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November 14, 2017 / Pastor George Fike

Twinkle, twinkle

Tenth in the series Adam to Abraham

And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day. Genesis 1:14-19

Day 4

What the hey!? The sun not there until 3 days after the light? What’s going on here?

OK. Here it is in a nutshell…

  • Cosmologically, despite the appearance of light on Day One, it was not until Day Four that the earth’s atmosphere finally condensed the right amount of water from vapor to liquid so that the atmosphere cleared enough to be able to see the sun by day and the moon and stars by night. This is a scientifically satisfactory explanation. It matches up with observable physics.
  • Allegorically, it begins a poetic narrative that makes sense as well.  In the first four days, God prepared the kingdoms: sky, sea, land; and in the second two, He established the kings of those domains. Here, on Day Four, He crowned the sun to rule the day and the moon to rule the night. Like so:
    • Day 1                                        Day 4
      • Day and Night                       Sun and Moon
    • Day 2                                        Day 5
      • Sky and Sea                           Sea Creatures and Birds
    • Day 3                                         Day 6
      • Land and Plant life              Beasts and Man

Please understand me: an assertion that Genesis 1 might be an allegory does not dismiss its place as literal history. After all, much of the Old Testament’s prophesies regarding the coming of Christ and the establishment of the new covenant were rooted in the history of the Exodus. God’s deliverance in the time of Moses was instructive to the prophets of old.  We only understand Jesus “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” in remembering the sacrifice of the lambs at the original Passover.  As a child, I learned a poem that started “In fourteen hundred and ninety-two Columbus sailed the ocean blue…” It was a poem, but not simply a poem; it taught me an accurate historical fact. Sometimes we get caught up in our limited viewpoints that we cannot see the validity of other perspectives. Genesis 1 can be seen as poem that presents an historical sequence of events. It’s a poem, it’s an allegory, it’s an historical narrative… it’s 100% truth.

You can see them as happening in 24-hour days. I don’t care. I see them as long periods of preparatory activity. I hope you don’t care. The point is: NO ONE WAS AROUND TO SEE THE MIRACLES OF CREATION! Who cares how much time God took? Seriously.

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:8-9

I will rant about God’s timing in a future post, so I’ll leave it with you for now. Suffice it to say, God planted us in a home with a beautiful view of this massive universe, specially designed so that we would have plenty of time and evidence to come to know and trust His provision and enter a relationship with our Creator.

…What may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made… Romans 1:19-20

When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them? Psalm 8:3-4

“To whom will you compare me?
    Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.
Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
    Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
    and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
    not one of them is missing.

Why do you complain, Jacob?
    Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
    my cause is disregarded by my God”?
Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:25-31

Despite the inaccuracies and fictional fantasies of the movie Noah, I still love the creation narrative from this scene. See you next time.

Speaking of the “sun that rules our day,” check out this new discovery.


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