God’s creation does not follow a path based in human understanding. He created light, then atmospheric divisions, then land, sea and vegetation. Then, on the fourth day, he sets the cosmos in motion with the sun, moon and stars.
The vegetation that was on the land was created before the sun and the other heavenly bodies. According to human logic, the plants of the earth need the energy from the sun to sustain themselves. The light — expressed on the first day — was focused and formed on the fourth day but was present since the beginning.
The creation story exists before physics, before human understanding and before the timeline of the world was set in motion. Revelation 21:23 tells us of a time and place where there will be no need for a sun or moon. “And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” The light was there at the beginning and will be there forever.
14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. 17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. 19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.