3. THE FIRMAMENT (Genesis 1:6-8) Second Day of Remodeling.
"And God said, Let there be a firmament (i.e. expanse) in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters." (v.6) "And God made (Hebrew "asah") the firmament and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so." (v.7) "And God called the firmament heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day." (v.8).
In these verses there are two distinct acts that are recorded. The first act being that the firmament (i.e. expanse) is made, NOT created. The second act was that the waters were divided from each other. May we pause to refresh your memory concerning the meaning of the Hebrew words of "create" and "made." Create is the Hebrew "bara" and means creating or bringing into existence something that had not previously existed. "Made," on the other hand, is the Hebrew "asah" and means: "to manufacture, to form, to release from restraint, or reassemble. The Holy Spirit wanted it known that this expanse, i.e., "firmament," had previously been created and was in use with the original creation. Remember, your "Young Earth" advocates do not want you to believe this. God was now going to use the firmament to divide the waters, making two bodies of water, the atmospheric and the terrestrial.
The Hebrew word for firmament is "raqia." It appears in the Old Testament in the Hebrew manuscripts seventeen times, nine of which are in the first chapter of Genesis. The Hebrew "raqia" comes from a root that has the meaning of "to spread out;" therefore, its literal meaning would be a "limitless expanse." What a description of the heavens. One Christian scientist put it this way, "A limitless expanse is as accurate a description of the majestic vault of sidereal space as human tongue can frame."
This firmament includes the atmospheric and the galaxies, the starry heavens, so to speak. As to the heavens beyond the earth's atmosphere, we are told in Verse 14, "And God said, Let there be lights (i.e., sun, moon, stars) in the firmament of the heaven."
The firmament also includes the earth's atmosphere as we fine in Verse 20. "And fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven."
4. OCEAN IS FORMED; DRY LAND APPEARS; BOTANY IS BORN. (Genesis 1:9-13) - 3rd Day of Remodeling.
"And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so." (v.9). "And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he seas: and God saw that it was good." (v.10). "And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself upon the earth: and it was so." (v.11). "And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind" and God saw that it was good." (v.12). "And the evening and the morning were the third day." (v.13).
Notice carefully that on the third day God did not use the Hebrew word "bara" translated "created" in our English. "Bara," as you recall means something that previously had not existed. In the third day of remodeling the earth, it had already been created in Genesis 1:1 and water had later covered it in judgment, as found in the Third Day. This is the condition that resulted from Satan's rebellion and God's judgment upon the original creation; thus, the earth "had become without form and void," as recorded in Genesis 1:2.
Your "Young Earth" advocates, some of them writing as though they were Bible scholars, do not have any degrees in Biblical theology at all. Mr. Ken Ham, founder of "Answers in Genesis (AIG) denies the original creation occupied by Satan and the angels. He refuses to acknowledge the Hebrew Masoretic Text and what qualifies as a disjunction instead of a conjunction and rules of Hebrew. For example, In Genesis 1:2, "And the earth was without form and void," here the Hebrew verb "Hayah" or "was" is in the original, as it is not italicized. "Was," is the Hebrew verb "hayah." When "hayah" is in the original text, the normal word order of the sentence in the Hebrew is changed, with the subject going to the head of the sentence. This a disconnection, or change of thought, is emphasized. This is call a pluperfect tense in the verb. Therefore, the verb "hayah" translated "was" should have been translated "had been" or "had become" or "became" without form and void. Therefore the Hebrew requires a disjunctive, instead of a conjunctive, since the verb "hayah" is in the original text.
Mr. Ham either denies the word of God outright in the original text, or doesn't know enough about the Hebrew Text to know what it teaches. In trying to deceive people into believing his "young earth" philosophy, he states that, "God says that when he made the earth it was first of all covered with water." The Bible says nothing about the earth being created as being completely covered with water. God says just the opposite, Mr. Ham, in Isaiah 45:18. Here is the word of God:
He (God) created it (earth) not in vain " (i.e., "a wilderness or ruined condition"), he formed it to be inhabited."
This is how he created it, Mr. Ham, not completely covered with water. as you say; but, beautiful and fit for the habitation of God's anointed cherub and his angelic host. This is in perfect harmony with Genesis 1:2, which tells how the earth became after Satan's fall and God's judgment.
"And the earth became (Hebrew verb "hayah") without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."
