Genesis 1:14-19, Yom Revii: The Day of Luminaries
[This is the fourth in a series about Creation week, specifically, how each day corresponds to progress men and women as they work out their salvations. 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.]
- OnYom Echad– the First Day- I learned God’s Word is the true light, and how to separate it from “darkness”, which is everything that attempts to overcome the truth.
- OnYom 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.
- On Yom Shlishi– the Third Day- I learned that there is a distinction between Israel (the Kingdom of God)- and “the nations”. In my new home of Israel, I discover faith produces good works of fruitfulness.
Yom Revi’i: The Day of Luminaries
“And God saith, `Let luminaries be in the expanse of the heavens, to make a separation between the day and the night, then they have been for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years, and they have been for luminaries in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth:’ and it is so. And God maketh the two great luminaries, the great luminary for the rule of the day, and the small luminary — and the stars — for the rule of the night; and God giveth them in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth, and to rule over day and over night, and to make a separation between the light and the darkness; and God seeth that [it is] good. (Genesis 1:14-19, YLT)
For the first three days of creation, light existed without a source. On Yom Revi’i- The Fourth Day- God creates luminaries (Heb. ma’owr) for light upon the earth. Skeptics think this foolish (light before the sun?), and while it is certainly true that Almighty God could have made our heaven and earth instantaneously, He created them by a deliberate, methodical process. I imagine if all things appeared as they are today without effort, it would seem as if God didn’t care about our world and for that matter human beings, but the exact opposite is true- for whatever reason God is mindful of men. YHVH is also an artist who spends His time creating crafts (Psa 19:1); He makes the heavens paintings and men sculptures of clay. The galaxies are His galleries, and we are his pottery. Additionally, God would miss an opportunity to teach allegories about the process of our salvations. This is certainly what I see in the creation story; there is certainly more than meets the eye.
Light without an origin would appear to men too supernatural and thus eradicate a need for faith, “without which is impossible to please God” (Heb 11:6). Since God planned the Kingdom of God to walk by faith and not by sight, luminaries hide the eternal nature of the first “Let there be Light” (which is actually a picture of Messiah Yeshua). In other words, because God was about to create man, He first protected the concept of faith so men could walk in it.
In the first three days God established the earth by “Light”, through its separation from darkness on Yom Echad, the making of “sky” on Yom Sheni, and the creation of seas, dry land, and all plant life (even photosynthesis) on Yom Shlishi. On Yom Revi’i, God makes the sun, moon, and stars not only for light, but also to be signs (Heb. ot) and “seasons” (Heb. moedim). The key to understanding what “ot” actually means is found in other scriptures expounding on the signals of the heavens, i.e. Psalm 65:8- “They also who dwell in faraway places are afraid at your ot: you call the morning’s dawn and the evening with songs of joy” (Emphasis mine). It appears that “ot” in context means signals to mark the beginning of evenings and days for the purpose of time-keeping, which is why “times” may be a better translation of moedim as opposed to “seasons”. Moedim is usually associated gatherings of worshippers, associated with God’s “appointed times” (i.e. Lev 23:1). Of course, these festivals are marked by seasonal harvests and moon cycles, which would certainly fit the context, but the main focus seems to be time-keeping. Whatever the translation or application, my takeaway is that both ot and moedim are relevant only to men, further reiterating the point that God was on the cusp of creating men who organize their time by the signals and times of days and years.
As for the almost afterthought of “stars”: The focus of Yom Revi’i is definitely on the greater and lesser lights, but what about stars? They don’t really give light to the earth; they play no part in dividing the night from day- it’s almost like they aren’t worthy of note… but they were included in the text in plural form. There are many of them, which should be considered one entity, and not several individual stars.
‘You Shall Be Complete’
The first three days of creation are allegories to phases of a man’s salvation and Yom Revi’i is no different. Just as the mirror of the Creation story reveals, it’s around the Fourth “Day” when God is on the cusp of bringing other “beasts” into a believer’s walk – both wild and free, untamed and domesticated. To be prepared, reproved, and fully equipped for EVERY good work, he needs to be equipped. So what does this all mean metaphorically and spiritually?
