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God Rested From His 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." (Genesis 2:1-2)

“Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.” (Genesis 2:1-2)

When we rest from our work, it is usually because we are tired. Or, we rest from our work in order to do more pleasurable, leisurely activities. Sometimes, we take a rest from our work so that we might return to it with a refreshed perspective and attitude toward it. Whatever the specific reason, we tend to associate resting from our work with renewing our energy so that we can work more effectively when we resume working.

But what does the Bible mean when it says that God rested from His work? God doesn’t get tired (Isaiah 40:28), He doesn’t need to sleep (Psalm 121:4), and we can be certain that He never needs to take a break in order to get a fresh perspective or attitude. So why did He rest on the Seventh Day of Creation?

For one, God rested from His work in order to show us that we should take the time to rest from ours. When giving His commandments to Israel, God would provide for a day of rest each week that was modeled after His own resting in Genesis 2:2 (Exodus 20:9-10). God demonstrated the importance for people to make adequate time for rest here at the very beginning.

But even more than this, we find a key to understanding the reason for Genesis 2:2 by looking at Genesis 2:1: “Thus the heavens and the earth were FINISHED…” God rested from His work, primarily, because He was done! Genesis 1:31 stated right before this that God saw everything and that it was “very good.” He didn’t need to add anything to His work, it was complete. We don’t normally leave our offices at the end of the week because all of our work is finished, but at the end of that very first week, God rested because His work was finished.

It was God’s perfect, completed work that provided everything man needed to live on this Earth. God provided everything necessary by His work, Adam and Eve did not need to labor for it. God was resting from His work and all that they needed to do was enter into that rest with Him.

There is a rest that God has invited us into, as well. This rest is a spiritual rest, not a physical one. Just as God provided everything needed for the man and woman to live in the Garden of Eden, He has provided everything needed for us to live with Him. The rest that Adam and Eve were invited to enter into was completely provided by the work of God, and so is this rest. Jesus Christ completed the work (John 17:4) and declared it finished (John 19:30). God has completed the work necessary for us to enter into this rest, all we need to do is trust in Him.

“So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.” (Hebrews 4:9-10)

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published July 31, 2009]

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

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God Created Everything “Very Good”

"And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day." (Genesis 1:31)

“God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.” (Genesis 1:31)

We do not need to look at this world for very long before we determine that everything is definitely not “very good.” But in the beginning, it was. Everything that God made was originally perfect and without blemish. At the completion of the sixth day of Creation, God reflected upon His handiwork and saw that there was nothing lacking in it. So what happened after that?

Sin. The corruption that entered God’s Universe came through no fault of His own, but rather through the iniquity of His creation. Satan himself was originally created in perfection until iniquity was found in him (Ezekiel 28:15). Man, too, was created without imperfection until Adam and Eve rebelled against God’s commandment. It was through disobedience that God’s perfect Creation became corrupted and evil entered in.

Many people are quick to blame God for the problems in their life. They question why God has caused or allowed certain things to happen to them, or why He hasn’t done more for them. But the problem is still the same today as it always has been, sin. We live in a world that has been corrupted by it and that has become an ugly place because of it. But in the beginning, it was not this way. It was very good.

What about your life? Have you dealt with your biggest problem; your own sin? Are you angry with God because He hasn’t done more for you, and yet you have never dealt with the sin in your own life? Will you confess your sin to God, repent and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness?

This world will never again be “very good.” But for those who are trusting Christ as their Savior, there is a place that is. The sin that has corrupted the world and has corrupted our own flesh will be no more. God will make all things very good again.

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published July 29, 2009]

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

Man Was Given Dominion

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“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:28)

Adam was given dominion over the Earth and instructed to “subdue it.” God intended for mankind to rule over the Earth as His representative. All things would be subject to mankind’s authority and man would be accountable only to God. Yet for this one stipulation, Adam would sacrifice all. Satan would tempt Adam and Eve to desire not to rule under God’s authority and in His stead, but to rule as gods themselves.

In this passage of Genesis 1:28-30, we have a beautiful picture of God’s wonderful grace. God provided everything that the man and woman would need (v.29), freely giving them dominion over all things to enjoy. He gave them power over the Earth itself and sent them forward to populate it. But they would forget that it was only by God’s grace that they would continue to enjoy the dominion that they had been given. Verse 28 says that God “blessed” them. This was not a one time blessing as we might initially think, but rather an ongoing “blessing”;  in that it was God Who was the continual Source of their blessing and provision.

Jesus Christ would later come to Earth as the last “Adam” (1 Corinthians 15:45). He would come with the power and dominion over the Earth which the first Adam had laid down in his disobedience. Jesus demonstrated this authority in His power over sickness, disease, death, demons, and even the weather itself. He would walk on water, calm the storms, raise the dead, and feed the multitudes with a single basket of food. But Jesus would do these things under the authority of the Father. He would exercise this dominion the way that it was intended to be used.

