the earth and the destruction portrayed in Genesis 1:2. The long-suffering of God waits far beyond the limits of human patience (1 Peter 3:20; Romans 9:22). All we know for certain is that failure, utter and complete and instantaneous, fell upon this original plan of the Almighty, and left nothing but a waste of dark waters, and a company of devilish angels under the malignant wing of the great Betrayer of his God and Creator and Friend. How long these dark waters remained frozen and desolate we know not; of the thoughts of Michael and Gabriel as they gazed upon the colossal tragedy we know nothing. It was the beginning of the "Mystery of God", not to be unveiled until the Light of the World brought with Him from Heaven the secrets of His Father's heart. (Romans 16:25‑27).

But, if there was as yet no answer to these great problems, certain facts stood out clearly enough:—

(a) That the success of God's great Creation did not depend solely upon God. When He had done all things well, it was still in the power of His creatures to wreck their own happiness. In other words the problem of the will was exposed in all its nakedness. Not even the Almighty could secure the happiness of those who were determined to live at enmity with Him and each other, and break the laws of life laid down by the Creator of life.

(b) That wisdom and power were not by themselves able to guarantee success. Lucifer was perfect in wisdom and full of power, but through pride and selfishness corrupted that wisdom and misused that power to serve his own ends, as did Solomon in his latter days.

(c) That in the end selfishness always leads to violence, and so to fear and misery.

These three lessons, so clearly shown in Ezekiel 28, have been taught and retaught as the ages of history have unfolded