Midrash on Genesis Chapters 1-3 Part 6

Study 6. The Seven Days of Creation.

Day 4

“The Great Lights”

“And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.’ And it was so. God made two great lights-the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning-the fourth day” (Genesis 1:14-19).”

He commanded and it stood firm!

When God releases His Word things that did not exist come into existence. “As it is written, “For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded and it stood firm” (Psalm 33:9). Once more we read, “And God said” and at that command the sun, the moon and the stars were created to give light to the earth. Once again “light’ and “darkness” become dominant themes of this aspect of creation. While light and darkness already existed God put into the expanse between heaven and earth these great lights to mark seasons, days and years. These were “light bearers” as the means of establishing a calendar to divide time. While Salvation is an eternal theme man would have a fixed time in which to believe in this salvation God was going to provide in His Son Jesus Christ.

The Sun of Righteousness

The first great light created around which the solar system including the earth revolve was the sun. The sun itself is the centre of the physical universe. Its light and heat stand as a beacon of light in the darkness of space. The rays of the sun sustain all life on earth and without its warmth and light the earth and everything in it would die. The sun is used elsewhere in God’s Word as a metaphor for the Son of God whom is called “The Sun of righteousness.” As it is written, “But for you who revere My name, the Sun of righteousness will rise with healing in His wings” (Malachi 4:2). Just as the sun has been fixed at the centre of the universe so the Son has been given authority and power to rule over everything in the earth, under the earth and above the earth upholding all things by His powerful word.

Face to face with God

As it is written of Him, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him were all things created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; All things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:15-17). As it is also written of Him, “But in these last days He (God) has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and by (through) Him made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact image of His being, sustaining (upholding) all things by the Word of His power. After He had by Himself purged our sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on High (in heaven)” (Hebrews 1:2-3). The Lord Jesus Himself being the Word of God and face to face with God from all eternity was already present at creation and by Him and through Him all things created came into being.

Sunrise and Sunset

Two other aspects of the sun are that it sets in the East and rises in the West. In the Bible when we see the sun setting it is a metaphor for death. For example when the ungodly king Ahab was dying from his would in his chariot we read these words, “The blood from his wound ran onto the floor of the chariot, and that evening he died. As the sun was setting, a cry spread through the army: “Everyman to his town; everyone to his land” (1 Kings 22:35b-36). In the case of the sun setting in relation to Ahab’s death metaphorically the Bible is telling us that he did not go to Abraham’s bosom, to the place of comfort where all of the faithful Old Testament went to after they had died. In other words the sun setting at the time of Ahab’s death reveals to us that he was not saved. The sun setting and rising again is significant in relation to Jesus as He was crucified in the afternoon and by the time the sun had set He was dead. On the third day at sunrise Jesus arose again from the dead. When we see the sun setting each night and the sun rising again at the dawn of a new day it is a testimony in itself to the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Also for us as believers it reminds us that we must experience “the sunset” of our death but also “the sunrise” of our Resurrection.

The Rising of the Son

Malachi the prophet used the rising of the Sun to describe the rising of The Son from the dead and that as a result spiritual healing would become available to the whole world through Him. Healing primarily refers to healing from the power and dominion of sin but it does include physical healing as this also has been provided for in the atonement.  While there is a mystery to why God heals some and not others the fact remains that everyone, without exception, who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. This is an absolute guarantee from God Himself clearly set forth in His Word the Bible.

The rapture and resurrection

Ultimately at the rapture and resurrection of the Church believers will be completely and forever free from sickness, disease and death. The Resurrection of the Lord Jesus also guarantees this. He is the “first fruits’ of the Resurrection and His resurrection is our resurrection. As it is written, “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep…Christ the firstfruits: then, when He comes those who belong to Him” (1 Corinthians 15:20, 23). Already the believer in Jesus is living in the state of spiritual resurrection but ultimately they will be physically resurrected should their bodies fall asleep (die) before Jesus comes back. Jesus Himself said so, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who is believing in Me will live, even though he dies, and whoever is living and believing in Me will never die” (John 11:25).

