Genesis

Genesis 1:14-19 The Fourth Day-Sun, Moon, And Stars.

There is an interesting format which Moses followed with these following days of the creation order. On the first day God created light in the midst of darkness, and in so doing He differentiated the day from the night so that we read that this was “the first day” (v. 5). Now he informs us that God created the lights, sun, moon, and stars as instruments of governance to divide the day from the night. The shining of the sun would light and mark out the day and the moon the night (vv. -14-16). Moreover, they would also “be for signs and seasons, and for days and years” (v. 14) In other words, they went beyond any single day to the establishment of an order of day and night and ultimately to be not only the beginning of time but the very instruments to demarcate the course of history. So not only did they provide light to govern both day and night, they would serve as signs that would forever point, like the arms of a clock, to the progress of history as long as the earth should endure.

On this fourth day Moses starts his parallel of days four through six, with days one through three, to reveal to us what it is that governs the elements of the spheres which He first created on those beginning days. With this revelation we have the beginnings of the biblical philosophy of many things. Of the philosophy of time and history we see a number of key points. First of all, God created both. Secondly, He created time and history as linear. He could have created all things in an instant, but instead He chose to create with a progressive plan, wherein everything He made would have a place in His plan and purposes. Thirdly, He did not create time without history-the two are inseparable. Life goes forward not simply in a series of repeating days. These days are also part and parcel of larger seasons and years (Cf. Ps. 104:19-20). In creating the instruments of historical governance, God revealed to us that history would not only progress, but it would also have seasons and years.

Fourthly, all that had been created up to this fourth day would now pass through these days, seasons, and years, including the seeds of fruitfulness and multiplication that we find on day three. Fifthly, in that “he made the stars also,” he fashioned time and history beyond a year or two. He has ordained them for their place and purpose (Ps. 8:3). Some are even designated “morning stars” (Job 38:7). On the sixth day Adam and Eve could look up at the stars and their descendants might one day see that many are light years away. The stars were countless in number, at least to Abraham (Gen. 15:5), symbolic of the seed of promise, as well as the promise of its preservation (Jer. 31:35-36).  But to God one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years a day (Cf. Ps. 90:4; II Pet. 3:8), and on this fourth day of creation He created the stars and gave them their place-in time and space. Finally, in all these things we see God’s wisdom displayed, and in this work of creation we also see His mercy (Ps. 136:4-9; Pr. 8:22-31).

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