Now that God has done all the preparation of the earth, there is one more thing to do and that is to prepare the lights to mark the days, seasons and years.
On day 4 God said;
Let lights appear in the sky to separate day from night and to show the time when days, years and religious festivals begin; they will shine in the sky to give light to the earth. (v14-15)
The stars, sun and moon were set in place to show the time of day and the seasons.
The moon marks off the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down (Psalm 104 v19)
The two larger lights, were put in place to “rule” over the day and the night. The Good News Bible names them as the Sun and the Moon, but other translations avoid using these names as they later became the names of some of the Pagan deities who were worshiped by some in their own rights.
They were placed though to give benefit to us, for their light to be enjoyed, not worshiped or feared as gods because they were created by God.
The stars are given a secondary role alongside the moon to aid in giving the light at night as the brightness of the moon would vary with it seasons.
Their roles were to shine on the earth and to separate the day and the night, to separate light from darkness.
The Good News Bible also mentions them marking the religious festivals while other versions do not. Again this is because it detracts sightly from their original purpose and reflects how the phases of the moon marking off the days of the months and years became important later on when the Jews (and many others) began to mark significant events and festivals according to the calendar created by those who studied the movements of the moon and stars. When God created these, the passing of time was not significant.
Moving on to day 5 God said;
Let the waters be filled with many kinds of living beings, and let the air be filled with birds (v 20)
So God created all kinds of creatures and birds, great sea creatures, things that move within the sea and the birds of many different kinds.
In many places elsewhere in the Bible, the “great sea creatures” become known as “monsters of the deep” (Job 7 v 12, Psalm 74 v 13, Isaiah 27 v1 and many others). This came about through mythology which developed in Canaan referring to dreaded sea monsters used as a metaphor for hostile and powerful forces.
Again, they were put there to be enjoyed and appreciated as part of God’s beautiful creation, not feared. We know that our largest “great sea creature” the Great Blue Whale is a gentle and majestic creature,
I noticed that in verse 22 it says that he blessed all the creatures, telling them to fill the sea and for the birds to increase in number. How sad he must be that due to our hunting a beautiful creature which used to fill all the seas has dwindle to a few in select areas.
All quotes from The Good News Bible