Absent from the body, present with the Lord

If you should die as a believer before Jesus comes back you will experience your spiritual resurrection. At the moment your spirit leaves your body you will go to be with the Lord. As it is written, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 6:8). For every believer in the Lord Jesus the rapture and the resurrection will be the same event. As it is written, “For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).

In the twinkling of an eye

When Jesus comes back for His bride not one member of the body of Christ will be left behind but every believer will be changed in the twinkling of an eye and be caught up to meet Him in the air. As it is written, “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed-in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead (believers) will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).

 “Let light shine out of darkness!”

So then just as the Sun gives life, light and warmth to the earth so the Lord Jesus “the Sun of Righteousness” gives life, light and the warmth to the whole of creation and especially imparts a real sense of the warmth of His love towards His own family, towards all who are joined to Him by faith, who love and follow Him and obey His Word. As it is written, “For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6). When the Light of God’s life and the power of His Word come into a person’s life all darkness and sin is exposed and dealt with by the blood of Jesus. As it is written, “How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God” (Hebrews 9:14). If you are a believer in Jesus then you are now “light in the Lord” and “all sons and daughters of light” and those, “who have been called out of darkness and into His marvellous light.” (Ephesians 5:8) (1 Thessalonians 5:5) (1 Peter 2:9) So then God created the great light of the sun as a tribute to His eternal Son whom in the course of time, as we know it on earth, would be “the light of life” manifest in the flesh. Indeed the Lord Jesus said, “I am the light of the world, he that follows Me he will no longer walk in darkness but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

The lesser light and the great light

Now we also read that God made “the lesser light to govern the night.” The lesser light we call the moon. The Moon has no light of its own as it reflects the light of the Sun yet by the light of the Moon’s reflection we can see at night. Its illumination is less than that of the direct sunlight. In the first three chapters of John’s gospel we see two great lights. One is “the Great Light’ the Lord Jesus Christ and the other “Great Light is John the Baptist. John was the lesser light who prepared the way for “the Sun of Righteousness” the Lord Jesus Christ. John the Baptist was the one reflecting and pointing to “the true light that enlightens every man.” John tells us concerning John that, “He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through Him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world” (John 1:7). John and the Lord Jesus were both lights to show the way to God. John the Baptist was a light to lead men to the Light Himself.  Jesus said concerning John the Baptist, “John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light” (John 5:35).

“One through whom the light shines”

Another thing to consider is that just as the Moon reflects the light of the Sun so the true Church reflects the light of the Son of God. His body the Church reflects His light to the world. There is a story told of a little boy sitting in a Sunday school class. His teacher asked the class this question. “What is a Saint?”  This little boy raised his hand and said, “Teacher a Saint is one through whom the light shines.” Of course he answered correctly. When the teacher asked him how he arrived at this answer he said that he had seen the sunlight shining through the pictures of the saints in the stained glass windows of the church.

The Sun and the Moon

The Sun and the Moon are directly connected in that one reflects the light of the other. If the Sun ceased to shine then the Moon would have no luminosity at all. In the Bible we are told that the Church is called the Body of Christ and that He is its head, the source of its life, the sustainer of its existence in this world and that its light and power come directly from its association with Him. The true Church is not a man made ecclesiastical institution but an invisible body of people who enjoy a living and personal relationship with Jesus Himself, who live on His life and power everyday. The unifying experience that they all have in common is the new birth from above through the indwelling Spirit of God.

The Stars

We also read where God “also made the stars.” Although the stars differ in their luminosity within themselves they also reflect the light of the sun. Stars in the Bible are symbolic of believers both in the Old and the New Testaments. (Genesis 15:5) (Daniel 12:3) (Philippians 2:15)  When the apostle Paul spoke about the resurrection body of believers in relation to the stars he said that the stars individually would vary in their splendour. (1 Corinthians 15:41b) In the resurrection some believers will shine more brightly than others. Some will have the capacity, as it were, to enjoy resurrected life more than other believers will. However, every born again child of the Living God will enjoy resurrection life far above and beyond anything they can imagine or think. Indeed it is written, “You will show me the path of life: in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Psalm 16:11). As it is also written, “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20)

Three Metaphors

These lights, the sun, the moon and the stars also appear as metaphors not only in Genesis but also in other books of the Old and the New Testaments. Just before the close of this present age there will come a time when there will be a great earthquake and the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. As it is written, “I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a tree when shaken by a strong wind. The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every island and mountain was removed from its place” (Revelation 6:12-14). See also (Matthew 24:29) (Joel 3:15) (Isaiah 13:10) (Isaiah 24:23).

