Man in Eden
The book of Genesis is the seed-plot of the Bible, it is the first book of Scripture, and gives more information about the origin of things than any other book in the world, whilst all other books of the Bible unfold the germs of what we find in Genesis.
The critics tell us the book of Genesis is very unreliable; of course they were there when all it records took place and know all about it!
God was there, and has recorded in this book how things came into being, and His blessed Son stamped Genesis again and again with His approval. He quoted a bit of the second chapter when He said, “Man shall leave his father and mother, and cleave unto his wife.” Men don’t know the dreadful and treacherous ground they stand on when they begin to criticize the Word of God. I am an old man now, and have been studying this blessed book for fifty years and have been searching for the flaws these critics see, and I cannot find any. “Well,” they say, “you are blind!” Thank God, my eyes are open to its perfections if I cannot find any defects. I believe this book to be the Word of God from cover to cover. Each writer presents things in different ways, but they all point to the blessed, glorious Christ. The Old Testament is the picture-book of Christ, and if we spent more time going over the early part of the Bible we should see how Christ comes in everywhere. God had it in His mind to bring out what His blessed Son was, and what His own heart was; how He could meet the misery of man, who had ruined himself by listening to the enemy of God and man.
God does not give us anything too difficult for faith to understand. In chapter 1 we have creation, and God wraps all He wants to let us know about creation in one short chapter. The man that has the Word of God in his hand and the faith of God in his heart, and who believes what God says in chapter 1, knows more about creation than the most learned man in the world. I am as clear as sunlight that what God says is true as to creation in chapter 1 and the origin of man in chapter 2. The origin of man is in Scripture, and no other account, no human theory, throws the light on it these few verses do. We find the birth of the Lord Jesus in Luke 3, and He is traced up through Mary’s line, Son of David, Son of Abraham, Son of Seth, Son of Adam, Son of God! Christ was not only the eternal Son, but when born of the Virgin a veritable man come in flesh. He is also in incarnation said to be “Son of God.”
Genesis 2 tells how God made man out of the dust of the earth and then breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. In chapter 1 God spoke and it stood fast, and there it was. The preparing of the earth for man to dwell upon it is very shortly given. Then God goes into council and made man. And after He had made man He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul. Now you have man in relationship to God. He made man and He made him in His image after His likeness, an intelligent being. Then God brought Eve to Adam. She is a figure of Christ and the church. In the deep sleep of Adam we see the death of Christ, and as Eve sprang out of his side at the command of God the church sprang out of Christ in death. God’s thought was to get out of this world a bride for Christ, one who would be the joy of the heart of His blessed Son. God wanted men to be happy with Himself, and we see a picture of this in chapter 2. No spot was more blessed than Eden, in it was everything to fill the heart with joy and gladness; the knowledge of God, the company of God, and the care of God, this was the portion of two happy, innocent beings. The man was placed in the garden to keep it: God did not mean him to live a lazy life; He gave him occupation for body and mind, when placed in possession and given the liberty of the whole garden. These privileges were linked with responsibility. Adam was not only head over all creation, but in the garden God reserved certain rights. “You may have everything, but I retain that one tree, I keep that one tree as a test of your obedience.” He placed Adam under law, his happiness depended on his obedience. Had not God a right to withhold that one tree? He well knew the terrible state which would result from our forefather eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, so after he had disobeyed He prevented him eating of the tree of life and perpetuating his misery.
When you come to the end of Revelation 22, by the side of the river is the tree of life, but the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is not mentioned. The end of the book shows us what God contemplated in the beginning: man, profoundly happy in the paradise of God under the care of the second Man, the Lord out of heaven, and the church His bride associated with Him; all distance gone, and God happy, eternally happy, with His creature man; and all evil done away with for ever. Thus in the end not a single purpose of God will be defeated.
Our Calling 1912