In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
I. VARIOUS KINDS OF BEGINNINGS.
1. Some beginnings are thoroughly evil, and their evil nature is beyond dispute. To begin to steal, however small the theft; to begin to lie, however trifling the falsehood; to begin selling things for what they are not, and by false weight and measure, however the deception may escape discovery; to begin to swear, however silent the oath may be kept; to begin dissolute practices, however trimly they may be dressed up.
2. Other beginnings are innocent, but such as are easily turned into an evil course. One begins to take proper recreation, and ends in a pleasure seeking, self-indulgent, idle, undutiful habit.
3. Other beginnings are a mixture of good and evil. It is undoubtedly well that a drunkard should become a total abstainer; but it is not an unmixed good when with his abstention he mingles self-righteous pride and unjust reflections on others.
4. Moreover, there are good beginnings whose good character is complete and unquestionable. It is always good to set ourselves, for Christ's sake, to do honestly, to work diligently, to show mercy, to pray believingly, to help and succour, and sympathize with one another. Every really Christian beginning is an entire good.
II. HOW BEGINNINGS ARE MADE.
1. Bad beginnings are made without forethought and resolve, without definite intention, choice, and premeditation; in a word, heedlessly.
2. Good beginnings are made with forethought, and election, and predetermination. "What shall I do with my life?" is a question for every man who would be right minded.
(1) Good beginnings are made in the light. An enlightened choice is a first requisite.
(2) Good beginnings are made with worthy ends in view.
(3) Good beginnings are to be made earnestly. If our desire is for the beginning of the goodness of God in our characters, it is a desire which shames sloth.
(J. E. Gibberd.)
Parallel VersesKJV: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.