About vonhonnauldt

I'm just an old guy, married to my amazing wife for almost 49 years. We have five children and nine grandchildren. No dogs or cats or fish. Just us two. Sorry about the no picture. Ran out of cameras :) I love to read and teach the Word of God. There's always something new, even in the difficult chapters. Thanks for stopping by. Come visit us at nightlightblogdotcom. We pray God's best for you.

Genesis 1:14-19: Signs, Seasons, Days and Years.

Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so.  Then God made two great lights:  the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night.  He made the stars also.  God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness.  And God saw that it was good.  So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.  (NKJV)

In Genesis 1:3, God created light as something separate and distinct from Himself, who is light, 1 John 1:5.  This created the first day, v. 5.

There’s some discussion about what exactly this “day” and the other “days” in Genesis 1 were.  Some believe that each “day” was a period of perhaps millions of years, thus making room for the extensive “time” required for evolution.  And the Scripture does sometimes use the word “day” to refer to a period of time other than a “normal” 24-hour day, as in “the day of the Lord”.

However, a simple reading of vs. 3-5, though there is nothing “simple” about them, indicates ordinary days of 24 hours, “time” itself, at least as we know it, also being created in v. 3.

In our text for this post, God gives some instruction for what He intends “day” and “night” to do or be.  He creates individual “lights” in the heavens, the stars, to separate day and night, to provide our calendar, and to  provide light on this ball of dirt.  To further implement this plan, He then makes two particular lights:  the sun and the moon.

There is one difficulty with the stars and the idea of a six-day only window of creation.  Even at the phenomenal speed of light – a ray of light would circle the earth at the equator more than 7 times in a second! – it takes thousands of years for light from those stars to reach us.  So, in a six-day only creation scenario, starlight shouldn’t even have reached us yet in this year of our Lord 2020.  Except for the Sun during the day and the Moon at night, the sky should be empty.  Night itself should be pitch-black except for the pale luminescence of the Moon.   There seems to be no room for a mere 24-hour day.

There is an expression used in Scripture that sheds some light on this difficulty.

Referring to God, Isaiah 40:22 says,

It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.

Isaiah 44:24 says,

Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer,
And He who formed you from the womb:
“I am the LORD, who makes all things,
Who stretches out the heavens all alone,
Who spreads abroad the earth b
y Myself;”

And Zechariah 12:1 says,

The burden of the word of the LORD against Israel.  Thus says the LORD, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him;

“stretches out the heaven.”

While it’s difficult, if not impossible, really to understand what this phrase means, we might liken it to putting some dots on a balloon with a marker, then filling it with air.  The “dots” would be “stretched out” in the process.  While it’s a poor analogy, it may give some idea how that the LORD God created everything, the shining of the stars included, with the light streaming from them, then “stretched out” the heavens, the rays of light with them.  As I said, a poor analogy, compared to the creative might and purpose of Almighty God.  His Word focuses on the earth because that’s where mankind lives and where sin and redemption take place, not the heavens.

There is great prophetic significance beyond this mere chronological use of day and night.

There are those who believe that God is done with Israel because of their continued rebellion against Him ever since their deliverance from slavery in Egypt, but more particularly because of their rejection and crucifixion of the Lord Jesus.  They simply cannot or will not see that that rejection and crucifixion was the means of salvation, not only for us Gentiles, but that it will be that even for Israel itself.  While God may have temporarily put aside Israel in favor of “the church,” He is not done with them.

Jeremiah 33:23-26 says,

Moreover the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying, “Have you not considered what these people have spoken, saying, ‘The two families which the LORD has chosen, He has also cast them off.’?  Thus they have despised My people, as if they should no more be a nation before them.

Thus says the LORD:  “If My covenant is not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth, then I will cast away the descendants of Jacob and David My servant, so that I will not take any of his descendants to be rulers over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  For I will cause their captives to return, and will have mercy on them’?”

