“In the Beginning”
In my opinion, no portion of Holy Scripture is more important than the first three chapters of Genesis. If a man truly believes and understands Genesis 1, 2, and 3, he has grasped the whole system of Divine truth, for he has grasped the foundation of all truth. If we fail to understand what is revealed in these three chapters, we cannot understand anything else in the Sacred Volume. Perhaps that is the reason Satan has always raised up false prophets to twist, pervert, and deny the opening chapters of Genesis.
Genesis 1 reveals the origin and creation of the universe and the formation of man from the dust of the earth. — “In the beginning God.” — Those four words show us that the Lord God is the Creator, Ruler, and Disposer of all things. — “All things were made by Him and for Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:3).
Chapter 2 reveals the happiness, power, and greatness of man before sin entered into the world. In the garden, in his innocence Adam was the object of God’s favor and delight. God made him lord of the earth. All creatures were under his dominion. He lived in harmony with God, the holy angels, and the beasts of the field in perfect happiness. But Adam did not continue for very long in this blessed, happy condition.
Chapter 3 reveals the temptation and fall of our father Adam and the consequences of it. What a sad, sad picture! Man created in the image of God, man to whom God had given the whole world, man, the prince of God’s creation, rebelled against his Creator and lost everything!
When we had lost everything, when Adam and Eve were trying to hide themselves from the Lord God, trying to cover the shame of their sin and their nakedness from God, the Lord God stepped in, not to destroy them, but to save them by his grace! (Genesis 3:9). God Himself preached the first Gospel message, promising to destroy the enemy by the accomplishment of redemption through the woman’s Seed, our Lord Jesus Christ (3:15).
Then, He made a sacrifice for our fallen parents and clothed them with the skins of the slain sacrifice (3:21), picturing the garments of salvation, with which He would clothe His elect.
Then, we are told in Genesis 3:22-24 — “And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of Us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” This, too, was an act of God’s grace. It was not, as many suppose, an act of His wrath. The Lord God drove Adam and Eve from the garden “to keep the way of the tree of life,” that is, to preserve and protect “the way of the tree of life.”
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