From Genesis 1, the way of the LORD has always been forming, then filling.
The filled-out reality is there by anticipation even in the forming. The intention for filling is included in the forming. But still the order is ‘form, then fill.’:
- In Gen 1:2 – a formless and empty creation is then formed (days 1-3) and filled (days 4-6) as the Word of God is revealed (Gen 1:3ff).
- (This is similar to both the tabernacle and the temple where first it is formed, then filled by the Glory of the LORD).
- Adam is formed (from dust) and then filled (by the breath of the LORD God).
- Humanity as male and female is first formed in Adam and then filled out in Eve’s creation and their consummation.
- The first Adam is filled by the Last.
- The people of Israel as the seed of Abraham are filled by Christ, the Seed of Abraham.
- The law is the form of the covenant and is filled by the gospel events.
In all this we remember that the intention for filling is already anticipated in the forming. The very forming reveals a long-intended desire to fill. The forming sets everything on a trajectory towards something beyond itself.
Is it too much to suggest on this basis alone the supralapsarian tendencies of the Living God? I’ll do it anyway!
Eden is not the point. Adam is not the point. Adamic humanity is not the point. Israel and its worship is not the point. All these things are forms, intended to be filled-out by realities to which the forms themselves point but which they do not themselves contain. The intention is always to move through Eden and beyond to the New Jerusalem; through Adam and beyond to the Heavenly Man; through Israel (and its worship) and beyond to the Church of Jesus Christ.
Tellingly, this movement goes through death and out the other side to resurrection. Thus…
The day is not always bright (as it will be in the new creation). Instead it goes from darkness into light.
The tree is not first, first comes the seed (John 12:24; 1 Cor 15:37)
There are not blessings and curses for Israel as alternative present tense realities but rather the blessings come after the curse. (see Deut 4:23-31; Deut 28-29 culminating in 30:1ff).
The cross comes first and then resurrection.
The LORD makes the old covenant and then the covenant renewed. (though the new covenant reality is grasped by faith long before both old and new covenants purchased).
The LORD makes the old earth and then the earth renewed.
First comes my body of flesh and then my spiritual body. (1 Cor 15:44)
The Christian therefore knows two incontrovertible facts:
1. All things are forward-looking. The best is yet to come (let’s never yearn for Adam, for Eden, for Israel, for old covenant).
2. The path to better things is through suffering: the road to resurrection blessing always goes through the cross.
Psalm 30:5 For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favour lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
Psalm 126:6 He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.
1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.