I have a booklet entitled Dinosaurs and the Bible, by Ken Ham, B. App. Sc., Dip. Ed. I do not see any degrees concerning Biblical Theology. No Bachelor of Theology, no Master of Theology, nor a Doctorate of Theology. No Biblical studies in Hebrew or Greek, yet Mr. Ham presents himself as a Biblical authority of the Scriptures. Unbelievable!
5. BOTANY, NOT CREATED, BUT "BROUGHT FORTH."
"And God said, let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth, and it was so." (Genesis 1:11).
Genesis 1:11 took place on the Third day when God was remodeling the original creation. There is to be noted that nothing on the Third Day was created on the Third Day. Remember, "created" is the Hebrew word "bara" which means "something which has never existed previously." Therefore, "created" is not used concerning the grass, herb and fruit trees, as they had previously been created with the original creation of the earth in Genesis 1:1. When Lucifer and the angels (as we know them today) inhabited the original created, it flourished with grass, herbs and fruit trees, etc. The seed was in itself upon the earth, just as it is today. When God judged the earth, which was brought about by Lucifer's rebellion, the earth was completely covered with water and "without form and void," as stated in Genesis 1:2. The seed of the grass, herb and fuit trees were still in the ground; but, could not grow or reproduce due to complete darkness due to complete darkness and the earth being completely covered with water, etc.
Now, notice what the word of God says in respect to the plant life.
"And God said, let the earth bring forth grass, herb and fruit trees."
Let me ask you, how can the earth bring forth something it doesn't already have? The original creation had the seed of plant life within itself. These seeds lay dormant for, possibly millenniums, or even millions of years. When God began to remodel the earth for human habitation, He brought forth light on the First Day, as we have discussed previously. On the Third Day, dry land appeared. The seeds of plant life contained in the earth could now, as God said, "bring forth" your fruit. God had removed the two obstacles which prohibited the growth of all plant life. Water was replaced with dry land and light replaced darkness. No one had to replant the olive tree from which Noah's dove plucked a leaf to bring back to him in Genesis 8:11, as the seed was already in the ground and had been for millenniums or longer.
May I recapitulate back to the original creation in Genesis 1:1 where plant life originated. Whatever bodies Lucifer and the angels possessed, would they not have the privilege to enjoy the fruit trees, etc. Animals were also existent on the original creation. (We will cover this when we reach the Fifth Day of remodeling the earth.) I don't know of any living creature or human that doesn't eat something to maintain existence. Christ not only ate in His earthly body, but also after His resurrection in His resurrected, glorified body. Dr. Luke records in Luke 24:42,43 concerning Christ.
"And they gave him (Christ) a piece of broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it and did eat before them."
Even the manna given to Israel in the wilderness was said to be "angel's food." Could it be that the angels of God enjoy eating the sweet tasting manna in heaven, which God shared with Israel in the wilderness? (Psalm 78:24,25).
Did not the two angels who were sent to Sodom to meet with Lot, eat at his house? Notice in Genesis 19:3.
"And they (the two angels)...entered into his (Lot's) house, and he made them a feast...and they did eat."
Then, there is a river flowing out of the throne of God, and on either side, a tree of life. This tree produces fruit every month. (Rev. 22:1,2). The redeemed in their glorified bodies will have the privilege to eat and enjoy this literal fruit. Personally, I sure hope that during at least one of the months, this tree produces those big avocados, like they grow in Florida. They are one of my favorites.
Now, back to Lucifer, the angels, and the original creation. There would be no reason for the plant life, herbs, grass, fruit trees, etc. to be created with the original creation, unless God had a purpose for them. The word "herbs" is the Hebrew "eseb" and means, "endive, lettuce, any green thing or any tender sprout. Lucifer and the angels could, and did, enjoy eating the herbs and fruit of the fruit trees. Grass would also be food for many of the animals.
The seeds of botany that had lain dormant in the earth, while under God's judgment, in the remodeling of the earth would be free to bring forth (produce again), after their kind. They were now liberated from God's curse on the Third Day of His remodeling of the earth. Psalm 104:14 tells us that; "he causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth." Notice carefully, that God is going to "cause the grass to grow" and "bring forth food out of the earth." You cannot cause grass to grow, unless the seed is already in the ground. The same with all kinds of plants and fruit trees. This is why the Holy Spirit never used the word "bara," i.e., "created" with the Third Day, because the seeds of Botany were already in the original creation.