Bible in 1 year: January Readings: Jan 1: Gen 1 – 1-3
Thank you for starting our Bible reading in a year!
The Book of Genesis opens the Hebrew Bible with the story of creation. God, a spirit hovering over an empty, watery void, creates the world by speaking into the darkness and calling into being light, sky, land, vegetation, and living creatures over the course of six days. Each day, he pauses to pronounce his works “good” (1:4). On the sixth day, God declares his intention to make a being in his “own image,” and he creates humankind (1:26). He fashions a man out of dust and forms a woman out of the man’s rib. God places the two people, Adam and Eve, in the idyllic garden of Eden, encouraging them to procreate and to enjoy the created world fully, and forbidding them to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
The central purpose of Genesis is to construct a detailed etiology or explanation of the origins of the world. The author is trying to account for the way that certain unfavorable elements of everyday human life came into being. The etiological concerns are clear enough in these chapters. Genesis explains how evil and separate nations entered the world, why women must live in a society characterized by male standards, why we as humans must work to survive, and why our daily labor is always so hard.
The major thematic link of the first eleven chapters is the structuring of the world around a system of parallels and contrasts. Light breaks into the darkness, land separates water, and “the greater light” of the sun opposes “the lesser light” of the moon (1:16). A more complex occurrence of parallel and contrast takes place with the account of man’s creation. Man is not only made in the image of God, paralleling him but the woman, made from the man’s rib, contrasts with the man.
On its own, the book of Genesis reads like a string of epic stories: a semi-tragic saga of a world that just keeps going wrong, despite its Creator’s intentions. But Genesis isn’t a stand-alone book. It’s the first installment in the five-part Torah (or Pentateuch), which is the foundational work of the Old Testament. The Torah is Israel’s origin story: it’s the history of how the nation of Israel got its population, its land, and its religion.
We will cover the topic of race here at the start!
The Biblical View:
The Bible does not classify human beings along the “racial” lines that are common to modern thought. The Greek term that is rendered “race” — several times in the American Standard Version of the Bible (cf. Mk. 7:26; Acts 4:36; 18:2,24) — finds a variety of translation expressions in the old King James Version.
The word genos occurs 21 times in the Greek New Testament. In the KJV, it is rendered by such terms as “kind” (Mt. 13:47; 17:21; 1 Cor. 12:10; 14:10), “kindred” (Acts 4:6; 7:13,19), “country” (Acts 4:36), “offspring” (Acts 17:28-29; Rev. 22:16), “nation” (Mk. 7:26; Gal. 1:14), “stock” (Acts 13:26; Phil. 3:5), “born” (Acts 18:2,24), “countryman” (2 Cor. 11:26), “generation” (1 Pet. 2:9), “diversity” (1 Cor. 12:28).
All human beings are from a solitary human couple, Adam and Eve, who were fashioned by the hand of God himself (Gen. 1:26-27; 2:7,21-23). In his discourse to the Athenians, Paul declared that God “made of one every nation [ethnos] of men to dwell on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26).
As the careful student can see, in not a single passage is the term used of a pigmentation distinction, e.g., white race, black race, yellow race, etc. The Scriptures speak of nations, tribes, tongues [languages], and peoples, but they do not focus upon color shades. Geographical regions or close cultural associations are the usual applications of the word.
The first book, the first sin, the first prophecy of Jesus Christ. Right away it points to this Jesus of Nazareth, why we need Him and why we need Him to be the Lord and Saviour of our lives forevermore, without Him a person will realize the second death! But…But! Anyone who does become a true Christian becomes my Brother or Sister in Christ!
Welcome to The family!
Jan 1 Bible Reading
God creates heaven and earth;
1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And 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.
3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that [it was] good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which [were] under the firmament from the waters which [were] above the firmament: and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.”
separates the dry land;
9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry [land] appear: and it was so. 10 And God called the dry [land] Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that [it was] good. 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. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, [and] herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed [was] in itself, after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good. 13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.
forms the sun, moon, and stars;
14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: [he made] the stars also. 17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that [it was] good. 19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
fishes and fowls;
20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl [that] may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. 21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. 23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.”
cattle, wild beasts, and creeping things;
24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good.”
creates man in his own image, blesses him;
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. 27 So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 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.”
grants the fruits of the earth for food.
29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which [is] upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which [is] the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein [there is] life, [I have given] every green herb for meat: and it was so.
31 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. (Ge 1:1-31 AV)
The first Sabbath.
1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 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. 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
Further particulars concerning the manner of creation.
