Genesis 1:9-10 "(9)Then God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear; and it was so. (10)And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good.
Regarding the third day of creation, first we are told that God "gathered together into one place" the waters that were under the heavens and called them "Seas" and that He made "the dry land appear" and called the land "Earth". This is another indication that our planet was not round when God first made it, as we already saw in verse 2. God suddenly gathered all this water and land into one place to form a circle.
So let's consider first the gathering together of the waters. Regarding that formation, God said to Job:
"(8)Or who shut in the sea with doors, When it burst forth and issued from the womb; (9)When I made the clouds its garment, And thick darkness its swaddling band; (10)When I fixed My limit for it, And set bars and doors"(Job 38:4-10)
And the Psalmist writes:
"(5)You who laid the foundations of the earth, So that it should not be moved forever, (6)You covered it with the deep as with a garment; The waters stood above the mountains. (7)At Your rebuke they fled; At the voice of Your thunder they hastened away. (8)They went up over the mountains; They went down into the valleys, To the place which You founded for them. (9)You have set a boundary that they may not pass over, That they may not return to cover the earth."(Psalm104:5-11)
Since this was before the fall of man, at this stage there were no such things as thunderstorms and no life-threatening, raging seas. The "Sea" was calm and clean, and God saw that it was "good".
But after the fall many things changed drastically. During thunderstorms and high speed winds the seas became a threat. In the scriptures, the seas often signify trials and afflictions that may come our way. For example, David writes: "(2)I sink in deep mire, Where there is no standing; I have come into deep waters, Where the floods overflow me....(14)Deliver me out of the mire, And let me not sink; Let me be delivered from those who hate me, And out of the deep waters. (15)Let not the floodwater overflow me, Nor let the deep swallow me up; And let not the pit shut its mouth on me."(Ps.69:2,14-15)
But blessed be God that He has set boundaries for those troublesome waters that come our way! He says to the seas, This far you may come, but no farther, And here your proud waves must stop!"(Job 38:11)
Reflective Prayer: Lord, thank you for setting a limit to how many trials and temptations come our way. And thank You that You give us the grace to go through every single trial and affliction! Help me to look to You always and not at my circumstances. You are so good even though sometimes I don't understand why some things happen. You are worthy to be trusted in all situations. Please continue to provide me with the strength and grace to get through any tough situation that may come my way. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.
Secondly, let's consider the appearing of the dry land. At this stage all the land was perfect and ready to receive all the food seeds with little to no effort as far as cultivating went. But again, after the fall things changed radically. The land became difficult to cultivate. God told Adam, "(17)Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. (18)Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. (19)In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread"(Gen.3:17-19).
In the Bible land(or soil) signifies the heart and soul of man, the innermost being. That "soil" can be either good or bad in the sight of God. In the parable of the sower(Matt.13:3-9,19-23), Jesus compares different types of "grounds", referring to different types of people that are exposed to His Word as it is proclaimed. The first three types He mentions do not bear any fruit, only the fourth type which our Lord calls "good ground". And from that fourth type there are different amounts of "fruit" that is produced, some a "hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty". It all depends on how much we allow God to "cultivate" our hearts and lives to bring Him glory on this earth. And we can only produce fruit as we abide in Him, depending fully on Him and His all-sufficient grace at work in our hearts and lives.
Reflective prayer: Lord, I want my heart to be good soil that You can cultivate and work on so that I may yield good fruit to Your glory. Please don't let my heart get hardened by the cares of this world. Thank You for the grace you provide daily, which allows me to see where I am getting sidetracked and which areas I need to surrender more to You. Thank you for Your promise to continue to shape and mold my heart and life into Your image. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.
So let's now consider the next few verses that deal with this third day of creation:
Genesis 1:11-13 "(11)Then God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth; and it was so. (12)And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. (13)So the evening and the morning were the third day."
Here we see God's generous provision of food for mankind first displayed. He prepared the earth with plenty of nurishment for man before putting him on this planet. He lavished humanity with more than what's needed to sustain life. That's just how He is. He is so good to us. Every plate of food on our table comes from His gracious hand and we should give Him the thanks He deserves for it.
Reflective Prayer: Lord, thank you so much for all the nurishment and provision you give us daily, though I don't deserve one bit of it. Truly you have crowned us with so many riches that we don't deserve. From every breath we take, every beat of our heart, the good health we enjoy daily, our loved ones, to the food and clothing you provide, You have proven to be a good and loving heavenly Father. Help me to continue to trust You to provide all my physical needs. And help me not to grumble and complain about anything but to be thankful always. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.
In Scripture, trees are also compared to peoples' hearts. Jesus said, "(15)Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheeps clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. (16)You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? (17)Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. (18)A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. (19)Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. (20)Therefore by their fruits you will know them."(Matt.7:17-20)
Our Lord also said to the hypocrite religious leaders of his day, "(33)Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. (34)Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. (35)A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things."(Matt.12:33-35)
So what kind of fruit does God consider to be "good fruit" which He wants us to produce? In Galatians 5:22-23 we read, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." As we continually yield ourselves to Him, acknowledging and confessing any shortcomings to Him in repentance and faith, He works that kind of "good fruit" in and through our lives.
Reflective Prayer: Lord, please help me to be a good tree that yields good fruit to your glory. I want to please and honor You in all things. I want to let my light so shine before men that they may see the good deeds and glorify Your name. Please help me to continue to develop that fruit of Your Spirit which You are pleased with. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.