Genesis 1:3-5 - The First Day: The Creation of Light
After the creation of the original material universe, the most significant feature of day one is the creation of light. Science cannot understand light; much less explain how it came about. Verse 3 simply says it was created by an order from God. What form this light took is not clear. Whether it was merely a glow or a light that emanated from a specific place is nowhere stated. Actual lights, such as the sun, moon, and stars, were not created until the fourth day. These were permanent light bearers. But light itself, the reality of light, was created on day one. And instantly it separated day from night.
A. God’s Word created light (v.3).
1. “Then God said, “Let there be light”, and there was light…” (v.3a).
a) What does this mean? One of four things:
(1) The creation of light also inaugurated the measurement of earth’s time by periods of day and night. Regular intervals of light began to be interspersed with intervals of darkness.
(2) And in verse 5 we are told, “God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.” Thus the rhythm of days and nights began. Perhaps the earth was already rotating on its axis, with light illuminating one side and darkness veiling the other.
b) God is light (1 John 1:5).
(1) God is the Father of lights (James 1:17).
(2) God lives in inaccessible light (1 Timothy 6:16).
(3) God’s glory will lighten His Holy City (Revelation 21:23-24; 22:25).
c) God does not want man dwelling in darkness (John 1:4; 8:12).
(1) God created light so that man can live and walk upon earth. This is also true in the spiritual realm of life. God does not want man living in spiritual darkness, but in spiritual light.
(2) God knows that man cannot live eternally with Him if man walks in spiritual darkness; therefore, He has given man “The Light of Life.” What is the Light of Life…? Jesus Christ!
(a) Men love darkness rather than light (John 3:19).
(b) Jesus is the Light of the World (John 8:12; 9:5).
(c) We can become children of light (John 12:35-36).
(d) By believing in Jesus Christ we do not remain in darkness (John 12:46).
(e) Believers are to cast off works of darkness (Romans 13:12).
(f) God has delivered us from the power of darkness (Col. 1:13).
(g) Satan has blinded the minds of people (2 Cor. 4:3-4).
(h) God opens our eyes & tells us to turn from darkness (Acts 26:18).
B. God saw that His creation was “good”—fulfilled its function (v.4).
1. “God saw that the light was good…” (v.4a).
a) The light fulfilled its function.
(1) The word good refers to the value, the purpose, and the function of something. What was the purpose of the light? To separate the light from the darkness.
(2) Light has at least five basic functions or purposes:
(a) Light divides darkness
(b) Light makes things grow.
(c) Light gives heat and warmth.
(d) Light gives color and beauty to things
(e) Light enables man and animals to see.
!!!!! (3) Light enables man to see how to carry on his work. Light enables man to fulfill his purpose:
(a) Just being able to see and to work does not mean that a man will fulfill his purpose upon earth. Man has to follow the Lord Jesus Christ to fulfill his purpose in life.
(b) God gave man life and sent His Son into the world to show man how to live and function. Therefore, man has to do what God says, or else man will never have meaning and purpose—not eternal meaning and purpose.
2. “God separated the light from the darkness…” (v.4b).
a) God will spiritually separate man from darkness.
(1) God will create light within the dark heart of man that he may know God (2Cor.4:6; Col.3:10).
(2) Light and darkness can never be joined to each other. The same is true spiritually (2Cor.6:14).
(3) Man is deceived by thinking he can walk and live in darkness but still have fellowship with God (1 John 1:6)
b) Light is one of the great words in Scripture.
(1) God is light & in Him is no darkness (1 John 1:5).
(2) The Lamb of God is the light in heaven (Revelation 21:22-23).
(3) Jesus said, “I am the light of the World” (John 8:12; 9:5).
(4) The light of the knowledge of God is seen in the face of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6).
(5) Jesus Christ lights every man that comes into the world (John 1:9).
(6) Believers are said to become “children of light” (John 12:36).
(7) Believers have delivered from the dominion of darkness (Colossians 1:13).
(8) Believers are now the light of the world (Matthew 5:14-16).
(9) We are His disciples and are to become more like Him, reflecting His light (2Corinthians 3:18).
