This day introduces another aspect of the Messiah’s work during His 3 ½ years of ministry, as well as a new dimension in our growth toward God-likeness. We can get a sense of its nature as we recall what others experienced on this day.
THE THIRD DAY
Hezekiah’s health was restored and his life prolonged another 15 years (2 Kings 20:4-6)
Esther appeared to the king to intercede for her people (Esther 5:1)
Jonah was released from the whale’s belly (Jonah 1:17)
Jesus first miracle was done on this day (John 2:1)
Christ rose from the dead, securing salvation to all who believe in Him. (1Cor 15:4)
Perhaps it can be summed up in this single reference:
Hosea 6:1-3 Come, and let us return unto the Lord, for He hath torn, and He will heal us; He hath smitten, and He will bind us up. After two days will He revive us: in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: His going forth is prepared as the morning.
On this day, the Creator focused on the “waters under the heaven”. In the physical world this was a large body of water, which in the Bible can represent groups of people (Rev. 17:15). At this point, however, it was a muddy mess. There were good and useful things there— they just weren’t in a usable state. Notice how the Lord deals with the situation.
Gen 1:9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
God first gathers the waters (the people He has been working on) into one place. In Hebrew, the figurative meaning of “gathered together” gives the thought of binding together with the idea of expectation, to tarry, patiently wait for. This is not a casual mix of strangers. This group has a common hope, a hope strong enough to unite their hearts as one.
When God calls the “waters” together, it is a creative moment, empowered by His word and Spirit. This is beautifully expressed in a favorite book of mine on the life of Christ.
“When men are bound together, not by force or self-interest, but by love, they show the working of an influence that is above every human influence. Where this oneness exists, it is evidence that the image of God is being restored in humanity, that a new principle of life has been implanted. It shows that there is power in the divine nature to withstand the supernatural agencies of evil, and that the grace of God subdues the selfishness inherent in the natural heart.” Desire of Ages, p. 678
This “drawing together” is important in the creative process. Even small groups of people, sometimes not more than three or four, when brought together by a common belief in God’s Word, have been blessed with light and grace and rich gems of thought.1
Act 2:1-2 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
“Unto one place” speaks of a condition of body or mind. Here we see in antitype Christ gathering His disciples together and training them into oneness of body and mind. Close association with those of like mind is part of God’s reconstruction plan. In the Old Testament times God arranged for yearly festivals where families could gather for inspiration and social interchange. Those who follow that practice find it still fits them for trial and duty.2
DRY LAND APPEARS
At the same time the waters were “gathering together” the dry began appearing. It was land without water. In the original language “dry” comes from a word that means >to be ashamed, confused, or disappointed. How does that fit into the re-creation theme?
When the Spirit of God is present in an assembly to bring unity there is (or should be) much heart searching, as there was just before Pentecost in Acts 2. Old sins are brought to the surface for confession and repentance. Conflicting beliefs are prayerfully and humbly considered. Disappointed plans are voiced in hopes of finding clarity. There is nothing in the Spirit-directed life that is more precious than being in harmony with God and each other. Look what happened with the disciples on the day of Pentecost. After ten days of heart-searching and self-examination, and humble supplication to God, their differences were swept away, and they became of one mind.3
As the dry land appears, and those gathered for fellowship faithfully deal with old shameful practices, confusing theories, and disappointed hopes, the fallow ground is broken up and prepared for the planting of the Lord.
Thus ends the first phase of Creation, the organizing and ordering of tohu.
THE NAMING OF THINGS
Ever notice that during this part of Creation God consistently renamed everything: the light, the darkness, the firmament, the gathered waters, and the dry land – but He never gave new names to anything else? There was a purpose for this.
Consider the times outside of Creation Week when God renamed something. What are the circumstances surrounding the renaming?
Neither shall your name any more be called Abram [high father], but your name shall be Abraham [father of a multitude]. For I have made you a father of many nations. Gen 17:5
And God said to Abraham, As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai [a head person- in her own family], but her name shall be Sarah [a princess, a female noble- among nations]. Gen 17:15
And God said to him, Your name is Jacob [heel catcher, supplanter]. Your name shall not be called Jacob any more, but Israel [God prevails] shall be your name. And He called his name Israel. Gen 35:10
In each case there was a victory of faith (see Hebrews 11). Old natures have been overcome. Then notice what happens. God incorporates something of Himself in the new name! In both Abram’s and Sarai’s name a change of dignity and power is added by the insertion [for Abram] or substitution [for Sarai] of a single Hebrew letter (H). This same letter is in God’s own name of Jehovah (YHVH), a name by which His eternal power and Godhead are peculiarly stressed. In Jacob’s case God incorporated one of His own names [el] into Jacob’s new name. In all three cases God added a part of Himself in the renaming. And He states He will do the same when He renames every overcomer at the end of time.
Him who overcomes I will . . . write upon him the name of My God. Rev 3:12
In this part of our Re-creation God has replaced darkness with light, badness with benevolence, and discordance with unity and harmony – elements of Himself. But each step was done with our cooperation and submission. And in recognition of this change from self-centeredness to God-centeredness, that part of our character transformation is given a new name, a new identity and purpose.
To give us focus: Light becomes Day, a limited period of light/truth/power during which work is done. The Messiah was intent on working for us while “it was still day” (John 9:4)
To encourage us: Darkness becomes Night Through the intercession of the Messiah the powers of darkness are reduced to a simple character-building experience (adversity). (Isa. 30:20; 2Cor. 12:9) And notice that “night” has the advantage of lights to help it (Gen 1:16-18), whereas “darkness” has no light in it.
To inspire us: Firmament becomes Heaven The expanse , referring simply to our atmosphere, is broadened to include the boundless regions of space, and by further enlargement, to the very throne room of God – the whole arena in which the merits of the Messiah can freely serve us.
To prepare us for service: Dry land becomes Earth God changes our experience from shame, confusion, and disappointment to a settled, firm state of mind upon which the Messiah reconstructs His image. The earth (field, ground—Matthew 13:38) becomes our place for outreach and missionary labor (John 4:35).
To contain us: Waters become Sea The Messiah is in control of the (roaring) sea (Mark 4:41). This collection of people/feelings/emotions is contained by divine-set boundaries (Proverbs 8:29).
Jesus Christ, the Messiah, has put everything in order and laid the foundations, and now He can begin filling each area with life, usefulness, purpose.
In the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: His going forth is prepared as the morning. Hosea 6:1-3.
Lesson for the first part of Day 3: Become a disciple of Christ and learn of Him.
Go to Day 3, Last Part.
1 ST, November 23, 1904 par. 4
2 4T 106
3 2MR 44