THE SEVEN DAYS OF GENESIS
BY: ELAINE COOK
I have been studying the work of God in the first seven days of creation in the book Types in Genesis by Andrew Jukes. It is a golden oldie written around 1870. For some, it is difficult to read with its long sentences so I thought I’d break it down and add my thoughts to it to make it more clear to the understanding. There is a tremendous amount of truth hidden in the work of creation that has to do with the work that the Lord is doing in our lives.
In Genesis l:l, a creation of God is announced. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Then a partial ruin was shown, followed by a restoration. “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” In some way not revealed, God’s work had been destroyed. The term ‘without form and void’ describes a state of judgment and utter ruin. God, in six days, restores that earth, now ruined and dark.
This natural earth is but a picture where God portrays His mighty plan and purpose that He has for His creation, made of earth, even man. He wrote His plan of restoration upon the natural earth for all to see; He wrote it in the sky, in the starry heavens; He wrote it in the journeyings of His people Israel from Egypt to Canaan; He wrote it in the pattern of His holy Tabernacle. He wanted us to see the beginning and end of His great plan of salvation — that, though we began, as this earth — earthy, void and formless, with an unknown deep within, He would care for His creature and would send His Spirit over it. “. . . the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
God works through six successive days to bring forth the highest expressions of His creation — man in His image and likeness, in whom He can dwell and have His being. All nature shows us this progression of growth: first the blade, the ear, and then the full corn in the ear; the babe, the child, the perfect man.
Gen. 1:3-5 shows us the course of the First Day. “And God said, Let there be light…“ The Light of God moves upon the darkened soul, proceeding from their darkness (evening) until morning. Light shines out and is divided from the darkness in us. Thus darkness receives a BOUND. At this stage, the work of God is BOUNDING AND DIVIDING. A separation takes place between that which is of SELF and that which is of GOD. At this stage we are submitting to have what is natural to us restrained, and thus we learn to distinguish HIS WORK from what is ours in us. At the same time, we are taught to call things as God calls them. The character of each is marked by a name bestowed on each — the person begins to know the thoughts of God.
God called the light, DAY, or ‘movement’. This means there is a disturbance of the darkness in the soul. The person is no longer comfortable going their own way and doing their own thing. The light has shone upon their heart, and is disturbing the former darkness. The darkness is called NIGHT, or ‘deviation’ — a turning from the right, or the straight line. The light will reveal this ‘missing the mark’. We are being taught to call things as God calls them, as He reveals the nature of our darkness, and the light shows us our condition.
Though light has come, darkness still at times threatens to rule! The shades of temptation and the light of faith alternate for a while, till the day of rest comes, without an evening. The darkness reminds us of what the creature is in itself. The light shows us what it is in Christ, the Word of God. Some bitterly judge themselves because as yet the image of God is not revealed in them. Wait in patience! He who hath begun the good work will perform it unto the day of Jesus Christ. On the first three days, in creation and in man, God is but BOUNDING AND DIVIDING. There is no fruit at this stage, but a learning of what is of God (light) and what is of the creature (darkness).
In Day One we saw how “the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” In our unregenerate condition we were “without form and void and darkness was upon the face of our deep.” All we knew was the unstable element of the waters (soul) that caused us to toss to and fro upon our thoughts, will and emotions.
Then God spoke and said, “Let there be light!” Then He divided the light and called it day or movement. And the darkness He called night or deviation. Night is darkness put within limits. At this first step, we know only a general sense of sin but do not understand the exact state of things. Light comes and separates our darkness, but as yet there is no heaven formed within, and no firm earth. It is by degrees that we learn our state and blessed is it that it is so, or we should despair of ever coming into His image and likeness. In Day Two, an expanse of heaven is formed in the creature. By this heaven, the unbounded waters are divided from the waters. At this stage, the creature begins to see that it is drowned in waters. Water is a type of the restless desires of the heart of fallen man: for “the wicked are like a troubled sea, which cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt” Isa. 57:20. Before regeneration, man is drowned in his own lusts and fleshly, soulish ways.