4 These [are] the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, 5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and [there was] not a man to till the ground. 6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. 7 And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
The planting of the garden of Eden, and its situation;
8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. 10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. 11 The name of the first [is] Pison: that [is] it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where [there is] gold; 12 And the gold of that land [is] good: there [is] bdellium and the onyx stone. 13 And the name of the second river [is] Gihon: the same [is] it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. 14 And the name of the third river [is] Hiddekel: that [is] it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river [is] Euphrates.
man is placed in it; and the tree of knowledge only forbidden.
15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
The animals are named by Adam.
18 And the LORD God said, [It is] not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. 19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought [them] unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that [was] the name thereof. 20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.”
The making of woman, and the institution of marriage.
21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And Adam said, This [is] now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. (Genesis 2:1-25 AV)
The serpent deceives Eve.
1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
Both she and Adam transgress the divine command and fall into sin and misery.
6 And when the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make [one] wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they [were] naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
God arraigns them.
8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.” 9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where [art] thou? 10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I [was] naked; and I hid myself.
11 And he said, Who told thee that thou [wast] naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? 12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest [to be] with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. 13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What [is] this [that] thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.”
The serpent is cursed.
14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou [art] cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
First Prophecy The promised seed.
15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
The punishment of mankind.
16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire [shall be] to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed [is] the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat [of] it all the days of thy life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou [art], and unto dust shalt thou return.
20 And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.
Their first clothing.
21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
Their expulsion from paradise.
22 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 for ever: 23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 24 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. (Ge 3:1-24 AV)
Bible in 1 year: January Readings: Jan 1: Gen 1 – 1-3
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And 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)
The first verse of the Bible gives us a satisfying and useful account of the origin of the earth and the heavens. The faith of humble Christians understands this better than the fancy of the most learned men. From what we see of heaven and earth, we learn the power of the great Creator. And let our make and place as men, remind us of our duty as Christians, always to keep heaven in our eye, and the earth under our feet. The Son of God, one with the Father, was with him when he made the world; nay, we are often told that the world was made by him, and nothing was made without him. Oh, what high thoughts should there be in our minds, of that great God whom we worship, and of that great Mediator in whose name we pray! And here, at the beginning of the sacred volume, we read of that Divine Spirit, whose work upon the heart of man is so often mentioned in other parts of the Bible. Observe, that at first there was nothing desirable to be seen, for the world was without form, and void; it was confusion, and emptiness. In like manner the work of grace in the soul is a new creation: and in a graceless soul, one that is not born again, there is disorder, confusion, and every evil work: it is empty of all good, for it is without God; it is dark, it is darkness itself: this is our condition by nature, till Almighty grace works a change in us.
God said, Let there be light; he willed it, and at once there was light. Oh, the power of the word of God! And in the new creation, the first thing that is wrought in the soul is light: the blessed Spirit works upon the will and affections by enlightening the understanding.
In these verses we have the work of creation in its epitome and in its embryo. In its epitome, (Gen 1:1 KJV) In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. where we find, to our comfort, the first article of our creed, that God the Father Almighty is the Maker of heaven and earth, and as such we believe in him.
Observe, in this verse, four things: The effect produced – the heaven and the earth, that is, the world, including the whole frame and furniture of the universe, (Act 17:24 KJV) God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
The world is a great house, consisting of upper and lower stories, the structure stately and magnificent, uniform and convenient, and every room well and wisely furnished. It is the visible part of the creation that Moses here designs to account for; therefore he mentions not the creation of angels. But as the earth has not only its surface adorned with grass and flowers, but also its bowels enriched with metals and precious stones (which partake more of its solid nature and more valuable, though the creation of them is not mentioned here), so the heavens are not only beautified to our eye with glorious lamps which garnish its outside, of whose creation we here read, but they are within replenished with glorious beings, out of our sight, more celestial, and more surpassing them in worth and excellency than the gold or sapphires surpass the lilies of the field.
In the visible world it is easy to observe:
Great variety, several sorts of beings vastly differing in their nature and constitution from each other. Lord, how manifold are thy works, and all good!
Great beauty. The azure sky and verdant earth are charming to the eye of the curious spectator, much more the ornaments of both. How transcendent then must the beauty of the Creator be!
Great exactness and accuracy. To those that, with the help of microscopes, narrowly look into the works of nature, they appear far more fine than any of the works of art.
Great power. It is not a lump of dead and inactive matter, but there is virtue, more or less, in every creature: the earth itself has a magnetic power.
