Creation Day 4: The Lights in the Heavens

Creation Day 4: The Lights in the Heavens [TRANSCRIPT]

When you wish upon a star; bet your lucky stars; twinkle, twinkle little stars; reach for the stars; star light, star bright, first star I see tonight, these are just a few of the familiar phrases that allude to stars. The heavens intrigue us. They mesmerize us. We look up at them in the night sky. We send probes into space to study them in order to look at them more closely. They are always there and yet they’re so far away. Why are we so fascinated with them?

Today I want us to look at what the Bible declares concerning the 4th day of creation, when God Created the Lights in the Heavens. Why did He do it and why does is matter? Let’s look at that today on Truth Matters.

We’ve now reached day four of God’s creative work as described Genesis 1. The Earth is no longer formless and barren. There is now an atmosphere, water and land. Upon the land there has been an explosion of vegetation. Everything now is prepared for life to begin. And so, with the coming of day four God begins completing parts of His creation.

Genesis 1:14-19 describes for us the fourth day of creation.
Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and they shall serve as signs and for seasons, and for days and years; and they shall serve as lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also. God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.

As we’ve been walking through the days of creation, I’ve mentioned that the philosophy of Naturalism stands in total opposition to the Biblical explanation of the universe. And this is especially true when it comes to providing an explanation for the all the heavenly bodies that fill the expanse of space. Now, absent the account that I read from the Scriptures, there has always been a struggle to explain how all of this that’s in the heavens. It’s not like anyone can ignore what is all around us. I mean, it begs for an explanation.

In our modern era questions continually arise. How could all of this come from nothing? How did all of this get scattered across the vastness of space? Why is there so much diversity? Why do they move with such predictability? These are all great questions to ask and to ponder.

And while science grapples with these questions, God provides us with a simple answer: God made it that way. His Word says in several places and we’ll look at a few of them today. The first passage that comes to mind is Psalm 33:6-9.
By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, And by the breath of His mouth all their lights. He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He puts the depths in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood firm.

The Bible is very clear. God is the one who made the heavens and the earth. The Scriptures could have worded it to describe it as a process, but it didn’t. God declared it and it came into being. God made it in completed form and it remains that way. And as we’ll see, the creation has a purpose built into it. The Designer had something in mind when He made it. It’s not simply a collection of random, meaningless elements interacting with one another. No, as we’ve said before, there are all part of a story which is going somewhere.

Now, like the other days, this one begins with a declaration from God. He says, “Let there be lights in the expanse.” And immediately the Scripture tells us the purpose of the lights. It is “to separate the day from the night.

Right away someone might raise the issue. “Wait a minute, I thought God created light and there was already been a day and night.” First of all, remember that from the beginning of this process, the mere creation of something from nothing is itself a miracle. It is beyond the natural. God said He created the light, that’s right. Well, what was the nature and the expression of that light? It doesn’t really necessarily have to point to the sun or the luminaries in space. For instance, in Revelation 21:23 we are told, “And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illuminated it, and its lamp is the Lamb.

At the end of the story, the Scripture tells us that illumination will come from a source other than the sun and moon. We don’t understand it, that but that’s what God says. The Scripture tells us that light came into being and illuminated the Earth before the sun and the moon. Again, we don’t understand it, but that’s what God says. The same question applies to both of these examples, do you believe God? Is He telling us the truth. Now, the skeptics may scoff and say, “That doesn’t make sense,” while at the same time they believe that everything came from nothing. Now, who has the more faith?

Back to the creation. I love the fact that God tells us the purposes of what He is doing. And when we look at them, you’ll see a clear practicality behind His purposeful creation. God said He made the “lights in the expanse to separate the day and night.” God places in the heavens permanent lights to divide the day and the night. We can see them and they provide a daily separation of the day and the night. The Scripture is not a science book in the practical sense. It doesn’t tell us how the heavenly bodies provide this light. It simply tells us that this is what they do and why they were made. The sun provides light in the daytime and the moon and the stars do the same at the night.

Now, as you can tell I’m not getting into all of the arguments concerning the theories about the properties of the heavenly bodies. I know about them. I have mentioned how Naturalism and science declare the billions of years and they propose an evolutionary process of how everything developed. I also understand that if you eliminate a Creator, you have to have some kind of explanation for everything. I mean, you have to postulate a process by which the planets or the stars came about. And yet, a problem arises. How do you get a purpose out of a purposeless process? How can you derive meaning or purpose from a process that relies on accidental events? You can’t.

But when you take what God reveals in the Scriptures you discover that He provides the answer to purpose. And amazingly it’s quite practical. He made the luminaries to give us day and night.

But there is more concerning purpose. It says, “They shall serve as signs.” What does that mean? Well, the Hebrew word used here is the word “oth.” It means a beacon, a signal. It’s like a flag or marker. The heavenly bodies serve as signposts. And what are they signposts for or of? Well, He tells us. They are markers “for seasons, and for days and for years.” Again, God doesn’t tell us how they operate, but He reveals the purpose of their operation. Think about it. The sun designates the day. You wake up and the sun is shining and you know it’s daytime. When the day turns dark and the sun is not there, you know it’s night. Simple enough.

