Genesis 1:9-13 - The Third Day: Creation of the Waters, Dry Land and Plant Life
remember what the earth looked like in our last study? The whole earth was covered with water; waves were rushing over the face of the earth. The earth also had something like a heavy mist of thick clouds and dense fog. It had been impossible to see any distance whatsoever from any place on earth. But on the second day of creation, God had set in motion the physical laws that caused the clouds and fog to leave the earth and hang in the sky above.
God created the firmament, that is, the atmosphere, the air space, the expanse, the clear sky right above the earth. But remember: apparently, the earth was still blanketed with thick clouds hanging several hundred feet above the earth. It was still impossible to see the sun, moon, and stars in outer space ( Genesis 1:14-19). In addition, there was no dry land—no continent, no island—no land whatsoever could be seen. There were only the surging, raging waters covering the surface of the earth.
Now, the third day of creation is ready to be launched. God is now ready to create the physical laws that will cause the dry land to appear and that will provide water and vegetation to sustain life upon planet earth. This is “The Third Day (Part 1): Creation of the Waters (Seas, Lakes, Rivers) and of Dry Land (Continents, Islands).” God also created plant life on the third day, but this will be seen in the next outline.
A. God’s Word created the waters and dry land (v.9).
1. “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place…” (v.9b).
a) Imagine the power and force to do this.
(1) We must note: God’s Word created the waters and dry land. God accomplished the work simply by speaking His Word.
(2) Now, think about this in your minds eye:
(a) What power or force could strike the earth and completely reshape its surface?
(b) What energy could possibly cause all the continents with their massive and towering mountains to thrust up out of the waters?
(c) God spoke. He commanded the waters to gather together and the dry land to appear. When God commanded, gigantic upheavals took place all over the earth.
(3) Here’s the point:
(a) The waters (seas, lakes, and rivers) and the dry land did not just happen by chance.
(b) The continents and waters of the earth do not exist because of some eternal or physical laws, physical laws that produce water and that govern volcanic eruptions and depressions in the earth’s crust.
(4) God spoke. God said, “Let the waters...be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear” (Gen.1:9). And note what happened: “it was so” (Gen.1:9).
(5) Listen to what Scripture says about this:
The Psalmist says "Then the channels of water appeared, And the foundations of the world were laid bare At Your rebuke, O Lord, At the blast of the breath of Your nostrils." (Psalm 18:15, NASB95)
Listen to this, from the Living Bible "You bound the world together so that it would never fall apart. You clothed the earth with floods of waters covering up the mountains. You spoke, and at the sound of your shout the water collected into its vast ocean beds, and mountains rose and valleys sank to the levels you decreed." (Psalm 104:5-8, The Living Bible)
Proverbs says that "He assigned to the sea its limit, So that the waters would not transgress His command, When He marked out the foundations of the earth, " (Proverbs 8:29, NKJV)
The Lord Himself says "I am the Lord your God, Who divided the sea whose waves roared— The Lord of hosts is His name." (Isaiah 51:15, NKJV)
This power that God has should cause fear in our hearts "Do you not fear Me?’ says the Lord. ‘ Will you not tremble at My presence, Who have placed the sand as the bound of the sea, By a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass beyond it? And though its waves toss to and fro, Yet they cannot prevail; Though they roar, yet they cannot pass over it." (Jeremiah 5:22, NKJV)
b) Water is often used to symbolize life, trials and afflictions.
(1) The picture of the water of life.
When we are baptized, we use water "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” (Matthew 3:11, NKJV)
Jesus used speaks water in John 3:5 and says that "unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." (John 3:5, NKJV)
Jesus speaks about water in this life that does not satisfy or living water that does "Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water…""Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life." (John 4:10, 13-14, NKJV)
And "On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified." (John 7:37-39)
(2) The picture of trials and afflictions.
Speaking about the afflictions of life the Psalmist says "Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; All Your waves and billows have gone over me. The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, And in the night His song shall be with me— A prayer to the God of my life." (Psalm 42:7-8)
Listen to the Psalmist when he says "I sink in deep mire, Where there is no standing; I have come into deep waters, Where the floods overflow me. I am weary with my crying; My throat is dry; My eyes fail while I wait for my God." (Psalm 69:2-3, NKJV)
Again, the Psalmist cries out for deliverance when he says "Deliver me out of the mire, And let me not sink; Let me be delivered from those who hate me, And out of the deep waters. Let not the floodwater overflow me, Nor let the deep swallow me up; And let not the pit shut its mouth on me." (Psalm 69:14-15, NKJV)
B. God named the dry land Earth and the waters Seas (v.10a).
1. “God called the dry land earth, and… the waters He called seas…” (v.10a).
a) Man is only a trustee of the land and waters.
