To the amazement of the modern ‘scientific’ world, the Bible teaches that God created the earth before the stars, and light before the sun. So some think Genesis 1 is the product of ancient, uneducated, unscientific men. Yet the Bible is Holy Spirit inspired. So what does it mean?
# The earth before the stars
God created the earth first, because it will be His eternal headquarters. At the end God will bring His capitol, the New Jerusalem, down to earth. He will come from heaven to live here with His people, not on some far away galaxy. 1 So God created the earth first to demonstrate its importance in His plan.
# Light before the sun
God created light before the sun, to prefigure His plan for man: a new heaven and earth where people bask in God’s light.
- ‘The city [the new Jerusalem that comes down] does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.’ 2
- ‘There will be no more night. They [God’s children] will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light.’ 3
# God’s light before the natural sun prefigured that darkness would try to envelop man.
- In the garden of Eden, God’s creation is at peace, basking in ‘light.’ 4 In Genesis 3, ‘darkness’ descends on the earth and man: the devil enters the earth and man is in darkness (alienated from God, under the evil rule of the devil).
- The Genesis 1:3 ‘prophecy’ about the importance of light, became true when the Light, Jesus, came. The four Gospels testify to it, ‘In Him [Jesus] was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it…The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.’ 5
Genesis 1:2-4 is a prophetic disclosure of God’s plan for man.
- As Creator He will create the new earth, where His children will live with Him eternally.
- As Redeemer He sent His ‘light’ (Jesus) to expel the darkness so that man can share His new creation.
- Revelation 21:1-4
- Revelation 21:23
- Revelation 22:5
- Genesis 2:8-24
- John 1:4-9; Isaiah 60:20; 25:7; 9:2; 2 Corinthians 4:4-6; Ephesians 5:8-14; Romans 13:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:5; John 12:35; 1 John 1:5.