Great order, a mutual dependence of beings, an exact harmony of motions, and an admirable chain and connection of causes.
Great mystery. There are phenomena in nature which cannot be solved, secrets which cannot be fathomed nor accounted for. But from what we see of heaven and earth we may easily enough infer the eternal power and Godhead of the great Creator, and may furnish ourselves with abundant matter for his praises. And let our make and place, as men, remind us of our duty as Christians, which is always to keep heaven in our eye and the earth under our feet.
The author and cause of this great work – God. The Hebrew word is Elohim, which bespeaks, the power of God the Creator. El signifies the strong God; and what less than almighty strength could bring all things out of nothing?
The plurality of persons in the Godhead, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. This plural name of God, in Hebrew, which speaks of him as many though he is one, was to the Gentiles perhaps a savour of death unto death, hardening them in their idolatry; but it is to us a savour of life unto life, confirming our faith in the doctrine of the Trinity, which, though but darkly intimated in the Old Testament, is clearly revealed in the New.
The Son of God, the eternal Word and Wisdom of the Father, was with him when he made the world, (Pro 8:30 KJV) Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; nay, we are often told that the world was made by him, and nothing made without him, (Joh 1:3 KJV) All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (Joh 1:10 KJV) He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. (Eph 3:9 KJV) And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: (Col 1:16 KJV) For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: (Heb 1:2 KJV) Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
O what high thoughts should this form in our minds of that great God whom we draw nigh to in religious worship, and that great Mediator in whose name we draw nigh!
The manner in which this work was effected: (Gen 1:1 KJV) God created the heaven and the earth. that is, made it out of nothing. There was not any pre-existent matter out of which the world was produced. The fish and fowl were indeed produced out of the waters and the beasts and man out of the earth; but that earth and those waters were made out of nothing. By the ordinary power of nature, it is impossible that any thing should be made out of nothing; no artificer can work, unless he has something to work on. But by the almighty power of God it is not only possible that something should be made of nothing (the God of nature is not subject to the laws of nature), but in the creation it is impossible it should be otherwise, for nothing is more injurious to the honour of the Eternal Mind than the supposition of eternal matter. Thus the excellency of the power is of God and all the glory is to him.
When this work was produced: (Gen 1:1 KJV) In the beginning that is, in the beginning of time, when that clock was first set a going: time began with the production of those beings that are measured by time. Before the beginning of time there was none but that Infinite Being that inhabits eternity. Should we ask why God made the world no sooner, we should but darken counsel by words without knowledge; for how could there be sooner or later in eternity? And he did make it in the beginning of time, according to his eternal counsels before all time. The Jewish Rabbies have a saying, that there were seven things which God created before the world, by which they only mean to express the excellency of these things: – The law, repentance, paradise, hell, the throne of glory, the house of the sanctuary, and the name of the Messiah. But to us it is enough to say, (Joh 1:1 KJV) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Let us learn hence, that atheism is folly, and atheists are the greatest fools in nature; for they see there is a world that could not make itself, and yet they will not own there is a God that made it. Doubtless, they are without excuse, but the god of this world has blinded their minds.
That God is sovereign Lord of all by an incontestable right. If he is the Creator, no doubt he is the owner and possessor of heaven and earth.
That with God all things are possible, and therefore happy are the people that have him for their God, and whose help and hope stand in his name, (Psa 121:2 KJV) My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. (Psa 124:8 KJV) Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
That the God we serve is worthy of, and yet is exalted far above, all blessing and praise, (Neh 9:5 KJV) Then the Levites, Jeshua, and Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, Stand up and bless the LORD your God for ever and ever: and blessed be thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise. (Neh 9:6 KJV) Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.
If he made the world, he needs not our services, nor can be benefited by them, (Act 17:24 KJV) God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; (Act 17:25 KJV) Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and yet he justly requires them, and deserves our praise, (Rev 4:11 KJV) Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. If all is of him, all must be to him.
Here is the work of creation in its embryo, (Gen 1:2 KJV) And 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. where we have an account of the first matter and the first mover.
A chaos was the first matter. It is here called the earth (though the earth, properly taken, was not made till the third day, (Gen 1:10 KJV) And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. because it did most resemble that which afterwards was called (Gen 1:2 KJV) And the earth mere earth, destitute of its ornaments, such a heavy unwieldy mass was it; it is also called the deep, both for its vastness and because the waters which were afterwards separated from the earth were now mixed with it. This immense mass of matter was it out of which all bodies, even the firmament and visible heavens themselves, were afterwards produced by the power of the Eternal Word. The Creator could have made his work perfect at first, but by this gradual proceeding he would show what is, ordinarily, the method of his providence and grace.
