The first two days of Creation were, on the surface, relatively mild and calm. Most of what went on was meant to lay the foundation for what was to come. The laws of science were put in place and the universe was formed but the majority of the work involved principles, not visible creative acts. Thus the first two days are difficult for our finite minds to picture. Such is not the case with the third day. This article will discuss the third day of creation.
Having spent the preceding two days laying the groundwork, on the third day God began to produce more obvious creative acts. “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. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. 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. 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. And the evening and the morning were the third day.” Genesis 1:9-13 tells us. There is a lot there so we will break it down slowly, piece by piece.
The first thing to note in these verses is that God caused the waters to be gathered together and the dry land to appear. The wording would appear to indicate that land was lifted up from beneath the water and the water ran off into a sea. The mention of dry land brings us to the first controversy over the third day of creation. Evolutionists teach that at some point in the distant past, all of earths continents were connected in a giant land mass called Pangea. They teach that plate tectonics slowly broke the continents apart and moved them to their current location over millions of years. Some creationists have adopted the Pangea idea as well, claiming the flood broke the super continent apart and was responsible for moving the continents to their current positions. However, making this claim seems a bit ridiculous if you consider that the continents still are connected, albeit the connection is underwater. The Bible does say the water all ran into one place, seeming to imply a singular sea so there is not enough evidence here to make a decision either way. Pangea deserves its own article.
Moving a little further down into the passage, we find the creation of seed bearing plants and trees. It is here we first find the mention of the word kind. The Bible uses the phrase “after his kind” to indicate reproductive variety. Evolutionists love to point to variation within the kind, such as the variation between tigers and housecats, as evidence for their theory. However, the kind in the Bible allows for much more diversity than the modern term species. Change within and between species can happen and does happen all the time. Change in kind has never been observed. For more information on this topic see this article here. By creating plants, and later animals after their kinds, God put hard limits on how much variation there could be.
God chose to create plants before animals for several reasons. For those who are unaware, plants take in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. Animals need oxygen to breathe and they produce carbon dioxide as a waste product. By creating plants first, God ensured that oxygen would be plentiful when thousands of new lungs needed it several days later. When the first animals were formed, suddenly a lot of carbon dioxide would have been released and oxygen consumed. By doing the exact opposite for several days prior, plants ensured that when this happened, the result would be a harmonious balance. Plants also provided food for the forthcoming animals. Creating them first allowed the plants to grow for a few days before a ravenous creature devoured the new growth.
The more astute among you may have noticed that plants were created before the sun and that plants need sunlight to grow. While this is not an issue for one evening, it is an issue for the Day-Age theory, which is the second major controversy of the third day. The Day-Age theory contends that the days in Genesis 1 are allegorical for long periods of time. If this were the case, plants would have died from lack of sunlight. Day-Age theory proponents might counter that God provided them light but even if that was the case, the Day-Age theory has numerous other flaws including blatant misinterpretation of Scripture. You may read more about that theory here.
Of note also is that God specifies exactly what He made on this day. He made grasses, such as found in our backyards and in our farmers fields. Examples might be crabgrasses, wheat, and barley. He also made the herb yielding seed. This would include such things as the sunflower, dandelion and pepper. It also could have included such diverse things as ferns, mosses and cykads. Since their creation is not mentioned elsewhere it is likely they were created here. Knowing God’s love of beauty, it is likely the flowering plants were created in full bloom. The third thing created were trees yielding fruits. This would include just about every tree in existence, if not all of them. Examples would be as diverse as cherry, palm, apple, and pine trees. This description does not include algae, which are not technically plants. Thus algae will be discussed in another article. The implication of this is that kelp, one of the largest algae, as yet to be created.
The third day was a very active day. Much more obviously busy than the preceding two days, this day formed the earth into the form man would come to inhabit a few days later. Dry land, covered in plants, trees and flowers, had been lifted from the sea. God had created a flowering paradise for His remaining creation to enjoy.