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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad


Bereshit 1-2

In the beginning of

Genesis 1:14-23

And God said, Let luminaries be in the expanse of the heavens, to divide between the day and the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years. And let them be for luminaries in the expanse of the heavens, to give light on the earth. And it was so.

Gen. 1:14-15 LITV

What is the main  purpose of the lights in the firmament?

When the Almighty decided to create the lights, he stated the order of priority in their mission. The first thing He said was that they would serve to divide between day and night. Their second purpose is to appoint the time with the important events that take place during their trajectory. The third mission of the sun, the moon and the stars is to shine upon the earth with all the implications derived from this.

Wouldnt it be more logical to think that the main mission of the lights is to shine upon the earth, especially because of all the benefits that the earth itself and their inhabitants receive from the sun? It would be impossible to live in the earth without the contribution of the sun. The sun is so important for our existence that many peoples and cultures throughout history have worshipped it as their main god. However, the Torah reveals that the sun has a Creator and therefore this practice is unacceptable.

Back to our topic, how come the Almighty does not mention as the main purpose of the sun and the other lights to shine upon the earth? There are two priorities that are more important to Him. One of them is to define times and seasons, including all the feasts of His plan for redemption, revealed to the people of Israel. But, even if this mission is more important than to bring light upon the earth, it is not the most important. The most important is to divide between day and night. Again, in the process of the creation, we see the importance of the division between different things. In this case, it is a division in times and also between light and darkness.

Darkness is nothing but lack of light. Where there are shadows, there is less light and many times it is possible to see a clear division between the area touched by the sun and the area where the shadow remains. Shadow has less light. The night has less light than the day because night is a product of a shadow. Only the moon and the stars transmit direct light to the earth and that is why there is less light during night than during the day. Anyway, there is still some light during the night. The darkness in the night is not complete. Darkness is not always total. Darkness is relative to the amount of light, because it is the light that creates the division.

The Almighty saw that the light was good, but it is not written that darkness was considered bad. Further on, when the Almighty had finished creating, He saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good (1:31); including the darkness of night. So, in relation to light, darkness isn’t that good, but it is not bad either. Darkness is necessary and it has its own purpose in a creation full of divisions.

So it is very important for the Creator that there is a separation between day and night and light and darkness. The task of separating is the main purpose of sun, moon and stars.

Why is this purpose the most important? What can we learn from this?

We learn that for the Almighty it is very important to differentiate between day and night. And, why is it so important to set a difference between day and night? Because certain events and activities have to take place during the day and others during the night. Man was created to be awake during the day and to sleep at night. This is one of the most basic truths of creation. Man was created to work during the day and to sleep during the night. In order to be in harmony with life, it is important to follow this natural sequence.

As a result of the invention of artificial light, men have become used to alter this order more and more. A large number of people do not sleep at night but at day. This practice alters what has been established and produces disorder and negative consequences to body and soul. There are times though, when mankind can change the natural sequence and remain awake for several hours at night or for the entire night. These instances should be an exception and not a routine in order to prevent harm to the human being.

So, the Almighty wants to teach us the importance of separation between day and night.

Daytime was created for the Creator to be praised in a special way, as it is written in Psalm 113:3: ≥From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the LORD is to be praised!≤ (ESV) And not only was man created to praise during the day, but also the very lights praise their Creator as it is written in Psalm 148:3: "Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars!" (ESV)

So, in the morning, as the sun rises it is the time to get up and praise the Almighty. If you stay asleep in bed you are not fulfilling a large part of your mission as a human being. Get up every morning and praise the Eternal your Creator. He waits for you every morning because He yearns for you and He enjoys your presence. Do not miss this appointment with Him tomorrow morning.

What is the best way of being alert in the morning? Going to bed early enough the previous night to avoid being sleepy when coming before His presence. By doing this, we can serve Him in a better manner.

In the Psalm above, it is written that the sun, the moon and the stars praise the Almighty. This task of the lights in the firmament of separating day and night is actually a constant praise to the Eternal.

Let us learn the lesson of separating day and night and live according to what the Creator established. Don’t take too much time before going to sleep at night, go to bed in time. Don’t waste hours of sleep at night; instead, prepare yourself to come before your Heavenly Father in the morning and you will have a better day because, "we are not of the night nor of darkness… we are of the day". (1 Th ess. 5:5b, 8a)

With love,

Ketriel


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