Genesis 2 Series, Part 1, Verses 1-3

  • | Chris McCann
  • Audio: Length: 24:40 Size: 5.6 MB
  • Passages covered: Genesis 2:1-3, Exodus 7:4, Exodus 12:17,40-42, Revelation 19:10-14, Hebrews 4:3-4.

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Welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of Genesis. This is study #1 of Genesis, chapter 2 and we are going to read Genesis 2:1-3:

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 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. 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.

I will stop reading there. We are starting a new chapter after having gone verse by verse through chapter 1 in which we saw that God created the heavens and the earth. God tells us that, again, as He says in Genesis 2:1:

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

Now in chapter 2 God is summarizing what He had already done as described in the first chapter. One thing we should notice is that in Genesis 2, verse 1, it uses the plural word for “heavens.” The translators translated the same Hebrew word used in Genesis 1, verse 1, where they had translated it in the singular. It said in Genesis 1:1:

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

In the Hebrew there is no difference in the word used in Genesis 1, verse 1 and in Genesis 2, verse 1. It is the identical Hebrew word in every way. It is the same consonants and the same vowel pointing and it is a plural word. But, here, in Genesis 2, verse 1, the translators translated it correctly as a plural word.

God said, “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished.”

God finished them in six days. He had worked or labored for six days. It was not really necessary for God to work six days to create these things. The work did not demand six days of creation, but He did it very intentionally because He wanted to teach through the creation two important things. One of the things is that you are to work for six days and on the seventh day you are to rest. God took His time to create as He spoke and the heavens and the earth came into being. God would not have needed to take 24 hours to do anything He performed on any single day of creation. In other words, the Lord could have created everything we read about in the first chapter all at once, but He very deliberately and intentionally created some things on one day and some things on the second day, and so on through the six days. Then He completed the creation and it says, “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.” It goes on to say in Genesis 2:2:

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.

The word “ended” in verse 2 is the same word as “finished”

in verse 1. It is a strong emphasis that God had finished the work and now no more work would be done because it was the seventh day and the Lord would institute a Law from the beginning of creation: Six days you work and on the seventh day you rest. It was done in order to teach a very important truth that the Sabbath Day instructs us that we are to rest in Christ’s finished work of salvation. We are not to think that we can contribute or add any of our own work or our own labor. Of course, that is the problem with a multitude of gospels today as they add the work of accepting Christ or saying the Sinner’s Prayer or being water baptized or partaking of the Lord’s Table or being in a right standing with the church. Whatever it is, they are adding work to God’s grace. Already in the early days of creation, God is using the six days that He worked as an opportunity to paint a picture indicating that the seventh day is a time of Sabbath rest. You must rest in Christ and trust in Christ’s work. Of course, God even gives that trust to the individual, but it is Christ’s work of faith that has wrought salvation. More than that, we know that His work was performed at the point of the world’s foundation, as the Bible says that Christ was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. We discussed in the last couple of studies regarding Adam being formed from the dust of the ground and God calling him the son of God and we saw how Christ died from the foundation of the world and rose again to be declared the Son of God through the resurrection from the dead. Adam, formed from the dust of the ground, became the son of God and in the Bible God says that man comes from the dust and returns to the dust and, therefore dust ties into death. Adam rising from the dust was an historical parable of Christ rising from the dead. Already when Adam was formed from the dust of the ground and God called his name “Adam,” within him was the “woman.” God counts the woman as being in the man. In the day He made Adam, God called their name “Adam.” This is pointing to the wonderful truth that when Christ rose from the dead and was declared to be the Son of God the bride of Christ (all the believers written in the Lamb’s book of life) were “in” Him.

We see that same glorious truth in Genesis, chapter 2 when it says, “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished,” and God could have stopped there, but He went on to say, “and all the host of them.” We know that the heavens are glorious and declare the glory of God. They contain the sun, moon and stars, all the “host of them.” But there was no need for God to add that phrase. Why did He add it? Well, when we look up the word “host” we find it is a word that primarily directs us to God Himself. He is the Lord God of hosts. The name “LORD of hosts” or “JEHOVAH of hosts” is used about 265 times in the Old Testament. He is the LORD God of hosts, as it says in Psalm 24, a Psalm that testifies of God’s glory. It says in Psalm 24:10:

Who is this King of glory? JEHOVAH of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.