Observe the description of this chaos. There was nothing in it desirable to be seen, for it (Gen 1:2 KJV) was without form, and void; Toho and Bohu, confusion and emptiness; so these words are rendered, (Isa 34:11 KJV) But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness.
It was shapeless, it was useless, it was without inhabitants, without ornaments, the shadow or rough draught of things to come, and not the image of the things, (Heb 10:1 KJV) For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
The earth is almost reduced to the same condition again by the sin of man, under which the creation groans. (Jer 4:23 KJV) I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. To those who have their hearts in heaven this lower world, in comparison with that upper, still appears to be nothing but confusion and emptiness. There is no true beauty to be seen, no satisfying fulness to be enjoyed, in this earth, but in God only.
If there had been any thing desirable to be seen, yet there was no light to see it by; (Gen 1:2 KJV) and darkness thick darkness, (Gen 1:2 KJV) was upon the face of the deep. God did not create this darkness (as he is said to create the darkness of affliction, (Isa 45:7 KJV) I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. for it was only the want of light, which yet could not be said to be wanted till something was made that might be seen by it; nor needs the want of it be much complained of, when there was nothing to be seen but confusion and emptiness. If the work of grace in the soul is a new creation, this chaos represents the state of an unregenerate graceless soul: there is disorder, confusion, and every evil work; it is empty of all good, for it is without God; it is dark, it is darkness itself. This is our condition by nature, till almighty grace effects a blessed change.
The Spirit of God was the first mover: (Gen 1:2 KJV) And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. When we consider the earth without form and void, methinks it is like the valley full of dead and dry bones. Can these live? Can this confused mass of matter be formed into a beautiful world? Yes, if a spirit of life from God enter into it, (Eze 37:9 KJV) Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.
Now there is hope concerning this thing; for the Spirit of God begins to work, and, if he work, who or what shall hinder? God is said to make the world by his Spirit, (Psa 33:6 KJV) By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. (Job 26:13 KJV) By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent. and by the same mighty worker the new creation is effected. He moved upon the face of the deep, as Elijah stretched himself upon the dead child, – as the hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and hovers over them, to warm and cherish them, (Mat 23:37 KJV) O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! as the eagle stirs up her nest, and flutters over her young (it is the same world that is here used), (Deu 32:11 KJV) As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings:
Learn hence, that God is not only the author of all being, but the fountain of life and spring of motion. Dead matter would be for ever dead if he did not quicken it. And this makes it credible to us that God should raise the dead. That power which brought such a world as this out of confusion, emptiness, and darkness, at the beginning of time, can, at the end of time, bring our vile bodies out of the grave, though it is (Job 10:22 KJV) A land of darkness, as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness. and can make them glorious bodies.
We have here a further account of the first day’s work, in which observe, that the first of all visible beings which God created was light; not that by it he himself might see to work (for the darkness and light are both alike to him), but that by it we might see his works and his glory in them, and might work our works while it is day. The works of Satan and his servants are works of darkness; but he that doeth truth, and doeth good, cometh to the light, and coveteth it, that his deeds may be made manifest, (Joh 3:21 KJV) But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
Light is the great beauty and blessing of the universe. Like the first-born, it does, of all visible beings, most resemble its great Parent in purity and power, brightness and beneficence; it is of great affinity with a spirit, and is next to it; though by it we see other things, and are sure that it is, yet we know not its nature, nor can describe what it is, or by what way the light is parted, (Job 38:19 KJV) Where is the way where light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof, (Job 38:24 KJV) By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth?
By the sight of it let us be led to, and assisted in, the believing contemplation of him who is light, infinite and eternal light, (1Jn 1:5 KJV) This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. and the Father of lights, (Jas 1:17 KJV) Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. and who dwells in inaccessible light, (1Ti 6:16 KJV) Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.
In the new creation, the first thing wrought in the soul is light: the blessed Spirit captives the will and affections by enlightening the understanding, so coming into the heart by the door, like the good shepherd whose own the sheep are, while sin and Satan, like thieves and robbers, climb up some other way. Those that by sin were darkness by grace become light in the world.