(10) When we were saved, God called us out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).
(11) We have become sons of light (1Thessalonian 5:5).
c) The Application: Living in the Light.
(1) Come to the Light (John 1:9-12).
(a) There are those who receive the light (John 3:21)
(b) Believe in the light that you may become a child of the light (John 12:36)
(2) Spend Time in the Light (Psalm 119:105) – Lamp to my feet, light to my path
(a) Spending Time in His Word.
(b) Spending Time in His Presence.
(3) Reflect the Light (Ephesians 5:8-16)
(a) Do not allow an eclipse to happen in your life.
(4) Proclaim the Light (Matthew 10:27; 5:14-16)
!! C. God named the light Day and the darkness He named Night (v.5).
1. God, not man, named the light and darkness (v.5).
a) Man owes his body and life to God during the day or night.
(1) Light and darkness are both part of God’s creation. Both are good; both have their purpose and function in God’s creation. We are to serve God whether it is day or night.
(2) We are not to abuse either the day or night, we are to use them the way God wants us to.
(3) God is the Lord of both day and night. God is able to take care of us in the dark or the night. We can live knowing that God is looking after us with a watchful eye.
Jesus said "Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. “ So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows." (Matthew 10:29-31, NASB95)
Paul said "For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day." (2 Timothy 1:12)
Isaiah writes "Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." (Isaiah 41:10).
2. God has given a special function for both day and night.
a) Day Spiritually – a new beginning, new day, new start to fulfill our purpose on earth.
(1) The new life in Christ – The beginning of a new day points toward the beginning of a new life. We can be born again, and spiritually renewed. We can become a new creature in Christ.
(a) Jesus said a man must be born again (John 3:3-5).
(b) Paul says that if we are in Christ, we are a new creation (2Cor.5:17).
(c) Paul also says that we have put on the new man (Eph.4:24; Col.3:10).
(d) Peter says that we have been born again by the Word of God (1Pet.1:23).
(2) The resurrection of our bodies – The beginning of a new day, the awakening out of sleep, points toward the resurrection of the body.
(a) Jesus said whoever believes in Him, He will raise him up (John 6:40).
(b) Jesus said He is the resurrection and the life (John 11:25).
(c) Paul compares as in Adam all die but all in Christ shall be made alive (1Cor.15:22).
(d) The dead in Christ shall rise first in the rapture (1Thess.4:16-17).
(e) Important Note: all one day will rise from the dead, saved and unsaved (John 5:28-29).
b) Night Spiritually – a time to slow down and evaluate life.
(1) For most people, nighttime is when the work day is over (unless you work nights) and you sit back and evaluate your days work or daily life.
(2) This can point towards the end of life where there is a lying down of the body, a time when you can no longer work, and your life is evaluated and judged of how you lived upon the earth.
(a) One day you will die (Heb.9:27)… One day you will stand before Jesus Christ, either saved (1Cor.3:12-17; 4:5) or unsaved (Rev.20:11-15).
(b) This is why we must be busy about our Father business (Luke 2:49; 19:13)
!!! 3. The Creation of both day and night challenges us on 2 important lessons.
a) We are to work for God by day (John 9:4).
(1) The word “must” means compulsion and necessity, the works must be done.
The NLT renders it “All of us must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent me, because there is little time left before the night falls and all work comes to an end" (John 9:4, NLT)
(2) The time for work is limited. In other words, Christ and His followers don’t have forever to do the work. It has to be done now or the opportunity will be lost (Rom.13:11-14)..
Jesus said “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work" (John 4:34, NKJV)
(3) It is necessary for us to work. The KJV & NKJV renders (9:4) as “I must work the works …” whereas most modern translations have something like the NIV’s “We must do the work …”
If this is accurate, then Jesus ties us to His mission from the Father. We, too, are in the world to proclaim and do the works of God.
I love what Jesus said in John 20 “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you." (John 20:21)
We need to be like the apostles in Acts 4 when they said "for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard." (Acts 4:20, NASB95)
Paul had this necessity laid upon him "For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel." (1 Corinthians 9:16, NASB95)