Genesis 101
Lesson Eight

 

"Let there be light"


Gen 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 
Gen 1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 
Gen 1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

 

On the first day of creation, God created light, and then He divided that light into day and night. Now it is very important to understand what God did here. An incorrect understanding of this first day will distort what you believe in many other areas of the bible.

 

First, let us look at the word "light" as used in this verse. It comes from a Hebrew word that literally means "illumination, bright". It is not the same word that God uses in verses 14-16. In these verses the original Hebrew word literally means "a Luminous body". Here "light" refers to the thing that illuminates the light, and in verses 3-5 it is referring to the light itself. To understand this better let us look at a common light bulb. In verses 14-16 God uses the Hebrew word for light that would refer to the light bulb itself. In verses 3-5, He uses the Hebrew word that refers to the light that the bulb puts out. In regards to creation, God first shined light down upon His creation without anything to actually make the light. Then, later, He made the sun, moon and stars to luminate that light.

 

How is this possible? How can there be light without anything to make the light? Well, first off we have to understand that God is light.

 

John 1:1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 
John 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God. 
John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 
John 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 
John 1:5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. 
John 1:6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 
John 1:7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. 
John 1:8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 
John 1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

 

Who is this verse talking about? It's talking about Jesus Christ Himself... God Himself. Jesus (God) is the light of the World.

John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. 


John 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

 

In these verses we see that Jesus is the light of the world.

 

Rev 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

 

This verse is talking about the new Heaven and Earth that God creates after this world is destroyed. In this verse we see that God (the Lamb, Jesus Christ) is the light. There is no need for a Sun or Moon.

 

So, back in our original verses in Genesis, we see that God started everything the way He will re-create it after this world is destroyed. God does not need the sun and the moon and stars to make light. He is the light. So why did He make the sun, moon and stars?

Gen_1:14 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:

 

This verse tells us that God put them in the sky to divide the day from the night and for us to tell time. Without them, days would run into days and we could not know the difference between night and day, one year from the other. The only reason God put them in the ski was for us. Since God is the light of the world, He does not need them, but we do.

 

One final thing that we need to learn from this portion of Scripture is in regards to the word "day".

 

Gen 1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

The word "day" in this verse comes from the Hebrew word that literally means "from sunrise to sunset". It can also mean "a space of time". It is important to understand what meaning this word "day" is suppose to have. It can mean either a 24 hour space of time, or it can mean an undetermined amount of time. The rule of thumb to use all through the Bible when you see the word "day" is this.... if there is a number associated with the word "day", it is to be taken as a literal 24 hour period of time. If there is not a number associated with it, then it is talking about a space of time. Lets look at an example of this.

 

Gen 1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

In this verse (and every other day of creation), there is a number associated with it, (first day, second day, third day, fourth day, fifth day, sixth day...and so on). This means God is talking about a literal day.... a 24 hour period of time... from sun up to sun up.

Gen_14:1 And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations;

 

Now, in this verse we do not see a number associated with the word "days". This verse is not talking about a literal day as we know it, but is talking about all the days that King Amraphel ruled. It is talking about the whole period of time... not just one specific day.

 

Why is this so important? Because it helps us to understand if God created the world in six literal days as we know it, or if He created it in six periods of time in which we don't know the length of time (could be six thousand years, six million years, or six billion years).

But, God was very clear in His words. He says six times, "and the evening and the morning were the... day". God is very clearly telling us that each day was a literal 24 hour period of time...from sun up to sun up... just as we know it today.

 

So in closing, we learn that during the first 24 hour period of time that God started His creation, He shined His light down upon the earth He created. This light is His light, and did not come from anything else. He divided this light from darkness and started the day and night cycle that we know today. And God saw that is was good.

Answer the questions below.  If you miss a question, go back and study that portion of the class and then retake the test.  Once you have received a 100% you may proceed to the next class.  You DO NOT have to submit this test for grading.  Only the final test will be submitted.