Genesis 1:9-10, Yom Shlishi: The Yom of Yam to Yum
[This is the third in a series about Creation week, specifically, how each day corresponds to progress men and women as they work out their salvations. Almighty God could have made everything in a brief instant, but instead chose to create our heavens and earth by a deliberate, methodical process. These posts will hopefully show that fruitfulness brought to the physical earth is a foreshadowing of God’s ultimate plan to bring men to the same success.]
- On Yom Echad– the First Day- I learned God’s Word is the true light, and how to separate it from “darkness”, which is everything that tries to overcome truth.
- On Yom Sheni– the Second Day- I learned that I have excesses like the earth had excess water. God not only “circumcises” my excess but teaches me how to rely on Heaven, like the earth relies on heaven.
Yom Shlishi-The Third Day
God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together to one place, and let the dry land appear;” and it was so. God called the dry land “earth”, and the gathering together of the waters he called “seas”. God saw that it was good… (Genesis 1:9-10)
On the second day (Yom Sheni) God establishes several processes which set up the appearance of dry ground on Yom Shlishi, the Third Day. No one knows the exact mechanics, but I assume gravitational fields created as a by-product of shamayim (sky) with the removal of enough excess water allowed for an appropriate “sea level” for life on Earth. [Sidenote: I also assume that terrarium atmosphere contained more water than today; therefore, the sea levels were much lower in Pre-Flood times.] The literal dividends of heavenly and earthly waters allowed something “good” on Yom Shlishi, which is the separation of land (Heb. eretz) from a gathering of waters God names “sea” (Heb. yam).
Interesting is that this “gathering” is not a normal recession time. Considering Day Three begins completely covered in water, we find a parallel in the flood story of Noach (Noah), as his world was also covered in water. However, it took ten months for dry land (the tops of mountains) to appear to Noach (ref. Gen. 8:1-5), but just one day for God. This shows how badly God wanted to separate land from water- he hurried water to its place. After all, this separation was called “good”, implying that the status quo of water covering the earth was unacceptable.
After this God clothes the naked earth:
…God said, “Let the earth yield grass, herbs yielding seeds, and fruit trees bearing fruit after their kind, with their seeds in it, on the earth;” and it was so. The earth yielded grass, herbs yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit, with their seeds in it, after their kind; and God saw that it was good. There was evening and there was morning, a third day. (Genesis 1:11-13)
The Scriptures list three distinct forms of vegetation, though there are several other plant classes and even kingdoms not mentioned (i.e. fungi, mosses, ferns). Once again, this is completely by design. Just like the rest of creation, everything that happened on Yom Shlishi could have been instantaneous, and apparently some of it was! The waters quickly vanished from dry ground; the trees speedily came forth from the earth and produced fruit and seed in just one day. This was a methodical process as all events listed are allegories for spiritual truths.
The Yom of “Yam to Yum”
As noted previously, the Second Day – Yom Sheni – is a metaphor for the painful process of learning humility and reliance on heaven above. Just as the earth lost its excess and has its limitations, young believers in YHVH’s kingdom go through trials to learn humility, patience, submitting to authority, and perhaps most importantly, how to rely on YHVH. Sometimes this is accompanied by great failures, stumbling, and trial, but if a man can just endure what Keefa (Peter) calls “suffering for a while” he can be settled in the next phase of his walk, even to bear “fruit”. Day Two was the circumcision of suffering, but Day Three is the time for joy.
As noted, Yom Shlishi begins with the gathering of yam (sea) far, far away from eretz (land). All of these terms contain biblical symbolism which helps solve greater mysteries. The yam describes multitudes of Gentiles (Isa. 5:30) and sometimes Israel when it acted “Gentile-like” but yam is almost always associated with vile and wicked actions. For example, the “sea” symbolizes where a “harlot” sits (Rev. 17:15), its associated with false prophecy (Lam. 2:13-14), and the roaring of the sea compares to the rage and wickedness of the nations (Psa. 65:7, 89:9-10, Isa. 17:12-14, 57:20-21). These are just a few examples but yam, when used as a metaphor, generally refers to the opposite of what God envisioned for Israel. Why? Because the allegorical picture of yam can be summed up in one word: water is unstable (Gen 49:4).
