Scripture begins with the iconic words, “In the beginning…” as God references the initial creation of Planet Earth. The writer, via Divine inspiration, quickly describes the condition in which the earth finds itself after an indefinite period post-Heavenly-warfare and the subsequent expulsion of Lucifer and his angels from Heaven*. Earth is thrown into a chaotic state, “without form and void” with “darkness upon the face of the deep”**. God is now ready to lead us from the eternal past into what bible scholars refer to as the Ante-diluvian age. Ante derives from the Latin prefix meaning “before”, while diluvian originates from the Latin word meaning “deluge”, basically a flood. So, we can surmise that we are entering an age that stretches from the conclusion of an undefined period of past to the time before the flood of Noah.
God is now ready to renew His previous creation of Planet Earth. He has a plan for this speck in space and the heavenly bodies and external mileage that affects it. We see God’s creative work begin to unfold. He teaches volumes in very few verses. For example, the Spirit of God, also known as the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost, is quickly referenced as the power that enacts the commands of Jehovah. In the New Testament, John clarifies God’s choice of plural pronouns in the creative narrative by telling us that God the Son, Jesus, the Word eventually made flesh, was also present***. Evidently, it was very important to God to reveal to us early on that His identity is manifested in the form of a trinity, or as Scripture calls it, the Godhead. One God manifested in three forms.
Another concept revealed to us in this early portion of Scripture, is the all-encompassing nature of God. He is Creator. He is all powerful. All of creation originates from Him. His vision is organized and complex. He is a God of order, the orginator of logic.
When we arrive at the end of Genesis 1:13, much has transpired. One could spend years studying these scriptures and many have. Time has begun. What is now known as the “gap”, or the period of time in the undefined past before Genesis 1:2, is referenced in the creative scriptures and also throughout the Bible, though it is never placed in a cut and dry chronological narrative. God begins His renovation of His original creation of Planet Earth. Light is spoken into existence amid utter darkness. The states of light and darkness are divided into day and night. The water cycle is set into motion with the division of the waters above and beneath by the new firmament, or sky. The waters are gathered, leaving dry land where they are absent. Vegetation in all its scientific and reproductive wonder springs forth from the earth. All this is accomplished at God’s command, enacted by the verb or acting force of the trinity, the Holy Spirit. God is happy with His work, labeling it “good”****At this point, God is about half-way finished with His creative work of regenerating the earth.
God is now ready to establish a covenant relationship with the inhabitants of Earth even before He breathes life into Adam’s body, making him a living soul. To learn more about the general essence of a covenant relationship with God, read the first post in the Covenants of God Series, “Why Study the Covenants of God?”.
Genesis 1:14-19 presents the Solaric Covenant which, like most covenants that are established by God, is prophetic in nature. As God launches His creative work on the fourth day of creation, He also launches the first covenant recorded in Scripture; the Solaric Covenant.
And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth. And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
Day four was a big day! The intensity of God’s creative work alone is amazing. The purpose He gives to His creation by the Solaric Covenant is deeper still. God is establishing an eternal order, even though the eternal nature of his creation is not yet specified. Godly covenants are a lot like math, but funner to study. Each covenant to come will build upon the one before. For now we will focus on the specifics of this first “building block”.
The first detail of importance is “God said…”. These are God’s words, God’s terms, by God’s voice. The Creator speaks the lights of the sky back to their purpose and function (Dake*****). The lights will divide the day from the night. The division of day from night is such a constant that we don’t often register that God specifically wanted a period of day and a period of night. He geared His creative work to accomplish this.
Another purpose of the heavenly lights is for signs. This tells us that God intends to use the “lights” as warnings and markers. As God’s eternal state of perfection finally unfolds, we are told in Revelation 21:23 that Jesus himself will become the light in the city of New Jerusalem, the literal fulfillment of our salvation. Working backwards from there, Acts 2:20 warns of the events in Revelation chapter 6 as God’s wrath unfolds in the period of the Tribulation. The sun becomes dark and the moon turns to blood, both bad news for the inhabitants of the earth. God is getting ready to pour out His wrath in way in which mankind had ever seen. During the last few years, we have seen blood moons, black moons, and a solar eclipse that align with feasts, festivals, and commemorative years established by God Himself. Even Revelation 12, describing the last day exodus of Jewish saints, has been foreshadowed by the sign of the woman and child in the sky. This tells us that we are living in a highly prophetic age and explains the acceleration toward prophetic events. The heavenly bodies signal God’s will at different times. Joseph’s prophetic dream of his family’s role in the nation of Israel was illustrated with the sun, moon, and stars. Just as the sun stood still for Joshua, these lights answer to the command of their Creator.
Organization and purpose of time is also listed as a purpose of the sun, moon, and stars. Seasons are set in place for periods of eternal fruitfulness. Days and years organize passage of time and will lay the ground work for God to mark certain days, feasts, festivals, etc.
God then commands the heavenly bodies to put forth light, forever giving us a reprieve from darkness. The prophet Isaiah in the 9th chapter, 2nd verse of the book called by his name prophesies that Messiah will be the literal fulfillment of the prophetic nature of light itself, while at the same time addressing an inherent need for light.
The people that have walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of the death, upon them hath the light shined.
As indwellers of the earth, the desire for light was instilled within us before we were even formed. Our need for light was established from the fourth day of God’s rennovation of earth.
From there, God describes the heavenly bodies themselves. The greater light will rule the day while the lesser light will rule the night. We can surmise that the “greater light” is the sun and the “lesser light” is the moon. God sets the stars in the sky for additional light. He then reviews His creative work and purpose and is pleased, giving the fourth day His stamp of approval.
On the basis of the Solaric Covenant, God continues His creative work. Animals and human life are created with preestablished purpose. They can depend on functioning in world of light, division of time, and signs and seasons. Future covenant relationships with God will be built upon a foundation of knowledge of the heavenly bodies, their purpose, and their effects upon life.
Psalm 104:7-9; 136:6
Isaiah 14:12-15; 34:11; 45:18
1 Timothy 3:6
2 Peter 2:4; 3:5-8
*****Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible (11th printing, June, 1979; original copyright 1961); Finis Jennings Dake; Old Testament, pg. 51, “Made-not created(1:16)