Christ’s Incarnation In Genesis

Jul 15, 2016
A.W. Pink

Christ is the key, which unlocks the golden doors into the temple of Divine truth. “Search the Scriptures,” is His command, “for they are they which testify of Me.” And again, He declares, “In the volume of the Book it is written of Me.” In every section of the written Word the Personal Word is enshrined—in Genesis as much as in Matthew. And we would now submit that on the frontispiece of Divine Revelation we have a typical program of the entire Work of Redemption.

In the opening statements of Genesis chapter 1 we discover, in type, the great need of Redemption. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” This carries us back to the primal creation, which, like everything else that comes from the hand of God, must have been perfect, beautiful, glorious. Such also was the original condition of man. Made in the image of his Creator, endowed with the breath of Elohim, he was pronounced “very good.”

But the next words present a very different picture—”And the earth was without form and void,” or, as the original Hebrew might be more literally translated, “The earth became a ruin.” Between the first two verses in Genesis 1 a terrible calamity occurred. Sin entered the universe. The heart of the mightiest of all God’s creatures was filled with pride—Satan had dared to oppose the will of the Almighty. The dire effects of his fall reached to our earth, and what was originally created by God fair and beautiful, became a ruin. Again we see in this a striking analogy to the history of man. He too fell. He also became a ruin. The effects of his sin likewise reached beyond himself—the generations of an unborn humanity being cursed as the result of the sin of our first parents.

“And darkness was upon the face of the deep.” Darkness is the opposite of light. God is light. Darkness is the emblem of Satan. Well do these words describe the natural condition of our fallen race. Judicially separated from God, morally and spiritually blind, experimentally the slaves of Satan, an awful pall of darkness rests upon the entire mass of an unregenerate humanity. But this only furnishes a black background upon which can be displayed the glories of Divine Grace. “Where sin abounded grace did much more abound.” The method of this “abounding of grace” is, in type, outlined in God’s work during the six days. In the work of the first four days we have a most remarkable foreshadowment of the four great stages in the Work of Redemption. We cannot now do much more than call attention to the outlines of this marvelous primitive picture. But as we approach it, to gaze upon it in awe and wonderment, may the Spirit of God take of the things of Christ and show them unto us.

I. In the first day’s work the Divine Incarnation is typically set forth.

If fallen and sinful men are to be reconciled to the thrice holy God what must be done? How can the infinite chasm separating Deity from humanity be bridged? What ladder shall be able to rest here upon earth and yet reach right into heaven itself? Only one answer is possible to these questions. The initial step in the work of human redemption must be the Incarnation of Deity. Of necessity this must be the starting point. The Word must become flesh. God Himself must come right down to the very pit where a ruined humanity helplessly lies, if it is ever to be lifted out of the miry clay and transported to heavenly places. The Son of God must take upon Himself the form of a servant and be made in the likeness of men.

This is precisely what the first day’s work typifies in its foreshadowment of the initial step in the Work of Redemption, namely, the Incarnation of the Divine Redeemer. Notice here five things.

First, there is the work of the Holy Spirit. “And the Spirit of God moved (Heb. ‘brooded’) upon the face of the waters” (v. 2). So also was this the order in the Divine Incarnation. Concerning the mother of the Savior we read, “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35).

Second, the word issues forth as light. “And God said (the word) let there be light and there was light” (v. 3). So also as soon as Mary brings forth the Holy Child “The glory of the Lord shone round about” the shepherds on Bethlehem’s plains (Luke 2:9). And when He is presented in the temple, Simeon was moved by the Holy Spirit to say, “For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people: a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel.”

Third, the light is approved by God. “And God saw the light, that it was good” (v. 4). We cannot now enlarge much upon the deep typical import of this statement, but would remark in passing that the Hebrew word here translated “good” is also in (Ecclesiastes 3:11) rendered “beautiful”—”He hath made everything beautiful in his time.” God saw that the light was good, beautiful! How obvious is the application to our incarnate Lord! After His advent into this world we are told that, “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52), and the first words of the Father concerning Him were, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” Yes, good and beautiful was the light in the sight of the Father. How blind was man that he should see in Him no beauty that he should desire Him!

Fourth, the light was separated from the darkness. “And God divided the light from the darkness” (v. 4). How jealously did the Holy Spirit guard the types! How careful is He to call our attention to the immeasurable difference between the Son of Man and the sons of men! Though in His infinite condescension He saw fit to share our humanity, yet He shared not our depravity. The light of Christ was divided from the darkness (fallen humanity). “For such a high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners” (Hebrews 7:26).

Fifth, the light was named by God. “And God called the light Day” (v. 5). So also was it with Him who is the Light of the world. It was not left to Joseph and Mary to select the name for the Holy Child. Of old the prophet had declared, “Listen, O isles unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; the Lord hath called Me from the womb; from the bowels of My mother hath He made mention of My name” (Isaiah 49:1). And in fulfillment thereof, while yet in His mother’s womb, an angel is sent by God to Joseph, saying, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus.”

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