Monday, April 4, 2016


Genesis 1:6-8 (NET Bible) “God said, “Let there be an expanse[1] in the midst of the waters and let it separate water from water.”  So God made the expanse[2] and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. It was so.  8 God called[3] the expanse “sky.”

The sky as we know it in our human experience, (firmament, expanse, dome, open space), is considered by most as a tangible thing, yet by experience it is hardly that. It cannot be touched, and yet we know and experience its presence.

Yet, considering what it does for the human race, there are a lot of beautiful lessons to be considered.

Some have indicated that it has been used to speak of the gold that has been hammered into the features of an idol. If considered that way, it takes on the meaning of the atmosphere that is especially designed to protect, nourish, and demonstrate the handiwork of God.

This became precious to me when I considered the larger sense of God’s work. The children of Israel experienced a special protection in Goshen, while in Egypt; The children of Israel experienced the cloud and the pillar of fire in the desert; After the flood upon the earth, God placed a rainbow there to assure God’s people that the earth would never experience this particular kind of threat any more. (Genesis 9:13)

From the sky, or from such a place as the Niagara Falls observation tower, it can be observed that the rainbow is a perfect circle. The rainbow is also proof of a prism effect on the sun’s harsh rays. I find it fascinating that it can picture a covenantal relationship of a man and wife in a wedding ring, if they desire to do so.

We see a cloud re-appear in the Holy Place in the Temple, speaking the same truth. It was alluded to in Nehemiah 9:19, when the walls of Jerusalem were being rebuilt. It was re-experienced on the Mount of Transfiguration when Jesus appeared Peter, James and John. Matthew 17:5.

All of these can illustrate the marvelous truth that God cares about who and what He considers to be His property.

There is a remarkable reminder of this in outdoor weddings, when an arch is placed over the couple, referring to the “cloud” of a covenantal relationship.

Do you and I really understand firmament, canopy, expanse, cloud of God’s presence in our lives? Do we experience it in the areas that we consider important in our lives? Hosea 6:3 seems to suggest that we can know these answers as we follow closely to Him, and get to know Him better. Luke 11:52 implies that the religious leaders, who had not been living close to God, had robbed the “key” to this knowledge from the people.

Jesus also shows how a study of the clouds can be used to predict weather patterns. If the protection or provision is there – there is safety. Jesus then said, “How is it that you do not discern this time?” (Luke 12:56)

1 “EXPANSE – FIRMAMENT”:  Canopy - Original meaning. Expanse. The original word is sometimes used for the gold or silver covering on an idol. See Psalm 19:1
3 “CALLED”:  God gave this “expanse”, “firmament” or “canopy” - a name, and that was “sky” “Heaven”.