The Lesser Light
“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.”
One of the most significant differences between the true account of creation in Genesis and the various myths of the Ancient Near East is that those myths give great prominence to the Sun and the Moon. In many cases, these are supposed to be god-consorts; the Sun being the male god and the Moon his wife, though in some legends, it is the other way around. The Bible’s actual history, however, emphasizes that the Sun and Moon were both created objects, and that God did not even create them until the Fourth Day. If that was not enough humiliation for these pretender gods, Genesis does not even refer to them by name! It simply calls them the Greater Light (to rule the day) and the Lesser Light (to rule the night).
It is clear why the Greater Light is set to rule the day. The daytime is defined by the Sun, even though we know, of course, that God caused the first three days to happen without the Sun being in existence. But it is intriguing to think of the Moon ruling the night. For a start, some might object that the Moon is sometimes seen during the day. Not only that, but its phases mean that the amount of light during the hours of darkness varies a great deal.
It turns out that many nocturnal animals need this variation, and, in particular, need the limited light provided by the Moon. God created everything just right for life on Earth.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for making the light of the Moon just right for life to exist as it does on our planet. Amen.
Author: Paul F. Taylor
Ref: Morris, H.M. (1992), The Lights Of The World, < https://www.icr.org/article/1403 >, accessed 12/27/2018. Image: Adobe Stock Image, licensed to author.
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