God’s two light sources

So far we have met the Triune God in Genesis 1 (see ‘A major foundational principle of the Bible’).  We discovered that God dwells in the third heaven, the devil has his kingdom in the second heaven and the sky is the first heaven (see ‘Why on earth did God create three heavens?’)

In this blog we want to look at the strange phenomenon that God created light twice.How does that work?  It is because God is supernatural, but He created the natural world.  Scripture is a ‘mix’ of the supernatural and the natural.   

#  The two creations of light

  • God’s ‘first’ creation of light: “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.  God saw that the light was good, and He separated light from darkness.  God called the light ‘day,’ and the darkness He called ‘night.’ 2
  • God’s ‘second’ creation of light was on day four. 3  God created the sun, moon and stars for lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on earth.  The sun was to govern the day and the moon to govern the night, to separate light from darkness.

#  The reason God created the ‘light’ of Genesis 1:3.

  • Genesis 3 reveals the incident that covered the whole world in spiritual darkness (Adam and Eve obeyed the serpent instead of God).  Darkness descended on the earth with Satan as its ruler.4  Man’s knowledge of God became darkened. 
  • The light of Genesis 1:3 was good because it had to do with the destruction of Satan’s darkness by God’s Son, Jesus.  The following verses explain: 
    • ‘I [Jesus] am the light of the world.’ 5
    • ‘While I [Jesus] am in the world, I am the Light of the world.’ 6
    • ‘In Him [Jesus, the Word] was life, and that life was the light of men.’ 7  
    • ‘The true Light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.’ 8
    • ‘This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.’ 9
    • ‘For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.  Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.  Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them…But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible’ 10 
    • The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God….God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness, made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 11
    • ‘…joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the Kingdom of Light.  For He [God] has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the Kingdom of the Son He loves….’ 12  

Conclusion

The light of Genesis 1:3 is the supernatural light that remains, while the light from the sun, moon and stars becomes redundant: ‘The city [the New Jerusalem] does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb [Jesus] is its lamp.’ 13 

References

  1. Genesis 1:3-5; 14-19  
  2. Genesis 1:3-5  
  3. Genesis 1:14-19  
  4. 1 John 5:19b  
  5. John 8:12   
  6. John 9:5  
  7. John 1:4  
  8. John 1:9  
  9. John 3:19  
  10. Ephesians 5:8-14a  
  11. 2 Corinthians 4:4,6  
  12. Colossians 1:12-13  
  13. Revelation 21:23

Light before the sun?

The first chapter of the Bible tells us that God created light before the sun.  Would that be the work of a logical, wise Creator?  It does sound a bit strange!  Since it says, ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,’ 1 we know God is the Creator.  But He created both light (Genesis 1:3) and the sun (Genesis 1:14-18).  It sounds a bit superfluous, if one thinks about it.  However, it points to two creations.  One has to do with a physical, natural creation and the other with a ‘spiritual’ creation.

#  God’s natural creation

God created the earth, divided the waters above from the waters below, separated the earth and seas and covered the ground with plants.  On the fourth day He created the sun, moon and stars (‘…to give light on the earth’).  After that God filled the sky, the seas and the ground with living things.  Last on His list was man, made in His image.

#  God’s ‘spiritual’ creation 

God’s other creation is hinted at when, ‘God said, Let there be light.’ 2  This light was not the same as that of the sun, moon and stars.   We see that both God’s ‘supernatural’ light source and the natural light source, the sun, have the same function: to divide darkness from light.  Yet they differ significantly.  How?

  • The first light has to do with man: ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!’ 3
  • It also has to do with Jesus, the Creator Redeemer: ‘In Him 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

#  Jesus creates the new man.

  • Jesus is also the Creator according to John 1:3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2.  Since He and God are one, 6 He is the Creator who said, ‘Let there be light.’
  • Do we have a New Testament verse that supports Genesis 1:3?  We have.  Scripture tells us, ‘The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.…  For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of the darkness,’ made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” 7  Here we have the same words God uttered in Genesis 1:3, ‘Let there be light.’ 

#  Both lights are very necessary.

  • There is a light-darkness contrast, in both cases.
  • Both lights have the same source, or origin, God/Jesus.
  • Both sources of light are very necessary.  The sun is the product of God/Jesus the Creator.  The ‘new man’ is the product of God/Jesus the Redeemer.
  • As the sun makes natural plant growth possible, so the ‘spiritual’ light makes man’s spiritual growth possible.

#  Light before the sun is logical. 

  • The whole Bible is about God’s Light, Jesus Christ.
  • Thousands of years are spent preparing for Jesus, the Light Giver.
  • The preparation for the ‘new’ people to live on the ‘new’ earth is very important.  So important that God gives attention to it first.  We must not forget that the sun, the natural light source, will not be necessary in the coming age:
    • ‘The city [the New Jerusalem] 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.’ 8
    • We, the elect, who chose to follow Jesus, will have His Name on our foreheads and will serve Him.  We ‘…will not need the light of a lamp, or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light.’ 9

Conclusion

The supernatural ‘creation’ of new people in Christ is so important that the Bible mentions it before the natural light from the sun.  Those whose dark lives have been illuminated by God’s light, will remain.  The sun, mentioned later, will not be needed.  Thus the Holy Spirit already tells us in Genesis 1:3 how important salvation is to God.

References

  1. Genesis 1:1
  2. Genesis 1:3
  3. 2 Corinthians 5:17
  4. John 1:5
  5. John 1:9
  6. John 10:30
  7. 2 Corinthians 4:4,6
  8. Revelation 21:23
  9. Revelation 22:5
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