But the moon also marks out months. The month is a unit of time used with calendars that is approximately as long as the natural orbital period of the moon. So, now we have days and now we have months.

We combine the sun, moon and the stars and from them we mark out our year. I mean, our whole calendar is now marked out. The Earth moves around the Sun in cycle and in such a manner that the year and the seasons are all marked out. So, even before astronomy had provided us an explanation of these cycles, the Scripture tells us that that is what God did and why He did it. We mark our days, our months, years and the seasons by the heavenly luminaries. Our weather, our sleep cycles our planting and harvest are all marked out by the changes occurring all around us. And these changes are marked out by the luminaries.

What’s of interest is that although days, months and seasons and years are marked out by these heavenly bodies, there’s nothing yet in place to designate the week. Huh? That comes later.

If you look at what God has created and what He tells us, you realize that God has created a magnificent clock, a timepiece. And He put it in plain sight. You can’t miss it unless to choose to. If a person decides to willfully ignore the obvious, what does it say about them?

I was reminded of the story of Charles Boyle and the fourth Earl of Orrery. The Earl was a devote Christian and he was an intense thinker. He was fascinated by God’s creation and its design. He hired a watchmaker, Charles Boyle, to construct a model which displayed the movement of the planets around the sun. In fact, models of that type are called “an Orrery” after the designer.

Anyway, a story is told about one day when the Earl was showing this model to an atheist scientist. The scientist became fascinated by the intricacy of it. And so, the scientist commented, “That’s very impressive. Who made it?” To which the Earl slyly answered, “Well, no one made it. It just happened.” Point made. As one writer put it,
If the model of any system in nature requires intelligent design, then the natural system itself must have required as least as much intelligence in the original design.

Now, there’s one more stated purpose in the Scripture passage we’re looking at. It says, “they shall serve as lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth.” God made the heavenly bodies to provide light to the Earth. I know this point bothers some people. God’s Word states that He made them to light up the Earth. You can hardly miss the point of what God said. He has the Earth is in mind when He made these heavenly bodies. I mean, the Earth may not be the center of the universe, but God is implying that they are our front and back yard.

Such a concept bothers Naturalists. “How dare anyone think that somehow the Earth is more important than anywhere else in the universe. That’s ridiculous.

I remember a story I heard Adrian Roger give one time of  an account he had one time. He told about how someone came to him saying, “You mean to tell me that God went to all that trouble making all the stars just this planet?” To which Adrian answered, “What trouble?” I mean, I love it. You see, they see the immensity of creation while missing the Creator.

This brings me back to the earlier statement. What part of miraculous don’t they understand? This is all a miracle. It’s a display of Him, the Creator. Mankind and the scientific world are rightfully marveled by the expanse of the heavens. I mean, they constantly tout the wondrous stars and the vastness of space that lies beyond our sight and beyond reach. And yet, they knowingly walk around, ignore or willfully deny the genius behind it all.

They are in awe of the creation and yet they miss what God states in just a few words.
God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also…

You almost miss it if you’re not careful. Did you catch that? “He made the stars also.” It’s almost a throwdown line. “Oh yeah, I also made the stars.” Mankind is enamored by the heavens and God sort mentions it in passing. “Yeah, yeah, I made the stars as well.”

Why is that important? Because God has already stated the purpose for all that He has created. If you miss Him, you will miss His purpose. The Naturalist call attention to what is created while ignoring the Creator. In place of the Creator, they insert natural processes which owes its existence to nothing but chance and time, which by the way can’t explain themselves within themselves. There is no known quantity which can explain its own existence by itself. And yet, that’s what they propose.

C. S. Lewis wrote in one of his essays called, God in the Dock, in response to the question of life coming from an accidental stellar collision. He says,
If the solar system was brought about by an accidental collision, then the appearance of organic life on this planet was also an accident, and the whole evolution of man was an accident too. And this holds for the thoughts of the materialists and astronomers as well as for anyone else’s – are merely accidental by-products, why should I believe them to be true?

Some may think it is arrogant to presume that this planet and mankind is so important in this universe. And yet, absent a God who said it, that would be a fair statement. But note something. At this point in creation mankind has not yet appeared. And yet, God said that this Earth is center of His purposeful plan. But understand something else as well. This is not a statement about mankind or the Earth. The heavens and the created world are statements about the Creator. Psalm 19:1 makes this clear. “The heavens tell of the glory of God; And their expanse declares the work of His hands.

God has created this huge signposts in the heavens to delineate our times and to give us light to see. For those who deny or willfully ignore the Creator, they will have no excuse when they stand before Him. Romans 1:19-20 makes this very clear.
because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, being understood by what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

As I’ve said before, I have chosen who I will believe. I will not wish upon a star. But I will look upon the heavens and know the One who made them. This universe and we ourselves are not accidents. There is divine purpose bestowed on both of these by the Creator.

At the end of day four God declared, “it was good.” What God makes is good. God has conferred value to that which He creates. This says everything about the Creator. He is good.

We marvel at the heavens because we know the One who made them and why He made them. Psalm 8:1 says, “LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth, You who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!

The splendor of our Lord is laid out for all of us to see. What do I see when I gaze into the heavens? I see the genius, wonder, majesty and care of our Lord.

What do you see when you look up?

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