8 JANUARY (BEGUN SUNDAY EVENING 8 JANUARY 1769)
His almighty power
‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.’ Genesis 1:1
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Job 38:4–18
God created. God created by an immediate act of almighty power. Creatures can make, that is form one thing from another, but to give being to the first principles of things belongs to God alone. And this, in a strict and proper sense, was the work of creation. Other things were produced and disposed afterwards in the several days. When God would remind his people of his power to help them under the greatest difficulties—when he would silence the vain reasonings of their unbelief, which is so ready to say, ‘How can these things be?’—he often puts them in mind of this first revelation of his Almighty Arm (Isaiah 44:24; Jeremiah 31:35; Isaiah 51:12–13; Jeremiah 5:22). And though we have a general conviction of his power, we are too apt to fail in a right application of it to our particular cases and should therefore often consider what he hath wrought.
The heaven and the earth: that is, the visible world with all their furniture and inhabitants (Genesis 2:1). Let us humbly enquire into some of the reasons for which he created all things by his good pleasure. In general they were created for the display of his glory to intelligent creatures by the order, beauty, variety and grandeur of his works, as I have already hinted, and for the effusion of his goodness in giving life and a suitable perfection to different orders of beings. In particular he formed the earth as a theatre to display the riches of his glorious grace in the salvation of a people chosen to himself in Christ before the foundation of the world. He formed the visible heavens with an immediate reference to the benefit of the earth, particularly of man for whom the earth was made. Under the term heaven, we may likewise understand that glorious state in which he makes himself known as the fountain of happiness and joy to his angels and redeemed people. This kingdom was prepared for them from the beginning (Matthew 25:34).
FOR MEDITATION: Believers, this God is our God. How miserable are they who have no part in him.
SERMON SERIES: GENESIS, NO. 1 [4/4], GENESIS 1:1