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God’s Day in His Creation
Succession and Images of the Creation Days
In the record of the Creation in the Bible it is written that God created the world in seven days, and that He created all animals and plants after their kind – which has been confirmed by the genes and by Mendel and his laws of genetics. Serious and accountable scientists showed in addition, that the DNA is such a highly specialized and intelligent information system packed in the smallest space, that according to modern calculation of chances it excludes completely its development by chance – it solely can have been developed and created by a highly intelligent Designer – by God.
God’s power is for us humans incredible. He could have created the earth and everything on it in one single day, even in one single hour. Why did He choose to do it in seven days? And in which succession did He create? Was there a plan behind it? And if so, what kind of plan?
In the Biblical account of the creation we can discover how God and Jesus repeatedly use their creation in images and parables to reveal something about themselves.
Day 1 – Light, Day and Night
‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was without shape and empty, and darkness was over the surface of the watery deep, but the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the water.
God said, “Let there be light.” And there was light! God saw that the light was good, so God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light ‘day’ and the darkness ‘night’. There was evening, and there was morning, marking the first day.’ (Gen 1:1-5 Net)
First, God shed the light upon the water. Based on current scientific knowledge we know that light and water are one of the foundations of life. They make this planet a blue pearl in space.
Anyone who has ever had to feel his way in complete darkness, maybe stumbling or bumping painfully against an obstacle, until he found the switch or the flashlight and the redeeming light came on, knows how important light is for us personally.
Therefore God used the light, too, to teach important spiritual truths about Him.
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.“ (Jn 8:12 Nkjv). ‘For God, who commanded light to shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.’ (2Cor 4:6 Nkjv). His ‘word is a light to my path.’ (Ps 119:105 Nkjv). And through our faith and our trust in God He transforms us into a ‘light in the world’. (s. Mt 5:14). He enlightens our beings and our thoughts, and He unites himself with us, so that we can enlighten this dark world with his light of knowledge and love.
Thus God was able to use light very well as an enlightening parable.
And thus on the first day of creation the divine light flashed upon the sparkling waters of the sea, and God separated the day from the night and the light from darkness – even though to the eyes of God also the darkness is not dark and the night shines like the day.” (i. Ps 139:11-12).
Day 2 – The Expanse of the Sky between the Waters
‘God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters and let it separate water from water.” So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. It was so. God called the expanse ‘sky’. There was evening, and there was morning, a second day.’(Gen 1:6-8 Net)
This ‘expanse of the sky’, the atmosphere, envelopes the earth like a protective and life-giving skin. Before the great flood, there must have been also a protective layer of water above the atmosphere. Both together including further factors resulted in those times in a consistently warm climate on earth. Today the atmosphere and the water still work harmoniously together with their cycles to make life possible on earth. It is still an amazing work of God. For example, studied men have tried to explain the formation of clouds by dust particles in the air, but in reality this process is still a bit of a mystery. We do not know. But we shall know that a wise God is behind everything and keeps everything going.
Heaven eventually became for us humans a synonym for something that is indescribably beautiful. And it became a term for the place where God dwells. Therefore Jesus said, “One is your Father, He who is in heaven“, (Mt 23:9 Nkjv), and also “I have come down from heaven“, (Jn 6:38 Nkjv), and thus ‘the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ (Mt 10:7 Nkjv). Therefore we have heaven on earth, if we become aware of God's presence.
Jesus also used water as an impressive picture to explain how He gives life: “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.“ (Jn 4:14 Nkjv). And in the future when according to the accounts of the Bible God has created the earth anew there will be ‘a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God.’ (Rev 22:1 Nkjv).
God describes himself as being ‘the fountain of living waters’, (Jer 2:13 Nkjv), since He is the source of all life. He keeps life on earth going. He sends the clouds and the dew, He forms billions of snow crystals, of which not one is like the other. From Him came the miracle of sky and water with their unparalleled and diverse characteristics. And He uses those elements of the creation not only to keep us alive, but to explain to us in descriptive illustrations that He fills us with life like the air and the water.
Day 3 – Land and Plants
‘God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place and let dry ground appear.” It was so. God called the dry ground ‘land’ and the gathered waters he called ‘seas’. God saw that it was good.
God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: plants yielding seeds according to their kinds, and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds.” It was so. The land produced vegetation – plants yielding seeds according to their kinds, and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. God saw that it was good. There was evening, and there was morning, a third day.’(Gen 1:9-13 Net)
Until this 3rd day the entire planet was covered by a single ocean, but now on the 3rd day God brought forth the land with its plants. Earth and rocks contain treasures by their crystals and trace elements, and even the fertile soil is worth gold.
