Genesis 1:6 Then God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.”
He created the firmament, or atmosphere, which we know now as the essential gases such as oxygen and nitrogen. It was the third major form of matter, having created solids and liquids. It was not simply space between the waters below and the clouds above, but an actual substance brought into existence, and it was a substance vital to human, animal, and plant life. He is laying the groundwork for his coming plans. In the beginning there was a plan, intention, organization, all directed towards us.
This separation of ocean from vapor is the origin of the water cycle that sustains all of life once the dry land rises up out of the water below. He knew all the qualities he would invest in every element and how he would tie it into the rest of creation—oxygen for human and animal life, for fire, for oxidation, for mixing into a multitude of chemical combinations and reactions, including water–imagine that–the same essential element for both fire and water! Everything he made was jam-packed with purpose. It was indeed a magnificent creation, and all for us.
As with every part of his creation, it was not only practical, but beautiful: poofs and puffs of clouds mixed with striations, bubbles, and bold thunderheads, all in motion as we watch God’s finger paint and repaint the skies. Then the sun sets, and the spectacular show begins with oranges, pinks, purples and reds, refracted light dancing off a million prism pixels of water vapor, every evening a completely unique display, never to be repeated. Add to that daily pleasure the stunning northern lights, the fearsome lightning storms, the intricate delicacy of snow, the mysterious rivers of fog that wend through the mountains. Weather is God’s medium with which to bring delight and awe to the whole world. And there is no admissions fee. He makes the rain fall on the just and unjust, and his ever fresh finger-paintings hang on our walls, better than any Getty mansion or museum–just look out the window.
God, I am amazed that everything you touch becomes a delight for us, unthinkable usefulness with uncountable pleasures. Your universe is one of unending discovery and delight, and you planned it all for us.