The creation is one of the most exciting stories in the Bible. As a Christian, you should find out the order of creation to understand life and the universe. You may begin by probing what did God create on the first day?
God created light on the first day. Genesis 1:3-5 And God said, “Let there be light, and there was light.” And God saw that the light was good, and God 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, one day.
While it is clear what God created on the first day, there are questions about what kind of light he made, its source, and whether it is supernatural or physical. Does the light He created shine to date? These are exciting questions; read on to get their answers.
What kind of light did God create on the first?
If you are familiar with the creation story, God created the sun and other heavenly bodies on the fourth day. Genesis 1:14-15 And God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so.
It may lead you to question what type of light God created on the first day. Different scholars hold different understandings of the term light. However, it is clear what it references in the scripture, as He separated the light created on the first day from the darkness, thus creating Day and Night.
Referencing the scripture, the type of light produced is that of eliminating brightness so that you can distinguish it from the darkness.
Other scholars and theologians have come out to interpret the light as a manifestation of Christ’s glory in creation week. One theologian, Tertullian, quotes John 1:9 The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world. He alludes that the type of light referenced is the word that comes from Christ.
However, we cannot ascertain what is alluded to here as the verse is metaphorical. In other words, the verse means the revelation of the Truth of God. Another theologian, Ephrem from Syria, believes the light was a pillar of fire or a substantial bright mist. He further claims that the light ended on day three, which God brought back through creating the sun on day four.
This claim is without a base, as there are different ways to look at it. If God had created light from the pillar of fire, it would have been written in the scripture as substantial. The sun is similar to a pillar of fire, which contradicts the fact that God created the sun from new material.
What was the source of light that God created?
Where did the light come from if the sun was created on day four? Theologians and scholars have had contrasting beliefs on the source of light. Some quotes and parts of the Bible explain what the light on day one meant.
No part in the Bible spells out where the light came from. There is an assumption that some believers have, pointing out the angels as the source of light. Augustine, a theologian, and renowned author, support the idea.
He claims that God created angels on day one who illuminated light on earth from day one to three. Some scriptures give this idea basis which alludes to Angels possessing the power to shine a bright light.
Ezekiel 1: 13-14 Amid the living creatures, there was something that looked like burning coals of fire, like torches moving to and fro among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. And the living creatures darted to and fro like a flash of lightning.
In his attempt to explain, he says people had tried to define when the angel’s creation happened. In his thoughts, he explains, the light symbolizes their creation. His explanation is convincing, but how would plants thrive without heat but with light only?
One theologian, Basil, claims the light to have been the essence of the sun lacking its substance. He alludes to God creating the sun on day four as the vehicle of light. He compares that light to a lamp and the light it exudes; he explains the lamp not being the light but instead what holds it.
To answer critics of his thoughts who say we cannot separate the sun and light. Basil says that what we think is possible, God has the power to manifest in reality, drawing an example from the burning bush, which remained intact yet was on fire. His model is attractive, but there are ideas he needs to mention, whether the light provided heat to the plants and seas on day three, which is essential.
Was the light God created supernatural or physical?
The interpretations of what the light in Genesis 1:3-5 was, are numerous. Different scholars and theologians have other beliefs. For instance, some believe it was physical, as explained above, those who claim that angels brought it to light, and those who claim to be from a pillar of fire.
The Babylonian rabbis came up with an exposition and commentary on Genesis. This write-up alludes to the light talked about on the first day of creation as good, while darkness means evil. In this context, according to the writers is supernatural.
Have you heard of Shekinah Glory? The rabbinic discussion on the source of light attributes it to emitting from Shekinah’s glory of God, a supernatural light source. It was placed in the Temple and Tabernacle and could shine to every corner of the earth to references in the Bible.
Ezekiel 43:2 And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the east; the sound of his coming was like the sound of many glasses of water, and the earth shone with his glory.
However, we cannot conclude this as the true source of light spoken about in Genesis 1. There is no question about the power of God’s glory to shine over the earth. But, the scripture does not stipulate that the initial light was from this source.
Dr. John Whitcomb alludes, according to Genesis 1:3-4, the light was from a proto sun, a physical source. He says God created a form of a heavenly body resembling the sun, which the earth rotated around. Later on, God created the sun, doing away with the proto-sun.
Does the light God created still shine?
There are many interpretations of what kind of light is in Genesis 1: 3-5. Depending on the understanding of the type of light that exists, it could be shining to date. For instance, the interpretation of the light being evil and good exists to date.
It will be suitable to conclude whether the light still shines by ruling on what type it was and its source. We cannot ascertain what God meant by the light; the scripture does not seclude a specific source. As a believer, there needs to be more we understand. We can only believe and trust in God’s Word.
Many scholars have tried to bring understanding to the creation story, but none entirely is controversial. We may never fully understand the word, as other verses insinuate otherwise within the Bible. According to the Word, there shall be no sun in the future. God, Himself will be the source of light.
Isiah 60:19 The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you by night, but the Lord will be everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.
And night shall be no more; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they shall reign forever and ever. Revelation 22:5
In another verse, God assures all that believe in him will never walk in darkness but be guided with light eternally. John 8:12 Again, Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”
The verses Revelation 22:5 and Isiah 60:19 give a different meaning to the existence of light, while in John 8:12, God assures his believers of never walking alone but under the guidance of the light of life. Given all these texts from the Bible, theologians’, and scholars’ work, we then question, where did the light come from on day one? And what was its source? However, we have a better understanding on which we can base our understanding.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.