That the light was made by the word of God’s power. (Gen 1:3 KJV) And God said, Let there be light: he willed and appointed it, and it was done immediately: (Gen 1:3 KJV) and there was light. such a copy as exactly answered the original idea in the Eternal Mind. O the power of the word of God! He spoke, and it was done, done really, effectually, and for perpetuity, not in show only, and to serve a present turn, for he commanded, and it stood fast: with him it was dictum, factum – a word, and a world. The world of God (that is, his will and the good pleasure of it) is quick and powerful. Christ is the Word, the essential eternal Word, and by him the light was produced, for in him was light, and he is the true light, the light of the world, (Joh 1:9 KJV) That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. (Joh 9:5 KJV) As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. The divine light which shines in sanctified souls is wrought by the power of God, the power of his word and of the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, opening the understanding, scattering the mists of ignorance and mistake, and giving the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ, as at first, (2Co 4:6 KJV) For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Darkness would have been perpetually upon the face of fallen man if the Son of God had not come, and given us an understanding, (1Jn 5:20 KJV) And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.
Bible in 1 year: January Readings: Jan 2: Gen 1: 4-7
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. And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. (Gen 1: 4-7 KJV)
The light which God willed, he approved of. God divided the light from the darkness; for what fellowship has light with darkness? In heaven there is perfect light, and no darkness at all; in hell, utter darkness, and no gleam of light. The day and the night are the Lord’s; let us use both to his honour, by working for him every day, and resting in him every night, meditating in his law both day and night. The earth was emptiness, but by a word spoken, it became full of God’s riches, and his they are still.
That the light which God willed, when it was produced, he approved of: (Gen 1:4 KJV) And God saw the light, that it was good: It was exactly as he designed it, and it was fit to answer the end for which he designed it. It was useful and profitable; the world, which now is a palace, would have been a dungeon without it. It was amiable and pleasant. (Ecc 11:7 KJV) Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun: (Pro 15:30 KJV) The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart: and a good report maketh the bones fat.
What God commands he will approve and graciously accept; he will be well pleased with the work of his own hands. That is good indeed which is so in the sight of God, for he sees not as man sees. If the light is good, how good is he that is the fountain of light, from whom we receive it, and to whom we owe all praise for it and all the services we do by it!
(Gen 1:4 KJV) and God divided the light from the darkness. so put them asunder as that they could never be joined together, or reconciled; for what fellowship has light with darkness? (2Co 6:14 KJV) Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And yet he divided time between them, the day for light and the night for darkness, in a constant and regular succession to each other.
Though the darkness was now scattered by the light, yet it was not condemned to a perpetual banishment, but takes its turn with the light, and has its place, because it has its use; for, as the light of the morning befriends the business of the day, so the shadows of the evening befriend the repose of the night, and draw the curtains about us, that we may sleep the better. (Job 7:2 KJV) As a servant earnestly desireth the shadow, and as an hireling looketh for the reward of his work:
God has thus divided time between light and darkness, because he would daily remind us that this is a world of mixtures and changes. In heaven there is perfect and perpetual light, and no darkness at all; in hell, utter darkness, and no gleam of light. In that world between these two there is a great gulf fixed; but, in this world, they are counterchanged, and we pass daily from one to another, that we may learn to expect the like vicissitudes in the providence of God, peace and trouble, joy and sorrow, and may set the one over-against the other, accommodating ourselves to both as we do to the light and darkness, bidding both welcome, and making the best of both.
That God divided them from each other by distinguishing names: (Gen 1:5 KJV) And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. He gave them names, as the Lord of both; for the day is his, the night also is his, (Psa 74:16 KJV) The day is thine, the night also is thine: thou hast prepared the light and the sun.
He is the Lord of time, and will be so, till day and night shall come to an end, and the stream of time be swallowed up in the ocean of eternity. Let us acknowledge God in the constant succession of day and night, and consecrate both to his honour, by working for him every day and resting in him every night, and meditating in his law day and night.
That this was the first day’s work, and a good day’s work it was. (Gen 1:5 KJV) And the evening and the morning were the first day. The darkness of the evening was before the light of the morning, that it might serve for a foil to it, to set it off, and make it shine the brighter. This was not only the first day of the world, but the first day of the week. I observe it to the honour of that day, because the new world began on the first day of the week likewise, in the resurrection of Christ, as the light of the world, early in the morning. In him the day-spring from on high has visited the world; and happy are we, for ever happy, if that day-star arise in our hearts.