If it’s claimed that this was fulfilled at Israel’s return from Babylon Captivity, I say that is impossible.

The whole chapter needs to be studied and paid attention to.

Earlier in the chapter, God had promised,

‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘that I will perform that good thing which I have promised to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah:

‘In those days and at that time
I will cause to grow up to David
A Branch of righteousness;
He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.

This certainly did not happen at the Return!

Furthermore, in Zechariah 12:10 God promised to Israel, “…I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication, then they shall look on Me whom they have pierced.  Yes, they shall mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one mourns for a firstborn(emphasis added).

Then in Zechariah 13:1, which continues the statements of ch. 12, God said, “In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness.”

The whole section of Zechariah 12-14 should be read.

This will be the fulfillment of Romans 11:1-27, which concludes, all Israel will be saved, as it is written:

“The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
For this My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins,”
vs. 26, 27.

As long as there are day and night, there will be an Israel!

“According To Its Kind”

Generally speaking, there are two diametrically opposed and mutually exclusive views as to the origin of this world and everything in it.  The prevailing view, the view of materialistic science, is that it just happened, and over the course of millions of years “evolved” into the world of today.  The other view, the view of the Bible and conservative Christianity, is that, no, it didn’t.  It was created.  In six days.  A third view, which says it is Christian, tries to marry the two, as it were.  This mongrel view says that, yes, God created things to start with, but then He used evolution to develop His work.

As always, our question must be, What does the Scripture say? Romans 4:3.

Genesis 1:11, 12, Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth; and it was so.  And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind.

Genesis 1:21, So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind.” 

Genesis 1:24, 25, Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind.  And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind.

In these five verses, there are ten (10) references to vegetation, birds, fish, insects and animals reproducing after its or their kind.  From the very beginning, God said that there would be no “development” into other “kinds,” but that everything that could reproduce would do so to reproduce itself, not something new.  This does not mean that, within a particular “kind,” there could not be a sort of development, hence, for example, all the different kinds of dogs, from large guard dogs (LGD) that weigh 200 pounds to the tiny chihuahua, which weighs 5 pounds or so.  But they are all dogs, and they reproduce dogs, not cats or canaries.

Genesis 1:6-10, The Firmament

Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.”  Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so.  And God called the firmament Heaven.  So the evening and the morning were the second day.

Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so.  And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas.  And God saw that it was good.

“The firmament”

What was it, and what did it do?

Though I won’t be dogmatic about the idea, the firmament seems to have been a barrier protecting the new planet. The margin translates “firmament” as “canopy”.   Perhaps the firmament was the atmosphere humans would breathe in a few days.  Yes, I do believe in a recent creation, there being no reason for the millions of years evolutionists claim other than to get rid of God.  Early church fathers wondered why it took God so long to create – six whole days!  After all, He could have done it all at once.

I have no idea what “the waters above the firmament” might have been.  Perhaps they are a source of much of the water for Noah’s Flood.  Among other things describing that event, Genesis 7:11 says, “and the windows of heaven were opened.”  I think there’s more involved in that statement than the fact that “the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights,” v. 12.

Perhaps this whole series of “water, firmament (atmosphere), water” were themselves the protection for the new planet and that life which would inhabit it.  Perhaps their effect would be like that of a greenhouse, providing optimal  surroundings for the new creation.

Among other things, it would prevent potentially harmful rays from the Sun from reaching the Earth’s surface.  This would facilitate the growth of both plant and animal and would explain the appearance of the dinosaurs.  Just the other day, on a creation website, I saw a picture of a man standing next to the leg of a dinosaur.  I don’t remember its name  This man, probably about six feet tall, was next to the tibia and fibula and these lower leg bones were almost as tall as he, and very thick.  It’s hard to imagine the animal they originally belonged to.

Dinosaurs are reptiles, which even now never stop growing.  Imagine such a creature in a perfect environment, such as was before the Flood, with a greatly extended life.  The same is true of plant life.  This says nothing of the abundant oxygen produced by a plant life that makes what we have look microscopic in comparison.

