The Third Day
Creation’s definition (verse 1)
Creation’s description (verse 2)
Creation’s detail (verses 3-31)
Last time, we pointed out that on Days 1-4 God created an environment suitable for habitation, and on Days 5-6 God created the inhabitants for that environment. We also discussed the creation of the sky and the dividing of the waters into an upper portion (above the sky) and a lower portion (that which remained below the sky). We then talked briefly about the possible reasons for dividing the waters.
We are gradually working our way through the Creation week and God continues to demonstrate His creative power. He is creating things out of nothing. Things that were not—now are! Someone put it like this, “God, by His spoken Word, threw NOTHING NOWHERE and it became SOMETHING EVERYWHERE.” That is what Genesis chapter one is all about. To review briefly:
- On Day 1 God created light (verses 3-5)
- On Day 2 God created the sea and the sky (verses 6-8)
- On Day 3, God now reveals the land and creates vegetation (verses 9-13)
Verse 9: And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear. And it was so. Earlier in the chapter, at the beginning of creation, there was no landscape. The earth was covered in water. God with His almighty power now shifts the waters on the earth causing the “dry land” to appear. The land was already there, but buried beneath the waves. God shifted the waters and the dry land appeared. Think about the awesomeness of what God did! He adjusted oceans and seas, allowing the land to come into view. God willed the dry land to appear. All in preparation for what He would create later!
I love the last four words of verse 9: And it was so. These words are very significant! They are found six times in chapter one [seven times, if you count the inferred “and it was so” in verse three where God said “Let there be light, and there was light.”] “And it was so” is a reminder to us that God is in charge of everything. His will is supreme. That’s what is meant by the word sovereign which is often used to describe Him. God wanted the world to have light—and it was so. God wanted to divide the waters above the sky from below the sky—and it was so. God wanted the dry land to appear—and it was so. There are many other examples in Scripture of God’s sovereignty. A New Testament example is Jesus calming a severe storm. “Then He rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, "What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?" (Matthew 8:23-27). For more examples, read carefully the following Scriptures that declare the sovereignty of God:
Job 42:1-2 – Then Job answered the LORD and said, I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
Psalm 33:8-11 – Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him! For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm. The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations.
Psalm 115:3 – Our God is in the heavens; He does all that He pleases.
Psalm 135:6 – Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.
Proverbs 19:21 – Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.Proverbs 21:30 – No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel can avail against the LORD.
Isaiah 14:24, 26-27 – The LORD of hosts has sworn: As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand… This is the purpose that is purposed concerning the whole earth, and this is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations. For the LORD of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back?
Isaiah 46:9-11 – …I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all My purpose…I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.
Lamentations 3:37 – Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it?
Daniel 4:34-35 – …I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored Him who lives forever, for His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and He does according to His will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay His hand or say to Him, "What have you done?"
Luke 18:27 – [Jesus] said, What is impossible with man is possible with God.
Acts 17:24-25 – The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.
Ephesians 1:11 – In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will.
Okay, back to Genesis 1. Notice verse 10. God called the dry land Earth and the waters that were gathered together He called Seas. God named this planet and the waters that covered it, too. Here’s something else that is quite interesting! And God saw that it was good. God approved of His own handiwork. Why was it important to God that His work please Himself? God doesn’t need land for Himself, yet He was satisfied with His own handiwork. Why? Could it be because He knew His handiwork would meet the needs of His greatest (yet-to-be) creations—and the sustenance those creations would require? I’m leaning toward “Yep!”
In the next verses, God grows vegetation. His purpose was not just to beautify the earth, though that is a huge benefit of His work; Rather, His primary purpose was to supply varieties of food for a variety of coming creations. Don’t miss the significance of what God is doing here! God arranges the waters to provide land upon which to live. Then God grows vegetation on that land as a source of food. On the third day, God provided land and vegetation. This is an amazing passage! Notice verses 11-12. And God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth." And it was so. (12) The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Please allow me to paraphrase in eleven words what God said in these two verses: “Let the earth bring forth plant life, and it was so.” Verses 11-12 can be grouped into a single created category called plant life.
God details the creation of plant life with the phrase “according to its kind.” The word kind (or kinds) appears ten times in Genesis 1 and each time means “species” (some believe kind means “genus” which is the category above “species” in the biological identity chain). According to its kind simply means that nothing of one kind can give birth to another (or different) kind. For example, trees produce other trees. Trees do not produce dandelions. They are both plants, but not the same species. If the species is a tree, for example, the sub-species might be an oak or lemon or pecan or orange tree. When an orange tree produces fruit, what does it produce? —Oranges! Why? Because it’s an orange tree! Orange trees do not produce apples. Why not? Because in Genesis 1 God decreed that fruit would bring forth according to its kind. It is true that scientists and researchers often experiment with hybrid fruits and vegetables. I do not believe it is inherently wrong to do so. We can fiddle with nature all we want—or all that God will allow—but it is still wise for us not to interfere to a great degree with God’s design. I read one time about an experiment conducted on a cat with a rabbit, and the result was called a “cabbit.” While that may sometimes be genetically possible, I believe it is not wise—and certainly not normal or natural. What God created defines the natural state. It is God’s plan for a cat to be a cat and a rabbit to be a rabbit, allowing for variations of color and other features within each species. When God created on Day 3, plant life was His purpose.
Verse 13 closes the door on this day of creation with the words, “And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.” We have discussed similar verses in earlier blogs. No need to expound on them again here.
Hey, next time…Day Four!