So far we have reviewed the first three days of creation:
- Day 1 – God brings into existence the time-space-matter elements. These are energized by the power of the Holy Spirit and take on form and energy. God sets into motion the dark and light cycle.
- Day 2 – God separates the earth based water from the water canopy above and creates the atmosphere in between. This system is the basis for the pre-sin environment which was without extreme temperatures or weather patterns.
- Day 3 – God separates the water on earth from the land on earth.
We left off at this point during the third day of creation. Also, day was one dark and light cycle as we know it now. This is what the word used in Hebrew means.
Day 3 Continued
11Then God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them"; and it was so. 12The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good. 13There was evening and there was morning, a third day.
- Genesis 1:11-13
There is a division of land and water, light and dark, now God begins to cover the earth with vegetation in order to complete the work of the third day.
Some interesting features of this act of creation:
- Genesis mentions the three main orders of plant life. There have been different divisions given by modern science but these three include the vegetation that exist:
- Vegetation/grass. Ground spreading and covering types of vegetation.
- Plants/herbs. Includes bushes and shrubs, flowers.
- Trees, fruit trees. Large woody plants including fruit trees.
- Moses also mentions "seed" and "kind" referring to the ability of vegetation to reproduce itself and not some other type. Modern research reinforces the idea that each organism has its own unique structure of DNA and can only specify the reproduction of that same kind. There is a great amount of variation within each kind but there are no new kinds. There is horizontal variation (color, style, health, form) but no vertical change (plants cannot be bred to produce animals or vice versa. Evolution says that everything comes from a common ancestor but this passage as well as observation demonstrates that each living thing has its own seed (DNA) and it reproduces after its own kind (no new kinds only variations of the original).
- The creation was done in one day but what was created was fully mature. The trees and plants as well as all other created things were made with their age built in. This explains the discrepancy in the "ages" observed by science. Something can take a certain number of years to develop to full maturity under present terms and conditions but at the beginning God called these things into existence fully matured. Various resources in the earth already locked into the earth at creation.
With the creation of the vegetation world there is the close of the third day, again the context and grammar used refers to a single dark and light cycle of what we now measure as 24 hours.
14Then God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; 15and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth"; and it was so. 16God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also. 17God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. 19There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.
- Genesis 1:14-19
Note that on the first day God said, "Let there be light," and on the fourth day He said, "Let there be lights."
At first there is intrinsic light, the electromagnetic spectrum; then there are the givers of light (Hebrew MA-OR) or light generators. Logical order is followed. At first God produces light energy which sets the dark light cycle into motion, then He creates the mechanisms that will generate light in order to keep this cycle going.
Some ask, "How do we explain the problem of light rays taking millions of years to reach the earth and the idea of a young earth?" Answer: God created the light trail then created the source. Remember the concept of a mature earth where things that evolutionists say would take millions of years to happen gradually are made in a moment by God at creation.
There are some problems in reconciling a young earth with movement and explosion of stars but the study of stars is not an exact science and we need to fold what we know about them into the creation account and not the other way around. There have been other unexplained things that seem to disprove the accuracy of the Genesis record but in time these were explained. For example, the mention of the Hittite people in Genesis 23:10. Until 1900 this reference was rejected by scholars and archeologists as mythical and people rejected Genesis because it supposedly contained false information. However once archeologists confirmed their historical existence based on their findings the Bible account was vindicated.
These lights were placed in the expanse of the heavens meaning in this context: space, not our atmosphere.
Note some interesting features of this particular part of creation:
1. Both sun and moon were light givers but not light generators. The sun generates light, the moon reflects it. The idea is that the earth is the object of God's attention. These two bodies directly serve God's primary purpose with the earth, they are not some solar fluke.
2. The Bible attaches much more importance to the sun and moon than to the other stars mentioned even though these others are bigger in size and number. The importance is not based on size but how they fit into God's plan.
3. The stars were set in place as they are now. What we see now is what Adam saw when he looked up. There have been fluctuations and stars burning, "shooting stars" which are features of the heavens that God created but essentially what we have now is what God originally put into place.
4. The heavenly bodies serve various purposes:
- They govern the day and night. The cycle of dark and light is produced by the sun and moon and the light each projects upon the earth.
- They serve to glorify God.
1The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
2Day to day pours forth speech,
And night to night reveals knowledge.
- Psalms 19:1-2
The vastness of the number and their size in comparison to us inspire us with awe and praise towards the God who made them. To study the stars and see them up close and only measure their size and what they are made of is really missing the point.
They serve in ways to define the seasons of the year.
He made the moon for the seasons;
The sun knows the place of its setting.
- Psalms 104:19
I am not sure if this refers to the period after the flood or the gravitational role of the moon on the earth's atmosphere.
- They also are used by God to give signs to man.
The sun and moon stood still as a sign that God fought for Israel against the Amorites.
12Then Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel,
"O sun, stand still at Gibeon,
And O moon in the valley of Aijalon."
13So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped,
Until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies.
- Joshua 10:12-13
A star was used to identify the birth and birthplace of Jesus
1Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, 2"Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him."
- Matthew 2:1-2
This idea has been perverted by magicians and others who try to use the position of the stars to determine the future or the character of people. God can use His creation in different ways to reveal things about Himself or the future, but man cannot find out things about the future by manipulating God or His creation. That is divination, and is condemned by God.
Once again God sees what He has made and sees no evil thing. All is good, all is in order, all is pleasing in His sight, all has been made in a single dark and light cycle.
Summary of four days
- Time, space, matter, light and dark cycle.
- Water, atmosphere, water canopy.
- Water and land separated, vegetation.
- Sun, moon, stars, in this order.
- Summarize the events that occurred on day 3 of creation from Genesis 1:9-13. What stands out about the process?
- Summarize the events that occurred on day 4 of creation from Genesis 1:14-19. What stands out about the process?
- What is the difference between the light given by the sun and the light given by the moon?
- Summarize the first four days of creation in your own words.
- How can you use this lesson to grow spiritually and help others come into a relationship with Jesus?