Now God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters” Gen.1:6-8. In the new creation man, these waters are not all removed at once; in fact, they are never fully removed until that state is reached where there is “no more sea” (no more soulish elements uncontrolled by the Holy Spirit). The waters are first divided by a heaven, which represents the understanding being opened. Up until now the understanding has been darkened. The natural man has no spiritual understanding. (Rev.21:1)
Some waters rise into the heavens — some of our desires and affections are raised and purified, and some remain as before — unquiet, and unbounded except by the heaven over them. God calls this expanse “heaven”, that is, “the arranger” because it is the great agent in arranging everything. We recognize three kingdoms — animal, vegetable, and mineral, but Genesis shows us another, called the meteoric. This “heaven” or meteoric kingdom formed of old over the earth, before the mineral, or vegetable, or animal, was called by God “the arranger.” It performed marvels which we now call attraction, repulsion, electricity, and evaporation.
Consider now the spiritual counterpart of this. There is a heaven formed within by the Word. This heaven is the arranger, and it must do its work in man before gold and fruits and living creatures can come forth in his life. If we desire to bear true fruit, it must be by the work of “the arranger” working within by the Word of God — to attract, to repel, to empower, or to dry up the soulish waters. The spiritual understanding must begin to be opened up before there can be any earth seen. As yet, there is nothing “established, strengthened, and settled”, for the waters still prevail until the Third Day. If you find yourself at this stage, take heart, for resurrection morning comes, bringing with it much new life: herb, and tree, and seed upon the land that is now dry and can support life. Wait for it, for it shall surely come, for God works until the seventh day — He rests when He has created man in His image and likeness!
On the Third Day, the earth rises out of the waters. Gen.l:9-10, “And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.” Once the firm earth arises we find that we are “no more tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine, but may grow up in all things into Him who is the Head, even Christ.” We find this begins to be true in our lives. The will, which had been overwhelmed with tossing lusts, rises above them to become fruitful. The soul, once lost in passions, and in self-serving, emerges from the deep. For God hath said to the Seas, “Hitherto shalt thou come, and no further, and here shall thy waves of pride be stayed” Job 38:8, 11 They may yet roar against our land, but from this time they cannot overflow it. The lesson here is that it is in checking our desires — by bounding the unstable element in us — that we are made free!
God gives a name to the land and the waters. The “seas” are “tumults” or “agitations”. “Earth” means “breaking in pieces; crumbling”. It describes a substance which will permit itself to be reduced to powder, and so is fitted to take any form God pleases. It is ready to be framed by the will and wisdom of the Great Potter.
Following the bounding of the waters, fruitfulness begins to show forth, as in Rom.6:22, “… being made free from sin, we have fruit unto righteousness…“ The first thing that comes forth is “grass” which is a type of the flesh. (I Pet.l:24). How is it that the regenerate man brings forth fruits that are of carnality? This has been a stumbling block to both the Christian and the unbeliever. A common excuse for not yielding their life to Christ is: “The church is full of hypocrites!” We cannot deny that accusation, for as Paul, we have stumbled, saying, “The things I would do, I do not, but the things I would not, I do. O, wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Until SELF is seen, there has been little overcoming.
The development of Adam proves that for a long time, the regenerate man is yet carnal and he brings forth fleshly fruits, though in his heart he desires to glorify God in his life. Remember — the Corinthians had many spiritual gifts, yet they were carnal. Next, comes “herb and tree’ with “seed and fruit”— some 30, some 60, and some 100-fold. God’s precious fruits all have power to multiply themselves, for the seed is in itself. Daily we can enjoy an increase in love, peace, faith or truth — all to His praise who brings fruit out of our earth! Every act of love has in it the seed of other acts. Every lie breeds another lie, and here we see the law of sowing and reaping established within us. What we sow in our earth multiplies and comes forth — for good or for evil.
On the Third, or resurrection day, God’s power is known. Much has been done in us before we know “the power of resurrection”. but “after two days He will revive us; in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord” Hosea 6:2, 3. On this day the creature at last sees itself for what it is. The SELF-NATURE is revealed, and it can begin to put off DEATH and choose LIFE. In the last dispensation (the 2nd day), the nature of self was not known, so resurrection life was not apprehended (except in a few choice vessels).
It is when we understand our condition that the Spirit draws us away from the crowds who are serving God in forms and traditions of men. He calls us aside to teach us what we are and what He is that we may KNOW HIM in the power of His resurrection, and in the fellowship of His sufferings. On the Third Day the separating process ends, for things are now KNOWN. In the next three days, the work shall be furnishing and perfecting.
Here is a summary of the first three days of creation:
(1) First, LIGHT upon the deep. Darkness is bound and named.
(2) Then, a HEAVEN is placed in the midst of the waters.
