John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
This is probably the most quoted scripture in the Bible. I believe it is often quoted without much thought to the meanings of each part. I want to take each part and do a little explanation on it.
For God so loved the world.– The crowning glory of Gods creative work was creating man out of the dust of the earth. Every other creative act was done in preparation for the creation of man.
The first creative act was to separate the light from darkness. The benefit for man was a measured time of twenty four hours because man would be created with a need to keep track of time. How else could man tell how old he is and without time, man would miss a lot of birthday cake and ice cream.
We see that God separated the firmament from the firmament. Upon further explanation we find that waters were separated from waters. Because of this act, we have the waters that we call oceans, lakes, rivers and streams. We also have the moisture in the heavens that brings us refreshing rain to cleanse the earth and to water the vegetation so man can grow vegetables and fruits.
God gathered the waters that were under heaven together and dry land appeared. This was now a place where man to live and work. We find the beginning of man and his evening walk or stroll with his live mate, his wife in the garden of Eden. Here man and wife walked with God in the cool of the evening. They talked and spent wonderful leisurely time together. God knew that man would need this personal time with the two love of mans life, his wife and God.
God now brings forth the vegetation. This is the third day of creation and the first mention of grass. But God goes on to mention the herb and the fruit tree. God created purple hull peas so that man would acquire purple thumbs from shelling these delicious morsels. We also have the delicious okra that is so tantalizing when it is fried and yet slimy for those odd ducks that like it pickled. God gave us melons of many different kinds and an amazing selection of corn to tickle our taste buds. This corn can be ground to coat our okra and make it so appetizing. God has overwhelmed man with the delicious varieties of foods created for mans consumption. Peaches were hung on a tree and man found out they were delicious. They had a natural blush that was so appealing that man could not resist making homemade peach ice cream. Oh yes the grass. God gave us the grass. God did not give us lawn mowers. How did man begin mowing grass? Satan had a plan. Man became so fearful of snakes which hid in the grass that man began cutting grass so that sneaky snake, as Tom T. Hall calls this reptile and sings about, so that sneaky snake could not sneak up behind you and drink all your root beer. This grass mowing caused a competition from neighbors. How creative can I be in cutting my grass so that it looks more appealing than the neighbors. This brought envy into the neighborhood and now man spends more time in the evening trying to cut his grass in a manner that looks more beautiful than the neighbors and spends less time walking with God in the cool of the evening. This is Satan’s great diversion.
The fourth day, God gives man a calendar. Man becomes a slave to time. When God divided night form day by creating the greater light, the sun and the lesser light the moon, he gave us a time to work and a time to rest. God also gave man the ability to mark time. Since man created a calendar, he has been busy trying to fill it up with what he considers pleasurable activities. Man has succumbed to this beautiful creation of God that he now worships what God created instead of the Creator. Man has filled his calendar with golf, sports, mowing grass, piano lessons, and school activities so much that there is not room for God on the calendar.
I have to make special mention of the stars here. They were created by God. They twinkle as an allurement to young people to go star gazing. This is an innocent activity for people to find shapes in the alignment of the stars. Stars are also used to plot a course for great ships at night. Of course we do know that young lovers spark and plot a course for life while sky gazing at night under the stars. These guiding lights lead men. A bright star lead the wise men to Jesus. How beautiful they are and God hung each and everyone in heaven for man.
God then created all the creatures in the waters. My don’t we love fishes big and small. We love them so much, we bring the little ones into our homes and put them in aquariums so that we can talk to them as we feed them. We will spend several thousand dollars to ride in a huge ocean liner to watch whales swim and porpoises jump out of the water. The best for the southerner is the fried catfish. This has created an explosion of restaurants that cater to the consumer that wants good fried catfish. Another delicacy of the south that has to be served where catfish is revered and consumed is the hush puppy. That is a deep fried morsel created out of corn meal. Here I am with my mouth watering because God loves me so much he created fried catfish and hush puppies.
I do have to mention the fowls of the air. The depth of love that God has for man is evident in one particular fowl called the chicken. It is a Baptist essential. Chicken is represented at every Baptist potluck. When the pastor in invited to come and dine, there will be fried chicken served. Have you noticed, there is not a live chicken around a Baptist church building. Baptist have enabled two great chicken processing businesses in our nation to employ thousands of people in raising and processing chickens for Baptists to consume.
God then created the beasts of the field. God loves truly loves us. Cows give us milk to drink and steaks to eat. Here is the cornerstone of a manly diet. Meat. From roasts to ribs to steaks, this is the foundation of a healthy diet. God has given us hogs. Ham sandwiches and pork chops are so savory, they have caused many to over indulge. Then there is the enticing and alluring bacon. God has gone above and beyond with tantalizing bacon. God truly loves us.
Now that God has prepared everything necessary for man to inhabit the earth. He kneels down and draws together the dust of the earth and forms man. You notice that this kind of attention was not given to any of the other creative acts. He kneels in the dust and forms man. Here is the intimate moment. From the lips of God to the lips of man, God breathed.
God breathed life into man.
GOD TRULY LOVES MANKIND.