It must indeed have been a paradise.

 

Genesis 1:4, 5: Night and Day

And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.  God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night.  So the evening and the morning were the first day (NKJV).

Night.  Day.

The two elements of time which define our calendar.

The distinction between them has been somewhat blurred by the technology which allows us to work or play almost equally well regardless of what the clock or the calendar say.

The Scripture has a lot to say about these two elements of time.  Here are some OT references.

Genesis 8:22, “While the earth remains,…day and night Shall not cease.”

Psalm 74:16, The day is Yours, the night also is Yours; You have prepared the light and the sun.

Jeremiah 33:20, 21, “Thus says the Lord:  ‘If you can break My covenant with the day and My covenant with the night, so that there will not be day and night in their season, then My covenant may also be broken with David My servant, so that he shall not have a son to reign on his throne, and with the Levites, the priests, My ministers.

It’s interesting in Jeremiah that the Lord compares the continuing orderly succession of day and night with the perpetuity of the Davidic and the Levitical covenants, and that only if that solar covenant can be broken could it be that David should not have a son to reign on his throne.

It’s commonly believed that the Davidic Covenant has been fulfilled and, as a result,  the Lord Jesus sits on the throne in heaven.   But then, what about “the Levites, the priests, My ministers”?  Though descendants of Levi might still exist, there are no Levites ministering today.  Indeed, only the Lord knows who they might be.  And there is no Temple in which they might minister.

Ezekiel 40-48 give us the answer to this difficulty.  Though not yet, there is coming a time when there will be a Temple in Jerusalem.  Only the Lord knows the time when all that will be fulfilled, but it will be fulfilled as Ezekiel foretold it.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

But there’s more to this “night and day” and light and darkness than just the chronological side.  When God created this world, He made man to be different from the various animals.  Though I don’t like to use the term because of the way it’s been misused in our culture, God made man to have a relationship with Him, something that animals do not have.  This does not mean that everyone is saved, as the term “relationship” is used today; it means that we are His creation, His subjects, and that we are innately aware of it.  We are dependent on Him for even the very breath we take into our lungs, Daniel 5:23 – and we are to know it, something never said of the animal world.  We are to live for Him, to glorify Him, honor Him, serve Him.  We are spiritual creatures (not “spirit” creatures – like angels), not just or only flesh, bone and blood.

We especially see this in the New Testament.

Though not a reference to night and day as such, one of the very first references to the light or darkness which characterize them is in Luke 1:76-79, where Zechariah the priest, finally freed from his long silence, says of his son, John,

“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest;
For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways,
To give knowledge of salvation to His people
By the remission of their sins,
Through the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us;
To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace,

“To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death.”

John was to be the forerunner, the herald, of the coming Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Without meaning to be funny, the Lord came to give us a light far different than just a new kind of light bulb.  I’m sure His time and culture would be astonished beyond words by what we have in that way in our time, but He came to give us a different, eternal kind of light.  He came to give us wisdom and understanding in the things of God.  Proverbs 9:10 says, The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

The Lord Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.  He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

John 1:4, 5 says, In Him was life, and the life was the light of men,  And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

The Jews did not understand Him at all, and our time and culture no longer understand Him either, though there was time when we did, contrary to those who say otherwise.  The Jews rejected Him, and so have we.

The Jewish nation disappeared, and I fear our culture and nation will also disappear one of these days.  I’m afraid I see more than the beginnings of this dissolution in the news every day.  As were the Jews of His time, I’m afraid we, too, will be condemned because of our rejection of the Lord Jesus.

And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.  But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God, John 3:19-21.

What do you think of the Lord Jesus?

Is He just another religious figure?

Is He fictional, the product of men’s imagination?

Is He who the Bible says He is, God incarnate, conceived miraculously and born of a virgin?