We have here an account of the second day’s work, the creation of the firmament, in which observe, the command of God concerning it: (Gen 1:6 KJV) And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. so the Hebrew word signifies, like a sheet spread, or a curtain drawn out. This includes all that is visible above the earth, between it and the third heavens: the air, its higher, middle, and lower, regions – the celestial globe, and all the spheres and orbs of light above: it reaches as high as the place where the stars are fixed, for that is called here the firmament of heaven, (Gen 1:14 KJV) And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: (Gen 1:15 KJV) And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. and as low as the place where the birds fly, for that also is called the firmament of heaven, (Gen 1:20 KJV) And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
When God had made the light, he appointed the air to be the receptacle and vehicle of its beams, and to be as a medium of communication between the invisible and the visible world; for, though between heaven and earth there is an inconceivable distance, yet there is not an impassable gulf, as there is between heaven and hell. This firmament is not a wall of partition, but a way of intercourse. (Job 26:7 KJV) He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing. (Job 37:18 KJV) Hast thou with him spread out the sky, which is strong, and as a molten looking glass? (Psa 104:3 KJV) Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind: (Amo 9:6 KJV) It is he that buildeth his stories in the heaven, and hath founded his troop in the earth; he that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name.
The creation of it. Lest it should seem as if God had only commanded it to be done, and some one else had done it, he adds, (Gen 1:7 KJV) And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. What God requires of us he himself works in us, or it is not done. He that commands faith, holiness, and love, creates them by the power of his grace going along with his word, that he may have all the praise. Lord, give what thou commandest, and then command what thou pleasest. The firmament is said to be the work of God’s fingers, (Psa 8:3 KJV) When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; Though the vastness of its extent declares it to be the work of his arm stretched out, yet the admirable fineness of its constitution shows that it is a curious piece of art, the work of his fingers.
The use and design of it – to divide the waters from the waters, that is, to distinguish between the waters that are wrapped up in the clouds and those that cover the sea, the waters in the air and those in the earth. See the difference between these two carefully observed, (Deu 11:10 KJV) For the land, whither thou goest in to possess it, is not as the land of Egypt, from whence ye came out, where thou sowedst thy seed, and wateredst it with thy foot, as a garden of herbs: (Deu 11:11 KJV) But the land, whither ye go to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven: where Canaan is upon this account preferred to Egypt, that Egypt was moistened and made fruitful with the waters that are under the firmament, but Canaan with waters from above, out of the firmament, even the dew of heaven, which tarrieth not for the sons of men, (Mic 5:7 KJV) And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the LORD, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men.
God has, in the firmament of his power, chambers, store-chambers, whence he watereth the earth, (Psa 104:13 KJV) He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works. (Psa 65:9 KJV) Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it: thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water: thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it. (Psa 65:10 KJV) Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly: thou settlest the furrows thereof: thou makest it soft with showers: thou blessest the springing thereof.
He has also treasures, or magazines, of snow and hail, which he hath reserved against the day of battle and war, (Job 38:22 KJV) Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, (Job 38:23 KJV) Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?
O what a great God is he who has thus provided for the comfort of all that serve him and the confusion of all that hate him! It is good having him our friend, and bad having him our enemy.
Bible in 1 year: January Readings: Jan 3: Gen 1: 8-11
And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. 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. (Gen 1:8-11 KJV)
Though the use of them is allowed to man, they are from God, and to his service and honour they must be used. The earth, at his command, brings forth grass, herbs, and fruits. God must have the glory of all the benefit we receive from the produce of the earth.
The naming of it: (Gen 1:8 KJV) And God called the firmament Heaven. It is the visible heaven, the pavement of the holy city; above the firmament God is said to have his throne, (Eze 1:26 KJV) And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. for he has prepared it in the heavens; the heavens therefore are said to rule, (Dan 4:26 KJV) And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule. (Job 22:12 KJV) Is not God in the height of heaven? and behold the height of the stars, how high they are!
Yes, he is, and we should be led by the contemplation of the heavens that are in our eye to consider our Father who is in heaven. The height of the heavens should remind us of God’s supremacy and the infinite distance there is between us and him; the brightness of the heavens and their purity should remind us of his glory, and majesty, and perfect holiness; the vastness of the heavens, their encompassing of the earth, and the influence they have upon it, should remind us of his immensity and universal providence. (Gen 1:8 KJV) And the evening and the morning were the second day.
The third day’s work is related in these verses – the forming of the sea and the dry land, and the making of the earth fruitful. Hitherto the power of the Creator had been exerted and employed about the upper part of the visible word; the light of heaven was kindled, and the firmament of heaven fixed: but now he descends to this lower world, the earth, which was designed for the children of men, designed both for their habitation and for their maintenance; and here we have an account of the fitting of it for both, and building of their house and the spreading of their table.