(1) God owns the earth and all that is in it.
The Lord says in Exodus 19 "if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine." (Exodus 19:5, NKJV)
The people of Israel were only tenants on the land by the Lord’s grace. Therefore ownership of property was temporary, not permanent. So the Lord says "The land shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; for you are strangers and sojourners with Me." (Leviticus 25:23, NKJV)
No matter what we offer to God, even the greatest of material things, remember that it’s His in the first place, David said "But who am I, and who are my people, That we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come from You, And of Your own we have given You." (1 Chronicles 29:14, NKJV)
Psalm 24:1 says it all "The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein." (Psalm 24:1, NKJV)
(2) God uses His land to provide for man as well as delivering man through the storms.
Jesus says in Matthews Gospel that the Father "makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust." (Matthew 5:45, NKJV)
Genesis 28 says "Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you." (Genesis 28:15, NKJV)
The Lord says in Isaiah that "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you." (Isaiah 43:2; Ps.57:1, NKJV)
C. God saw that His creation was “good”—fulfilled its function (v.10b).
1. “God saw that it was good…” (v.10b).
a) The land and waters were valuable.
(1) Without God created the land and water, man could not survive.
(a) The land gives man a place to live and to produce food to eat.
(b) The waters provide both water to drink and food to eat.
(c) Both land and water give variety and add to the interest and the beauty of man’s home upon planet earth.
Speaking about the sea and who owns it, the Psalmist says "The sea is His, for He made it; And His hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker." (Psalm 95:5-6, NKJV)
Jonah said to the sailors on the boat that "I am a Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land." (Jonah 1:9, NKJV)
b) Man must have water to drink to sustain life – the same is true spiritually.
(1) Man needs living water in order to live eternally with God (John 4:10, 13-14).
(2) Note five facts about the living water of Christ (John 7:37-39).
(a) The living water comes from Christ. He, and He alone, is its source.
(b) The living water keeps a man from ever thirsting again. His inner thirst is gone forever. It is quenched and fully satisfied.
(c) The living water is “a well of water” placed in the man. The “well of water” is not placed outside the man, not placed anywhere out in the world, not in his home, church, club, land, lake, or in his business. It is placed in him.
(d) The living water springs up and continues to spring up and bubble, flowing on and on. It is ever in motion.
(e) The living water springs up into everlasting life. It will never end.
Revelation 7 says "the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”" (Revelation 7:17, NKJV)
John said that Jesus said to Him, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts." (Revelation 21:6, NKJV)
The beautiful thing is that anyone can come and partake of this water, Revelation says "And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely." (Revelation 22:17)
One more thing… this water is free for the asking, the price has been paid! "Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price." (Isaiah 55:1, NKJV)
(3) Psalm 1 speaks about the blessed man who prospers.
c) Man must look beyond this corruptible earth to the eternal home of heaven.
(1) What does Peter say about this corruptible earth (2 Peter 3:10-13).
Speaking about Abraham, the writer of Hebrews says "for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God…" "But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.” (Hebrews 11:10, 16, NKJV)
(2) What does John write in book of Revelation (Revelation 21:1-4)?
!! D. God’s Word created plant life or vegetation—each “after its kind” (v.11a).
1. “Let the earth bring forth grass, herb… and the fruit tree…” (v.11a)
a) God created all vegetation upon the earth.
(1) Grass (deshe): note that the chief characteristic of this classification is that it does not bear seed. The other two classifications do. The root meaning of the Hebrew word “deshe” means green or damp. This would include all damp and all green plants that carpet and hug the earth. It would include mosses, algae, fungi, ferns and plants—plants which carpet and lie immediately upon or under the surface of the earth.
(2) Herbs or Plants (esebh) which yield seed: this includes all seed-bearing plants such as grains, vegetables, bushes, shrubs, flowers, weeds, grass—all plant life between the ground-hugging plants and the towering trees.
(3) Fruit- or seed-bearing trees: by fruit the Hebrew means all trees that bear seed, not just the trees that bear fruit for eating. This would include trees that bear cones, nuts, berries, and other forms of seed.
b) This should move our hearts to praise.
(1) Man is to constantly give thanks for the fruitfulness of the earth.
(2) Man is to acknowledge God’s ownership and worship God as the Creator.
(3) Man is to be responsible and careful. He is to be using the plant resources of the earth.
(a) God said man is to “fill the earth and subdue it” (Gen.1:27-28). How does man do this? By “being fruitful and multiplying”.
(b) We need to do this spiritually by being…
(i) Fruitful – (Galatians 5:22-26).
(ii) Multiplying – (Acts 12:24; Matt.28:19-20; 2Pet.1:2).