Genesis 1:3-5 “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.”
On the “first day,” God created the “heaven and the earth,” imparted light, divided light from darkness and called the light day and the darkness He called night. Then the Scripture makes this note, “And the evening and the morning were the first day.” One explanation of this “first day” is that it was not a twenty-four hour period of time, but an era of time. Some believe that this “day” could refer to thousands, if not millions of years. There is some Scriptural backing for this interpretation, for there are places in the Bible that the word “day” us used for an era of time that spans many years. However, when the passage declared that “the evening and the morning were the first day,” this seems to be a clear reference to a twenty-four hour period of time rather than an era spanning centuries.
Interpreting the word “day” as an era of time spanning many centuries accommodates the belief in a very ancient universe and earth, and could be seen as an effort to make belief in the Bible more palatable to the unbelieving world. If God chose in His infinite wisdom to create the world over long periods of time, it still brings glory and honor to Him as the Creator of all things physical and spiritual. Here is how the Psalmist described it; “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.” (Psalms 19:1-6) Does belief in an ancient creation diminish God’s magnificent glory? No! While I myself believe in a creation dating back thousands of years rather than billions of years, I cannot dogmatically affirm that those who do not share my belief are wrong. Belief in an evolutionary development of the human family is a different matter, which we will discuss later, but a belief in geologic ages does not take away from the infinite power and wisdom of Almighty God. He is the Creator!
“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light....”
Along with “the heaven and the earth,” God created “light” on the first day. That light was not produced by the sun, moon or stars. These were not created until the fourth day. Where did this “light” come from? What was it that produced this “light?” Read the following passages referring to “light” in God’s Word.
Isaiah 45:7 “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.“
Isaiah 60:19 “ The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.“
John 1:4-9 “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”
John 8:12 “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
John 9:5 “ As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
There are many more similar passages that could be given. God is light. A tremendous passage is found in 2 Corinthians 4:6; “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” We read that when Jesus was transfigured before His disciples, “His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light.” The light that brightened God’s new creation was not produced by sun, moon or stars, but was His own glorious light imparted. That radiant light pierced the darkness, revealing one glorious trait of the Creator to all of His creation. When we have entered into that eternal day, that time prophesied in the final two chapters of the Book of Revelation, there will be no need for the sun, the moon or the stars, for Scripture declares that the Lord will be the only Light needed. This must be what the universe enjoyed through the first three days of creation. In fact, this Light that proceeded from God caused vegetation to thrive as we will see in the next verses.
It is most interesting to note that throughout the Bible, references to “light” and “darkness” can be found. One such favorite reference is found in 1 John 1:7; “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” Also, Paul encouraged us concerning our walk in the last days in this dark world when He wrote, “ But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.” (1 Thessalonians 5:4-8)