Friday, February 19, 2010

The Fourth Day of Creation

Day Four is one of my favourites.  It has a phrase that just blows me away.  We will get there, but first, let us consider what was created.

In contrast to Day One, when God said, "Let there be light," the Bible says, "And God said, 'Let there be lights . . .'"  I find it interesting that until Day Four, the light that was created before had no real source.  It was not emanating from anything, unless, as I mentioned, it came from God himself, but it seems as though the light is separate from him. Here God gives a source to the light.  The two principle ones, of course, being the Sun (the "greater light") and the Moon (the "lesser light").

So what is the phrase that knocks me off my feet?  It is only five words, which indicate the other things that God made on this particular day. The Bible says simply, "He also made the stars."

Have you ever considered the amount of material that is included in those five words?  For about 5,600 years, man thought that all those lights were mostly the same - glowing specks of luminosity helping him find his way around at night.  Galileo was one of the first to be able to differentiate between stars, planets and moons, which he did shortly after the invention of the telescope.  It has been only within the last few decades, however, that we have been able to get a good look at what was created on Day Four.  When we look up and see a "star", it could be a planet, star, galaxy or even a cluster of galaxies, each with billions of stars.  Furthermore, advanced telescopes such as the Hubble have sent back incredible images of deep space, and some of the wonders of the magnitude of the creation of God.

What surprises me is the understatement.  You would think that such an impressive display of creative majesty might deserve more than five words, but that is all that it gets.  It is as if Adam was writing down the events as God had explained before the Fall.  He got the part about "moving on the face of the waters," and "everything after its kind," followed by the greater and lesser lights.  Perhaps at that point he had writer's block, and could not remember what came next.  So he yells to the kitchen, where Eve is washing the dishes, "Honey, what else did God say He created on day 4?"  Eve replies, "Did you mentioned the stars?" Adam slaps his forehead, "Oh, yeah, thanks," and writes, "He also made the stars."

Perhaps the explanation has something to do with the way God relates to us.  I am not sure that he ever boasts about his works for the sake of boasting.  Obviously, he does tell us many times of the things he has done, but with a purpose - to let us know that he is with us, that he cares, that he is able to deal with whatever problem we might be facing. Based on what he has done before, we can trust him with the issues we are facing now, as well as the ones to come.

Describing this truth is truly beyond my ability.  Loui Giglio has done a much better job at trying to put the majesty of God into words.

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