(3) Next, there is a lifting-up and working upon the EARTH, which until now had been buried and concealed. In these days, God’s process in us is bounding — dividing in us between what is of SELF and what is of GOD.
After the Third Day, the work of God increases greatly, and is now adorning and perfecting. At this stage we are submitting to have what is natural in us restrained, and thus we learn to distinguish HIS WORK from what is OURS in us. Too, we are taught to call things as God calls them! Now we do not find “God called”, but “God made” — being throughout perfecting. It is seen now that He not only “spoke and it was done, “but that “HE did it. As we grow in grace, we see that all things are of GOD.
When the earth is raised, many seem to think the work is done! But on the Fourth Day the perfecting and adorning process begins, not to cease until “the image of God” appears. Paul, in Col.3:l, l0 exhorts us to grow in grace in language corresponding to the stages of the last three days.
(1) “If ye be risen, seek things above.” (Look for things in the heavenly realm of the Spirit to comfort and enlighten you. Light to guide will shine on you).
(2) Again, advance: “Put on, as the elect of God, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, long-suffering.” (Put on the graces which are prefigured in the dove, the lamb, and the ox which appear on Day Five and Six).
(3) And then, “put on the new man, who is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created Him.” (Moses wrote “with a veil” — covered over, darkened understanding — but “the veil is done away in Christ,” so we may see clearly and understand). In Gen.1:14,15, LIGHTS are come on the Fourth Day. The sun, with warm, direct rays; the moon — cold, but shining, a reflection of the sun’s light. Both rule and affect the earth and the waters and bring a greater check to the darkness in Day and Night. After the Seas of lust are bound in us, the fruits of righteousness begin to grow and bud. A SUN — a mighty light — is kindled in our heaven. Christ — God’s eternal Word and wisdom, is no longer undefined, but with mighty warmth and power makes the whole creation to bud and spring heavenward.
Another light — the MOON — grows bright within. In the individual, the moon stands for our faith, which is the light we received from the testimony of scripture, or from another’s experience. Some groups specialize in testimonies, which is borrowed light, or faith. Faith is our MOON to rule over the night — our dark places, where we are ignorant of His ways. stands for the CHURCH, which operates in a reflected glory. (The light has not as yet been inworked in them). Rev. 12 speaks of “a woman clothed with the SUN, and the MOON under her feet. . . “ It is this woman who travails and brings forth a man child (a mature son). These lights are “to rule over the day and over the night.” To rule over the gifts of God (day) and to rule over the present darkness that still troubles us, is the ministration of the Lights of the Fourth Day. At this stage, we find that the SUN is the center. We had thought we were the center, and the SUN moved around us! He is found to be steadfast, while we journey on until the Seventh Day’s work is wrought in us, and we are found “in the image of God.”
The Fifth Day’s work of creation is the peopling of the sea and air. “And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.” Gen.l:20. The waters now swarm with life, and the air with winged birds. The work of the fifth day is in the seas and heaven. The seas (or waters) are our desires, emotions, mind — the soul realm. The heavens speak of our spiritual understanding.. Up until now, the waters have only been bound (our soulish desires have been checked to a degree, but not overcome).
At this stage in our development, new life moves in our soul. We begin to be aware that God is going to save our soul! With this realization we find ourselves beginning to divide between what is soul and what is spirit in us. Before we came to this Day, we believed all that issued forth from us was spirit, but now we can divide the matter and see where the soul has ruled.
Now, new life moves in our soul — the varied forms of fish and fowl all picture some of the countless forms of Christ’s spirit. His fullness is so great that no one type can express it! His will for us is that we should be filled also; “to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that we might be filled with all the fullness of God.“ Eph.3:19. Whether it is light, a heaven, the seed, or sun and moon, each is but some manifestation in man of what was in CHRIST. So the turtle and the eagle are but types of some fresh gift or grace of Christ’s spirit.
The forms and natures of the creatures made on this Day explain themselves: dove = the figures of meek innocence; eagle = lofty flight, the keen vision of the spirit; rooster = one who foretells the morning; the thrush = to sing by day to cheer our weary moments; some, like the turtle, once widowed, never pair again. Each creature, in its own way, shows forth some gift or grace of the Spirit. Each tells its own story of what God can work in His people.
