"Then God said, 'Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear'; and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, 'Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth'; and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and morning were the third day" (Gen. 1:9-13).
After separating the waters above and below, God further organized the water below to create seas and to cause dry land to appear. God was carefully creating the ideal environment for creatures, particularly mankind, to not only survive but to thrive. Now that dry land was available, it was time to create plant life. Here we find the first usage of the phrase "according to its kind" (used nearly ten times in this chapter). All life was made "according to its kind" with the potential to reproduce. Mature creatures were formed by God. This provides us the answer to the age-old question: "Which came first: the chicken or the egg?" The chicken came first, with the ability to lay an egg! Seeds or eggs allow plant and animal life to reproduce according to their kind. An apple seed will not produce watermelon, and the egg of a chicken will not produce a human! Such is true spiritually as well. The word of God is spiritual seed (cf. Luke 8:11). It can only produce faithful children of God, if embraced fully and followed properly. Faithful disciples of Christ should use the Scriptures to teach the lost and make them disciples, too (according to their kind).
"Then God said, 'Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth'; and it was so. Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the fourth day" (Gen. 1:14-19).
Here we have a record of the sun, moon, and stars being created to provide light on Earth. We have already shared some thoughts on this in our prior lesson. From our limited perspective, it would seem to make more sense to create the sun, moon, and stars on the first day, rather than on day four. But, merely because I do not fully understand something doesn't mean it is improper or out of place. Obviously, any Being able to create this great Universe out of nothing is operating far above my level of comprehension and power (cf. Isa. 55:8,9). I trust Him; do you? Some have speculated that sunlight is mentioned here after plant life is created, since it would be necessary for photosynthesis. Others have suggested that the light which God initially created on day one was now concentrated in the heavenly bodies on day four.