Genesis 1:6-8 Reaching Up Into the Waters

And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7 And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. 8 And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.” Genesis 1:6-8

The Creation story has such beautiful imagery, though sometimes poetic verse can be confusing. …Separate the waters from the waters. I love it. Such an active, moving scene where I imagine an ocean the size of Earth split into the sky, with its clouds and rain, and the seas and underground torrents. Water is a prevalent image throughout scripture, from Creation to the Flood to the parted Red Sea; from a bathing Bathsheba to John’s baptisms, to fisherman turned disciples trying to walk on water; to water pouring from the pierced side of the crucified Messiah.

Water is life. We need it to stay alive, more even than food. Water takes on a different significance for someone living in dry, arid climates, from one who lives in the woods of New England. Regardless, without water, we all die. Do we ever truly consider this fact? Just turn on the tap or twist the cap or reach our hands into the clear streams pouring down of Mount Washington. On an average day, we don’t have to think how critical water is to stay alive, only that it quenches our thirst.

In the beginning, there was only water. From that came the land, and us, and everything we see around us. Our bodies yearn for it. God was here before the water, before the light, before everything. The waters need Him to exist, even now. How much more, then, do we need His power and being to truly, fully live? The Creator of everything created you and I. He sustains us, yet we sometimes don’t think of Him unless we’re thirsty, something goes wrong, something needs mending in our life. Then, we reach out for a drink of His grace, smack our metaphorical lips and say something like, Ah, that hits the spot. We move on, thinking no more about it, until we grow thirsty again.

Jesus said he provides “living water”: whoever drinks from the water that I will give him shall never thirst (John 4:4). When we give Jesus our heart we are, in many ways, reaching up into the waters of Creation drawn for us in Genesis and letting them pour down on us, letting them fill us so we will never be alone nor thirsty again. It’s a poetic way of imagining the Spirit coming over us in this holy relationship with the Creator. Jesus offers this to us, for free. The only cost is the loss of the desert in which we’d been living.

Next time you read Genesis, let it’s words and images pour into you. See them in a new way, as God shows you His kingdom when it was new and wonderful and waiting to wash over us and make us all new creations again.


Father, thank you for words both beautiful and sometimes shocking in your scriptures. Let us never tire of seeing new dimensions of Your sometimes-unfathomable nature every time we read.