“Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years;” Genesis 1:14
Here we are talking about the creation of the sun, moon and stars, which is explained more in the verses following. I chose this verse, however, because of its astronomical significance. We are on the very first page of the bible and profound wisdom is being imparted to us. The stars in the sky can be useful to mankind. Day and night may be obvious, but the lunar cycle is also established, which Israel measured months with (28 days). We even get our english word “month” from the word “moon”. We can also see right from the start, our God is a God of order. This is evidenced not just by the above with the divisions of night and day, months and seasons, but also by the length of the creation account itself – 7 days, forming the pattern of the week that thousands of years later, we still live, work, rest and thrive by. And this order and stability is a promise by God in Genesis 8:22 as well:
“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night Shall not cease.”
To me, this is a bit of a relief in a time where everyone seems concerned about global warming. I am not worried about another ice age, or a major change in weather, simply because of the promise above.
Josephus, a Jewish historian, in his “Antiquities of the Jews” wrote about man’s understanding of astronomy, and speculated that, perhaps the reason God allowed men to live so long back then was to afford them the time on earth necessary to master certain skills. Just think of what you could master an understanding of if you lived 200 years. 500 years. 900 years! With something such as astronomy especially, in which case you must wait for large periods of time to pass before a pattern emerges. There is no shortcut in this field. Of course, man may have lived that long due to the effects of their first parents, Adam and Eve, having access to the Tree of Life, but I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ll write more about that in a few chapters.