And God Said

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 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.

 And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.

 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:3-10)

The phrase “it was evening, it was morning” occurs nowhere else in the Bible. Within these first verses, the word day is used as a designation for “light” while the word “night” is used as the designation for “darkness.” God spends the beginning of creation making light and separating it from the darkness, just as he separates the waters into various locations. He repeatedly sees that his creation is “good.”

The author of Genesis carefully selects his structure and his words in order to create a contrast between what the Israelites believe and what the nations around them believe. The nations believe in many gods. They believe that the ocean, the stars, the moon, and the sun are all deities. In Genesis, the author carefully makes it clear that there is but one God and that the moon, the stars, the sun, and the ocean are merely created objects devoid of personality, designed to benefit humanity.

Where the nations around Israel believed that their gods were geographically limited and belonged to individual nations exclusively, the Israelites are presented with a God who is universal, and with all humanity united as one family.

If the God you worship was able to create the universe, then it is easier to believe he has the power to help you through your current crisis, whatever it might be.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm the interim pastor at Quartz Hill Community Church. I have written several books. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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