So far we have discussed the events of the first day of creation:
- There has been a debate whether God created angels before He began to create the universe or if He did it on the first day. There is no way of knowing for sure. Here is what we do know:
- Angels are created beings, they are spiritual in nature (Matthew 22:30).
- They were present when the earth was being formed (Job 38:4-7).
- Satan was cast down with other rebellious angels when they disobeyed God. We do not have information about what this disobedience was but since they were originally created to minister to and perhaps it was a refusal to minister to man that sent them down and provoked Satan's hatred of man and subsequent temptation (II Peter 2:4) or they left their original positions (Jude 6).
In the last lesson I said that they may have been created during this first day but as others have mentioned, there is equal evidence that they may have been created before this as well. Either way they were present when God created the universe on the first day.
- God brings into existence the time-space-matter elements without form or energy or light.
- These are energized by the power of the Holy Spirit and take on form and energy.
- God creates the basis for light which is the electromagnetic spectrum.
- He sets into motion the dark and light cycle which has remained night and day cycle which we experience to this day.
We also discussed the idea that YOM, the Hebrew word for day means one day, one 24 hour period and not an age or indefinite period of time.
So this first day of creation, a night and day cycle, approximately 10,000 years ago is what Genesis describes as the beginning of our world, attacked and ridiculed by evolutionists and some scientists, but as their theories change to accommodate new findings (no "big bang", more than one "big bang"), our model (creation) remains constant withstanding all investigation and criticism throughout the ages.
6Then God said, "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters." 7God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so. 8God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.
- Genesis 1:6-8
In simple terms we usually say that God created the sky on the second day. This is true but what is happening here is a feature of the pre-sin world which no longer is part of our world.
Vs. 6 – The term "expanse" means spread out or thinners. In verse 8 it says that He called this space "heaven." In the Bible the word heaven is used to describe three different places depending on context:
- The atmosphere, clouds, etc. (Jeremiah 4:25)
- The stars and planets, space (Isaiah 13:10)
- The "place" where God is, where His throne resides (Hebrews 9:24)
The term firmament is used in the same way (atmosphere or space) depending on the context. In this passage, the firmament or heaven, refers to the atmosphere.
So what happens now is that God creates the unique atmosphere that permits life on earth and separates two bands of water, one above and one below the atmosphere.
The waters under the firmament would be the water on and under the earth. The waters above the firmament would be a special water vapor canopy that would provide the unique environment that existed in the pre-flood world of Adam and Eve.
Liquid water on the earth; gaseous atmosphere; water vapor above the atmosphere.
The thing that many of us forget is that the world we live in now is very different from the world that God created. Not only different from a moral perspective but also different from an ecological and environmental perspective as well.
God has not yet formed the water on the earth into anything. He has established the earth's atmosphere and the vapor canopy which, according to Dr. H. Morris, would give the earth and its first inhabitants a special environment which would have special features:
- It would maintain a uniform and warm temperature, like a greenhouse.
- With uniform temperatures there would be no windstorms like tornadoes.
- No rain except over bodies of water where evaporation occurs directly.
- Proper temperature would permit proper humidity and moisture which would create lush vegetation and no desert.
- The canopy would act as a filter for ultraviolet, cosmic and other destructive energies from space which are the source cause of cancers and other mutations that cause death.
- Modern biomedical research has shown that higher barometric pressure created by such a water vapor canopy would promote better health and decrease the susceptibility to disease.
Now this same water canopy that provided the earth with such advantages was later used by God to destroy the earth in the great flood. In Genesis 7:11, it says that the water to flood the earth came from two sources: the flood gates of the deep (underground rivers) and the floodgates of the sky (the water canopy was dissolved).
Scientists tell us that if all the water from the present atmosphere were to descend on the earth, there would be enough to cover the entire earth with one inch of water, not enough to cause the flood. However, if the water vapor is dissolved we now have enough water and an explanation as to the change in the weather and ecological pattern that the world experiences today.
- Very different temperatures.
- Wild climates caused by massive air currents.
- Rain and its problems.
- Desert, droughts, etc.
- The development of disease, mutations, death through illness not caused directly by man.
- Shortened lifespan to 75 years rather than the 700 to 1,000 years directly before the flood.
This is the end of day 2 with the creation of the atmosphere and separation of the water mass on earth and the water vapor canopy above the atmosphere.
9Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
10Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers.
- Genesis 1:9-10
I begin day number three because it naturally brings to a conclusion God's activity with the water properties of the earth. There is order in how God divides the elements to form creation:
- Light from darkness on day 1.
- Waters above from those below the heavens (atmosphere) on day 2.
- Now dry land from the waters below the atmosphere on day 3.
By the language in these verses we believe that the composition of the land and seas was not at this time the same as it is today. The flood changed not only the atmosphere, weather, etc. but also changed the arrangement of the canopy, atmosphere, seas, land as it was arranged then was the ideal manner to promote human life, not as it is organized now.
We will stop here and continue with the next part of day 3 in our next lesson. Here are a couple lessons from these passages:
1. God knows what is best for us.
He carefully designed the world so we would not suffer from sinus headaches or cancer, etc. In this fallen world we should trust and obey Him to know what is best for us.
2. It is okay to pray about the weather.
God gave careful consideration to the matters of wind, rain, heat and cold. He has not changed and continues to have power over these. It is okay to praise Him for a beautiful morning and appeal to Him to control bad and damaging weather. Maybe we are not praying enough about it! Too much rain coming down because not enough prayers are going up.
3. Why doubt such an awesome God?
Look at what He does without effort. Why do we ever doubt His care or ability or willingness to help, to save, to provide?
- Summarize the main elements of the Genesis creation account from Genesis 1:1-5.
- Summarize the events of day 2 of the Genesis creation account (Genesis 1:6-8).
- How does the world we live in today differ from the world at the time of creation?
- Summarize the events of day 3 in the Genesis creation account (Genesis 1:9-10) and state the importance of this.
- How can you use this lesson to grow spiritually and help others come into a relationship with Jesus?