Let’s continue to look at Genesis Chapter 1-Day One of Creation; Let there be light. In our through the Bible study we, again, will not be doing an exact verse by verse understanding but rather a chapter or a theme or understanding one by one. One theme may actually be a part of more than one chapter so we are learning according to each theme or understanding in Holy Scripture, at times this may indeed be a verse by verse understanding.
Genesis 1 1 In the beginning God created heaven, and earth. 2 And the earth was void and empty, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God moved over the waters. 3 And God said: Be light made. And light was made. 4 And God saw the light that it was good; and he divided the light from the darkness. 5 And he called the light Day, and the darkness Night; and there was evening and morning one day.
We can start with an unusual place to see an idea of how light came into the universe before the sun existed. So where did this light — the first light in the Universe — first come from? It didn’t come from stars, because it predates the stars. It wasn’t emitted by atoms, because it predates the formation of neutral atoms in the Universe. If we continue to extrapolate backwards to higher and higher energies, we find some strange things out: thanks to Einstein’s E = mc2, these quanta of light could interact with one another, spontaneously producing particle-antiparticle pairs of matter and antimatter!
These aren’t virtual pairs of matter and antimatter, which populate the vacuum of empty space, but rather real particles. Just like two protons colliding at the LHC can create a plethora of new particles and antiparticles (because they have enough energy), two photons in the early Universe can create anything they posses enough energy to create. By extrapolating backwards from what we have now, we can conclude that within the observable Universe shortly after the Big Bang, there were some 1089 particle-antiparticle pairs at that time.
For those of you wondering how we’ve got a Universe full of matter (and not antimatter) today, there must have been some process that created slightly more particles than antiparticles (to the tune of about 1-in-1,000,000,000) from an initially symmetric state, resulting in our observable Universe having about 1080 matter particles and 1089 photons left over.
But that doesn’t explain how we wound up with all that initial matter, antimatter and radiation in the Universe. That’s a lot of entropy, and simply saying “that’s what the Universe began with” is a wholly dissatisfying answer. But if we look to the solution to an entirely different set of problems — the horizon problem and the flatness problem — the answer to this one just pops out. Something needed to happen to set up the initial conditions for the Big Bang, and that “thing” is cosmic inflation, or a period where the energy in the Universe wasn’t dominated by matter (or antimatter) or radiation, but rather by energy inherent to space itself, or an early, super-intense form of dark energy.
So science itself recognizes that there was light in the universe before the sun existed. Whatever their understanding of that is, is not the point of this blog, the fact is that science proves the idea or agrees with the idea of light before the sun. You can find the whole article if you would choose to read it right here. Obviously science being what it is; a denier of the Creator, is apparent, nevertheless, science does have its own version of light being first before the sun and the stars. Who says that there is no scientific evidence of the truth of the creation story?
We have already seen in our last issue “Creation: in the Beginning” that a day in Holy Scripture does not necessarily mean a twenty four hour period. Of course there is now and has always been discussion regarding this idea of whether it is literally twenty four hours or not literally twenty four hours. I have stated many times through the years that the church in general is not afraid of science but in fact many scientific ideas and discoveries have come through the church by way of Bishops, Priests, and laymen; male and female. We have been given intellect by our Creator to explore and subdue the earth.
This exploring and subduing the earth of course has become a very secular process which leaves Almighty God, the Creator of the very universe that they are exploring, out of the equation and therefore they lose much understanding and the exploring and subduing has become a financial enterprise for the world governments and corporations. May God have mercy on their souls; there is a price to pay for all that they do at the exclusion of their Creator.
In these first five verses of Genesis where we see the creation of light we can clearly see that the setting and rising of the sun are not what determines either light and dark or day and night. As far as Day One of Creation goes; in verse five we see, “there was evening and morning,” even though the sun itself had not yet been formed. How can there be evening and morning without a sun?
St. John Chrysostom Homily 3 on Genesis:
We learned from Origen that there are three levels to understanding Holy Scripture.
St. Basil the Great says:
Christians should be able to see that Genesis is written in a poetic and symbolic language so if we are simply to read the text purely as literal, factual history, we will not get the deeper understanding of this Day One creation of Light. In St. Basil’s day there were people who worshipped the sun as a god. He thinks the creation of the sun on the fourth day is done exactly to dismiss the idea that the sun is a god.
Today for the most part, humanity does not think that the sun is a god, this has been replaced by money and science. However we do believe that the sunlight is what makes the day, and when the sun goes down; we have the night. In the Bible, the sun “marks” the day; it does not create it. In these first five verses of Genesis again we see that even without the sun, we still have a day.
God created the light three days before He created any of the heavenly bodies. Light and darkness in the Creation story exist independent of the sun or anything else. Day and night are simply the names of light and darkness: “God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night.”
We must understand that Genesis does not say that God created darkness; Genesis 1: 2 And the earth was void and empty, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; so we clearly see that darkness was already there. Was the darkness created by God and simply not mentioned in the creation story by Moses? We know only what we have given to us in the many different writings. Darkness is nothingness; the night is emptiness, it is non-existence. This is why we see in the Apocalypse or the Book of the Revelation when it speaks of heaven it says; “There shall be no night there” (Revelation 22:5).
Light, on the other hand, is the first written creation of the words of God; “Let there be light” are His first recorded words. The scripture says that; in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, it does not say; God said create the heavens and the earth. The light in Genesis can also be seen as intelligence or wisdom as we see here;
Proverbs 8:22-31 22 The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his ways, before he made anything from the beginning. 23 I was set up from eternity, and of old before the earth was made. 24 The depths were not as yet, and I was already conceived. neither had the fountains of waters as yet sprung out: 25 The mountains with their huge bulk had not as yet been established: before the hills I was brought forth: 26 He had not yet made the earth, nor the rivers, nor the poles of the world. 27 When he prepared the heavens, I was present: when with a certain law and compass he enclosed the depths: 28 When he established the sky above, and poised the fountains of waters: 29 When he compassed the sea with its bounds, and set a law to the waters that they should not pass their limits: when be balanced the foundations of the earth; 30 I was with him forming all things: and was delighted every day, playing before him at all times; 31 Playing in the world: and my delights were to be with the children of men.
