AND GOD SAID, "LET THERE BE LIGHT," AND THERE WAS LIGHT. (NIV)
In Genesis God gave us the briefest highlights of His creative activity on Earth.
God wants us to be certain that He wrote the story, but He gives us the privilege-and-thrill of filling in the details. He does not bury us under a mountain of data that might distract from His main theme: showing us His plan for redeemption.
This is a frequently quoted verse by believers and non-believers alike.
God's opening statement "LET THERE BE LIGHT" in the original Hebrew is "haya", meaning "to exist; was; to happen; or to come to pass". The verbs "bara, asa, and yasar", meaning "create, make, and form", are not used here. God created physical light "in the beginning" (Verse 1) when He brought the cosmos into existence. Light is the dominant form of energy for the past condition of the universe and its present form.
Remember what we said in Verse 2, that we are now looking from the perspective of the Earth's surface. The Earth was in total darkness, the cooling gases caused a tremendous blanket of clouds to cover the entire planet.
The Earth was in its rotation around the Sun because the Sun was already created sometime in the past. Now the clouds began to thin out and the light, that was already there, began to penetrate Earth's dark covering for the first time. This set the stage for life to appear on Earth because without light, no life can begin. Light must be available for plants to survive. Photosynthesis cannot occur without it.
So the use of the verb "haya" makes sense. The light which "existed" appeared through the darkness.
JOHN 8:12 Jesus said: "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life". (NIV)
JOHN 9:5 Jesus said: "WHILE I AM IN THE WORLD, I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD". (NIV)
I JOHN 1:5: THIS IS THE MESSAGE WE HAVE HEARD FROM HIM AND DECLARE UNTO YOU: GOD IS LIGHT; IN HIM IS NO DARKNESS AT ALL. (NIV)
There are those who believe that the Sun and Moon were not put into place until Verse 14. This has been a major problem with scientists who say that without the Sun, Moon, rotation of the Earth etc...that life could not have existed before this time. As we shall see this will all come together as we study Genesis 1.
A note here: It is possible for life to occur without the Sun and Moon in place because we have a Supernatural God who could have worked outside the known laws of Physics and kept life alive until He put them in the heavens.
As far as light is concerned, since "GOD IS LIGHT", He may have been the light the Earth needed until He set the Sun in its proper loction.
In REVELATION 22:5 it says: ...THEY WILL NOT NEED THE LIGHT OF A LAMP OR THE LIGHT OF THE SUN, FOR THE LORD GOD WILL GIVE THEM LIGHT". (NIV)
So it is certainly possible that God created outside the Laws of Physics until He set everything in motion.
However, it is more likely with the scientific evidence we have today, that God worked within these laws.
As we study further a close look at the original Hebrew should clear things up completely.
ALL of Genesis 1 fits perfectly within the order of events that scientific evidence now shows probably happened!
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The cross-references and the definitions in this part of the study really helped with understanding. I hope I'm not jumping ahead by saying this, but isn't verse 14 about the stars, apart from the sun and moon?