God created the earth
The creation of heaven was discussed in the previous chapter.
This chapter concerns the creation of the earth.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)
The heavens: The spiritual, invisible world, not discernible with our senses.
The earth: The planet upon which we live, the visible world.
The apostle Paul writes:
… what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18)
The visible world is susceptible to time. Everything that happens in the visible world is temporary.
The invisible, spiritual world is not bound by time. Everything that happens in the invisible world remains forever, remains eternally.
The horizontal line indicates the separation between the two worlds:
The invisible, spiritual world, heaven, where God lives, God (3) as Father, Son and Spirit and the heavenly realms.
The visible, physical world, where the people live.
Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. (Genesis 1:2)
When God created the earth, the earth was initially shrouded in darkness and covered by water.
‘Formless and empty’ says the Bible. In Hebrew: ‘tohuw bohuw’.
Also to be translated as: without form / chaos – lying fallow.
And God’s Spirit was hovering over the waters.
God was present in this chaos by His Spirit, the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the link between God and the world, between the invisible and the visible world, between the spiritual and the physical world.
The Holy Spirit functions as God’s eyes, as 2 Chronicles 16:9 states:
For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.
God knows what is happening in this world. He knows what is happening in each person’s life.
On the first day God also created the light.
When God made the world ready, as a dwelling place for man, the first thing He said was:
“Let there be light,” and there was light. (Genesis 1:3)
It appears strange that God created light, for John writes in his letter that God IS light. (1 John 1:5)
God is light, but He is Spirit, and He lives in the invisible world. The spiritual is not directly visible in our physical world.
When God said: “Let there be light”, He created the natural phenomenon of ‘light’. This is how God became visible in this world.
God Himself illuminated the world in the first days of creation. He was visibly present in this world as The Light, until He created the sun on the fourth day.
The symbolism that God has placed in the phenomenon of ‘light’ is explained in a separate document.
God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day. (Genesis 1:4-5)
The earth was initially shrouded in darkness.
God drove the darkness out by His Presence. He determined that there would be a separation between light and darkness. Light and darkness cannot be mixed.
Light drives the darkness out. Light rules over the darkness.
God Himself gave names to light and darkness. He called light day and He called darkness night.
The second day: (Genesis 1:6-8)
On the second day God created the vault, and He separated the waters below and above the vault. God called the vault: sky.
The third day: (Genesis 1:9-13)
On the third day God caused the waters to be gathered to one place, so that dry land appeared.
He called the dry land earth; He called the waters gathered to one place seas.
God also said that plants and trees were to appear … and that happened as He said.
The fourth day: (Genesis 1:14-19)
On this day God created the sun and the moon, to illuminate the earth, to make a separation between day and night, and as a standard for time and the seasons.
Since then the earth, the visible world, has been illuminated by the sun.
He placed the sun, the biggest light, that emits light itself, in charge of the day, representing the presence of God in this world as it were.
The light of the sun cannot be extinguished.
The light of the sun can indeed shine less brightly, if it is obstructed by a cloud for example.
It even slowly disappears completely in the evening, when the sun sets. At that moment it gets dark and night falls.
He placed the moon, the smaller light, in charge of the night.
The moon does not emit any light by itself; it reflects the light of the sun and thus softens the darkness on the earth.
The darkness is driven away automatically when the sun rises again in the morning, at the beginning of the new day.
God has placed deep spiritual meaning in the sun and the moon.
Light is not only a physical phenomenon; it is of spiritual significance too.
In de Bible, light is the symbol of The Truth, in accordance with the will of God.
The apostle John writes concerning the coming of Jesus to our world:
The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. (John 1:9)
And Jesus said:
I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. (John 8:12)
While I am in the world, I am the light of the world. (John 9:5)
Jesus is the sun for our world, so that man should live in His Light, as He is in the light. (according to 1 John 1:7)
Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. (John 3:20)
Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. (1 John 2:9)
Acting, living in accordance with the will of God, is walking in the light.
Whoever does not act, live in accordance with the will of God, walks in darkness from a spiritual point of view.
Later on Jesus says to His disciples, His followers:
You are the light of the world. (Matthew 5:14)
A disciple, every follower of Jesus, has the light of Jesus within him, and has the commission to shine that light out into the world, through how he behaves and acts, just like the moon reflects the light of the sun.
The fifth day: (Genesis 1:20-23)
On this day God created everything that lives in the waters and the seas, according to their various kinds.
He gave the fish orders to fill the waters and the seas, and the birds to become numerous on the earth.
The sixth day: (Genesis 1:24-31)
On this day God gave orders that the earth was to bring forth living creatures.
This is how God created all the wild animals, cattle and animals that move along the ground, according to their various kinds.
God also said:
Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground. (Genesis 1:26)
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)
God gave orders to man to become numerous, to subject the earth, and to rule over the fish, the birds and the animals.
The creation of mankind is explained in detail in the following chapter.
At the end of the sixth day
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. (Genesis 1:31)
The seventh day: (Genesis 2:1-3)
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
God appointed the seventh day to be a day of rest in creation.
Later, when He gives the ‘Ten Commandments’ to His people, He charges them to rest on the seventh day, after having worked for six days. (Exodus 20:9 / Deuteronomy 5:13)
It is not necessary to work seven days out of seven to provide for life’s needs.
God regards the day of rest as being holy, set apart.
He will make sure that anyone who ‘only’ works six days, and rests on the seventh day, will be compensated.
Even when the people of God, the Israelites, travelled through the desert and were provided with their ‘daily bread’, the ‘manna’, by Him, He had a solution for the seventh day.
This will be explained further in the study: The seventh day – a day of rest.
This is continued in the study: God created mankind.
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God created the earth.