As one can tell, even a few simple words in the Scriptures, just a few short phrases – here in Genesis in particular – can convey dramatically more information that we may at first anticipate.
Let us look once again at our passage for this Chapter, verses six through eight:
“And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.”
Looking now directly at verse 8, let us consider the use of the word “Heaven” there, for God called the firmament as such. So often it is the case that a given word in the Scripture holds a multiplicity of meanings, and this is no exception. “Heaven” in the Scriptures can refer to not only that most glorious of places, but also:
- The immediate sky above us
- The planet’s atmosphere
- The realm of celestial bodies (i.e. space)
We see the same concept in the New Testament. In 2 Corinthians, Chapter 12:2, the Apostle Paul discusses a fellow who was “caught-up to the third heaven.” Now, those of the day understood what he meant clearly. To them, the first heaven was considered the sky. The second heaven was what we would consider space. The third heaven was in fact the heavenly realm of the Father. Al this goes to demonstrate that verse eight, declaring that “God called the firmament Heaven” was not indeed Him officiating that most holy place for the first time; it was a generalization referencing that which resides above us.
While on the “heavens,” let us consider some of the more technical aspects of space, for these hold a great deal of interest in regard to Creation. Looking across the room you are in, no matter whether its spacious or cozy, there is a certain amount of space between you and the next object. We tend to think of that as being empty, the space between us and anything else, but that’s not exactly accurate. On the local scale, as well as in the grande realm of the stars and planets, space is not empty. Science has revealed that empty space possesses such qualities¹ as:
- dielectric permittivity , allowing it to hold an electrical charge
- Magnetic-field permeability, allowing it to support a magnetic field
- It has light-warping characteristics
- It has measurable sound wave transmission characteristics²
For all intents and purposes, empty space is really much, much more. In fact, that same empty space that can be charged, magnetized, and can convey ethereal sound possesses a number of other characteristics. It can be stretched or compressed, like a rubber sheet! Further, it possesses resilience, compliance, and its own inertia. These properties, now made certain through technical insights, give us much to consider. Take a simple, cubic centimeter of “empty space;” a vacuum. Hidden within that tiny body is a seemingly endless amount of potential energy seething beneath the surface.
- “Is Light Slowing Down? More Turmoil in Physics,” Chuck Missler, March 1, 1995, retrieved 12/5/2018
- Nield, David, “Sound Can Travel Through Space After All – But We Can’t Hear It,” ScienceAlert.com, retrieved 12/13/ 2018
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