May 3, 2013
Commentary on the Book of Genesis
By: Tom Lowe


Topic #A: An Account of Creation. Gen. 1:1-2:7.


Lesson I.A.2: The Darkness Terminated.
Scripture: Gen. 1:3-5.

Gen. 1:3-5. (KJV)
3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.


This passage provides additional information about the work God did on the first day. The first thing He created was light; not that He needed light in order to see and do His work—the darkness and light are both alike to him—but He knew we needed the light in order to see His works and His glory in them, and so that we might work our works while it is day. The works of Satan and his servants are works of darkness; but he that speaks truth, and does good, comes to the light, and desires it, “that his deeds may be made manifest” (Jn. 3:21). In the New Jerusalem there will not be a sun or moon because God Himself will provide the light. In the new creation, the first thing created in the soul is light.  We can see because He created light, so let us be led by that light to believe in Him and to love Him who is infinite and eternal light (See 1 Jn. 1:5), and the Father of lights (See Jam. 1:17), and who dwells in inaccessible light, (See 1 Tim. 6:16).
John 1:5 (KJV) “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”

James 1:17 (KJV) “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

1 Tim 6:16 (KJV) “Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.”


3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

And God said,
This mild command is also found in verses 6, 9, and 14, and it suggests a divine plan and purpose for the creation; that it is not a mere accident or the result of chance. Neither does it appear to be self-sustaining or self-perpetuating. It is a demonstration of God’s awesome power. God merely spoke creation into existence by the word of His mouth. The psalmist says, “… he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast” (Ps 33:9). We are reminded in Hebrews that “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God …” (Heb 11:3).

This phrase, “And God said,” which occurs so repeatedly in the creation account means: willed, decreed, appointed; and the formative will of God was followed in every instance by an immediate result. The sun was not created until the fourth day, so, on the first day the dense accumulation of fogs and vapors which enveloped the chaos had covered the globe with total gloom. But by the command of God, light suddenly appeared; the thick murky clouds were dispersed, broken, or diluted, and light diffused over the expanse of waters. The effect is described in the name "day (v. 5)," which in Hebrew signifies "warmth," "heat"; while the name "night (v. 5)" signifies a "rolling up," as night wraps all things in a shady mantle.

Let there be light:
Notice that God said, “Let there be light.” Each of the six days begins with the announcement, “Let there be.” Ten times in this chapter we will find “let there be”—let there be a firmament, let there be lights, let the waters be gathered together, etc. Someone has called these the ten commandments of creation. This is the divine Decalogue that we find here. “God said, Let there be light.” This is the first time we are told that God spoke. These are His first words recorded in Scripture.

The light was made by the word of God’s power. He said, Let there be light; he willed and decreed it, and it was done immediately: there was light, and it was an exact copy of the original idea that appeared in the Eternal Mind. Oh, what awesome power there is in the word of God! He spoke, and it was done, done in fact, efficiently, and for perpetuity. The world of God (that is, his will and the good pleasure of it) is quick and powerful. Christ is the Word, the essential eternal Word, and by him the light was produced, for in him was light, and he is the true light, the light of the world, (See Jn. 1:9; 9:5). The divine light which shines in sanctified souls is created by the power of God, the power of his word and of the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, opening the understanding, scattering the mists of ignorance and misunderstanding, and revealing the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ, like God on the first day, commanded the light to shine out of darkness (See 2 Co. 4:6). Darkness would reined perpetually in the mind and heart of fallen man if the Son of God had not come, and given us an understanding (See 1 Jn. 5:20)

John 1:9 (KJV) “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” Christ is the true, or genuine, or real Light. He is the one who gives to every man the light of reason and conscience. The result of this revelation was that the world knew him not. The world rejected Him.

John 9:5 (KJV) “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Like the sun, it is Christ’s business to dispense light and heat everywhere; and to seize every opportunity that may arise to enlighten and save the bodies and souls of men. “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life’" (John 8:12; NKJV).

2 Cor 4:6 (KJV) “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” The apostle refers here to Genesis 1:3. For when God created the heavens and the earth DARKNESS was on the face of the deep; and God said, Let THERE BE LIGHT; and there was light. Thus he caused the light to shine out of darkness.

1 John 5:20 (NKJV) “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.” Christ's, work is to give the inner spiritual understanding to discern the things of God.

and there was light.
This light is not the sun, which was created on the fourth day (See v.16). Many have asked, "How could light be produced on the first day, when the sun, the source of it, was not created until the fourth day?" There have been numerous explanations advanced in an attempt to explain how it happened, but I believe the Bible has the answer to this question. We only need to go to the Revelation of Jesus to the Apostle John. John says, “And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof” (Rev 21:23; KJV). Throughout eternity in the new heaven and new earth, there would never be the need for the sun or the moon. God created the sun and the moon for our benefit and for His glory. These celestial bodies will have served their purposes of providing heat and light for the earth and its inhabitants, since the first earth and first heaven will have been destroyed (see Rev. 21.1). Their light would be unnecessary in the new Jerusalem. In their place, THE RADIANT GLORY OF GOD ALMIGHTY AND THE LAMB WOULD SERVE TO ILLUMINATE THE NEW EARTH AND NEW HEAVEN.
The sun will no longer be your light during the day,
nor will the brightness of the moon give you light,
But the Lord will be your everlasting light.
Your God will be your glory. (Isaiah 60:19)

Light is one of the most astonishing inventions of the creative skill and power of God. It is the channel by which all his other works are discovered, examined, and understood. Its immense diffusion and extreme velocity alone are enough to provide a demonstration of the being and wisdom of God. Light has been proved by many experiments to travel at the astonishing rate of 194,188 miles in one second of time, and comes from the sun to the earth in eight minutes 11 43/50 seconds, a distance of 95,513,794 miles.
Gen 1:16 (KJV) “And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.”