We can see how the delights of wisdom were to be with the children of men through our lord Jesus the Christ. John 1: 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him: and without him was made nothing that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
Jesus Christ, Who is the Word of God, all things were created by Him and through Him and Him alone. Begotten of the Father; Jesus is the light of the universe and the light of man. Jesus is the wisdom of God from the beginning. By bringing this light into the universe or by the creation of the light in the Cosmos; Jesus is that light, Jesus is the sustainer of the cosmos, without Him there is nothing. From the very beginning, before time, all of creation has been about Jesus the Christ and His bringing humanity into God the Father. This is the whole purpose.
“And the evening and the morning were the first day.” Can we see that day and night are not the same as light and dark? The Light and the Darkness do not refer to the day that has light in it and the night that has no light. Light and Dark, intelligence or being or existence is Light, Darkness, again, is the lack of that intelligence, or being, or existence. The Darkness is nothingness.
So we say that before the creation of light, the world was not in night, but in darkness. Night is the opposite of day and it was not called night until after day. Thus were created the evening and the morning.
A day and a night is simply called a day. Everywhere the measure of time is counted by days, without mention of nights. “The days of our years,” says the Psalmist. “Few and evil have the days of the years of my life been,” said Jacob, and Psalm 22:6 6 And Your mercy will follow me all the days of my life. And that I may dwell in the house of the Lord unto length of days. Or in a different translation, Psalm 23:6 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
And the evening and the morning were one day. Why does Scripture say “one day” not “the first day”? Before speaking to us of the second, the third, and the fourth days, would it not have been more natural to call that one the first which began the series? If it therefore says “one day,” it is from a wish to determine the measure of day and night, and to combine the time that they contain.
Now twenty-four hours fill up the space of one day and night combined. In reality a day is the time that the heavens starting from one point take to return there. Thus, every time that, in the revolution of the sun, evening and morning occupy the world, their periodical succession never exceeds the space of one day.
But must we believe in a mysterious reason for this? God who made the nature of time measured it out and determined it by intervals of days; and, wishing to give it a week as a measure, he ordered the week to revolve from period to period upon itself, to count the movement of time, forming the week of one day revolving seven times upon itself: a proper circle begins and ends with itself. Such is also the character of eternity, to revolve upon itself and to end nowhere. If then the beginning of time is called “one day” rather than “the first day,” it is because Scripture wishes to establish its relationship with eternity.
It was, in reality, fit and natural to call “one” the day whose character is to be one wholly separated and isolated from all the others. If Scripture speaks to us of many ages, saying everywhere, “age of age, and ages of ages,” we do not see it enumerate them as first, second, and third. It follows that we are hereby shown not so much limits, ends and succession of ages, as distinctions between various states and modes of action. “The day of the Lord,” Scripture says, “is great and very terrible,” and elsewhere “Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord: to what end is it for you? The day of the Lord is darkness and not light.” A day of darkness for those who are worthy of darkness.
No; this day without evening, without succession and without end is not unknown to Scripture, and it is the day that the Psalmist calls the eighth day, because it is outside this time of weeks. Thus whether you call it day, or whether you call it eternity, you express the same idea. Give this state the name of day; there are not several, but only one. If you call it eternity still it is unique and not manifold. Thus it is in order that you may carry your thoughts forward towards a future life, that Scripture marks by the word “one” the day which is the type of eternity, the first fruits of days, the contemporary of light, the holy Lord’s day honored by the Resurrection of our Lord. And the evening and the morning were one day.”
But, whilst I am conversing with you about the first evening of the world, evening takes me by surprise, and puts an end to my discourse. May the Father of the True Light, Who has adorned day with celestial light, Who has made the fire to shine which illuminates us during the night, Who reserves for us in the peace of a future age a spiritual and everlasting light, enlighten your hearts in the knowledge of truth, keep you from stumbling, and grant that “you may walk honestly as in the day.” Thus shall you shine as the sun in the midst of the glory of the saints, and I shall glory in you in the day of Christ, to Whom belong all glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.
For much of the modern world, these biblical ideas make no sense at all. The modern world, or at least a great deal of it, does not know that the world is an intelligible place. According to the modern view, intelligibility is not a characteristic of the world itself, but only of the human mind. Modern man thinks he is supposed to “make sense” of the world, not discover a sense that is already there.
The modern world logically reaches this conclusion because it no longer believes in Creation. Instead, the existence of the universe is explained as the random result of physical forces. The modern world knows nothing of “why?” but only “how?”
The universe, accordingly, defies a “why” and has only a “how?” That is to say, it has no light except physical light. It has no intrinsic intelligibility, because intelligibility, or “sense,” implies knowable structure, or form.
A “random” world is a world without intelligible structure.
In denying the doctrine of Creation, we deny God’s first act, the calling forth of the light, which is the principle of truth. And here is where the teaching of Genesis becomes deadly serious, because the denial of the light is not just an individual denial. It is the ultimate denial. To foreswear the light of truth is the death of all knowledge.
The loss of the light does not leave the mind neutral. It leaves the mind in darkness, an existence forever outside of the truth. In this sense, modern man’s predicament is that of Judas Iscariot, of whom the Bible tells us, “Having received the piece of bread, he then went out immediately. And it was night” (John 13:30).
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