The first day

Genesis 1:1-5
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.
4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.
5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.

You would be surprised at how many people think the Bible begins with verse 3 from Genesis chapter 1. For some reason, there is this misconception that God created the light first, that His spoken word brought forth the day and the night before everything else. But the Bible is quite specific in saying that God created the heavens and the earth first, and then created the light.

But why would God create light and darkness, day and night? Why would it matter in a world where He intended to create a race of immortals, people to whom time would mean nothing? In Revelation, we read that “there shall be no night” in the New Jerusalem, in that place where believers shall live eternally with God. (Revelation 21:25) Why will we not need sun nor moon, why no darkness in the New Jerusalem? Because “The Lamb is its light.” (Revelation 21:23b) So why not just start off that way, with only the light of God’s presence?

John 1:1-5
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

The Creation had no life as yet, no light of its own, until God put it there. And so, through the Word – the Son of God – life was brought into the lifeless, dark world. The light was good because it emanated (and emanates still!) from the Son, from Jesus.

And yet even as His Spirit hovered over the deeps, God knew that the Creation would never fully appreciate His love and presence until His Son was manifested in the world. Being creatures formed of dust, we could not comprehend the light, the Word of God that has been with us every day from that very first day. Only when the Word became flesh would we truly understand, and even then only by the intervention of His Spirit.

That first day was the most important day, because it set the pattern for all eternity: the difference between Spirit and flesh, between light and darkness, between Creator and Creation, between God and man. Every new day is a bright reminder that God has been with us from the very beginning and has never left us nor forsaken us. The light is good because it is life and Spirit and the glory of God.

This new day, as I write this before sunrise, I cannot help but reflect on how we take each day so much for granted. We even have a phrase for the inevitability of something: “As sure as the sun will rise…” But a day is coming when the sun will NOT rise, when the whole universe shall be remade and a New Earth and a New Jerusalem will be made, and there shall be no darkness there at all. This world will all be gone in the blink of an eye, and the “inevitability” of the sunrise will seem a joke to us then. But then we will bask in the glory of our Risen Lord forever, and we WILL comprehend the light, and like our Father we will see that the light indeed is good.

Heavenly Father, be with us this day as You have been since the beginning. May Your Spirit be manifested in my life every new day, as I rely upon Your unending mercies to bring me through. Let my life show the reflected light of Your Son. Let me be the tiny lantern next to His radiance, and a bright spark in the darkness of this world. And in the end, O Lord, bring me into Your light forever. Amen.


About Glenn Pettit

I am a deacon at The Well of Iowa, and a father and grandfather. Called to teach and to preach, I write fresh messages about the Bible every now and then.
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