How can it be that the sun, moon, and stars were created after light and ocean and land and plants were created? It’s interesting that the correct answer is that we don’t know which of a few different interpretations is right. You can say which one you like the best but not which one is actually right. (This is a reaction to the January 13 bible study lesson at http://ssnet.org/lessons/13a/less03.html.)
Well, at least if the plants were created on the third day and the Sun on the fourth day, that doesn’t lend support a millions-of-years interpretation of the days of creation, because the plants couldn’t have waited millions of years before the sun showed up.
I definitely tend toward a literal creation of the sun, moon, and stars on the fourth day, because the Bible says that God created them on that day. But I can see why some people say that that doesn’t make sense, partly because it doesn’t seem to line up with what we know of the physical world.
I love the idea of the Earth being a lump of ice in space that then gets warmed up by this warm glow on day one; the waters evaporate in the heat and make an atmosphere on day two; then the land rises and God creates plants on day three; and finally, on day four, God sort of steps back and places the Earth in a larger context of motion and celestial bodies. That’s my opinion and imagination.
But a main principle that you can use for the rest of your life when hearing about controversial Biblical issues is this: don’t give the debate more significance than the Bible gives it. The Bible mentions this issue one time. So if we spend a long time arguing over it, we aren’t being faithful to how much the Bible talks about it. This applies to other issues that are only mentioned in a verse or two. Be on the lookout.
(Praise Team Leader at New Horizons SDA Church in Republic, MO)