Wednesday 23 September 2020

Bible Book:

And God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.’ And it was so. (v. 24)

Genesis 1:14-25 Wednesday 23 September 2020

Psalm 124 


At first glance it may seem that today’s passage simply continues the story of creation; in fact, we pick up the story at a key turning point. On the first day of creation, God created light, on the second, God ‘separated the waters’ and on the third, dry land appeared. We begin on day four and the three days of creation that we read about today, parallel the three which have already happened. Having created light on day one, God creates the sun and the moon (carefully referred to simply as ‘lights’) on day four. Having separated the waters and created the sky on day two, God creates creatures for both sky and the waters on day five. Having created dry land on day three, God creates creatures for the dry land on day six. There is a neat symmetry to the story of creation and the three days that we read about today all build upon what has gone before. These three days show God not simply creating the earth, but making it fruitful.

So, on the fourth day God creates lights which will separate day from night and mark the seasons of the year. In many ancient religions, the sun and the moon were worshipped as gods and the Hebrew words for sun and moon sound like the names of those deities. So, it is probably significant that Genesis both insists that they are created and avoids using their names. These are simply lights, under the control of God, but performing an essential function in ensuring that life on earth can begin to blossom.

On the fifth and the sixth day, God does something new. What is described is not simply “God said let there be creatures” but rather a command, first to the waters and then to the earth to bring forth creatures. God still creates, but perhaps this idea that the waters and earth bring forth life should be linked with the blessing of verse 22. There the creatures are told to be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters. The creative God has created a creative world.


To Ponder:

  • What part, if any, does creativity play in your spirituality? Do you think of that as reflecting the nature of God?
  • Do you experience nature as fruitful and creative, or as something else?
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