To man is added the likeness of the Dove, the Eagle, the Nightingale, and so on. Our emotions are moved upon by new life and are able to bring forth gifts and graces akin to the Spirit of Christ that were not seen before when the soul was not known and understood. Now that it is divided from the Spirit, we now have spiritual understanding of our emotional state and the Spirit can rule over it, bringing the soul into subjection unto the will of a higher power. For this is the order of God: that Spirit should rule over the soul, and the soul should remain in subjection to our spirit (which is one with the Holy Spirit). The desires of the soul are not now simply checked, they are ruled over on the Fifth Day, and what a peace that begins to bring to the troubled soul! When this stage is come, the image of God is near when the work shall cease, for all is “very good.”
To review the stages after resurrection-life is known on the third day:
(1) through resurrection-light (Day 4)
(2) till we reach “the moving creatures” of sea and air (Day 5)
(3) on to new creatures of the earth — first creeping, then walking, but with face earthwards — then “the man”, with open face, erect, looking upward, created in God’s image (Day 6). Gen.l:24-31.
On the Sixth Day the EARTH, that is, the WILL, brings forth. The living creatures of the earth represent the emotions connected with the WILL. Wherever the primitive language of symbols remains, the passions are still characterized by names of different beasts, and all peoples have read them alike. In some instances, the creature, in whom some trace of God is seen, is worshiped instead of the Creator. (e.g. sacred cows in India).
Each form of new creatures expresses some further fullness which was in Christ Jesus: e.g. the ox = the spirit of unselfish labor; the lion = holy wrath; the lamb = that meekness which bareth all things. At length, man is seen — the “image of God”, to crown and perfect all and to have dominion over all.
What is this image? It is the MIND OF GOD IN US! When this is come, the “man” is formed — erect in walk, and looking upward; able to recognize the mind and will of One above him — with an understanding to know, and a will to love, God. This marked man above all other creatures: a mind able to understand and bow to a superior. Lose this, and he becomes as a beast, incapable of recognizing, save by force, the will of one above him. Like the horse or mule which has no understanding, whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle. Or, like Nebuchadnezzar, in vain self-exaltation, losing his reason, and with a beast’s heart, becoming as a beast.
A mind to recognize and hold communion with One above him, is what, above all, marks and makes the man. And this is the secret of his rule over others; as God said, “Subdue and have dominion.” No one can rule who is not ruled over! Adam, while subject to God, had power over every living creature, a power he lost as soon as he rebelled, and instead of being subject, he became independent. It is the lack of recognizing the One above who gives power that now makes the rulers of this world helpless. Beasts are rebelling against them, because they have rebelled. (Think of Sadam Hussein against America!)
Not only beasts, but also God’s good gifts need to be ruled over! We see in the church at Corinth that the gifts were there, but the mind of God was lacking. The “man” must come to set them right. Paul told them, “I. . . could not speak unto you as unto spiritual (men), but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.” And when he wanted to share some truths about the Melchizedek Priesthood to the Hebrews church, he had the same complaint: “… we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing… ye ought to be teachers… are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat… strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age…“ Heb.5:11-14. Paul longed for “the man” to come!
An example of having dominion over beasts would be: oxen, strong to labor, is a good attribute in any one, but it needs to be ordered by the Spirit of God, lest it labor for the work’s sake alone and not do that which is in God’s mind. This man was created “male and female”. Man = understanding. Woman = the will or love-part of the mind, which together make up that inward man or mind by which we commune with God. When man has come to “the image of God” we find God’s Mind directing God’s Spirit, ruling over all the powers and graces that He bestows upon us.
“Seven” speaks of completion or fullness, so it was on the Seventh Day that “God ended his work which he had made, and he rested…” Gen.2:2 This stage of rest is attained by only a few, but the Lord is calling His Own to arise and “labor to enter into His rest.” He told His disciples, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests (in us) but He had “no place to lay His Head.” There was no man willing to let His Mind rest upon him and to rule his life. This is the significant mark of the Seventh Day: The Lord is at rest, and He has a people who have come into His rest and have let His Mind be their portion. This is “the image of God” coming in man! The rest is come when, through the Word of God, HIS WILL IS DONE PERFECTLY. IF HIS WILL RULES, THERE WILL BE A REST.
This is the stage of full age or perfection when, instead of growth and change, and the struggle between the old state and the work of God within us, we reach the life of vision and of rest. Here we live above striving; we are at rest and full of peace. We are like a deep, still stream reflecting God and heaven, instead of a brawling river, reflecting nothing in its headlong rush to the sea.
