Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Genesis1:6-8 God Makes the Sky

"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'.
And there was evening and there was morning -- the second day."

Genesis 1:6-8 (NIV)

There are only three verses in this section, but some amazing things are revealed here.  If you read it carefully, you see that this passage is not only about how God created the sky (called 'the expanse' in this passage).  That would be amazing enough, but there is more to this picture.

In verse 6, God calls for 'an expanse between the waters to separate water from water'.  This means that the sky which God is creating has the purpose of separating two distinct sections of water.  If we were to draw a picture of the results, it would look something like this:

 )))))))))))))))    (water)

              _______________________       (sky/expanse)

))))))))))))))))    (water)

If you remember, when God created the heavens and the earth (according to Genesis 1:2), "the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of  God was hovering over the waters."  To me, it seems as if God had created all the material which would make up the universe, but it was at first like a fluid blob.  It was not yet differentiated.  Now He calls for a sky to divide this mass of fluid material into two parts:  the water above the expanse/sky and the water below it.  In the following verses (verse 9 and following), God will create the dry ground and seas, and all that is in them.  Right now, though, I want to point out that we have something unusual going on here, because it seems that above the sky which God has created, there would still be a mass of water.  It may be either in fluid or water vapor form, but it was up there.

So what?  Why does this matter at all?  Well, I just find it interesting, because way later, when the flood comes, the Scriptures say that:

"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 (NIV)
Did you see that?  "...the floodgates of the heavens were opened."   I was thinking about that verse and I looked into a dictionary to see if they had some information about floodgates, in order to form a better picture of that in my mind.  Here's what I found in The Oxford Desk Dictionary:

  1) overflowing or influx of water, especially over land; the water that overflows
  2) outpouring, torrent
  3) inflow of the tide
  4) deluge sent by God
  5) overflow,cover, or be covered with or as if with a flood
  6) irrigate, deluge or overfill
  7) come in great quantities

  1) gate for admitting or excluding water, especially in a lock
  2) last restraint against tears, rain, anger, etc.

  1) mechanism for fastening a door, box, etc., that requires a key or combination
      to open it
  2) section of a canal or river within gates for raising or lowering the water level
  3) mechanism for exploding the charge of a gun
  4) fasten or shut up with or as with a lock
  5) imprison (a person)
  6) make or become rigidly fixed
  7) (cause to) jam or catch
  8) link; interlock

All of these definitions are helpful, because together they give us that sense of a great quantity of water being held back in reserve, then powerfully let loose.

The thing that I found so interesting about the fact that there was this great quantity of water held in reserve above the sky was that it probably was this water which was let loose during the flood in Noah's time, when "...the floodgates of the heavens were opened."   People sometimes scoff at the idea of a world-wide flood, in which, according to Scripture,

"...all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered.
The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than twenty feet."

Genesis 7:19-20 (NIV)

SIDE NOTE:  [Well, "all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered" -- that kinda rules out the concept of just a localized flood, doesn't it?]

But if we read all of the Scriptures about the flood, including this verse in Genesis 7:19-20, we could reasonably conclude that it would have been possible for these flood waters to cover the earth to a depth of twenty feel above the highest mountains if these vast quantities of water were falling from above, and at the same time, "all the springs of the great deep burst forth" (Genesis 7:11).  I mean, if the quantity of water which was falling from above the sky was anywhere near even half of the amount of water which our seas contain today, that is a lot of water!  I am sure that people will still have more questions about the flood and that's fine, but aren't these things that Scripture says at least starting to look less like a fantasy and a bit more possible to you?

Some may be saying that all of the above depends upon us taking the Scriptures as being truly the Word of God.  That is true.  However, I will eventually get to writing about why I believe that they are true.  For now, just remember that -- as I have written many times before -- nothing which the Scriptures say has been conclusively proved to be wrong.  Nothing.  It always turns out that in the end, they are correct.  It may take years before the proof is revealed, but it always vindicates the Scriptures.  So don't dismiss Scripture too quickly.

Wow.  All that just to say that on the second day, God created the sky.  

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