Portentous events

These portentous events will occur just before Jesus comes back. At that time things will be so bad on the earth that all flesh will destroy itself if Jesus does not return. These cataclysmic events will occur at the end of the last three and a half years of this present age. It will be a time of trouble and stress unequalled in previous history and never to be equalled again. (Daniel 12:1) (Matthew 24:21-22) This time is called “The Time of Jacob’s Trouble” or “The Great Tribulation.” (Jeremiah 30:7) (Revelation 7:14) It will be a time when the darkness of sin, rebellion, war, famine, disease and death will plague mankind on a global scale. During this time the man with the dark desire who is called “the Man of Sin” or the Antichrist will immerge to try to completely extinguish the light of God in the world.

The Sun will be darkened

The sun itself will be turned black like sackcloth and no longer shine. This ominous sign in the heavens at that time will indicate that in some way the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ will not be shining forth as it once did in times past. The gospel will still be preached but it will no longer move the majority of mankind to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus for salvation. Even though there are plagues wreaking havoc on the earth people will not repent of their wickedness. As it is written of them, “The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshipping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood-idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magical arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts” (Revelation 9:21).

Wonders, blood, fire and billows of smoke!

At this time Israel will be centre stage in world affairs culminating in the armies of all the nations surrounding Jerusalem itself, armies hell bent on the destruction and extermination of the Jewish nation. Because of the firepower unleashed in the earth through high-powered weaponry, heavy bombs, ballistic missiles and the thermonuclear devices that have exploded the moon will have turned “blood red.” God’s wrath on a Christ hating, Christ rejecting world will be poured out as it is written, “I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Joel 2:30-31).

Whoever calls on the name of the LORD will be saved!

Just before Jesus comes back the Jewish and Gentile believers having the seal of the living God on their foreheads (symbolised in the 144.000) will still preach the gospel and in the context of Joel’s prophecy the Spirit will be poured out upon “all flesh” giving people one last opportunity to be saved. At that time this faithful Jewish and Gentile remnant will be empowered to preach to the nations for one last time before Jesus comes back. Even at the last hour God will be calling people to repentance and faith in Jesus the Messiah and at that time whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved! (Joel 2:28-29) (Revelation 7:1-7) (Revelation 14:1-5)

Persecution

Now the moon reflects the light of the sun but if the sun no longer shines then the moon no longer reflects its light upon the earth. When these things occur in the heavens it will indicate events happening on the earth. Just as the moon reflects the light of the sun so the true Church reflects the light of Jesus in this world. However, during this time faithful, born again believers will be under severe persecution almost to the point of extinction. (Revelation 13:7) (Revelation 20:4) In these days millions of faithful believers will have already laid down their lives for Jesus sake.

The Apostasy

We are also told that, “the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a tree when shaken by a strong wind” (Revelation 6:13). Also at this time the apostasy will be well and truly under way as millions of professing Christians fall away from the faith and deny Jesus to save their own lives in this world. Many will also betray their fellow believers. (Luke 21:12-16) Because of lawlessness and rebellion the majority of professing Christians will fall away consequently opening the way for the coming of the Antichrist. (Matthew 24:9-11) (2 Thessalonians 2:2:3-4)

He whp persevers to the end will be saved!

Only those who have persevered to the end will be saved. (Matthew 24:13) Those who really belong to the Lord Jesus will be empowered to stand firm, as God Himself will give them the ability and strength they need. As it is written, “If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you” (1 Peter 4:14). Also it is written, “But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words of wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. All men will hate you because of Me. But not a hair on your head will perish. By standing firm you will save yourselves” (Luke 21:14-19). If we have been born again then we are already saved and to stay saved we must be willing to persevere to the end. Of course it is only in God’s strength alone that any of us will be able to stand in the end.