In this fallen world, we do not have the dominion and authority over the Earth that Adam was given. Nor do we have the dominion that Jesus exercised. But He has given us the dominion and authority to do the things that He has called us to do. It doesn’t come from our own power, but from God’s power. We may not be able to heal the sick, raise the dead, or calm the stormy seas, but we serve the One Who can. He has equipped us and anointed us to do those things which He has called us to do.

Lord,

Thank You that we serve the One to Whom all power and authority has been given. We may not have the dominion over the Earth that Adam was originally given, but You do.

Lord, we pray that You work in our lives and exercise Your dominion over our own circumstances. Bless us and provide for us just as You blessed and provided for the very first man and woman. As we walk in Your grace and blessing, Lord, may we never lose sight that all blessings, all provision, and all dominion comes from You. May we never take for granted any power and authority You do bestow upon us, seeking to usurp that which You have not given. Lord, may we always seek Your glory in all things,  not our own.

In the name of Jesus,

Amen

[This post was originally published July 26, 2009]

God Made Man In His Own Image

"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." (Genesis 1:26)

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:26 KJV)

God said, “Let there be light: and there was light” (Gen. 1:3). God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters” (v.6), “Let the earth bring forth grass” (v.11), “Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature” (v.20), “Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind” (v.24). Now, in verse 26, God says, “Let us make man in our image.”

There is no doubt that the creation of man was a special act of Creation. It is distinguished from everything else that God made. There is no command given to the Earth to bring forth man and no mention of man being created “after his kind.” God created man in His very own image and after His own likeness.

The language used here in the first part of Verse 26 is quite interesting. God said, “Let us make man in our image.” Who exactly is the us to whom God is referring? Several interpretations have been given to this enigmatic usage of the words us and our in this verse. Some have suggested that God is referring to a Heavenly court of His angels. But is man created in the image of angels? No, angels are described as ministering spirits who minister for the servants of God (Hebrews 1:14). Others have suggested that the plural usage is to demonstrate the greatness and grandeur of God, sort of  the way monarchs would refer to themselves in the plural to demonstrate their greatness. But wouldn’t it make sense that God would invariably refer to Himself in this manner if such were the case? We do not read of God throughout the Bible introducing Himself as, “We are the Lord your God”, do we? No, in fact He introduces Himself to Moses as the  “I Am” (Exodus 3:14).

The two words that open Genesis 1:26 give us a lot of insight into what the verse actually means by using the words us and our. “God said.” In the Hebrew, the word used for God is Elohim. It is actually a plural form of God that could also be translated as gods (meaning more than one). Yet the word translated as said is a singular verb. In English, we use said for both the singular and the plural, but in Hebrew it is different. If we were to use a different English verb, the distinction would be more noticeable. For example, if we were to substitute the verb to run for the verb to say, the direct translation would be , “Gods runs” instead of “Gods run.”  So we have a plural noun doing a singular action. The writer of Genesis has either made a terrible grammatical error or he is telling us about the nature of God.

God is a Trinity. God is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Genesis 1:2 shows us the Holy Spirit at the very beginning in action, moving upon the Earth in Creation. Colossians 1:16-17  tells us that Jesus Christ was before all things were created and that it was by Him and for Him that all things were made. God conferred within Himself when He made man. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit created man in His own image. Man has the ability to understand and to reason, he has morality that transcends his instincts, he has the ability to speak and to exercise his will. And he has the ability to fellowship with his Creator. Mankind is truly fearfully and wonderfully made!

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published July 24, 2009]

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

All Food Is Provided By God

"And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so." (Genesis 1:11)

“And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.” (Genesis 1:11 KJV)

Not long ago, I read about an animated television show that depicted a young boy and his family sitting at the dinner table. The young boy was being more or less forced against his will to pray the blessing over the meal by his parents. So, he sarcastically said, “Lord, thank You for this food even though we were the ones who worked to earn the money to buy it.”

Such a statement was obviously written into the script to elicit a laugh from an audience hostile towards God. When I read about it, I was reminded how there really are so many people who hold such a prideful attitude. They feel that they have been given nothing in this world and have earned everything that they have ever received.

The truth of the matter is that it does not matter how much money a person has nor how hard they have worked to earn it. If God had not created the plants and trees that would bear the fruit to feed us, we would starve. I knew of a man who would not lift a glass of water to his mouth without giving thanks to God. It wasn’t the monetary value of the water or the difficulty or ease with which he acquired it that caused him to give thanks. He was thankful to the One Who had created the water in the first place.

Whether we acknowledge Him or not, it is only by the grace of God that any of us has anything to eat. God created the fruits, grains, and even the animals who bear the meat that we consume in order to stay alive. No man is fed save by the Hand of God. Are you giving Him the credit that He deserves or are you supposing that you eat entirely through your own efforts?

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published July 19, 2009]

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

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