Before continuing, I need to point out the verb “give” is chosen for this act of creation; interestingly, it’s the same verbiage used in promises (i.e. “to your descendants I will give this land”). God considers the sun and the moon as gifts… for “the earth” (ha’aretz), the name given for ‘dry land’. The sun and moon were not created for “the seas” (Gen 1:10)! Given that ha’aretz is a picture of the Land of Israel, and the seas encompass the gathering of nations (goyim), God is saying that whatever benefits the “sun and moon” offer, they will only be appreciated by the Kingdom of God. In the scriptures, this is true. Generally, goyim have feared the sun and moon- a fear that led to sun, moon, and astral worship. Even today, horoscopes, zodiacs are all over mass media, and several mainstream religions are still based on traditions from extinct sun and moon gods! The people of God, such things are abominations.
On the other hand, men of God call the heaven YHVH’s artwork (Psalm 19:1), where days and nights (made by the sun-Gen 1:14) offer the word (‘omer) and knowledge. King David calls the sky the sun’s “tabernacle” (Psalm 19:4), and compares the sun coming out of a chamber and running the circuit of heaven to something else brought out of a chamber, carried throughout a “tabernacle”, and read on a circuit of time… The Torah. Psalm 19 is one of the most popular, but it actually compares the light of Torah to the light of the sun.
I recognize it’s slippery to discuss incorporating Torah into a believer’s walk, but to be clear, I am speaking of men and women who have already received salvation, evidenced by good works which come as a by-product of faith, not in obedience to the Law. The Scriptures are clear: Torah cannot annul promises that come from trusting YHVH. However, the Law is learned over time as shown by the Torah, Prophets, and New Testament. I’m sure an honest reading of Acts 15 and other passages show this exact point: Gentiles who are ALREADY SAVED learned the Law over time, while Jews who found Messiah discovered what Torah should have always been. Yeshua exemplified a Torah-filled life and wished the least of commandments to be kept, not to replace favor, but that his followers would be complete like YHVH was complete (Matt. 5:18, 48). It’s not about salvation, it’s about completeness – being reliable to God like God is for man!
Therefore, it is possible to observe the commandments without blame… if one walks by YHVH’s definition of “blameless”, and not man’s. This was true before and after YHVH’s plan for atonement was fulfilled in Yeshua, the Lamb “slain from the foundation of the world” as He preceded both the act of transgression and transgressions’ reproofs given through the Law. However, concerning who YHVH is and who He is not, no portion of Scripture is as black and white as Torah; it is foolishness for a man not to reflect His God. All men who have faith in a god emulate that god. True followers of that warrior Muhammad are acting just like him, are they not? Yet YHVH is a kadosh (holy) God, men who love Him are also to be kadosh (Lev 19:2/1 Pet 1:16), an emulation of the Only True God.
The sun and moon are good comparisons to Torah as both of these gifts are temporary. As previously identified, the original light in “Let there Be Light” is symbolic of the Word of God (even King Yeshua “the Word made flesh”). However, the sun and moon also offer “light”; therefore, they also represent something that offers the Word of God, albeit in a temporary form. Yeshua did imply that yuds and nekudahs WILL pass from the Torah and the Prophets – but only when the first (temporary) heavens and earth are no longer needed (Matt. 5:17-18). In the second heavens and earth, there will be no need for a sun or moon, and coincidentally, no need for Torah since transgressions will be a phenomena of the past (Rev. 21:22, 2 Pet 3:10-13, Isa. 65:17). In the meantime, the first heavens and earth contains transgression, sin, and most of all deception, and Torah is a great gift to ensure authenticity of the One True God. In other words, Torah (derived from the root word for light-ohr) is the luminary by which men know the things of God from inventions of men. As previously noted, God is about to introduce “wild beasts” and “cattle” (Days 5-6) into the man’s walk. Not to get ahead of myself, but the time comes when all men of God encounter both “wild men” like Esau and Kainan (Cain) and the “little flock” of God’s Kingdom. Ambassadors of God must be prepared for all such encounters, both to proclaim the good news of salvation and to disciple the young. Knowledge of the whole Word is essential to accurately represent the One True God.