At first, in our walk with God, we do not know this rest, for the flesh and the spirit strive together. The man, too, is yet “double” and lives in both flesh and spirit, thus he cannot know “the peace of God which passeth all understanding.” The law in his members wars against the law of his mind; even though God’s true work is growing. In time, the flesh is nailed to the cross, and now the man is no longer double, but single and simple. One life now rules him, so on the dawning of the seventh day, the rest begins to come.
Isa. 58:13,14 tells us clearly what THE REST is. It is:
(1) to yield ourselves to God.
(2) to turn away our foot from doing our own pleasure.
(3) not doing our own ways
(4) not speaking our own words
(5) not seeking to find our own pleasure
(6) THEN shall we delight ourselves in the Lord, and the creature finds joy in God, and God joy in the creature!
The nature of the Sabbath is: It is God’s rest. It is not as though He could be weary, but to show His satisfaction, to teach that, not only the work, but the rest is His (not the creature’s!) God has joy in seeing His work perfect. In the six days of labor, we see that all progress is because He works in us. When the Day of Rest is come, we know that He works that He may rest in us! Each fresh act of submission to His Word lead to His, even as to our, rest.
Special notice should be taken that this rest is “blessed”, for “God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it.” He blessed the day — that is, the creature’s state obtains the Lord’s blessing. “God sanctified” means He set it apart; he took it for Himself. In the days of labor, God does not get His own, but the day or state of rest is wholly His. God may get something from our works, but He gets much more when we rest and so pass out of self and its variableness wholly into His will.
On this day, “no evening” is seen. All days of labor begin in the darkness of the evening, as God said: “And the evening and the morning were the second day.” Evening suggests a decline of light, a relapse or tendency to the creature’s own darkness. There is no possibility of that happening on the seventh day, for there is no mention whatever of an “evening”, for the light has come to abide! On this day, man has come “to the image of God” and has let the mind of Christ rest upon him, and has yielded his will unto Him so that He, too, walks in God’s Day of Rest. O, glorious Day!
When something pertinent about a subject is omitted in scripture, it is done with purpose. All six days of God’s work upon
His creation show the day “from evening unto morning”. In announcing the seventh day, no mention is made of evening, so this should attract our notice. Evening is the state preceding and tending to night or darkness. In the day of God’s rest, darkness and shadows have no place.
This day is the dawn of heaven itself when: “at even time it shall be light”, for the days “shall be as “one day”. Finally, the soul of man is fit to bear unbroken day and its very “darkness can be even as the noon day.” (Zech. 14:7; Isa.58:10). Then comes this day of days, when “the sun shall no more go down, neither shall the moon withdraw itself, for the Lord shall be our everlasting light, and the days and nights of mourning shall be ended” Isa.60:20. This day is “as the days of heaven”, whose “light is seven-fold (fullness) as the light of seven days” Isa.30:26. “No night is there” — nothing but God’s rest, and our rest in Him forever. (Rev. 21:25).
Enoch’s life was a mighty sign of this rest, for he “walked with God, and was not, for God took him.” His life is the “seventh from Adam (Jude 14) and it speaks of a true Sabbath of rest, for it could know no evening —no darkness nor decline of light in his life. He was a mighty type and shadow of the life we can expect to enter into on the Seventh Day. If we “walk with God” — His Mind ruling, our will obedient, we can expect to walk in His perfect Day and to know no darkness at all, and to have “no evening’ in our lives!
The Day of Rest reveals another characteristic of God. Through the days of labor, He is known as ELOHIM (“to swear; to keep covenant”). The covenant He made was that He would make man “in His image and likeness.” On the Sabbath, He reveals Himself as the “Lord God” or JEHOVAH (“The Lord our righteousness; the Self-existent One”). Elohim is One whose power and oath we may rely on. This name speaks of His works, rather than of Himself. His name Jehovah tells us what He is, in His own perfections. At first, what God has done or will do, is more important to us than what He is. When the Rest comes, we learn to add what He is to what He does for us.
The creature is changed to a higher form on the Seventh Day. Instead of “herb and tree” we now have “a garden drest”. The position of our garden is eastward — facing the dawning of the New Day, signifying a rising or advancing light and pleasures at God’s right hand forever more. The man has been tested and has become that willing people who will serve Him “in the day of His power”, even that Seventh Day! This is, as Joseph, God’s crowning work — a man who through suffering and denying self, comes to rule all things. This is our true Sabbath-Rest, and HIS IN US!
SEVEN DAYS OF GENESIS [Elaine Cook] 1