Then God said, let 'happiness' be!

Illustration © John and Lynn Harrison

Genesis 1:3-5 World English Bible (WEB) 3. "God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light. 4. God saw the light, and saw that it was good. God divided the light from the darkness. 5. God called the light 'day,' and the darkness He called 'night.' There was evening and there was morning, the first day."

The Hebrew word that has been translated 'light' also means 'happiness.' God intended, from the very beginning, for His people to be happy, or to be in a state of, or in the presence of, happiness. And there was 'happiness.' With every command spoken, "Let there be..." it was so. God spoke and what He commanded came into being.

There was light, or happiness. And then God looked upon it and proclaimed it to be 'good.' Light is good. Happiness is good. That was God's intent, from the beginning, happiness.

Then He caused a separation of the light from the darkness that already existed, and an antithesis, or an opposition, is presented. The Hebrew word that has been translated 'darkness' actually means misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, and wickedness. A separation was meant to exist between these two opposing forces, light and darkness, happiness and sorrow. The Hebrew word that has been translated 'separated' means 'to make a distinction between, to be utterly divided.' We were meant to be happy, not miserable, and there was meant to be a separation between the two of them. We were not meant to know sorrow. We will see later that sin entered the world, and as a result, there was a consequence to sin: the separation was removed, and sorrow, wickedness, and death were reintroduced. The separation will be reinstated on the Last Day, and there will be no more sorrow, crying, death, or pain.

God called the light, 'Day,' which means the warm hours between sunrise and sunset. Notice that we were meant to be warm, not cold. And the darkness He called 'Night,' which means a folding back, or a twisting away, of the light, as of a winding, spiral staircase, a going down of the light and the day.

And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. A precedent was set. In each paragraph, or day, that follows, the day runs from evening to morning. This is reflected in the Jewish understanding of a day, which runs, as stated, from sunset to sunset, or from 6:00 pm to 6:00 pm. The pattern continues throughout the narrative, and there was evening and there was morning, the _th day.

Our society and our culture have changed that to reflect our own perspective, in that our day begins when most of us arise in the morning and ends when we sit down at night, or from the perspective of our clocks and calendars, a day runs from midnight to midnight.

We need to have a more Godly perspective. Yet, at the same time we are to understand and interact with the world in which we live. There needs to be a separation between light and darkness, between day and night, between happiness and sorrow. One day that separation will be reinstated, by God Himself. And we will be happy. Forever!

Next up, the waters are separated.

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