Monday, September 23, 2013

Comparisons

School is back, which means so is Bible class! Here is my first paper of the year!

Comparisons between Genesis 1-2 and Revelation 21-22

     Light, perfect creations, no more seas, rivers flowing, the tree of life. There are many comparisons between Genesis 1-2 and Revelation 21-22 and in this paper I would like to show you some of them.

     The first comparison that I see is God created light in Genesis 1:3-5: "Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day." Here we see that even though He created light, He did not keep it light at all times. He also made it stay dark during the night. But in Revelations we see something totally different: "The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there) (Revelation 21:23-25)", and "There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever (Revelation 22:5)." There is still light, but it is an unending light. In this new earth there will be no need of sun, moon, or stars because God, in His awesome power, will be its light.

     The second comparison is that in both cases God created a perfect world. "Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good (Genesis 1:31)", and "God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away (Revelation 21:4).” The only difference in the end is that the first Adam messed up that first perfect creation by disobeying God and bringing sin into the world. In Revelation, because the second Adam, Jesus, made atonement for our sins, the second creation will not be able to have any sin in it, because those who do not believe in Jesus and the work he did for them will not be allowed there. Thus, the second creation will stay perfect forever.

     Another interesting comparison is that there is no more sea in Revelations. "Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea (Revelation 21:1)." One commentator (from the IVP New Testament Commentary Series) explained it this way: "His [John's] perception that there was no longer any sea is simply another way of saying that in the new creation there is no more death." Since the sea is so full of dead things, it had to be destroyed as well (according to this commentator) because God made all things new.

     My fourth comparison shows us that there was a river flowing through the Garden of Eden (Gen.) and a river flowing from the throne of God (Rev.). "Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads (Genesis 2:10)", and "And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb (Revelations 22:1)." It appears that the river in Eden was for the purpose of watering the garden and, I suppose, the people living in it. It fed the physical aspects of creation. But the river in the New Jerusalem is the "pure river of water of life, clear as crystal." I think it shows us that Jesus is that pure and living water. He is the One that gives us life if we believe in His work on the cross.

     My final comparison is that there was a "tree of life" in both the Garden of Eden and the New Jerusalem: "And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:9)," and "In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations (Revelations 22:2) Matthew Henry's commentary says the first tree of life "was chiefly intended to be a sign and seal to Adam, assuring him of the continuance of life and happiness, even to immortality and everlasting bliss, through the grace and favor of his Maker, upon condition of his perseverance in this state of innocency and obedience. Of this he might eat and live." After the fall, Adam and Eve were not allowed to eat of this tree. The second tree of life is always bearing fruit and is fed by the river of pure water. Those who have believed in Jesus and His work have eaten of that tree and will live forever with their Father.