Perhaps that is the point being made by the language of Yom Shlishi, as one of the titles of Israel is Haaretz Yis’rael- “The Land of Israel”, which appears 31 times in the Hebrew Bible and is associated with the promises God made to Avraham, Itzak, and Yaakov concerning this eretz of their inheritance. It could actually be said that eretz and yam are complete opposites- both physically AND metaphorically. Aside from God separating these physical opposites at a near light-speed pace, the promises made to Haaretz Yis’rael are in stark contrast with judgments awaiting the nations under Messiah Yeshua, which will be “dashed to pieces like a potter’s vessel” (Psa 2:9-10/Rev 2:27). In the end, there will only be an Israel; there will be no “nations”.
Therefore, Day Three is the appearance of a new, transformed mind (Rom 12:2-3). The trials of the Day Two “Waterworld” were designed to break down the pagan/Gentile mindsets that young believers carry with them into the Kingdom. While such people have made commitments to YHVH, their doubt, anxiety, naivete, and even relapses into transgression make them “unstable as water”, but if men learn how to love the brethren, self-control, integrity, submitting to godly authority, and most of all real trust in God (faith), he will have the
legacy reproach of the nations taken away. I think that’s why eretz is not created; it merely appears. “Land” was always there, but covered by water. Likewise, potential to bear fruit is there from salvation, it’s just that a man’s old mindset make him unstable, before his full potential manifests. Eventually, God will fully separate him, and establish his roots to bear fruit (1 Pet 5:5-10).
At this point, a man has joined himself to the nation of Israel – Israel’s God is now his God. God’s people are now his people. Is this not all written in the Torah, Prophets, and New Covenant writings (i.e. Deut 32:43, Isa 42:1-7, Eph 2:11-13)? Part of the new mindset entails allowing the nations to be the nations wherever they are gathered, and thinking as a member of the twelve tribes of Israel. He may not be in Haaretz Yisrael in the flesh, but if Messiah Yeshua is his King, he is counted as Israel. I know there exists a culture of Christians trying to be buddy-buddy with the world, but this is not what the Scriptures teach. The Scriptures are clear and tell believers to “come out from them and be separate” (Isa. 52:11, 2 Cor 6:17).
It’s at this phase a believer looks to his right and left, and sees that some of his friends and brethren didn’t make it out of the waterworld of Day Two. It’s on Day Three he realizes Yeshua’s “Parable of the Sower” in context of his own life (Matthew 13:18-23). Some of his buds followed money, some of his pals didn’t receive instruction; they have receded to the nations. However, this man has endured patiently; he has made his mistakes, but he practiced the Word. God can now transform the seed within him into a bountiful harvest.
In the parable of the mustard seed Yeshua taught the progression from the least (grass) of these to the greatest (tree) in stature is through faith (Matt 13:31-32). There are actually scores of parables to grasses, herbs, and trees, but all of them are tied to faith and character. It’s no different in this allegory of Yom Shlishi. When there is justice in the land for the poor, the grass (dehseh) appears in peace (2 Sam 23:3-4, Isa 66:14, Psa 23). When Israel loves YHVH with all their heart and keep His commandments, the crops (ehseb) flourish (Deut 11:13-15, Psa 72:16, Job 5:25). Fruit trees, of course, represent the fruit of good works (Isa 3:10, Psa 1:3 et al). When all three species appear together in a scripture, they prophetically represent those with the seal of YHVH on their foreheads (Rev 9:4). These manifestations of good works are what looks “yum” to God, which he shows by allegories of what looks “yum” to us.
In conclusion, this is the teaching: a man arrives to this phase of “Day Three” after his faith has endured the instability of second-guessing, trials, and mistakes. The seed sown in him roots, it grows from the lowest grass to the highest tree by His trust in YHVH. His faith in YHVH saves him; God puts His seal upon the “forehead” as his mindset now is entrenched in faith; there’s no going back to the yam for him – he is now of Israel. The natural by-product is gifts of “yum”: seed and fruit, which is the Word of God within him, manifesting through good works, especially love for God and man. That’s why Yom Shlishi is the yom that starts off under yam, but ends with lots of “yum”. ♦