“A third of the stars”

In the book of Revelation we are told, “Then another sign appeared in heaven, an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his head. His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth” (Revelation 12:4). Through the empire of the Antichrist Jews and Christians alike will turn away from the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and His Messiah the Lord Jesus. Just as the rebellious angels lost their place in heaven so those who commit apostasy will loose their place in heaven. In one foul swoop of its tail the Antichrist’s empire will sweep multitudes into the path of apostasy. “The stars indeed will fall from heaven”.

Refined and Rescued

During the Second World War a third of the Jewish people died in the holocaust under the Nazis as six million perished at their hands. During the reign of the Antichrist Satan’s one obsession will be to destroy Israel but God will take care of His remnant. Two thirds of the Jewish people will perish at the hand of the Antichrist’s empire but a third God will preserve. As it is written, “In the whole land,” declares the Lord, “two-thirds will be stuck down and perish; yet one-third will be left in it. This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on My name and I will answer them; I will say they are My people,’ and they will say, “The Lord is our God” (Zechariah 13:8-9).

 

In the book of Revelation the Sun, the Moon and the stars are all mentioned again in chapter twelve. This reference is to Israel. (Genesis 37:9) In Revelation we read, “A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth” (Revelation 12:1-2).

 Israel

The woman is the nation of Israel, the sun points to Jesus, the moon points to the Church and the twelve stars to the twelve tribes of Israel. Out of the Jewish nation the Messiah would be born. The dragon tried to destroy the woman by killing the first-born of the Israelites in Egypt in the time of Moses but did not succeed. He tried again through King Herod when he killed the first born of the Jewish people in Bethlehem. Of course the baby Jesus escaped with Mary and Joseph to Egypt. Down through history Satan has used all of the ancient empires of the world to destroy Israel because he has tried to stop the birth of the Messiah. Historically he used Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome and more recently Germany. Satan’s current empire is Islam and once again he has resurrected the “Babylon” of old in the empire of Islam to destroying the Jewish people as a nation.

Anti-Semitism

Behind all Anti-Semitism today is Satan. The events in the Middle East today are no accident. He is trying to frustrate and destroy God’s prophetic purposes for Israel. Satan knows full well that Jesus second coming depends of the fulfilment of God’s prophetic purposes and promises to Israel as a nation. Even though Israel is to pass through “The Time of Jacob’s Trouble” we are told that God will preserve a remnant in Israel for Himself. As we continue to look at Revelation chapter twelve we read, “The dragon (Satan) stood in front of the woman (Israel) who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child (Jesus) who will rule all the nations with an iron sceptre (During the Millennium). And her child was snatched up to God and to His throne (the Ascension). The woman (Israel) fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days (three and a half years by the Jewish Calender) (Revelation 12: 4-6). During the Time of Jacob’s Trouble there will be a remnant in Israel and in the Church chosen by God’s sovereign grace and foreknowledge to belong to Christ. These He will preserve through the fire of affliction and persecution.

“With healing in His wings”

So then when we see the Great light of the sun we are reminded of “The Sun of Righteousness that arises with healing in His wings.” When we see the luminosity of the moon we are reminded of the Church that reflects the light of the Son of Righteousness. When we see the stars we are reminded of all the faithful believers in Israel and the Church who have inner spiritual luminosity yet also reflect the light of the Sun of Righteousness. The sun, the moon and the stars first appear in Genesis, then in the writings of the prophets and the gospels and finally in the book of Revelation.

Everything in the universe revolves around the Sun

At the centre of the whole universe and around which all the planets revolve is the sun. At the centre of all things is the wonderful Son of God, who sustains and upholds all things by the power of His Word, whose Word, the Bible, will sustain and uphold all who seek to build their lives on its solid foundation for the times to come. Even though there is deep spiritual darkness the light of the Lord Jesus Christ will never be extinguished. As the sun illuminates the whole universe so the Light of the Lord Jesus Christ will ultimately overcome the deep darkness of all unrighteousness, rebellion and sin!

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