An even greater miracle is the kingdom of plants! Each plant has its own meaningful structure. Their entire functions, roles and relationships in nature are still not fully explored. They also provide us food and beauty at the same time. The existence of the flowers has been explained by the fact that they attract insects – which is true – but it would not have been necessary for fertilization. This has been demonstrated, for example, by grasses and plants which are pollinated by the wind. God could have created the cycles of life without colors and scents. But He chose beauty to do it in order to give it as a gift to us and to turn our thoughts to Him the Designer and Artist of all beauty.
Jesus himself repeatedly pointed to these elements of the earth and in order to embed illustrative wisdom into the minds of his listeners by explaining for example: “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field.“ (Mt 13:44 Nkjv). And ‘trust in the Lord forever, for in God we have an everlasting Rock’, (Is 26.4 Nasb), ‘and that Rock was Christ.’ (1Cor 10:4 Nasb).
Furthermore ‘the kingdom of God is like a mustard seed, which grew and became a tree.’ (Lk 13.18-19 Nasb). Also in Eden and on the new earth there is ‘the tree of life, yielding its fruit every month.’ (Rev 22:2 Nasb). God promised, ‘I am going to bring in my servant the Branch.’ (Zech 3:8 Nasb). Jesus truly came as the promised Branch and said, “I am the true vine, you are the branches; he who abides in me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.“ (Jn 15:1,5 Nasb). But we who believe ‘will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.’ (Is 61:3 Nasb).
If we walk through nature or into our garden, all these things will remind us of what God wants to tell us. On every unfolding petal He has written his love for us.
Day 4 – Celestial Bodies
‘God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them be signs to indicate seasons and days and years, and let them serve as lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” It was so. God made two great lights – the greater light to rule over the day and the lesser light to rule over the night. He made the stars also. God placed the lights in the expanse of the sky to shine on the earth, to preside over the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. God saw that it was good. There was evening, and there was morning, a fourth day.’ (Gen 1:14-19 Net)
Each of these celestial bodies and stars is amazing, as well as the order by which they are all moving in balance. Considering that the earth races at a speed of thirty kilometers per second through space – a hundred times faster than a bullet fired from a gun barrel – then one may wonder which strong forces must exist between the planets to keep them on their orbits. By now we know also that the moon by its gravity has a vital influence on the earth. And even the place of our solar system in our Milky Way galaxy is exactly where it needs to be in order to support life and science. Everything on earth, in the solar system, in the Milky Way and even in the universe is so finely tuned and in balance with one other that it excludes any coincidence. Whenever we humans looked up to this starry firmament we were moved and astonished. It reveals to us the greatness and power of our God, but also his accuracy He created everything by from the smallest atom to the endless universe, and how He maintains its order.
In the 4th day of creation we also recognize another order, embedded in the succession of the creation days. On the 1st day God separated light and darkness. With the day and the night He created the foundation which now, on the 4th day, He ‘filled’ with the stars and celestial bodies.
These celestial bodies He uses again as pictures which point to Him. Jesus is called our ‘Sun of Righteousness’ and the ‘bright Morning Star’. (Mal 4:2; Rev 22:16 Nkjv). God has a plan with everything He created, a plan that is meant to point us to Him and to show us that He is the foundation of our lives.
By looking up to the glittering world of the stars – and thus to a universe which is so huge that it is beyond our imagination – we seem to be small in view of the greatness and the creative power of God ... but much more it shall make us courageous. For He who is so mighty to bring an entire universe into existence, has also the power to work positively in our lives and on our hearts. No difficulty is so big that He could not solve it. As unmatched powerful He is as unmatched kind is He as well. May his love raise our responding love, since ‘those who love God, are like the sun rising in its glory’, (i. Judg 5:31), and ‘those who are wise shall shine like the stars forever and ever.’ (Dan 12:3 Nkjv). He who keeps the stars in their orbits holds also our lives in his strong hands.
