View Full Version : A Walk in the Garden--Part 1

May 4th 2010, 06:33 AM
A walk in the Garden, part 1 (the Light of the Word)

This study seeks to compare the New Testament parallels that exist in in the first few chapters of Genesis. I've wanted to do this for a number of years, and have decided to submit it for the edification of those who may not have discovered these nuggets of gold buried there for us to find.

I'll present it in 3 or 4 sections, seeking to be comprehensive, yet concise as I can. If part 1 meets the required standards, I will continue to offer additional submissions.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. (Gen 1:1-3 KJV)
In the beginning…? God has no beginning, so the one referenced here has to mean the beginning as far as we are concerned: the beginning of the material universe.
As to whether a "Big Bang" initiated things, we cannot say; we'll leave such speculation to the scientists. It's enough for us to know that the universe is clearly a designed system, comprised of even smaller systems--not some unexplainable accident that somehow came from nowhere for no reason. The complex structure and nature of the universe clearly represents a design--which necessitates a Designer.

Some see in the first chapter of Genesis, the detailed creation of the earth, while some see Creation stated in the first verse, followed by an account of the earth being restored to a habitable condition and replenished with life--following some cataclysmic flood, as in the days of Noah. That too, is a matter of opinion, and a peripheral issue beyond the scope of our study.

The earth we are told was shapeless and empty--covered in water and steeped in darkness, with the Spirit of God hovering over the waters. In the KJV, the Hebrew word translated "moved" in verse 2, carries the connotation of "brooding." It's not difficult to understand that the "Father of Lights" (Jam 1:17), Who dwells in light (1 Tim 6:16), and in whom there is no darkness (1 John 1:5), should take umbrage to the darkness that encompassed the earth. Note carefully how God changed that situation:

And God said, "let there be light: and there was light.

Like a buried treasure, a hidden truth lies in this verse, awaiting the diligent digger to find it: we see here, the first instance in Scripture of God’s Word being sent forth to fulfill His will and purpose. Displeased by the darkness marring His creation, He called forth light, which prevailed over the darkness and drove it into the shadows. God spoke...and it was so. Likewise, on each creative day, God’s Word is obeyed.

The prophet Isaiah beautifully portrays the Word of God proceeding forth to manifest and fulfill His will and purpose:
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
(Isaiah 55: 8-11)

The Apostle John opens his narrative of the life and ministry of Jesus by speaking of Him as He existed before He was Jesus, the man. John describes the same beginning as in the Genesis account, and the same Word—both being God, and being with God as the expression of His will and purpose--by which all things were made:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:1-3)

John then goes on to declare that the Word was made flesh—God robed in humanity--and dwelled as a man upon the earth:
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:14 KJV)

Indeed, Scripture declares many times that Jesus is God in the flesh--the Spirit that is God, manifested in a visible form:
Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: (Col 1:15)

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. (1 Tim 3:16)

To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (2 Cor 5:19)

Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majestyon high; (Heb 1:3)

Scripture teaches that, just as a word expresses a thought, the invisible, unknowable Spirit of God is revealed and made known through His Word. And Jesus is the human incarnation of the Word.

Just as God’s Word called forth light into the darkness on the first Day in Genesis, John declares that His Word incarnate shined forth light into the spiritual darkness of this lost and dying world:
In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. (John 1:5-9)

We read in the text of Genesis, that after the Lord called forth light, He then divided the light from the darkness:
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. (Gen 1:3-5 KJV)

Again, we see a spiritual parallel in Jesus, since mankind is divided on the basis of those abiding in the light of the Gospel, and those in the spiritual darkness of unbelief:
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (John 1:5 KJV)

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2 Cor 4:3-4)

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (2 Cor 6:14)

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light. (Eph 5:8 NIV)

From the very beginning, Jesus as the Word robed in flesh—transformed into a temple of glorified humanity after His resurrection, has always been about the light from above: the day Jesus was born, God announced that world-changing event by means of the mysterious “star of Bethlehem.” It’s no coincidence that God chose a light shining in the darkness to lead men to the One who would become the light of the world.

The day that Jesus died, a darkness prevailed over the land for several hours, symbolizing the fact that the light of the world had gone out. Yet, glory to God, that light didn’t stay out--because Jesus didn’t stay dead! And after He rose, He gave lamps to His disciples, sending them forth to shine the light of the Gospel into the spiritual darkness. And they in turn, passed that light to others, who passed it on as well.

A young Pharisee named Saul was on his way to Damascus with temple authorization to arrest members of what he believed to be a renegade sect of Judaism, when he met the risen Christ in the form of a light brighter than the sun--a light so intense that Saul was blinded by it for days—a very effective illustration of his state of spiritual blindness. He would later shine the light of the Gospel as tirelessly as he had once fought to extinguish it.

One day, an eerie darkness will again envelop the world, and prevail, until suddenly, like lightning flashing from east to west, Jesus—the light of God’s Salvation, will appear once again, as king of kings and Lord of lords—the same Jesus whom John still sees as the Word:
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. (Rev 19:11-13)

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalms 119:105)