I am no builder or landscaper, though I have done a little of both over the years and by trial and error I completed my tasks. Yes, I made many mistakes and soon realized that without a comprehensive, stage by stage plan, what I did took longer and cost more money and time than it ought to have.
Naturally God is far different to us, but I would assume He, in the council of eternity, created a plan for creation that once put into action worked perfectly, stage by stage … or if you prefer, day by day. There were no mistakes and no redo’s. Everything slotted together perfectly and on time. We need to capture the beauty already in place … all the greenery, plants and trees. At the same time we must not forget the real purpose of creation … a home for man. The picture being created is that God loves what He is about to do so much that he is creating the perfect abode for the man he is about to create. Also remember that this man is not an afterthought to populate the planet.
Eph 1:4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
As you read these words you identify with God’s eternal love that includes love for all who would surrender to Jesus’ reign. Another way of saying this is that “God in love chose a people and He did this before creation.” He needed a place for these people and so He created planet earth. Because of love for this man who would be the pinnacle of His creation, He set out to make this planet the most beautiful, livable planet for the human beings to live on with everything necessity for survival. As we proceed with God creating, let’s not lose sight of the real purpose … and ultimately He and He alone shall receive all the glory.
Rev 4:11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”
Now we come to …
1) Day Four. Please read:
Ge 1:14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 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. 17 God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.
Here we find three movements …
(1) Lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night.
Ge 1:14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky.”
There is a compelling argument that says the sun, moon and stars were in existence from verse 3, but could not be seen. God only permitted these to be seen and observed from verses 14-18. I like the way John Calvin put it … “The only difference is this, that the light was before dispersed, but now proceeds from lucid bodies; which, in serving this purpose, obey the command of God.” Whether these “lights” were in existence in verse 3 (Day One) or whether they were created and placed into their orbits in verse 14 can be debated, but what we do now have are solar days … they … separate the day from the night.
2) They would serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years. Note the command here … let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky.
(i) Examples of signs:
(a) In relation to the magi
Mt 2:2 “We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.:
(b) In relation to Jesus’ words regarding the last days:
Lk 21:25 “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars.”
(c) In relation to the run up to the Judgment and the end of the world:
Mt 24:29 “Immediately after the distress of those days ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’”
(d) In relation to the reality of the existence of God:
Ro 1:18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 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, so that men are without excuse.
The heavenly bodies are testimonies to the truth of God and the coming Judgment.
(ii) Examples of seasons: The text says … to mark seasons. Consider things like agriculture, sea (and eventually aircraft) navigation, breeding animals, the migration of birds, planting and reaping various vegetables and fruit. In the time of Israel (as well as pagan nations) the seasons … summer, autumn, winter and spring saw various religious festivities. Today, depending on the hemisphere, we have winter holidays or summer vacations. As an example, we calculate the dates of Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday the Metonic Cycle according to which the Paschal Full Moon falls on a recurring sequence of 19 dates ranging from March 21 to April 18. Resurrection Sunday falls on the Sunday following Paschal Full Moon, which will vary beyween March 22 an April 25.
(iii) Examples of … and days and years. Grammatically, the words do not permit times for definite days or years. However, science has shown us that days are 24 hour periods and years have 365.25 days, with every fourth year being a leap year with 366 days. For our convenience the year is separated into 12 months with seasons determined by the sun, moon and its effects of our seas.
(3) Serving lights.
Gen 1:16 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. 17 God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.
Apart from the stars which are in fact suns, these two great lights that serve the earth are our sun and moon. All the signs, seasons, days and years are governed by these two great lights.
2) How ought a Christian to respond to the Zodiac system? Remember that God says in Genesis chapter 1 that the sun and moon were given for signs and seasons, days and years. Astrology is the “interpretation” of an assumed influence the stars (and planets) exert on human destiny. According to astrology, the sign you were born under, Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, or Capricorn, impacts your destiny. This is a false belief. What astrology does is a form of divination, forbidden by the Bible (Deuteronomy 18:10-14). What the sun, moon and stars ought to do is awaken man to the wonders of God in Him creating and sustaining all things as they are. God is the one who impacts our destiny! This ought to be clear through the Daily Notes we have engaged in so far in Genesis. As an example, if He chooses a people before the creation of the world, saves us in real time to be with Him in His glory in eternal time … He and He alone determines our destiny … not some manmade chart.
3) Always remember that these lights in the skies ought to cause us to think of the true light of the world, which is Jesus, who in turn says each of His followers are the light of the world. This means, like with light pushing back darkness, so the spiritual light we have through salvation needs to shine through us, pushing back spiritual darkness, exposing people to Jesus and His Gospel.
Father, help us not to be side tracked by the false comforts such as astrology which divert people’s attention from You to something fake. Help us to enjoy and appreciate Your creation such as the sun, moon and stars which You set in place to serve us as You say in the passage we studied today … and may You receive all the glory. Amen.