Day 5 – Animals of the Water and Birds
‘God said, “Let the water swarm with swarms of living creatures and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” God created the great sea creatures and every living and moving thing with which the water swarmed, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds multiply on the earth.” There was evening, and there was morning, a fifth day.’ (Gen 1:20-23 Net)
The abundance and variety of animals He created here can’t be estimated. Alone the feather is a miracle of construction unmatched by men’s workings. It is lightweight, flexible, yet stable. Its structure consists of individual fibers with a 'Velcro' fastening of hooks and rails, so that the fibers bond together, hold tightly together and yet remain flexible. Alone this design would make an ‘origin by chance’ dependent on such an amount of coincidences that it excludes coincidence and chance. And we are speaking now of but a feather, which is just one part of the composition of a bird, whose perfect interaction of its entire body systems allows it to fly. Similar is the case of the design of a fish or a whale which are perfectly adapted to a life in water.
For us humans, it is usually impressive when we think of whales which by their blue whale species with its 30 meters of length is the biggest animal that ever existed, or if we watch an eagle fly. But for God it was no problem to create it all on one single day. It reminds us of Him being able to care for us too. He carries us like an eagle carries its chicks, (s. Deut 32:11), and ‘those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles.’ (Is 40:31 Nasb). God uses the dove as a symbol for the Holy Spirit, who descends on us from heaven, speaks to us through our conscience and changes us positively, so that we too become ‘as pure as doves’. (i. Lk 3:21-22; Mt 10:16). In addition, ‘the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea, and gathering fish of every kind.’ (Mt 13:47 Nasb). In the same way God wants to draw us to himself and gather us in his family since He longs for us. And Jesus tells us, that even if small sparrows ‘fall to the ground” and die, ‘not one of them is forgotten before God.’ And ‘you are more valuable than any sparrow’, so much more valuable to God. (Mt 10:29,31; Lk 12:6-7 Nasb).
And God shows us also with this creation day the special order in his creation account. On the 2nd day He created the sky and thus separated the waters above the skies from the water on earth. He created the foundations, the habitats which He now populated on the 5th day with the corresponding animals. He doesn’t create meaninglessly, He creates with meaning, He has a plan ... also for our lives.
Day 6 – Animals of the Land and Man
‘God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: cattle, creeping things, and wild animals, each according to its kind.” It was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the cattle according to their kinds, and all the creatures that creep along the ground according to their kinds. God saw that it was good.’ (Gen 1:24-25 Net)
The diversity of land animals and their current adaptation to the diverse habitats is also enormous. Alone among mammals there can be found everything from hippos spending much of their lives in and under water, through the mole living almost exclusively under the surface of the soil, to the bat that spends a good deal of its life in the air; from the polar bear in the icy snow desert, to the Oryx antelope in the hot sand desert; from the diurnal elephants which see but little at night, to the nocturnal small dormice with their big eyes seeing everything at night. If we consider in addition the myriads of reptiles, insects, mollusks and everything else that moves on and in the soil, it would fill libraries to no end.
People fly to the moon, but still haven’t discovered all the species of animals, let alone researched them.
God devised the animals with attention to detail and brought it to existence. If we respect them and do not make them suffer for our pleasure in food, but treat them with compassion, then we also honor and respect the Creator. God wants to lead us away from indifference to the point, where we in his own conscientiousness take care of the animals which He entrusted to us. Repeatedly God says in the Bible that He cares about the animals and feeds them. (for example In Ps 147:9).
Even far more, He cares self-sacrificingly for us – in the true sense of the word. Since ‘the Lamb of God’ who has been sacrificed is Jesus himself, (Jn 1:29 Nkjv), and He says about it, “I am the good shepherd, and I lay down my life for the sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them.“ (Jn 10:14-15,27-28 Nasb).
‘Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness.” The Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.’ So ‘God created man in his own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.“ (Gen 1:26; 2:7,18,21- 1:24;27- 28 Nasb)
‘God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.’ (Gen 1:31 Nasb)
God designed human beings as something so special, that no other being in the whole universe is like them. They are unique. Alone the human body is in many ways still unexplored and a mystery. With every newly discovered detail of bodily functions even more astonishing mysteries come to light.
And not just this, God has given to us humans free will. He loves us beyond words, but He does not force us arbitrarily in order to keep us. Love is only love when it is given voluntarily. It was the greatest act God was able to do: to let go of his power by leaving it to his children to decide for themselves. By this He created the risk to lose ... but also the possibility to gain so much more if a person chooses voluntarily to love Him.
We can hardly imagine how much God invested in creating human beings. He already knew at that time what the salvation of mankind would cost Him. But He did not spare the cost.
