Genesis 1:6

The Sea, the Clouds, and the Expanse

And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it sep­a­rate the waters from the waters.” Gen­e­sis 1:6, Eng­lish Stan­dard Version

If you’ll recall, we saw that in verse 2 the Spir­it or God was mov­ing upon the waters which at that time exist­ed as a “sol­id” mass, swirling about in the midst of space. In verse 3 we read that God cre­at­ed light; with light came heat, and what hap­pens to water when you heat it?

It evap­o­rates, and we read in verse 6 that this was all part of God’s plan, for He has decreed that there should be a fir­ma­ment or expanse between the waters below and the evap­o­rat­ed waters above.

What is this expanse? It is the “First Heav­en,” the atmos­phere of Earth. The cre­ation of this expanse is oft cit­ed through­out the Scrip­tures, as it is the famous “stretch­ing out” of the sky as if it were a tent (Psalm 104:2; Isa­iah 40:22).

A tent may seem like a fun­ny way to describe the sky, but is it all that far-fetched? Tents pro­vide pro­tec­tion against the ele­ments, and is that all too dif­fer­ent from what the (for exam­ple) ozone lay­er does for us? God formed the cre­ation to work togeth­er in har­mo­ny — remove the ozone lay­er, and the light would cook us!

Also, we should­n’t think of sep­a­ra­tion as though the waters above are con­tained with­in one room, the waters below in anoth­er, with the expanse act­ing as a wall between them. Rather, the expanse keeps the waters sep­a­rat­ed by con­tain­ing the waters which are above the earth; this water may be in feath­ery clouds miles above your home town, or they may be con­tained in fog rolling in off of a lake. In either instance, the waters are sep­a­rate; the expanse tire­less­ly does the job which God had cre­at­ed it to do.

We Chris­tians would do well to live our lives with the dili­gence of the expanse. Would­n’t it be grand if all of Chris­ten­dom would unceas­ing­ly work toward the growth of the King­dom of God? How dif­fer­ent would the world be!

And yet the expanse has it easy; it has no will, no atten­tion which could be pulled away from its task. We do. We can choose to dis­obey God — for many peo­ple in this world, that is all they will ever choose — or we can die to our­selves and embrace life in Jesus Christ. I’m still speak­ing pri­mar­i­ly to believ­ers here, and I just have to ask, are you per­form­ing God’s tasks, or are you distracted?

2 thoughts on “Genesis 1:6”

  1. Thanks for your writ­ing about the God’s creation.
    I also wrote about Genesis1:1–8, and inter­pret­ed these vers­es by Hebrew.
    Would you kind­ly vis­it my blog and give me a good advice about my interpretation?
    I’ll wel­come your good advice.
    May our mer­ci­ful God always stay with you!

  2. I took a look at some of what you had writ­ten, and it’s dif­fi­cult to com­ment on. You take a lot of what is said in Gen­e­sis and make it sym­bol­ic for some­thing else — for exam­ple, believ­ing that the sep­a­ra­tion of light from dark­ness was the gath­er­ing togeth­er of our uni­verse in preclu­sion of any oth­er pos­si­ble uni­vers­es. Once you allow for such sym­bol­ic inter­pre­ta­tion, it’s near­ly impos­si­ble to say one inter­pre­ta­tion is bet­ter than another.

    The only advice I could pos­si­bly give that I feel would be of any ben­e­fit would be to trust that God meant what He said and said what He meant with­out the need for us to pin down var­i­ous symbols.

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Rick Beckman