DayBreaks for 11/10/06: A Significant Variation
From the DayBreaks archive, November 2006: (Galen is traveling again)
Genesis 1:3-5 (NIV) And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning–the first day.
I love the book of Genesis. I’m so excited because I started teaching a new Bible study on it just last week. So many of the great stories of the Bible, and really all of the great themes of the Bible, are found in the book: creation, light/darkness, the fall, Messianic expectation, sacrifice, compassion and grace and mercy, Lordship, faithfulness, covenant living, redemption, forgiveness, and on and on and on.
But I recently was fascinated all over again by the creation story itself. When we talk about a 24-hour period of time, we speak in these terms: “I’m working day and night.” If someone asked you what constituted a day, you’d probably say “Twelve hours of daylight, 12 hours of night,” or something very similar. Yet in chapter one as it tells the story of God’s creative genius, all six days of creation repeat the sequence: “And there was evening and there was morning – the first day.” Do you see it? Evening comes before the daylight, night before day.
“So?” you say. “Big deal.” Maybe you’re right. But I don’t think that God put anything in His Word that isn’t intended to show us or teach us something. The “day” in Genesis starts with night, and ends with the close of a period of light, when a new day starts again. So what’s the point? Day #1 started at a time when mankind couldn’t have worked or done anything if we wanted to. It starts with darkness…a time when God alone can work. And when we sleep. Then, we wake up each morning and we can see what God has been doing all night. He’s been preparing the sun to ride across the sky again, for the earth to continue spinning on its’ axis, for the plants to refresh the oxygen and break down the carbon dioxide.
But there’s more to it than just that. God works in the darkness of our lives, when we can’t see our way. And perhaps that gives new meaning to the oft-quoted verse from Psalms 30:5 (NLT) – His anger lasts for a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may go on all night, but joy comes with the morning. From the reading of the text of Genesis 1, it appears that God pronounces His work good once the light has shone – after the night when He’d been so busily creating.
One more thought also occurs to me: it was dark as Jesus hung on the cross, and it was morning when He arose. Again, we see God working in the darkness, again it was for our benefit. And He was doing work that we could not possibly do for ourselves.
May His Light shine upon us, and when He and we see what He’s been doing in our lives, may we echo God’s words: “It is very good!”
PRAYER: Father, at times the night seems do deep and dark. We are frightened by every little sound, every creak of the floorboard. Help us to remember that You never sleep, You never slumber, and that You perhaps do Your greatest work in the darkness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.