And also by the way man was created, God laid the foundation for a revelation of himself – since He fashioned them as man and woman who unite to become one. Even this God had planned with a specific idea. He uses it as an illustration to show us: He wants to be joined to us like a bridegroom to his bride. (s. Is 62:5). He promises to us, “I will betroth you to me in loving kindness and in compassion. Then you will know the Lord.“ (Hos 2:19-20 Nasb).
And He truly has united himself visibly and forever with us humans ... since Jesus became a man, He became the ‘Son of Man’. (i. Acts 7.56).
And now also on that 6th day of creation God had filled with living beings the foundation He had prepared on the 3rd day. He had populated the land with the animals of the land and with man. And He looked at everything He had created, and it was very good.
However, creation was not yet complete. Something important was still missing.
Day 7 - God’s blessed Day
‘Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh Day God completed his work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh Day from all his work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh Day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all his work which God had created and made. This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven.’ (Gen 2:1-4 Nasb)
Creation was not yet finished when everything had been created. It was only on the 7th Day – on which God basically did not create anything – that the creation was completed. What is so special about this Day – the Sabbath – that the creation could be only completed by this Day?
When God gave the Sabbath as a Day of rest, it was for the two humans counted from the time of their existence merely the 2nd day. It really was solely God’s 7th Day. With this Day, however, He wanted to give us more than just a day of rest. He wants to remind us of something to impress it on our hearts like a seal. And it is so fundamentally important to Him, that He used that Day as the completion of his creation, since with the Sabbath He created an image which reveals to us his mystery.
God says of it, “I gave them my Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and me, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them.“ (Ezek 20:12 Nkjv). “You shall be holy to me, for I the Lord am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine.“ (Lev 20:26 Nkjv). Yes, He ‘gave himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good deeds.’ (Tit 2:14 Nasb).
The Sabbath is the sign of God’s covenant for the bond between God and man. It is God who gave himself for us, who changes us, makes us whole and sanctifies us, which means, He has selected us and chosen us as something special. God has also selected the Sabbath to sanctify it and to make it something special.
Already with illustrations taken from the other creation days, He indicated that He wants to be together with us humans. The visible realization of his desire was fulfilled on this last Day when He set this Day aside to dedicate it to the communion with men. Therefore the Sabbath as the finish of the creation days is really the culmination and completion. It is the summit of creation, since on this 7th Day He gave to men the most precious one there is in the universe ... He gave himself to them – and this reveals also his humbleness and meekness. Thus this Day is still today the expression of what God is longing for: He desires to have a personal and close relationship with you.
God is the foundation of all life. And true love, as it is God's very own nature, wants to give. ‘God is love’. (1Jn 4:16 Nkjv). He did not only have it written down in his Word, He ever lived it, He acts it out. He became a man, united himself inseparably with us humans and gave his life for mankind to free them from their guilt and their enslavement, and to give them eternal life as a gift.
No other day can express it the way the Sabbath Day does it on which God dedicated himself to man and gave himself to them. He rested with them, and peace enters also our restless hearts ... in this loving and trusting relationship with God our Creator and Father.
The Order in the Creation Days
When God in the first 3 days separated the light from the night, the sky from the waters and brought forth the land with its plants, He created the foundations and habitats for the next 3 days. The 1st day was the foundation for the 4th day when God filled day and night with the celestial bodies; the 2nd day was the foundation for the 5th day when He filled the water with living beings and the sky with birds; and the 3rd day was the foundation for the 6th day when He populated the land with land animals and formed man from the soil. They all live and exist on the foundations He had created before, likewise He himself as our Creator is the foundation of life, who supports everything. And with the 7th Day as a completion, finally God, the Creator, embraced everything by giving himself to be with man, in order to be united with them. This is the summit.
Considering this particular succession of the creation days, we see that God did not create indiscriminately. He had a plan, and we can recognize a particular pattern in this succession, an order, a system that makes sense.
God’s Day in the Light of His Creation
This specific order with the number 7 reminds us in addition of something else: of the 7-branched lampstand which stood in God’s Sanctuary. And as much as this lampstand gives light as much the creation days with their pictures shed light on God’s character until with the 7th Day as a summit it is shown visibly what God's goal, purpose and desire is: his fellowship with us.
© 2014, Jaimée M. Seis
The Text is an excerpt of the book ’God’s Day reveals His Mystery in His Light’,
Information on the Book in the menu ’Information’ under ’Books’
Explanations on Bible versions and on abbreviations and signs in Bible texts and verse declarations are in the menu ’Information’ under ’Particulars’