Is He the Savior?

Is He your Savior?

When this planet is a distant memory, in a future we can’t begin to imagine, your answer to those questions now will determine where you are then.

Heaven, and the blessing and wonder of eternity, because of the Lord Jesus and your faith in who He was and what He did.

Or…

Hell, and torment and guilt because of your sins.

Which will it be?

It will be one or the other.

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved,” Acts 16:31.

“Let There Be Light”

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  The earth was without form and void; and darkness was on the face of the waters.  And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light, Genesis 1:1-3 NKJV.

Though they are directly and categorically opposed to the thought of this age, and they are categorically opposed and denied by the thought of this age, these verses in the first chapters of Genesis are some of the most profound verses in Scripture.  In broad brush strokes, they give us the picture of the creation of this world and the universe it sits in and lay the groundwork for understanding the moral and spiritual chaos that surrounds us in this year of our Lord 2019.

There is a lot of discussion about these verses, even among Christians.

What does it mean, for example, that “the earth was without form and void”?

Some have tried to answer this and to make room for the millions of years required by the theory of evolution, by translating this clause, “the earth became dark and void,” or empty.  These folks, known as “old earth creationists,” hold to the view the earth is indeed millions of years old.  They advance the idea that the earth underwent some catastrophe by which it became “dark and void.”  Doing so, they think they are believing the Bible while giving science the place it deserves.

Though they likely disagree with me on this, they are wrong.

On both counts.

The earth isn’t millions of years old, and there was no “catastrophe”.

Genesis 1:2 simply describes this planet as it came from the mind and word of God before anything had been done to it.  It was “dark” because there was as yet no light.  It was “void” or empty because God had not yet done anything to it.  It was, as it were, a lump of clay in the Potter’s hand, waiting to be molded by His skill and purpose, except for the fact that when He made the heavens and the earth, there was nothing “in His hand,” no pre-existent material for Him to work with.  He made everything ex nihilo, that is, out of nothing.

As for the “age” of the earth, the Lord Jesus placed the creation of Adam and Eve at the beginning of creation, not as a result of countless ages of “upward” development from an amoeba, Matthew 19:4, but by a direct act of God.  God Himself said that it took Him six days to do all that He wanted to do, Exodus 20:11.

And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

It’s a foolish thing to try to understand God by looking at how humans do things, though we do that way too often.  I guess it could be said that I’m doing that in this post.  None of us can create by simply saying something.  And, no, this isn’t the same thing as asking Alexa to turn on the lights for you.  I’ve never sculpted or worked with clay.  I have done calligraphy and, in this case, do know something about laying out work that needs to be done.

So, when the Spirit of God was looking things over, if I can put it like that, was He laying out the basic design for this world?  The Americas here, Europe here, Africa there.  This flower and that bee.  These animals and that locale.  We do know from Scripture that the history of this ball of dirt has been laid out already, so why not its geography?

There are no “accidents” in this world.  Every rock, every clod of dirt, every tree, is right where it’s supposed to be.  As I’ve written before, there are no erasers on God’s pencils.

With this viewpoint, the question often arises, did God “put in” evil? Lord willing, we’ll deal with this difficulty, Lord willing, when we get to Adam and Eve, but for now, did He “put in” evil in the same sense that He put in the rock and the tree?  No.  On the other hand, as some teach, did evil catch Him by surprise?  Also, no.  Did it “mess up” His planning, so that He had to go to “Plan B”?  Absolutely NOT!!

But there is another, much worse, kind of darkness –

There is the darkness of moral evil, of sin.

This other kind of “darkness” has nothing to do with the presence or absence of physical light.  Proverbs 2:13, 14 refers to those who leave the paths of uprightness, To walk in the ways of darkness; who rejoice in doing evil…, emphasis added.

It is a darkness in which all of us have walked, and perhaps are still walking:  for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23.  For there is not a just man on earth who does good And does not sin, Ecclesiastes 7:20.

