How could light and the sun be created on separate days?

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Friends, you know that we’ve been walking through Genesis chapter one and two in our current sermon series, exploring what the Bible has to say about God as creator and about God’s good creation. And there’s so much that we can pull out of that. Inevitably, questions are going to surface. So we’re going to try to tackle these as we can and always go back to God’s word and try to think about not only the how of God’s creation, but really the why, which is even more important, to be honest with you, than the how. And so we’re going to walk through a question here today that a lot of people have asked over time, and that is on day one of creation.

We’re told in verse three of chapter one that God said, let there be light, and there was light, and God saw that it was good, and so he took the light and he separated it from the darkness, and he called the light day, and he called the darkness night. And that was the first day. And so we’re like, great day one. God said, let there be light. There is light.

So the creation of light. But it’s not until day four that we get the creation of the heavenly bodies like the sun and the moon and the stars, which are made to give us light. And so the question inevitably is, how could we have light on day one when the sun and those other objects were not created until day four? Now, again, I don’t want to minimize this question, but we’re going to do our best to sort of think about it from, again, an overarching perspective. And again, the question should not necessarily be the how, the method of what God was doing, as much as the meaning behind it and the why.

And so this is a great example of the way that our mind immediately goes to the material creation of something, rather than what is the function, what is the purpose behind it. And so when we look at day one, what God actually did, yes, he created light, but we think of light as a material object. But really what he was doing is he was creating the condition of light and the condition of darkness. And really he’s creating day and night because that’s why he calls the light day and he calls the darkness night. He’s creating time.

He’s establishing there in verse three the concept of time that will carry out through the other days of creation. And that’s, of course, just mind boggling to focus on by ourselves. But really, that is the purpose of what God is doing there. And so the idea that God is creating light there kind of throws our mind off because it seems like, well, light doesn’t come till day four. But ultimately what he’s creating is he’s creating time and he’s creating day and he’s creating night.

And then on day four, yes, he creates the sun and the moon and the stars and all those heavenly lights, which is, again, completely amazing. But think about this. The idea that, well, how could God create light on day one and then not create the sun until day four? What’s the deal with that? When we think about it even further, really what we’re doing is we’re not taking into account an infinite and an omnipotent God, as if God actually needed the sun or the moon or the stars to create light.

If God wants to provide light without those things, he is able to do so. And I think of one, John one, where the Bible tells us that God himself is light, and in him is no darkness at all. So God doesn’t need the stars or the moon or the sun to be able to provide light. Revelation 22, verse five, talks about the new heavens and the new earth and how there will be no more night. That sounds amazing.

There will be no more night, and there will no longer be a need for a lamp or even the light of sun, because it says, God himself will be the light, and he will provide that light. John, chapter eight. Jesus said, I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in darkness. They will have the light of life.

And so far, more important than the lights in the sky, we’re grateful for those things. It’s amazing that God would create that and the science and just the mind blowing aspects of that. Yes, but even more than that, it’s the fact that God himself gives us light. He gives us his light. He enlightens our mind.

He enlightens our heart. He speaks to us. He is with us. And God, again, doesn’t need these other things as much. So what I want to encourage you and me to do is, as we’re going through Genesis one, I’m not saying we shouldn’t be asking questions about the how, but we should be far more interested in the why.

What is it telling us about God? What is it telling us about God’s purposes for us, and how he is providing for us and the function of light and day and the sun and these other wonderful things? So, great question. We’re going to keep trying to unpack some of these things, keep asking your questions, and we’ll do our best to wrestle together with them. But thank you for this question.