Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day. (Genesis 1:6-8)
The Hebrew root word that is translated “divided” is בדל badal, which conveys the idea of “distinguishing.” So on this second day of Creation, as on the previous day of Creation, God distinguished certain components of His creation from others that were to be mutually exclusive. Because these waters were separated, the firmament was obviously there to prevent them from being mixed with one another in the future.
This principle of dividing for the sake of purpose recurs throughout the Scripture. Eventually we see that, through His Word, God distinguished those things that are considered holy and clean, from those things that are considered profane and unclean. To allow these polar opposites to be mixed together would be equivalent to removing the firmament that divided the waters in the beginning. Such action is indicative of man’s disobedience to His Word, which eventually leads to corruption and ultimately, destruction.
That God separated the waters above from the waters below is to remind us that He ordained heavenly things should be distinguished from earthy things. More specifically, He determined that His people are to be a holy people, set apart from the nations in order that we might be distinguished from the nations. With every passing day, it becomes clearer how important it is that we continue to be a set apart people and live according to His Word. We must be steadfast in our commitment to walk in His ways and never fall into the trap of thinking it is appropriate to do what is right in our own eyes. Let us be as Joshua who said, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Amen.
Blessings and Shalom,