WISDOM OF THE WORD
Stand up straight. Sit on a chair. Climb a mountain. Lay things on a table. Marvel at buildings. Look across a field that stretches to the horizon. Jump up, and land back on steady ground. We often take for granted the solid earth beneath our feet. This terrestrial foundation, this dry land, is not just an accidental platform on which we exist but a divinely ordained habitation for all mankind.
It is God’s mighty will that separates the tumultuous sea from the stability of the Earth. It is a boundary created by His word, spoken from a perfect wisdom that is considerate of all the needs of the earth and its inhabitants. It is a brainchild forged from the love of the supreme father, a love that prevents the world from drowning in the watery abyss. And this divide is mostly clearly felt on beaches and lakeshores.
We owe our lives, our civilizations, and our flourishing to this providential will that separates land from sea. It is here, on the Earth's solid surface, terra firma, that we build our homes, cultivate our crops, and establish the infrastructure of our societies. The land offers us not only a sanctuary but a canvas for human ideas, where we create, innovate, and advance our cultures. We marvel at the breathtaking landscapes, the towering mountains, and the lush valleys, all possible because of this terrestrial foundation.
Yet, in the midst of our pursuits and preoccupations, we often forget to acknowledge the natural order that prevents the sea from raging forth and engulfing our existence. The seas, vast and mighty, are ever-restless, their waves a reminder of their potential for chaos and destruction. The significance of this divine separation becomes evident as we consider the delicate balance, the finely tuned cosmic order that keeps the sea at bay, preventing it from inundating the lands we inhabit.
In Genesis 1:9-10, we find the Creator's masterstroke, the separation of land and sea, an act of providence that shapes our world and our existence. It is a declaration of God's intention for an ordered and harmonious creation, a reminder that we live in a world where every element, every boundary, and every act of separation is purposefully designed. In this divine separation, we encounter the Creator's hand at work, and we are called to appreciate the profound significance of the solid ground beneath our feet and the carefully maintained separation that ensures our safety and well-being.
"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. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good."
These words compel us to reflect upon the magnificence of this separation, recognizing that, without it, our world as we know it would be unimaginably different. This reflection challenges us to acknowledge our responsibility as stewards of this Earth, as we coexist with both land and sea, and to honor the divine design that sustains us, both physically and spiritually. In these verses, we find the Creator's wisdom, power, and intention, calling us to cherish the land and the sea and to respect the ordered beauty of a world held in balance.
The process of ‘The Creation’ itself, as dubbed in the Book of Genesis, offers a rich source of theological insights that describe God, His will, His wishes, His wisdom, His sovereignty and power. And it will do us good to meditate on these:
The Divine Fiat: Here, we witness the extraordinary power of the divine word. With a mere utterance, God separates the waters, ushering in a world of distinction. God's word is creative, efficacious, and irrefutable. It is a command that transcends human comprehension and serves as a poignant reminder of God's authority over His creation.
The Establishment of Boundaries: The separation of the land and sea is an exercise in demarcation. It is an establishment of boundaries, a delineation of distinct realms. In this act, we discern the principle of division, a concept that resonates throughout Scripture. In defining the boundaries between land and sea, God conveys His intention for an ordered, structured, and harmonious creation.
The Naming of Things: The act of naming in Scripture is far more than a linguistic exercise. It represents an assertion of authority and dominion. As God names the dry land "Earth" and the gathered waters "Seas," He asserts His sovereignty over the entirety of creation. It is a declaration of ownership, emphasizing His role as the ultimate Ruler and Sustainer of all that exists.
The Divine Evaluation: The closing phrase, "And God saw that it was good," punctuates the narrative. This recurring refrain throughout Genesis 1 underscores the inherent goodness of God's created order. It emphasizes God's approval of His own work, a work that emanates from His own nature of perfection. This divine evaluation challenges us to view the created world through the lens of its Creator, recognizing its inherent goodness despite the imperfections introduced by human sin.
In its brevity, the book of Genesis encapsulates a foundational theological principle that threads its way through the entirety of the Bible. It extols the sovereignty of God, the significance of divine boundaries, the power of His spoken word, and His rightful authority over all creation. It lays the groundwork for teaching that emphasizes on the Creator's intention for an ordered and harmonious world.
Moreover, the holding back of the sea to its own level, for men to thrive on land, reminds us that YHWH, the Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth, is not a passive observer but an active participant in His creation. He is intimately engaged in the unfolding of the world, working with meticulous care and intentionality. What we usually view as nature is where we see God’s divine wisdom and masterful artistry.
The world is not a product of random chance or mere natural processes but as the handiwork of a purposeful Creator who has lovingly and ingeniously fashioned it. Those who realize this, therefore, are compelled to worship Him and give Him glory, for even He Himself declared His creation “good”.