• | Chris McCann
  • Audio: Length: 28:57
  • Passages covered: Genesis 1:11-13,
    Job 38:24-27, Psalm 23:2, Deuteronomy 32:1-2, Deuteronomy 11:14-15, Proverbs 19:12, Zechariah 10:1.

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Genesis 1 Series, Part 13, Verses 11-13

Welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of Genesis. This is study #13 of Genesis, chapter 1 and we are going to read Genesis 1:11-13:

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.

In the previous verses we saw that God has been painting a picture of the Gospel. Darkness was upon the face of the deep and then God made the declaration, “Let there be light.” That was a picture of the Gospel. When God spoke of the waters under the heavens being gathered together unto one place and the dry land appearing, it was also a picture of the Gospel.

Now we are not surprised by this because we know this is how God has written the Bible. He gives true, historical accounts all through the Bible, but those historical accounts are also historical parables. It is our responsibility as children of God to search the Bible to find its hidden treasures, so we are privileged and blessed to be able to read things like this in the Bible and then to ponder, “Why did God say this? What does this have to do with God’s Gospel program of salvation and judgment? How do these statements fit within the spiritual teachings of the rest of the Bible?” This is something that should always be in our minds as we read the Scriptures.

First of all, when we read it, we know it is true and, of course, that is very important in this day and age in which the world lies to itself about the origin of all things. They tell one another all sorts of fables and fanciful tales, like the “Big Bang,” and how things developed over the course of billions of years. They claim that all these creatures that are so intricately designed took form by accident over time. There is always “time” and it is really the god of the evolutionists; time is what formed things. It is as if when you leave something alone and enough time passes things are going to evolve and get better at some point. But what is the evidence when we leave something alone? If we leave our garden alone does it improve or does it evolve into something better? Do the flowers turn into better specimens or are they more beautiful? No, but the weeds appear and there are thorns and thistles. It is a mess over a short period of time. Some would say that you have not left it alone long enough, but the longer you leave something alone the worse it gets. That is the evidence of our experience in practically everything. Of course, some will mention things that have no bearing, such as wine improving when left alone, but that is a different idea altogether. When you leave things alone and you do not attempt to take care of your garden, it will not improve. It will not get better. It will certainly get worse due to the curse of God upon the creation because of the fall of man, which was a true, historical occurrence we can read about in the Bible.

Again, the Bible’s accounts are true and accurate and faithful. They occurred historically and as we read the opening chapters of the Bible it is true history, but the Word of God is bountifully full of other riches, with its various levels of truth and understanding. You can understand the historical record as true. That is well and good, but if you stop there and only recognize the historical record or you only recognize the “moral principal,” you are only scratching the surface: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” The Scriptures are full of information and knowledge of spiritual things and God expects us to read them that way and to look for the deeper spiritual meanings. The way to do that is to compare Scripture with Scripture and spiritual with spiritual throughout the Bible. That is why we continually look up words and why we continually give Strong’s numbers for each of the words and you can look it up and see how God uses a particular word elsewhere and let the Bible define its own terms and it is the Holy Spirit that teaches when we compare spiritual with spiritual, according to 1Corinthians, chapter 2. We have to be careful to get out of the way of ourselves and not to interject our own thoughts and ideas. We do not say, “This is what it means to me.” That is one of the worse things we can do when we study the Bible. Long ago, I remember being in a church Bible study group and there would be a teacher and he would read a verse and say, “What does this verse mean to you?” They would go around the circle and elicit their opinions. Some would be reading from the NIV and some would be reading from the King James Version and this was also chaotic. But, then the first person would respond, “This is what I think and this is what this means to me,” and so on. Yes, that may be interesting to people and it allows everyone to participate, but that is not how proper Bible study should be done. Frankly, what you or I think about a verse is worthless – the Bible is not of any private interpretation.

The word “private” is from the Greek word “idios,” where we get our English word “idiom” and “idiom” means “one’s own” interpretation and this is not of any significance. The only significant interpretation is God’s interpretation of what the Bible says. This is a point in which the churches of today fail greatly as they hold to their church’s interpretation or to the interpretation of a famous Reformer or a favored pastor. They uphold that position. Sometimes that position may be in agreement with the Bible, but many times it is not and this is the great error God saw in the churches and the reason He brought judgment upon the churches. They preferred the doctrines of men over the doctrines of God and the main reason for that is the hermeneutic used by the churches, which is basically their own private interpretation. The churches developed a methodology that you should not search for spiritual meaning and you must stay away from doing that. They may use EBible or Family Radio as examples of how you get in trouble when you look at spiritual interpretation. They say you must look at the plain, literal meaning of a Scripture and once you have found it, “seek no other.” In other words, do not dig further into it to look for deeper spiritual meaning.

So when you read Genesis the consensus of the church theologians is that you would read it as “history.” Personally, I cannot think of anything that would be more boring in Bible study than that, but they would have us to just think of God’s creation and note that God brought 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.” We could make a couple of statements about it on just the historical level and some people might have some interesting things to say about history and the day that God created the grass and the herb and the fruit tree, but how long would you spend looking only at the historical aspect of it? Maybe you would spend a few minutes.