God is JEHOVAH of hosts. Who are the host over whom God rules? Remember, when Joshua met the Lord Jesus in the form of a man, the captain of JEHOVAH’s host, as it says in Joshua, chapter 5. He came unto Joshua as Joshua was going to lead the Israelites into the promised land of Canaan to conquer that land. Then came the captain of JEHOVAH’S host to meet with him and that captain was Christ, just as “JEHOVAH of hosts” is Christ. Who are the host? If we look up that word, it is used many times to refer to the armies and people of Israel. They are identified as the hosts of God. It says in Exodus 7:4:

But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, that I may lay my hand upon Egypt, and bring forth mine armies, and my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments.

The word “armies” is the same Hebrew word translated as “hosts.” It is also used in Exodus, chapter 12, after God finally brought them out of Egypt. It says in Exodus 12:17:

… for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever.

The word “armies” is the same word as “hosts.”It is referring to Israel of old, God’s people that were delivered out of Egypt. They had previously been enslaved in cruel bondage to Pharaoh and the Egyptians, but God delivered them by sending Moses to be the deliverer. Moses worked the miracles of God by the power of God and all Israel was set free from Egypt. The Israelites that came out of Egypt became JEHOVAH’S host or army. The “hosts” of God are a clear picture of spiritual Israel or everyone that God would deliver from the captivity of sin and Satan. They were freed by the Gospel and freed by the power of the Lord Jesus Christ: “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” God’s people are freed through salvation to become the (spiritual) host of God.

Remember that fearful picture God gives us in the Book of Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ upon a white horse and He is coming with an army that is also upon white horses to judge the world. It says in Revelation 19:12-14:

His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

Earlier in the same chapter, it had said of those arrayed in fine linen it said in Revelation 19:8:

And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

The armies that were with Christ, following upon white horses, are the children of God, the saints. They are those that were made holy by the blood of Christ and covered by His righteousness. They are the armies of heaven or the host of heaven and Christ is the LORD God of hosts. He is over His army. It is the army that He built by dying for each one of them. He bore their sins and died and He delivered them from bondage to Satan. They were translated out of the kingdom of Satan into the kingdom of God’s dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. These are the hosts the Bible is referring to in Genesis 2:1:

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

There was no need for God to add that last phrase, but He wanted us to know that when He finished creating the earth, He had already “finished” the host of them. Yes, He created the physical creation with its celestial bodies but, more than that, He finished His atoning work from the foundation of the world. He had already directing our attention to that finished work by telling us early in Genesis, chapter 1 that He made the light before making the light bearers, the sun, moon and stars. He also directed our attention to it by the formation of the man Adam while counting the woman to have been “in” Adam. So, too, He calls our attention by the use of the word “finished” in association with the host of heaven. In the Book of Hebrews, what does God tell us He finished? He says in Hebrews 4:3:

For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest…

This is significant that God is speaking of the seventh day rest. Why? It would direct our attention back to what we are reading in Genesis 2:2:

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.

A big point is being made. God finished the work. Now, rest. The work is finished. It is ended. That same emphasis comes up in Hebrews 4 in relationship to the seventh day rest. Again, it says in Hebrews 4:3:

… although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

Does it say the works were finished on the seventh day in this verse? No, it does not say that, but we would expect God to say that because, historically, that is how it happened: He worked for six days and on the seventh day He rested. Notice it says here, “the works were finished from the foundation of the world.” Then it goes on to say in Hebrews 4:4:

For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.

In other words, God is tying together the six days of work He did to create the heavens and the earth to the work that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished at the point of the world’s foundation. Jesus did the work of faith and the work of salvation. He did the work of dying for the sins of His people and making full payment to satisfy the Law’s demand for all the iniquity the elect individuals would ever commit in their lives. Christ did all the work. Then He rose from the dead to be declared the Son of God through the resurrection from the dead and, thus, the heavens and the earth were finished. The work of God was finished. All the host of them were complete.

Keep in mind how God likens the stars to the believers. They shall shine with the brightness of the firmament. He likened the stars to the believers when He told Abraham that his seed would “be as the stars of the heaven for multitude.” In essence, when Christ died at the foundation of the world, He put the “stars” in the heavens. He established the spiritual heaven of God’s elect. He established the Gospel lights and, thus, the heavens and the earth were finished. All the host of them were finished. The work was finished from the foundation of the world.