Day Four – Sun, Moon, Stars Appear

God didn’t create the sun and the moon at this time. They were already up there. God just brought them around into position.

The atmosphere being completely purified, the sun, moon, and stars were for the first time unveiled in all their glory in the cloudless sky; and they are described as “in the firmament” which to the eye they appear to be, though we know they are really at vast distances from it.

In the fourth day’s work, the creation of the sun, moon, and stars is accounted for. All these are the works of God.

The stars are spoken of as they appear to our eyes, without telling their number, nature, place, size, or motions; for the Scriptures were written, not to gratify curiosity, or make us astronomers, but to lead us to God, and make us saints.

The lights of heaven are made to serve Him; they do it faithfully, and shine in their season without fail.

We are set as lights in this world to serve God; but do we in like manner answer the end of our creation?

We do not: our light does not shine before God, as His lights shine before us. We burn our Master’s candles, but do not mind our Master’s work.

Genesis 1:14-19 KJV

[14] And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

[15] And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

[16] And 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.

[17] And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

[18] 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.

[19] And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

Genesis 1:14 
And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:


  • As with the other days of creation, this one, the fourth, begins with God speaking. Having created “light” (singular) on the first day, God now creates lights.
  • These are physical objects that serve specific purposes.
  • For them to divide the day from the night speaks to the need for cyclical illumination of the earth.
  • This illumination goes hand in hand with the lights’ being signs: things that attest to divine power at work.
  • The idea is to give credit to God for His active role in the world.
  • This is the word used to state the significance of the rainbow, given as a sign in the sky that God will not again destroy the earth by a flood.
  • While there might be the occasional extraordinary sign, the ordered nature of earthly cycles is a daily reminder of God’s provision and presence.
  • Beyond the signs, we now see three derivative manifestations of God’s order.
  • First, the celestial lights also give us seasons.
  • We may naturally think of seasons in terms of spring, summer, fall, and winter.
  • That idea may be included, but the idea as it develops throughout the Old Testament is more along the lines of time periods longer than 24 hours in general and the religious festivals of Israel’s calendar in particular.
  • These become appointed times as determined by phases of the moon.
  • Hand in hand with such periods of time are the days and years.
  • These are the familiar periods of 24 hours and 365 days, respectively.
  • The yearly cycle is what gives us the seasons of fall, winter, spring, and summer (or, in some areas, the rainy season and the dry season).
  • All these provide order and regularity.
  • We are created to thrive within this system.
  • For example, astronauts who leave the earth still try to regulate their activities in 24-hour cycles.
  • God has designed a world to fit us and created us to fit His world.

Genesis 1:15

And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.


  • One of them was to take charge of the day, and the sun does that pretty well.
  • Also the moon does a good job by night.
  • We should catch a little of the wonder and awe of the ancient author here.
  • He understands the value and purpose of light (created on day one), of heavenly lights (created on day four), and of the need for light upon the earth.
  • We are created to be creatures of light, both physically and spiritually.
  • The more science learns about sunlight, the more we realize our dependence on it for life.
  • Without the God-provided light that bathes our world on a regular basis, we would lead a sad existence—if any existence at all.
  • The lighting of our world is a testimony to God’s love and care for us.
  • It is an exciting comparison, then, for Jesus to take the role of “light of the world” (John 8:12), God’s loving answer to our spiritual darkness.

Genesis 1:16

And 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.


  • The created order has three classifications of observable heavenly lights.
  • First we have the greater light, the sun, which rules the day.
  • This does not imply that the sun comes out when there is daylight. Rather, it’s the other way around: the sun defines and causes the day.
  • Likewise, the lesser light, the moon, defines a darker period, the night.
  • Nights are not without some light, given the shadows we observe when the moon is bright.
  • Even on nights of a new moon, the stars provide light, although dimly.
  • While we see God’s intentional patterns in creation here, we should also notice that the descriptions are observational, from the perspective of the author or any other human.
  • It is silly to criticize this portrayal by saying that some of the stars we see are far bigger and brighter than our sun.
  • It doesn’t appear that way from the author’s viewpoint, nor from any other unaided human viewpoint today.
  • Stars are tiny in the amount of light they shed on the earth. This is the point.
  • In consequence of the day being reckoned as commencing at sunset – the moon, which would be seen first in the horizon, would appear “a great light,” compared with the little twinkling stars.
  • While its pale benign radiance would be eclipsed by the dazzling splendor of the sun.
  • When his attractive and impressive through being richly colorful or sumptuous orb rose in the morning and gradually attained its meridian blaze of glory, it would appear “the greater light” that ruled the day.
  • Both these lights may be said to be “made” on the fourth day – not created, indeed, for it is a different word that is here used, but constituted, appointed to the important and necessary office of serving as luminaries to the world, and regulating by their motions and their influence the progress and divisions of time.

Genesis 1:17 
And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,


  • That is, the heaven of the stars.
  • These celestial lights—sun, moon, and stars—are placed in the firmament of the heaven by God to provide various degrees of light upon the earth.
  • Their intensity causes the distinction between daytime and nighttime.
  • All of them counteract darkness, the absence of light.
  • In this sense, they are testimonies to the presence of God in our world, for we are never without a heavenly light source.

Genesis 1:18 
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.


  • As at the end of the previous day of creation, the author notes that God observes what He has created and approves by designating it as good. It is pleasing to Him and beneficial to us.

You will notice that it is God who does the dividing here, “to divide the light from the darkness.” You know, He still does that!

There are those today who ask, “What’s the difference between right and wrong?” God has drawn all the lines.

How can we know what is right?

God says what is right. God has put down certain principles.

God divides the light from the darkness and there is just that much distinction between right and wrong.

He is the One who makes the difference, and He still does it.

Genesis 1:19

And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.


  • As before, the cycle of what makes up a day is noted.
  • The Bible’s way of marking a day begins with sundown, a pattern still observed by Jews.
  • It is not so much that night commences the new day as that the setting of the sun ends the old day.

I hope that you have really enjoyed this post,

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2 thoughts on “Day Four – Sun, Moon, Stars Appear

  1. Being a catholic, and having studied the Bible all my youth, I love the way you “break it down”. 

    We all (well perhaps not all, but most of us), know the Genesis but few have actually stopped to think about what it meant and analyzed it.

    I love your point of view and the way you explain it in such a simple manner. Even someone who is not familiar with it can catch up.

    So thank you for this post

    1. Greetings,

      I’m glad you liked the post. 

      I am satisfied that I can display my thoughts about these things on here and know that there are people like yourself who can get something out of it. 

      Thanks for taking the time to read it. 

      And I hope you’ll enjoy future post as well.

      Wishing you much success ahead,

      Jerry

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