It is one of the reasons why you do not hear their pastors and theologians teaching the Gospel from Genesis. They go to Genesis only to teach the creation, which is an historical event and a plain, literal thing they can understand. While it is a true thing and a good thing, it is the only reason they would go to Genesis, chapter 1. They will grab hold of it with their natural minds, but they will not look at deeper things. For example, they would not look closely at the account of God causing a deep sleep to fall on Adam and then He took one of his ribs and made the woman. They will not identify that with Adam as a picture of Christ and the rib as a type and figure of the elect, the bride of Christ. They will not normally look at that and it has caused them to develop a very shallow and superficial gospel. It is the way many professed Christians come to the Bible, just skimming the surface. They are content and satisfied with just skimming the surface of the Bible and they do not dare delve into it. They do not seek the wisdom in its depths or the buried treasures. They are just fine with just skimming the surface because this allows them to keep their own doctrines and maintain their church confessions and creeds. They have their own gospel and their “Christian” religion, which is under their control as long as they abide by their private interpretation that they are not to look into the historical events for spiritual things. They warn against it and, yet, it has left them empty. Their pitcher is a broken vessel and they have no (spiritual) water to give their congregations and, of course, God has already brought a famine upon them, not a famine of bread and of water, but of hearing the Word of the Lord. Faith comes by hearing and since there is a famine of hearing, there is no salvation. There has not been salvation in any of the churches for many years now, dating back to 1988. God worked out the Great Tribulation over 23 years and then May 21, 2011 was the day of transition and God continues to judge the churches along with the entire world. Of course, we are not interested in following man’s guidelines for studying the Bible. We are interested in following God’s guidelines, comparing Scripture with Scripture.

Again, it says in Genesis 1:11:

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.

As we look at a verse like this and we see the various words that are used, we search them out. The first word we will look at is the word “grass.” This word is Strong’s #1877 and it is translated as “tender herb” in some places, like Job 38:24-27:

By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth? Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder; To cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein there is no man; To satisfy the desolate and waste ground; and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth?

Our word is translated here as “tender herb.” This is a pretty good description of something that is just “shooting up” and coming into being and that may be the meaning of this word. It is a “tender herb” or something God has just created.

This word is also the word used in Psalm 23:2:

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

The word “green” is the word translated as “grass” in Genesis 1, verse 11. Our Strong’s word #1877 is sometimes translated as “herb” and the word “herb” is sometimes translated as “grass,” so it can be a little bit difficult to keep track of it (since both words are used in our verse). The first word translated as “grass” in Genesis 1:11 is Strong’s #1877 and it is the word translated as “tender herb” in Job 38:27 and as “green” in Psalm 23:2. It is also found in Deuteronomy 32:1-2:

Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:

The word “tender herb” is Strong’s #1877. The word “grass” in Deuteronomy 32:2 is the word translated as “herb” in Genesis 1, verse 11. The word “herb” in our verse in Genesis 1:11 is Strong’s #6212, but in Deuteronomy 32:2, it is the word translated as “grass.” God did not make this easy. He intentionally complicates things sometimes so He can all the better hide information in the Bible. This is the joy of the child of God to search the Scriptures. It is like being an investigator or being a hunter for buried treasure. We are going after gold, but it is hidden. If you are seeking wisdom that is good because wisdom is the principal thing, according to Proverbs 4:7: “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” However, as with all those adventure tales, when you are going after hidden treasure, there are traps and snares along the way and you have to avoid them. This is a minor one, but God is using different Hebrew words, but He allowed the translators to translate them in similar ways.

Anyway, the second word translated as “grass” in our verse is Strong’s #6212 and it is translated as “herb” in Genesis 1:11 and translated as “grass” in Deuteronomy 32:2. We are not going to draw any conclusions yet concerning how these words are used. We will just note that God speaks of His doctrine as rain and the rain falls on the “tender herb” and showers on the “grass” and we know that it is His Word that is in view.

Also, it says in Deuteronomy 11:14-15:

That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil. And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full.

The word “grass” here is Strong’s #6212. Another verse where Strong’s #6212 is found is Proverbs 19:12:

The king's wrath is as the roaring of a lion; but his favour is as dew upon the grass.

This would relate to what we read in Deuteronomy 32:2 where God’s doctrine drops as the dew. The “dew upon the grass” is involved with the favor of God.

It also says in Zechariah 10:1:

Ask ye of JEHOVAH rain in the time of the latter rain; so JEHOVAH shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.

The “latter rain” we saw in Deuteronomy, chapter 11, as well as here in Zechariah, chapter 10 and the rain gives “grass.” We are familiar with the Latter Rain because God poured out the Latter Rain during the second part of the Great Tribulation and we understand that this language identified with the sending forth of the Word of God that came down from heaven and fell upon the hearts of mankind; through the Latter Rain God saved the great multitude of people. The Latter Rain was instrumental in producing “grass,” so we can see when God says in Genesis 1:11, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed,” these things can represent other things, spiritually.

Lord willing, in our next study we will take a look at the word “seed” and “fruit tree” and we will see what they point to and we will try to gain a better understanding – a spiritual understanding – of what God is saying in these verses in Genesis, chapter 1.