Genesis One: The Waters Above and the Waters Below

I was really having a hard time getting anything out of day 2 of creation. Maybe Answers in Genesis can deal with the science of having water above the firmament which holds the sun, moon, and stars, but I can’t. How do you have water above the stars?

And I don’t think Genesis one is about science. What does God care about whether we understand science? We didn’t know about galaxies being millions and billions of light years away until the last few decades. Surely that isn’t important.

God cares about transforming us into his image, making us sons and daughters. So what do the waters above the firmament and the waters below the firmament have to do with that?

As I looked at it this morning, that was a mystery to me. So I waited, hoping God would give me something.

I think he did. Here’s my best shot. That’s what teachers do on subjects like this. They ask God and give it their best shot. Teachers need to get the important traditions of the Church right; those are the basic teachings of Scripture. Then, afterwards, if teaching is really their gift from God, then God will give them some insight into deeper things for one purpose: the building up of the saints.

It’s good for us to be excited about God and excited about the Scriptures. Teachings like these help that happen.

One Day Wasn’t So Good

What God showed me (I hope it was God) is that day 2 is the only day where nothing is said to be good.

Is that interesting, or what?

Now the typology is simple. Water can represent people, and it can represent purity and washing. In this case, I think it represents both. God separated heavenly wisdom and heavenly beings from earthly wisdom and earthly beings.

And this wasn’t good.

It wasn’t good, but it was necessary.

What encouraged me this morning was the tremendous full feeling I got as I saw that God had everything under control from the beginning. He had a plan, and nothing on earth was a surprise to him.

Now, I already knew that, of course. All of us Christians know that. But it was really driven home for me in this passage, and I hope I can pass that feeling on.

God knew there would be a rift between him and the earth. Right at the beginning he separated the waters above from the waters below. He knew there would be problems on earth, so he preserved heavenly beings and heavenly wisdom by pulling them far away from us … beyond the sun, moon, and stars, in fact.

That was not good. It was just necessary.

Heavenly Wisdom, Heavenly Things, and Heavenly Places

Those things were preserved. Seemingly, they are far away, but God doesn’t deal in distances. Science is discovering that space and time are not necessarily what they seem. They can be bridged in ways we don’t yet understand.

God understands, though. He’s beyond space and time, and heaven is not a planet in some solar system. Its distance cannot be measured in light years. It is further than the stars, but it is also near at hand.

(Okay, my explanation is just my guess. But the idea, the idea that heaven is not a matter of space and time and is not a planet–I think that’s a given; we Christians know it to be true.)

Here we are now. Earth has already fallen. All of creation is groaning, waiting for the deliverance that will one day come with the glorious revelation of the sons of God.

While we wait, there are things that did not fall. They are preserved. There is a heavenly wisdom. There are “things above,” where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of the Father. Those things are accessible to us who have been born again.

This is just one more evidence that “you must be born again.” You will not be able to access the pure waters that come from above by good works. You will not pull things down from heaven by your own righteousness.

There is a righteousness that comes from God, and if we will walk in that righteousness, much comes with it. The things that come with it are from above, from the Father of Lights, which home there is no shadow of changing.

The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceful, gentle, and willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. (James 3:17)

Before we go to day 3, I need to do a short, interim post on righteousness being a gift to the upright in heart and the difference between righteousness and uprightness in heart. Maybe I’ll make a web page and link it from here. I can’t do that right now, though. I have to go grade a friend’s son’s math exercise so he can pass his next test …

About Paul Pavao

I am married, the father of six, and currently the grandfather of two. I run a business, live in a Christian community, teach, and I am learning to disciple others better than I have ever been able to before. I believe God has gifted me to restore proper foundations to the Christian faith. In order to ensure that I do not become a heretic, I read the early church fathers from the second and third centuries. They were around when all the churches founded by the apostles were in unity. I also try to stay honest and open. I argue and discuss these foundational doctrines with others to make sure my teaching really lines up with Scripture. I am encouraged by the fact that the several missionaries and pastors that I know well and admire as holy men love the things I teach. I hope you will be encouraged too. I am indeed tearing up old foundations created by tradition in order to re-establish the foundations found in Scripture and lived on by the churches during their 300 years of unity.
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