I can conceive of four places where someone might deduce that the heavens where created in Genesis 1. By the heavens I mean the rest of the universe, apart from the earth. Let’s see how these compare against each other. There is one outstanding winner.
All these options accept that God made the stars to shine on day 4. But the question is a bit like saying that God lit the candle (made it to shine) on day 4, but when did He make the candle itself.
The heavens were made in verse 1, when it says the “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”. It happened in verse 1 so I’ll call this option v1. In this option we don’t know why the heavens are not mentioned in verse 2, which just describes the earth. Since the earth is described as formless and void, then we probably cannot conceive of what the heavens looked like, and still being dark, were not visible anyhow.
The heavens were made in verse 1, but the heavens are assumed to be part of the water covering the earth in verse 2. Later, this water is separated or stretched out on day 2 and becomes what we now know as the universe. It happened on day 2 so I’ll call this option d2.
The heavens were made in verse 3, as part of the declaration of light. So this is option v3 – “The Father’s heart”. (This is the option I now choose.)
The heavens were made on day 4. So this is option d4. This is the obvious choice from a casual reading. Here God did not merely make the stars to shine on day 4, but made them from scratch. (This is where I used to live.)
So, options v1 & v3 correspond to made in verses 1&3, while options d2 & d4 correspond to made on days 2&4.
Which options satisfy each question?
|Which preserve verses 1&2 as an introduction,
not an act of creation?
(As long as verse 3 is just talking about photons appearing, even option d4 implies that the earth was created in verse 1.)
|Which picture the heart of God to always have a place for His children?||•|
|Which picture God’s plans for this world before time began?||•|
|Which picture Jesus, the light of the world, through whom all things
(You may believe this but it’s a question of which options show it, and as long as something was created before light then this is not pictured.)
|Which show the heavens created by the Word of God?||•||•||•||•|
|Which explain light without a light source and the disproportionate effort in separating light from dark?||•|
|Which show all steps after day 1 as simply adjustments to what was
(So there is no big hurdle in the entire universe being made to shine on day 4.)
|Which have a strong link to modern physics through the special significance light has in space–time and matter equations?||•|
|Which preserve the plain reading of day 2 as just creating the first heaven?||•||•||•|
|Which picture the heavens stretched out?||•||•|
What do you think? Option 3 passes all tests! Do you think my questions were a little biased? Perhaps, but the idea is to show that option 3 is fully scriptural and fails on nothing. If you don’t choose option 3 then it’s your loss. You miss out on the insights about Jesus and God’s heart and you have to find workarounds for the other issues.