Rev 21:1 (NKJV) “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.”

4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

Whatever the light was, “God saw the light, that it was good.” God willed it, and when it was produced, he approved of it. It was exactly the way he designed it, and it was suitable and prepared to serve the purpose for which he designed it. It was helpful and useful; the world, which now is a palace, would have been a dungeon without it. It was pleasant for God to look upon. “Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun” (Eccl 11:7; KJV); “The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart: and a good report maketh the bones fat” (Prov 15:30; KJV). Whatever gives light brings joy to the heart, by relieving the anxiety caused by the inability to see obstacles and hazards ahead. What God commands he will approve and graciously accept; he will be delighted with the work of his own hands. Nothing can be better than that which God says is good, because He does not look at things the same way man does.  The question is, “If the light is good, how good the One that is the fountain of light is, the One from whom we receive the light, and to whom we owe all praise for giving it to us and for all the benefits we gain from it.

 God “saw the light, that it was good,” and then He “divided the light from the darkness,” and He made sure they could never be joined together; because “what fellowship has light with darkness?” (2 Co. 6:14). He divided one from the other and established the alternation or succession of the one to the other. This does not imply that light and darkness are two distinct substances, since darkness is only the absence of light. Man has known for around five-hundred years that the rotation of the earth around its own axis once in twenty-three hours, fifty-six minutes, and four seconds is the cause of the distinction between day and night, by bringing the different parts of the surface of the earth successively into the sun’s rays; and it was probably at this moment that God gave this rotation to the earth, to produce this gracious provision of day and night. For the manner in which light is supposed to be produced, see Genesis 1:16.

5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

And God called the light Day,
The word “day” (Heb. yom) is somewhat vague. It may refer to the 24-hour period of darkness and light—“In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even” (Ex 12:18; KJV)—or simply to a specific period of time: for example, the “day of the Lord of hosts” is a time of judgment: “For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low” (Isaiah 2:12; KJV). “Day” is also defined as “evening and morning”—“Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice” (Psalms 55:17; NKJV). The word "day" is used in Scripture in three ways:
1. That part of the solar day of twenty-four hours which is light (See Gen 1:5, 14; John 9:4; John 11:9).
2. A specific day, set apart for some unique purpose, such as the "day of atonement" (See Le 23:27), and the "day of judgment" (See Mat 10:15).
3. A period of time, long or short, during which certain revealed purposes of God are to be accomplished, such as the "day of the Lord."

The word day is used in three different ways in Genesis:
1. A twelve-hour period of light (See vs. 1:5, 14, 16, 18).
2. A twenty-four-hour period.
3. The entire creative week (v. 2:4)

God created, He named, and then He divided time between them, the day for light and the night for darkness; and He set the earth in motion to produce a constant and regular succession of one to the other; each one takes its turn. God also divided them from each other by giving them distinctive names: He called the light day, and the darkness he called night. He gave them names, since He was the Lord of both—“The day is yours, the night also is Yours; you have prepared the light and the sun” (Psalms 74:16; NKJV).

And the evening and the morning were the first day.

“And the evening and the morning were the first day,” indicates beyond any doubt that the word, as it is used here, is a twenty-four-hour period of time. The “first day” was a natural twenty–four hour day (I don’t see how you could get anything else out of it.), as the mention of its two parts clearly indicates; and Moses, according to Oriental usage, views it from sunset to sunset, not saying day and night as we do, but evening and morning.

Since God has divided time between light and darkness, we have a daily reminder that this is a world of amalgamation and changes. In heaven there is perfect and perpetual light and no darkness at all; in hell, there is out-and-out darkness, and not a single gleam of light. Between heaven and hell there is a great gulf fixed; but, in this world, we may feel as if we pass daily from one to another, and we may learn to anticipate fluctuations in the providence of God; peace and trouble, joy and sorrow. But when we trust God in the dark as well as the light we are able to say—“Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death” (1 Phil 1.20)—welcoming both, and making the best of both.

He is the Lord of time, and will remain so, until day and night cease to exist, and time itself is swallowed-up in the ocean of eternity. Let us see God in the constant succession of day and night, and devote ourselves to bringing honor to Him by working for Him every day and resting in him every night, and meditating in his law day and night.

This was the first day’s work, and a good day’s work, because He said it was. The evening and the morning were the first day. The darkness of the evening came before the light of the morning. This was not only the first day of the world, but the first day of the week. I observe it as a day of rest to honour that day, because the world began on the first day of the week, likewise the resurrection of Christ, as the light of the world, was early in the morning on the first day of the week. In him the day-spring from on high has visited the world; and happy are we, forever happy, if that day-star arise in our hearts.