Lesson 6

The Fifth Day or Epoch

"And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good."
Genesis 1:21

The atmosphere of the earth was now pure enough to permit life in breathing animals. Much of the carbon that was in the water and the air was absorbed into the chalky organisms of the sea. These eventually became beds of limestone. The huge forests sunk deep into the earth to form coal beds and this, too, took large amounts of carbon from the air, enabling animals to breathe.

The waters swarmed with fish and sea creatures. Reptiles and animals living partly in the water and partly on land (amphibians), belong to this period of time.

The English translation of Genesis 1:21 reads: "God created great whales," but the Hebrew words were: "God created great monsters." That is a good description of the dinosaurs. "Every winged fowl" includes flying reptiles—some of which measured twenty-five feet across the wings—as well as birds.

We marvel at God’s wisdom and power when scientists tell us that cereals and grasses which would be needed for food began to grow just before these animals were created. This is one of the many facts which shows that God is a perfect timekeeper. When we learn that bees, wasps, and other insects were used to spread the seeds of the food plants we are thrilled with God’s planning. How could these animals have lived without the proper food?

Modern plants need strong sunlight as well as moisture to grow and develop. We can see that God in his great wisdom waited for the cloudy, swampy, humid conditions of the previous creative days to pass and for the sun to shine onto the earth. Then he began creating plants with their sparkling colors and delightful perfumes.

How completely God prepared the earth for us! How lovingly he considered all our needs! "Great is our Lord, and of great power . . . Who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains. He giveth to the beast his food . . ." (Psalm 147:5, 8, 9).

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