Three-hundred fifty-one(!) days ago, I last left my Genesis commentary with Genesis 1:7–8. It has been over a year — for which I apologize — and my last entry dates from what seems like a different era of my life (what I shall call the pre-Thesis epoch).
And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. The Book of Genesis 1:9–10
Prior to the events of these verses, Earth was an amorphous blob, a sludgy mix of mineral and water. Remember making mud pies as a kid? Earth was a bit like that, only on a grandiose scale.
But God doesn’t leave it that way — nor could He, for His plan included a myriad of creatures, creatures which would need clear water and others which would need solid ground.
So again, Yahweh speaks, and the created obeys. The water separates from the solids under the power of the voice of God. Never has the moon had such an affect on the seas! God’s will is the ultimate tidal force.
Yahweh, in responding to Job, describes the forming of the seas:
“Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb, 9when I made clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling band, 10and prescribed limits for it and set bars and doors, 11and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?” The Book of Job 38:8–11
When the earth was first created, the waters “burst out from the womb”; there was no rhyme or reason to it other than the unimaginable pressure of millions of gallons of water mixing with the unformed solids of the earth. In a show of His power, Yahweh shuts up the waters and declares “This far, no farther.”
Oh, and bear in mind that Yahweh here describes the seas as they were prior to mankind bringing sin into the world, so don’t let anyone bewitch you into thinking that natural disasters such as tsunamis constitute a contradiction with what God has declared. The earth of today isn’t representative of what it was like during the events of creation.
Remember Pangaea, the original continent described by geologists as having existed hundreds of millions of years ago? Moses describes it here in these verses of Genesis, thousands of years before plate tectonics, much less Pangaea, would become accepted scientific theories.
The Scriptures may refer to them as simply the earth and the seas rather than Pangaea and Panthalassa, but it is a testament to the divine origin of the Scriptures that the primordial state of Earth would be known to Moses long before schools would start preaching plate tectonics and other theories as a death knell to the validity of the Scriptures.
The giving of the names “Earth” and “Seas” represents the last time God would specifically name something within this creative period. With the formation of the dry earth and the seas comes the finalization of the form and structure of Earth. The activity of the third day has been completed, and just as a chef may taste his work and approve of it, Yahweh looks upon the primordial earth and declares that it is good.
There are still a few hundred billion — if not trillion — objects left to create before man would enter into the story, and we’ll take a look at them next time. Stay tuned.