Time for the liveblog through the creation account!
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
I love this story. It has such incredible imagery. I picture God as a grand conductor, standing at his podium, raising his hands, and beginning the symphony of creation. One of my favorite stories when I was young was The Phantom Tollbooth by Norman Juster. In that book, Juster describes a conductor orchestrating a sunrise. You can hear someone reading the passage here (skip to 9:45 for the symphony, although the whole thing is grand). This imagery makes Genesis come alive to me. God is the ultimate artist.
6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse[a] in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7 And God made[b] the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. 8 And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.
It is completely clear to me why the ancients would have seen the world like this, with water above the sky (the sky is blue, after all, and rain comes from the sky) and the water below the sky (the ocean, wells, springs… it makes sense, it really does). I wonder how it would have felt, living like this, believing that you were in a life-sustaining bubble of air surrounded by water. Interesting thought.
9 And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. 11 And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.
This is the first time I’ve noticed that this day lumps vegetation in with the creation of dry land, rather than placing it with the creation of animals and earthbound life on the sixth day. it would seem that in ancient Hebrew culture plant life was not considered real life at all – definitely flies in the face of animists who see a unique spirit in every tree. Regardless, it was good – This is more than just beautiful – this is GOOD by the standard of God. That’s powerful.
That’s it for now – tomorrow we will visit days 4, 5, and 6 before starting the more in-depth look.