This is God’s description of us.

This does not mean that we’re all as bad as we could be.  All of us can think of some who are worse (in our estimation) than we are.  It means that we’re not as good as we should be.  And we’re certainly not holy, harmless and undefiled as Hebrews describes the Lord Jesus.

There’s another agent at work in all this, as well.

In 2 Corinthians 4, Paul wrote, But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do no believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them, vs. 3, 4.

“The god of this age.”

A lot of people deny any such being as Satan, but Scripture speaks of him from the Garden of Eden clear to that future time when he will finally be cast into the Lake of Fire, never again to interfere in the world of men, Genesis 3; Revelation 20:10.

But he’s the one behind the plethora of cults, false religions, false beliefs and the moral chaos in our culture.  He wants no one even to look at that book which foretells his ultimate doom and wants to take as many as possible with him to that place of torment.  So he does all he can to counteract the clear witness of the Word of God.

What better way than to present a counterfeit worldview in which the idea of “God” has no place at all?  Evolution has no place for God.  From the beginning, with its incomprehensible belief in a hot blob of something which blew up, to the idea that we’ve all just evolved, hit-or-miss, with no purpose or reason, evolution has presented us with that counterfeit.

But that counterfeit won’t do us any good when we stand before God, as we all will, every one of us.  No exceptions.  There’s only one currency, if you will, that can pay for sin and grant entrance into eternal bliss.  That payment is the one made by the Lord Jesus on the Cross.  That death is the reason He was born.  The only reason.

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.”

God Created

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth; and the earth was without form and void.  And the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters, Genesis 1:1, 2 NKJV.

“God created…”

It didn’t just happen….

First, we are told by “science,” there was nothing.

Then, all of a sudden, out of all this nothing, and out of nowhere, there was “something.”

And from this something, here we all are, us, our cats and dogs and goldfish.

“God created….”

I can’t even begin to imagine the grandeur of this.

God simply spoke, and it was so.

Not countless eons of time, stretching on and on.

God just said, and it was.

Finished and complete.

In the Beginning

Beginning….

Our last post was “Finished”.  I really hadn’t planned it that way, but every thing, every object, every thing we can see, as well as that which we cannot see, cannot “finish” unless it had a beginning.

Even this world.

This beginning….

Did it just “happen”?

No rhyme, no reason.  Just one day…

Poof!

And there it all was, in all its primordial glory, in a puff of smoke….

Or was it this way…?

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  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, Genesis 1:1, 2 NKJV.

The first, somewhat abridged and inaccurate, is the “scientific” version; the second is the Scriptural version.

Today, we’re beginning a series on the first 11 chapters of Genesis.  In these chapters, describing four seminal events, are the beginnings of everything we see around us.

Many will not agree with the viewpoint of this series, that Genesis is an accurate historical record of the beginning, not only this planet, but of the material universe.

The Lord Jesus accepted the historicity and accuracy of Genesis.

We need nothing else.

As far as the “puff of smoke”viewpoint, that’s pretty much how it’s viewed today, although the possibility of such a thing actually happening have been calculated as 1 in 1 followed by a ridiculously large number of zeroes.

In other words, “it ain’t happenin’ ! ”

And it took a ridiculously large number of years.  It didn’t just suddenly appear one day in a cloud of smoke.

But this view, in the mind of atheist scientists, has the advantage that it gets rid of God.

The other view, that it took only six actual, literal days…

That’s the view of Scripture, not only in Genesis 1 and 2, but in other Scriptures as well.  We’ll look at them as we go along.  Some of the early church fathers wondered why it took God so long.  He could have done the whole thing in an instant.  He chose not to.  Genesis gives us the record of what He did do.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  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.

The first sentence is a capsule summary of creation.  God created the heavens and the earth.  The rest of Genesis 1-11 fills in some of the details.

Some, not all.  We’re not told everything, just what we need to know, not what we might want to know.