5 JANUARY (BEGUN SUNDAY EVENING 8 JANUARY 1769)
‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.’ Genesis 1:1
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Psalm 19:1–14
It would make plain people more sensible of the advantage of the Word of God if they knew the uncertainty and perplexity of the wisest men, who were not favoured with this light, with respect to the most obvious truths. The world with all their wisdom knew not God. A child that has read the Bible knows more than all the philosophers of old put together. Some thought the world was eternal, others that it made itself. But the Scripture gives a clear and satisfactory, though brief, account. There is more in this first verse of the Bible than in 10,000 volumes of men’s invention.
The book of creation
The book of nature open lies,
The knowledge of the saints excels
With much instruction stored;
The wisdom of the schools;
But till the LORD anoints our eyes
To them his secrets GOD reveals,
We cannot read a word.
Though men account them fools.
Philosophers have pored in vain,
To them the sun and stars on high,
And guessed, from age to age;
The flowers that paint the field,
For reason’s eye could ne’er attain
And all the artless birds that fly,
To understand a page.
Divine instruction yield.
Though to each star they give a name,
The creatures on their senses press,
Its size and motions teach;
As witnesses to prove
The truths which all the stars proclaim,
Their Saviour’s power, and faithfulness,
Their wisdom cannot reach.
His providence and love.
With skill to measure earth and sea,
Thus may we study nature’s book
And weigh the subtle air;
To make us wise indeed!
They cannot, LORD, discover thee
And pity those who only look
Though present everywhere.
At what they cannot read.
FOR MEDITATION: ‘But God made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding’ (Jeremiah 10:12, NIV).
SERMON SERIES: GENESIS, NO. 1 [1/4], GENESIS 1:1