Create and Fashion

Studies in Genesis 1

And God made the two great lights — the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night — and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. (Genesis 1:16-18 ESV)

God uses the word “separate” to draw a distinction between light and darkness, just as He did on the first day. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness” (Gen 1:4 ESV). HE also “separated” water from water (Gen. 1:6), that is, He separated the water needed for life from that liquid hostile to life. Our word “separate” is two Hebrew words, bâdal bêyn, which is to divide or distinguish between.

God draws a division and distinction between the light and darkness, the light of day and the darkness of night. This separation of light from darkness is a theme throughout Scripture.

God created both light and darkness. He tells us this in Genesis and again in Isaiah. “I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things” (Isaiah 45:7 ESV).

To form means to mold, as potters molds and form clay. To create means to cut down, select and make or fashion. God forms like a potter both light and well-being, which is peace. He also selects and fashions darkness, which may mean a combination of misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness, calamity or that which is bad.

Is God saying He is the author of both light and peace, and of death and evil? It would seem so. Here is what the Gospel of John says about Jesus, the Christ.

All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:3-5 ESV)

Do not jump to conclusions. God gives life but also takes it away, bringing death. That He does this is theologically sound. Why He does this, gives life and death, is a theological mystery which requires a lifetime of examination and intimacy with God.


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