In The Beginning, Chapter Five - Day Three
Genesis 1:9-13 “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 the morning were the third day.”
Day three was all about the earth. It was divided into two parts, bringing out the land from the water and then filling both with an amazing array of plants.
The Dry Land And The Seas
Genesis 1:9 “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let dry land appear.”
God’s first act on day three was to confine the water that covered the earth and bring out the dry land. Psalm 95:5 says that this one creative act is what gives God ownership of the oceans. “The sea is His, for He made it; and His hands formed the dry land.” Proverbs 8:29 also describes this incredible event, “I [wisdom] was there when He set the limits of the seas, so they would not spread beyond their boundaries.”
In His amazing power, God drew back the water into one place and brought up the dry land. Psalm 33:7 appears to make reference to this, “He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap…” Did you know that there are heaps of water, literally hills and valleys, on the surface of the oceans? Did you know that there are places where the sea itself is above sea level? Today these “heaps” of water are held up and moved about by the gravity of the moon. But just like God produced light without the sun for the first three days, it also appears that He personally drew and held up these hills of water until He created the moon on day four. This shouldn’t be surprising, after all, Isaiah 40:12 tells us that He “measures the oceans in the hollow of His hand.”
So God gathered the waters together into one place. This strongly suggests that earth had a single ocean on the sunset of the third day. If there was one ocean, with the water gathered into one spot - then it’s logical to assume that all of the dry land was also in one spot. The idea of a single supercontinent (now called Pangea) is not original with old-earth evolution. Here we can see a reference to this concept in the very first chapter of God’s Word!
So what happened to this single continent? Why is the dry land separated into seven continents today? We’ll find out later why the world broke up, but here’s a clue: At some point in earth’s 6,000 year history, there was a global disaster that changed everything! We’re no longer living in the original world; our world today is scarred by death and disaster. Still, remnants of its original beauty remain. If a corrupted and death-riddled world still retains enough beauty to point to the Creator, what an amazing place the world must have been before sin!
From Barrenness To Beauty
Genesis 1:11 “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…”
Maybe God doesn’t like the sight of bare rock…because after God brought up the dry land, He began to fill it with plants of every kind. This marks the end of one phase of creation and the beginning of another. Up until now, God had been creating empty canvases. The earth, the expanse of space, the oceans, the dry land - all of these were just empty spaces on the afternoon of the third day. Now, God began His work of filling these spaces with beautiful and incredible creations.
Plants of all shapes, sizes, smells, and colors were created by God and filled every acre of dry land - and much of the seas too! Grasses, flowers, and trees covered the ground. Other plant life such as fungi, algae and phytoplankton were also created with specific purposes (such as the production of oxygen, a food source for myriads of animals yet to be created, and the production of fresh soil). Plants were God’s first biologic creation and they filled the earth with life!
Many of these plants have since gone extinct and are only known to us by fossils. We can only guess at what tastes, smells, and colors these other plants added to the world, but we do know that each of them were personally designed by God Himself! What an amazing sight this new, flowering world must’ve been!
Even the seas had an abundance of plant life! Kelp, sea grasses, and various algaes grew up from the ocean floor and filled the otherwise barren water. There’s even evidence that suggests the existence of giant floating forests. These were island-sized masses of lightweight trees whose roots intertwined to hold them together. These giant masses of vegetation even had their own soil (made from their own leaves). We see a similar phenomenon today called “quaking bogs” - but these floating islands dwarfed anything that exists now and must have been an amazing sight to see!
Some of the most beautiful plants that can be seen today exist in gardens, where gardeners personally control the nutrients and water that the plants get. Good gardeners put time and effort to produce the most beautiful plants and the most delicious fruit. This is a reflection of God’s own creative nature - but what must the world have been like when God Himself was the Gardener? We see the descendants of the plants that He created today - but this was the only time in history that each and every plant was put in place by God’s own hand! Not a single blade of grass escaped the Creator’s notice!
Genesis 1:13 “So the evening and the morning were the third day.”
Once again, for the third time, we see the formula - evening+morning+a number. Once again, God emphasized that this was still an actual day.
Think about this; God still hadn’t created the sun yet…and yet the earth was full of plant life! The third day couldn’t have been thousands or millions of years (like the day-age theorists state) - plants need sunlight to survive!
Not only do plants need sunlight, they also need insects to pollinate them. When you view these days of creation as ordinary days, the lack of insects doesn’t matter - they’re only lacking for two more days. But if you believe that the days of creation were long ages of time, you have to explain how plants pollinated without insects to help!
At the close of the third day, the newly-created earth was already drastically different. The water was contained and dry land appeared for the first time. Beautiful vegetation filled both the land and the sea. Now, on the morning of the fourth day, God was going to turn His attention to heaven once again…