THE WORD: A firm foundation

“Abraham's Oak” by Henry Ossawa Tanner (1905) is a painting held in the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. (Public Domain)

The first two days of God’s creation, as detailed in Genesis 1, were focused on more abstract constructs like light and heaven. But, on the third day, God truly laid a firm foundation for humanity. John Rippon’s 1787 hymn “How Firm a Foundation” speaks of the faith foundation that is laid by the Bible. Genesis 1 begins a journey of faith that begins with a physical manifestation of the foundation.

In Genesis 1:9, God brings the dry land out of the seas. He exposes the rock where Matthew 7 tells us the wise man builds his house. He then creates the fruits, seeds and weeds which are central to the parables of Matthew 13. God also creates the trees which play a subtle role in many stories of the Bible, including the conversion of Zacchaeus in Luke 19 and Abraham’s oaks of Mamre in Genesis 13. The third day was the foundation for our physical world, our faith journey and the stories of the Bible.

GENESIS 1:9-13

And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto 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 called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. 11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.