Genesis 1:16, The Sun to Govern the Day, Part II of II

God made two great lights–the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. (Genesis 1:16-18)

//Yesterday, I posed the question “How can there be day and night before there is a sun?” Several verses before the sun is made, God creates light and darkness, and separates them into day and night.

This question has puzzled readers for centuries, but it misreads the text. The sun and moon, the “lives in the sky,” are not there just to give light. Light existed before they did. Rather, God created the sun and moon with another purpose: To tend to the skies, keeping everything working the way God planned, much like the way God created a man to tend the land.

In other words, we cannot assume that the source of light is the sun and moon and stars. (What foolishness to think that! Light is everywhere!) Nor can we assume that day and night are defined by whether the sun is in the sky. Although the “great lights” do give off some of the light, their job, twice repeated in the creation story, is to govern.

Now you understand how there was day and night before there was a sun. Do not imagine that the sun creates the light for us. Rather, the sun keeps watch over the light, and turns in for the night when the light goes away.

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