Continuation of Chris Smith’s guest blog. Just couldn’t stop with the first day! Here are days 2 and 3, for your enjoyment.
The Second Day
The first day had passed. Time clicked and ticked forward. And God came back to His latest creation and spoke, His voice so calm and gentle, but loud enough for the entire world to hear—and obey.
“And God said, ‘Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.’ So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. God called the expanse ‘sky…’” (Genesis 1: 6-8).
Here again, God spoke, and the water—like the light and darkness—obeyed, splitting off from itself, perhaps perfectly divided in two, even right down to the last molecule of Hydrogen. Half of the waters lifted above the other, higher and higher, until the space between them was exactly as God had imagined it: Room for the future land to occupy, sky for the future birds to fly, leftover waters for the fish to swim, and space for His people to grow and expand and fill.
I’ve always wondered about this day, why He would encapsulate the world in a layer of water. It seems odd, yet scientifically, it makes sense. The clear waters allowed the light to pass through, to find every nook and cranny that needed light. And, like a costal city, the water probably made the entire earth temperate, not too hot, not too cold, the perfect place for paradise, a place that would be self sustaining—had we not sinned. Science aside though, the layer of water made sense for His plan, too. He knew the world would soon spiral out of control, and He knew something must be done to renew His creation, scrub it fresh and clean and let everything start again. He prepared for the time when Noah, his family, and the thousands of creatures would be cooped up in an oversized ship, waiting for God’s word to come true. After seven days, it would.
“In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights” (Genesis 7:11, 12).
God put the waters in place for the future of this planet, these people, His people. He held the waters up, held them above the sky to give the world its chance for living and communing with Him. But even after we fell, He waited. He did not let these waters converge once again, He held them apart, waited, waited, waited, until the world had so spoiled that He cracked open the seals that held the water below and punctured the floodgates that held the water above the sky, so that the two might meet once again, to rinse away the sin that had spread, faster than any disease, across His creation.
But He did not dwell on these things, these heartbreaks and disappointments, because He already knew the outcome, how it ends. Instead of scraping the whole project, He simply separated the waters, carved out a hole called sky for us to breathe and dream in.
“And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day” (Genesis 1:8).
The Third Day
The waters are still, crystal clear and reflecting the azure sky, the whole world a blue pearl, a sapphire, a ball of polished turquoise. God returns with a smile on His face: Today will be fun.
“And God said, ‘Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.’ And it was so” (Genesis 1:9).
A great grumbling sounds from the water’s core, as the waves begin to churn, to build and break and build again. The whole world becomes one giant whirlpool of rushing waters and chopping waves that move, not with the lulling back and forth motion one finds on a boat, but the waves move with a purpose. They need to get out of the way. They need to make room. For, here, now, pokes up the first sparkling grain of sand.
The dry ground waits for the waves to relocate then presses up through the empty space. Higher and higher the ground raises, smelling of fresh rain, clean and bare, soil and sand spread out for as far as the eye can see. And God’s eye can see the entire earth, every inch of the new creation. “God called the dry ground ‘land,’ and the gathered waters he called ‘seas.’ And God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:10).
Unlike the previous days, where God separated one thing from another—the light from the dark, the dividing of the waters—then stopped. Today, He was not content with simply separating the water from the land. Not on this day. He had other things on His mind. Green things. Leafy things. Flowering things.
“Then God said, ‘Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.’ And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:11, 12).
I’m sure He could summon every tree, bush, fungi, flower, and cacti by simply saying, “Plants, grow.” But where was the fun in that? We have already seen that God loved to name His creations, to set one apart from the other, so why would He use generic terms now? I picture Him surveying the land, calling up the grasses to carpet the ground. I hear Him sounding out the roll call for every pine, every aspen, every willow, palm, and oak. I smell the fruits as they blossom and grow, name by name: apple, orange, avocado, and lemon. I see the bushes pop up to fill in the gaps between the trees. Then the flowers—lilacs and roses and lilies—yawn open, woken by the sound of His voice. Each and every unique plant is called by name, hears, and obeys.
Of course, God probably has His own names for each of these things, but He later allowed Adam to name them for the rest of us. He let us make our mark—however insignificant—on His creations. Because that is why He called them from the earth in the first place: as gifts for us.
“And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day” (Genesis 1:13).