Observe, how the earth was prepared to be a habitation for man, by the gathering of the waters together, and the making of the dry land to appear. Thus, instead of the confusion which there was (Gen 1:2 KJV) And 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. when earth and water were mixed in one great mass, behold, now, there is order, by such a separation as rendered them both useful.
(Gen 1:9 KJV) And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. God said, Let it be so, and it was so; no sooner said than done. The waters which had covered the earth were ordered to retire, and to gather into one place, namely, those hollows which were fitted and appointed for their reception and rest. (Gen 1:10 KJV) And God called the dry land Earth;
The waters, thus cleared, thus collected, and thus lodged, in their proper place, (Gen 1:10 KJV) and the gathering together of the waters called the Seas: and God saw that it was good. Though they are many, in distant regions, and washing several shores, yet, either above ground or under ground, they have communication with each other, and so they are one, and the common receptacle of waters, into which all the rivers flow, (Ecc 1:7 KJV) All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.
Waters and seas often, in scripture, signify troubles and afflictions, (Psa 42:7 KJV) Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. (Psa 69:2 KJV) I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. (Psa 69:14 KJV) Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters. (Psa 69:15 KJV) Let not the waterflood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me.
God’s own people are not exempted from these in this world; but it is their comfort that they are only waters under the heaven (there are none in heaven), and that they are all in the place that God has appointed them and within the bounds that he has set for them. How the waters were gathered together at first, and how they are still bound and limited by the same Almighty had that first confined them, are elegantly described, (Psa 104:6 KJV) Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. (Psa 104:7 KJV) At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away. (Psa 104:8 KJV) They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them. (Psa 104:9 KJV) Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth. and are there mentioned as matter of praise.
Those that go down to the sea in ships ought to acknowledge daily the wisdom, power, and goodness, of the Creator, in making the great waters serviceable to man for trade and commerce; and those that tarry at home must own themselves indebted to him that keeps the sea with bars and doors in its decreed place, and stays its proud waves, (Job 38:10 KJV) And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors, (Job 38:11 KJV) And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?
The dry land was made to appear, and emerge out of the waters, and was called earth, and given to the children of men. The earth, it seems, was in being before; but it was of no use, because it was under water. Thus many of God’s gifts are received in vain, because they are buried; make them to appear, and they become serviceable. We who, to this day, enjoy the benefit of the dry land (though, since this, it was once deluged, and dried again) must own ourselves tenants to, and dependents upon, that God whose hands formed the dry land, (Psa 95:5 KJV) The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. (Jon 1:9 KJV) And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land.
How the earth was furnished for the maintenance and support of man, (Gen 1:11 KJV) And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, Present provision was now made, by the immediate products of the upstart earth, which, in obedience to God’s command, was no sooner made than it became fruitful, and brought forth grass for the cattle and herb for the service of man. Provision was likewise made for time to come, by the perpetuating of the several kinds of vegetables, which are numerous, various, and all curious, and every one (Gen 1:11 KJV) the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: that, during the continuance of man upon the earth, food might be fetched out of the earth for his use and benefit. (Gen 1:11 KJV) and it was so. Lord, what is man, that he is thus visited and regarded – that such care should be taken, and such provision made, for the support and preservation of those guilty and obnoxious lives which have been a thousand times forfeited!
Bible in 1 year: January Readings: Jan 4: Gen 1: 12-15
And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day. And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. (Gen 1:12-15 KJV)
God must have the glory of all the benefit we receive from the produce of the earth. If we have, through grace, an interest in Him who is the Fountain, we may rejoice in him when the streams of temporal mercies are dried up.
In the fourth day’s work, the creation of the sun, moon, and stars is accounted for. All these are the works of God. The stars are spoken of as they appear to our eyes, without telling their number, nature, place, size, or motions; for the Scriptures were written, not to gratify curiosity, or make us astronomers, but to lead us to God, and make us saints. The lights of heaven are made to serve him; they do it faithfully, and shine in their season without fail.
Observe here, that not only the earth is the Lord’s, but the fulness thereof, and he is the rightful owner and sovereign disposer, not only of it, but of all its furniture. The earth was emptiness, (Gen 1:2 KJV) And 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. but now, by a word’s speaking, it has become full of God’s riches, (Gen 1:12 KJV) And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. and his they are still – (Hos 2:9 KJV) Therefore will I return, and take away my corn in the time thereof, and my wine in the season thereof, and will recover my wool and my flax given to cover her nakedness. Though the use of them is allowed to us, the property still remains in him, and to his service and honour they must be used.