Just as the sun and moon were physically designed to show the ot and moedim of timekeeping, the Torah also shows YHVH’s appointed times. No other source fully explains the foundations of YHVH’s feasts, fasts, and festivals, in particular, what happens when people of God assemble and worship corporately on them. In several scriptures the stars signify the righteous: Daniyel says “they who return many to righteousness [will shine] like the stars” (Dan 12:3); stars represent the sons of God (Job 38:7), overseers of assemblies (Rev 1:20), and the heads of the twelve tribes of Israel (Gen 15:25, Rev 12:1). In plurality, stars represent the assembling of the righteous Israelites- whose assembling occurs on YHVH’s moedim. When the “stars” assemble on a feast day, the by-product is signs. For this reason, signs (ot) are associated with YHVH’s moedim; these are gifts for all mankind. Consider the following example from the psalm:
- Your adversaries have roared in the middle of the moed. They have set up their ot for ot. (Psa 74:4, emphasis mine)
Signs were to be part of moedim; the psalmist laments that the only signs were the enemy’s “signs”:
- They said in their heart, “We will crush them completely.” They have burned up all the moedim in the land where God was worshiped. We see no miraculous ot. There is no longer any prophet, neither is there among us anyone who knows how long. (Psalm 74:8-9)
The disciplined man of God shows up at these times not by obligation, he does so because he becomes wise to the benefits of these days, as God multiplies ot, joy, peace, and blessings on His moedim. As the psalmist has indicated, moedim are supposed to be for experiencing prophets and anointed men who show signs from YHVH to encourage and strengthen the faith of God’s people. This is what happened to Haggai, who got a word from YHVH on the last day of Sukkot (Haggai 2:1). It may have been Schmuel (Samuel) showing thunder and lightning at the Shavuot wheat harvest (1 Sam 12:17). It may have been an angel appearing to Yahoshua (Joshua) in the Days of Unleavened Bread (Jos 6:14), or the signs occurring with the dedication of Schlomo’s temple on Tabernacles (1 Kings 8:2), but it’s clear that moedim are for signs and assemblies, and all these things occur as long as the Torah’s prescriptions are followed. These occurrences are not limited to the Old Testament; the ot of Shavuot (Pentecost) happened because believers assembled in one accord at a moed and the rest is history (Acts 2:1-4). Believers prayed again during Passover and an angel appeared to free Shimon Keefa (Peter, Acts 12:4-7). Everyone who follows Messiah Yeshua has the right to ot on YHVH’s moedim; it’s simply a matter of following YHVH’s Torah.
Why is One Light Greater?
It is true that there is a greater light (the sun), and a lesser light (the moon). The answer to this is the very role of Torah which effectively declares the Name of YHVH. In a secret place – a cleft of a rock – God revealed to Moshe who He is: “The LORD! the LORD, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness and truth, keeping loving kindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity and disobedience and sin; and who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the children’s children, on the third and on the fourth generation.” (Exodus 34:6-7). From other scriptures we know God does not desire anyone to perish, which is why the Name of YHVH says He ABOUNDS in mercy, patience, grace, lovingkindness, truth, and forgiveness. This is the greater light of Torah and compassion must abound in a Torah-keeper. However, judgment is reserved as a warning of Torah (Psa 19:11), evidenced by the second half of the Name of YHVH. This is the lesser light of Torah. As one would expect, the greater (abounding) light rules the day- correlating to truth and righteousness, while the lesser (reserved) light lords over the night- warning the evil. The latter state is called “under the law” by New Covenant apostles. There is a perfect picture of this in Revelation 12:1, where a great ot appears in heaven. A woman is clothed with the sun, has the moon under her feet, and a wears a garland of twelve stars. The garland of twelve stars of course represents the twelve tribes, showing us the woman is “Israel”. Israel is clothed with the sun because she is righteous and has received God’s benefits of mercy, grace, etc. The moon is “under her feet” because she is victorious over the judgment of God; He will not impute sin to her.
What is the outcome of learning the Torah on Yom Revi’i? It is good to bear fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, etc.) with other believers in the Kingdom, and like the fruit trees of Yom Shlishi living in faith of Messiah. However, God’s true desire is to experience Him to the point where He can be accurately represented outside of the Haaretz, even into the nations. Eventually, the teachings of Torah, experiences of the appointed times and assemblies of the righteous will help men from glory to glory. In a day when God trusts them, they too will perform signs as apostles, prophets, proclaimers, overseers, and teachers, and shine in the darkness as God confirms His Word. Most trees bear fruit, but what is even more reliable is the rising and setting of the sun, moon, and stars – and likewise, if men become as reliable to God as the rising of the sun, He will make men ready for anything encountered in more difficult “days” to come – such as great sea creatures, wild beasts, scorpions, and snakes – starting on Day Five.