Declaring the End from the Beginning

By David M. McNabb

Understanding the Prophetic Intent of the Scriptural Account of the Creation

Chapter 4: Fertile Ground

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.  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.”  (Gen. 1:9-13)

Immediately upon reading this passage, one thing seems to stand out.  Whereas on the second day the words “it was good” are not found at all, here, they are recorded twice: once after the dry land appeared, and once after the vegetation was created.  This shows that the third day reveals two separate – though not unrelated – works.

As we discovered in the last chapter, the gathering of waters is used to symbolize nations and peoples.  Here in the third day, the Lord calls for the waters to gather into one place, “and let the dry land appear.”  This foretold the first work of the third millennium.

Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.  The Lord blessed Shem, and chose him to car­ry on the chosen lineage of the Sons of God. (Gen. 9:25-29)

Right around the turn of the third millennium, a man whose name was Terah, a Semite (a descendant of Shem), had a son named Abram.  Noah, the man of God of the second millennium died in 2006 a.c. [1]   Not long after Noah’s death, when Abram was 75 years old, the Lord said to him, “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:  And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Gen. 12:1-3)   By this promise, the Lord separated Abram and his descendants from all the other nations of the earth, and declared that “the promised seed,” the deliverer,  which He promised to Eve would come from Abram’s offspring.  The dry land was beginning to appear.

But not all of Abram’s seed was to receive the promise.  Sarai, his wife, saw that she bare him no children.  She offered her handmaid, Hagar, to bear him a child in her stead.  Hagar bare Abram a son, whose name was Ishmael.

After the birth of Ishmael, God changed Abram’s name to Abraham, and his wife’s name to Sarah.  At this time, He promised that Ishmael would not be the seed of promise, but that Sarah would indeed bear a son, Isaac, and God’s covenant would be with him.

After Sarah’s death, Abraham took a wife named Keturah, who bare him six more children, but of all of the children of Abraham, Isaac was chosen as the seed of promise.

Likewise, not all of Isaac’s children were to inherit the promise.  Isaac’s wife Rebekah was carrying twins.  Even before their birth, God chose the younger, Jacob, to receive the blessing.  God later changed Jacob’s name to Israel, and made a covenant with him.  The Lord God had made His choice.  He had separated to Himself a people from all the nations of the earth.  So great in fact was the distinction, that to this day there remain two classifications of people: the children of Israel, and the Gentiles.  Thus was fulfilled the gathering of the waters which He called Seas (Gentiles), and the appearance of dry land (the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob).

The work of the third day was not yet complete, however.  Also, on that day, the Lord created life on the dry land: the grass, herbs and trees.

430 years after God called Abraham to be a stranger and pilgrim, God sent a man of the tribe of Levi, named Moses, to deliver the children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt.  They came to the mount Sinai, and God gave them His law.  In Deut. 30:15-16, Moses said concerning the law, “See, I have set before thee this day life and good, death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply...”  God had shown the children of Israel the way of life.  This life was not attainable before the law was given, even as Paul said, “Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses.” (Rom. 5:14)

So, for the rest of the third millennium, God raised up judges to guide the people of Israel according to the words of life which He had given them.

The law of God was given to show the way to life.  Paul confirmed this, saying, “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” (Gal. 3:24) 

There is an oddity, however.  Trees take in carbon dioxide (CO2) and give off oxygen (O2).  In contrast,  creatures that have “the breath of life” require oxygen and give off carbon dioxide.  Whereas CO2 is life to the trees, it suffocates those that have the breath of life.

In like manner, the life that came by the law was vastly different than that brought to us by Jesus Christ.  We, who are living according to “the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus,” are set free from “the law of sin and death:” the law of Moses.  (Rom. 8:1-2)   Hereby we can understand Paul’s words in Rom. 7:9-11, “For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.  And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.  For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.”  There was life in the law of God, but it was contained in carnal ordinances.  This life, which shows us the way to real life in Christ Jesus, is necessary even today.  Not that we should live under the law, being as it were suffocated as by carbon dioxide.  But to receive from the Old Testament those things which it revealed – life and peace through faith in the Lord Jesus.

It was to this end that God raised up trees and every green thing, not for the sake of the trees only, but that oxygen might be produced for those things which He would create later: the fish, birds, beasts and men.  Even so, God raised up the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, gave them the law by Moses and made them an example unto those that after should live according to God in the spirit.  And the evening and the morning were the third day.    

[1] a.c. – After Creation