the woman of Samaria when He said to her, “Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst, Indeed the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14). Indeed the Lord Jesus offers the water of life to everyone who hungers and thirsts after righteousness. (Matthew 5:6)

The Water of Life

God Himself offers to everyone who is thirsty to know Him to come to the waters freely. (Isaiah 55:1) He offers those who know their poverty of spirit and desperate need of God to drink freely from His fountain of eternal life. He encourages all men to come and drink of the life changing, life sustaining power of His Spirit. As it is also written, “Whoever is thirsty, let him come, and whoever wishes let him take the free gift of the water of life” (Revelation 22:7b) Every one who thoroughly repents and turns away from their sin and comes to God through faith in Jesus as their sin-bearer and personal Saviour and Lord are re-united with their creator. Through Jesus they will never thirst again but will have the joy and privilege of drinking from the true fountain and source of life for time and for eternity. (Revelation 7:16) They will be led to springs of living water (Revelation 7:17) In the book of Genesis we see God using water in His creative acts. In the book of John and the book of Revelation we see God bringing forth the new creation by the living water of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit Himself being the third person of the Trinity in the Godhead going forth into the world to bring to birth the new creation in the hearts of those who respond to His voice.

God’s creative power

What a wonderful display of God’s creative power the earth must have been in the original creation. What life, what vitality, what creativity, what splendour and magnificence there must have been before man polluted the earth. Imagine what the original creation must have been like with the beauty and majesty of the mountains, the perfect symmetry of all of creation itself, and the exquisite and meticulous design of all living things. Even though this world has been tainted and marred by sin we can still see the beauty and majesty of God’s creation. As it is written, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world” (Psalm 19: 1-3) If the creation itself is a beautiful thing to behold how much more of a beautiful thing to behold the work of the new creation in the heart of a sinner.

Leading many to righteousness

Indeed it is written of those who carry within themselves the “seed-bearing” power of the gospel, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who sat to Zion, “Your God reigns!”(Isaiah 52:7). Again it is written of them, “Those who are wise (impart wisdom) will shine   like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness like the stars for ever and ever” (Daniel 12:3).

The future

God’s ultimate testimony to the splendour and wonder of the new creation is the bride He has prepared for His Son. As it is written, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea (to divide peoples, multitudes, nations and languages). I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:1-4).

 Through a dark glass dimly

In the first three chapters of Genesis we see the creation coming forth. In the first three chapters of the Gospel of John we see the new creation coming forth. In the book of Revelation we see the creation of the new heaven and earth.  Even though we see through a dark glass now as believers there is much more to discover about the world to come and through God’s Word we have a glimpse, of the splendour that is to come. As it is written, “For now we see through a glass darkly (we see a poor reflection); but then face to face: Now I know in part; but then shall I know even also as I am known (by God)” (1 Corinthians 13:12). Again it is written, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

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