The word translated 'firmament" or "expanse" in Genesis 1 is a most revealing word. It literally comes from a root, scholars tell us, that means to stamp or beat, or pound or spread, and refers to the ancient process by which statues were made. Films of malleable gold were hammered and form-fitted around a wooden framework of the shape of the statue to be. Then thousands of years later photographs of earth (that capital of the galaxies!) from outer space showed a film-like layer of atmosphere that was form-fitted to earth's spherical shape, as if that word were chosen by One who held a similar perspective to the one from which those photographs were snapped. As I explained this to my wife she reminded me that the ark of the covenant was a wooden frame also overlaid with gold. The gnarled and thorned but durable acacia wood represents the fallen but redeemable human nature. The gold represents the royal agape love that loves because it is the divine nature to love. Wow! The very suggestion and reminder that the earth is the footstool of a loving God on the throne, created initially to be God's temple and resting place, that very reminder is such a welcome one.
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