Genesis 1:6-8

August 30, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Posted in Bible Study | Leave a comment
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This week, we will continue our study of Genesis 1 by looking at verses 6-8. These verses cover the second day of the Creation of the universe. So that we can get into the right mind, we should first pray and seek God’s wisdom. We want to understand the scriptures the way God meant them. We do not want to add anything from science or man’s ideas or read those things into the Bible. We also have to be careful that we don’t add to the scriptures anything that we’ve been taught growing up in church. This isn’t to say that everything that you’ve heard preached is wrong; what I’m saying is that we should understand what the scripture says first and then compare that to what we’ve heard or what science says. If they line up and make sense then we should be ok. If they don’t, then we need to cling to the scripture and either adjust or reject what we’ve heard or been taught. We should desire to take God at His Word. It is a good rule of thumb that if the plain reading of the passage makes sense, that is most likely the one that is meant.Then God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters. God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so. God call the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.
Here, we see God continuing to create the universe by the power of His Word. Once again, God says something should happen, and it is so. The second day of Creation focuses on the making of an expanse (KJV, firmament) to “separate the waters from the waters”. There are many views on what this expanse is and what it encompasses but before we look at those views, let’s look at the definition of expanse first:

Expanse (firmament) – raqia (Strong’s # 7549) – expanse (of the sky or heaven); the space above the earth that holds visible objects: clouds, planets, stars.

As I said above, there are a number of views on what the waters are. One view of the expanse says that the waters above the expanse represent a canopy of water that surrounded the earth and protected it. The thought is that this water is the source of much of the rain during the flood. There is a problem with this view though. On Day 4 God creates the sun, moon, and stars to be light bearers and hangs them in the expanse between the waters above and the waters below. If the waters above were a protective canopy surrounding the earth, there would be no way for God to hang the sun, moon, and stars there. Another view says that the waters above are the oceans and the waters below are underground rivers and lakes which were the “fountains of the deep” during the Flood. This view shares the problem of the first view. The firmament between the oceans and the underground bodies of water would hardly be able to hold the sun, moon, and stars. The third view is that the “waters above” are the clouds. Again, this wouldn’t be possible because there would be no place for the celestial bodies. The final view is that the firmament includes the atmosphere and everything else in the observable universe. This would make the waters below the oceans and would place the waters above outside the visible universe. While this may seem far-fetched and unscientific, out of the four views it is the only one that is supported by scripture.

Verse 8 tells us that God called the expanse “heaven”. The Hebrew word used here is the word samayim (Strong’s #8064). It is defined as the “region above the earth: the heavens: place of the starts, sky, air; heaven: the invisible realm of God”. It is important to remember that this is the definition that God has given to His creation. As verse 8 comes to a close we see a pattern beginning. At the end of verse 5 we have “And there was evening and there was morning, one day”. Here, we have “And there was evening and there was morning, a second day”. Once again, we are given a clear indication that this expanse was created in a 24-hour period and not a long period of time (millions or billions of years).

While the second day of the Creation may not seem very eventful, it is just as important as any of the other days and God gets more and more specific with His creative endeavors. It is our hope that as we continue to study Genesis, you will see that God is intimately involved in His Creation – even now. Well, that’s it for this week! Hopefully we’ll see you here next week for the next day of the Creation!

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