Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.
Isaiah 45:18 shows us that God’s original intent was for planet earth “to be inhabited.” When God has a purpose for something, He makes sure His purpose is fulfilled (Isaiah 46:10). God was determined that earth would not remain a dark, uninhabitable wasteland. Genesis 1:3 begins the record of God’s work of transforming the desolate wasteland the earth had become after Satan’s rebellion into the inhabitable planet we live on today.
The days described in the succeeding verses are often called “the creation week.” But this amazing historical record of God’s work to renew the earth and fill it with life is better termed the re-creation. This is the record of the incredible renovation project of restoring the earth to a state of beauty and order that would allow it to support the coming pinnacle of His physical creation—humankind!
God began the re-creation week by making alterations that allowed light to diffuse into the earth’s atmosphere. This was probably done by clearing and cleaning the atmosphere of dense, thick clouds of gas that had become so thick that light was completely blocked from reaching the surface of the earth.
Is it significant that God began the re-creation process by allowing light to reach the earth’s surface? Consider that one of the greatest metaphors of the character of the God who did this work is light. Jesus Christ, who was responsible for carrying out the work of re-creation, later said, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12). God’s ways are designed to illuminate and make clear. God’s law is likened to “a lamp” that brings “light to my path” (Psalm 119:105)—in other words, bringing clarity of direction to how a person lives his or her life. God’s calling and working with human beings is referred to as “being enlightened” (Ephesians 1:18).
Recommended further reading: Read Genesis 1:3-25 to learn about the first five days of physical re-creation that prepared the way for the momentous sixth day, which we will cover in Monday’s commentary.
To learn more about God’s character, read our section on “Who Is God?”
Tomorrow on the Daily Bible Verse Blog: “Love God’s Pure Word.”