That common providence is a continued creation, and in it our Father worketh hitherto. The earth still remains under the efficacy of this command, to bring forth grass, and herbs, and its annual products; and though, being according to the common course of nature, these are not standing miracles, yet they are standing instances of the unwearied power and unexhausted goodness of the world’s great Maker and Master.
That though God, ordinarily, makes use of the agency of second causes, according to their nature, yet he neither needs them nor is tied to them; for, though the precious fruits of the earth are usually brought forth by the influences of the sun and moon, (Deu 33:14 KJV) And for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon, yet here we find the earth bearing a great abundance of fruit, probable ripe fruit, before the sun and moon were made.
That it is good to provide things necessary before we have occasion to use them: before the beasts and man were made, here were grass and herbs prepared for them. God thus dealt wisely and graciously with man; let not man then be foolish and unwise for himself.
That God must have the glory of all the benefit we receive from the products of the earth, either for food or physic. It is he that hears the heavens when they hear the earth, (Hos 2:21 KJV) And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the LORD, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth; (Hos 2:22 KJV) And the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel.
And if we have, through grace, an interest in him who is the fountain, when the streams are dried up and the fig-tree doth not blossom we may rejoice in him. (Gen 1:13 KJV) And the evening and the morning were the third day.
This is the history of the fourth day’s work, the creating of the sun, moon, and stars, which are here accounted for, not as they are in themselves and in their own nature, to satisfy the curious, but as they are in relation to this earth, to which they serve as lights; and this is enough to furnish us with matter for praise and thanksgiving. Holy Job mentions this as an instance of the glorious power of God, that (Job 26:13 KJV) By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent. and here we have an account of that garniture which is not only so much the beauty of the upper world, but so much the blessing of this lower; for though heaven is high, yet has it respect to this earth, and therefore should have respect from it.
Of the creation of the lights of heaven we have an account, in general, where we have the command given concerning them: (Gen 1:14 KJV) And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven (Gen 1:3 KJV) And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. and there was light; but this was, as it were, a chaos of light, scattered and confused: now it was collected and modelled, and made into several luminaries, (Gen 1:14 KJV) to divide the day from the night; and so rendered both more glorious and more serviceable. God is the God of order, and not of confusion; and, as he is light, so he is the Father and former of lights. Those lights were to be (Gen 1:14 KJV) in the firmament of the heaven that vast expanse which encloses the earth, and is conspicuous to all; for (Luk 8:16 KJV) No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. and a stately golden candlestick the firmament of heaven is, from which these candles give light to all that are in the house. The firmament itself is spoken of as having a brightness of its own, (Dan 12:3 KJV) And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. but this was not sufficient to give light to the earth; and perhaps for this reason it is not expressly said of the second day’s work, in which the firmament was made, that it was good, because, till it was adorned with these lights on the fourth day, it had not become serviceable to man.
The use they were intended to be of to this earth. (Gen 1:15 KJV) And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. They must be for the distinction of times, of day and night, summer and winter, which are interchanged by the motion of the sun, whose rising makes day, his setting night, his approach towards our tropic summer, his recess to the other winter: and thus, under the sun, there is (Ecc 3:1 KJV) To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
They must be for the direction of actions. They are for signs of the change of weather, that the husbandman may order his affairs with discretion, foreseeing, by the face of the sky, when second causes have begun to work, whether it will be fair or foul, (Mat 16:2 KJV) He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. (Mat 16:3 KJV) And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?
They do also give light upon the earth, (Joh 11:9 KJV) Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. and work, (Joh 9:4 KJV) I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. according as the duty of every day requires. The lights of heaven do not shine for themselves, nor for the world of spirits above, who need them not; but they shine for us, for our pleasure and advantage. Lord, what is man, that he should be thus regarded! (Psa 8:3 KJV) When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; (Psa 8:4 KJV) What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
How ungrateful and inexcusable are we, if, when God has set up these lights for us to work by, we sleep, or play, or trifle away the time of business, and neglect the great work we were sent into the world about! The lights of heaven are made to serve us, and they do it faithfully, (Gen 1:14 KJV) and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: without fail: but we are set as lights in this world to serve God; and do we in like manner answer the end of our creation? No, we do not, our light does not shine before God as his lights shine before us, (Mat 5:14 KJV) Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. We burn our Master’s candles, but do not mind our Master’s work.