Genesis 1:14-19 - “14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day."
Before God let there be light, He created the heavens and the earth. Then, after 500 million years of water-outgassing and meteor strikes creating a deep, pummelled by torrential rains, God let the meteors stop. The rains began to let up, and this let the sun's light finally penetrate the haze. As the clouds exhausted their water supply (Day 2), there became a discernible firmament between the clouds and the oceans. Plate tectonics were already creating mountains beneath the deep, but it was on Day 3 when they broke through the surface and produced dry land. God let the land begin producing plant-life... and this brings us to Day 4.
It would seem from the series of events that the new plants that appeared would cleare the atmosphere. This would naturally remove the haze that had obscured any sight of the sun, moon, and stars for over the 2 billion years preceding, until finally, as Genesis 1 records...
14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years,
15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so.
Parallels with Egyptian Myth and Modern Science
In concordance with Egyptian creation myths, Genesis 1 records the events above as if the sky had formed on Day 3 between the waters above and the waters below. It then records the placement of the sun, moon, and stars within the fabric of the sky... below the upper waters. Though scripture implies this, it clearly is not the case. This should not be a problem for the scriptural literalist however, because Moses was simply describing a literal event using the Egyptian scientific terms that he had grown up with all his life. The events Genesis describes, re-cast through the lens of mainstream science, would have produced the exact appearance that Moses described through the lens of ancient Egyptian science. It means that scripture is literal and scripture is true; it's the science that Moses got wrong.
Jeremiah 33:19-26 compared to 1Enoch 2-4
20 “This is what the LORD says:
‘If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night,
so that day and night no longer come at their appointed time,
- - -
‘If I have not established my covenant with day and night and the fixed laws of heaven and earth,
26 then I will reject the descendants of Jacob and David my servant and
will not choose one of his sons to rule over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.“
Notice the covenant God established. It is with the Day and Night, which points at Day 1. Jeremiah tells us that the fixed laws of heaven and earth are part of that covenant, meaning the sun, moon, and stars were in place. Many would argue that the covenant with Day and Night occurred on Day 4, but if Day 4 is a covenant, then it is with the sun and moon, not the day and night. It means the sun, moon, and stars were lighting the earth on Day 1, and merely manifested themselves on Day 4. In fact, that is the exact term used in the extra-biblical account of creation that we find in 1Enoch 2 to 4. Note tha parallels with Jeremiah's description above...
2.1 Contemplate all the events in the sky; how the lights in the sky do not change their courses,
how each rises and sets in order, each at its proper time, and they do not transgress their law.
2.2 Consider the earth and understand from the work that is done upon it,
from the beginning to the end, that no work of God changes as it becomes manifest.
1Enoch then describes Days 2 and 3, before coming back to the topic of the sun, moon, and stars again, to parallel Day 4...
4.1 And, again, contemplate the days of summer; how at its beginning the Sun is above it.
You seek shelter and shade because of the heat of the Sun and the earth burns with scorching heat,
and you cannot tread upon the earth or upon a rock, because of its heat.
In other words, God established the laws by which the sun and moon move through the sky on Day 1, before they finally manifested themselves in the sky on Day 4, exactly as Jeremiah implies, Enoch says, and the science confirms.
It is a common argument that God created the laws of physics before He created the sun, moon, and stars, but that He honored his covenant with the day, the night, and the fixed laws of heaven and earth, by creating 13 billion years worth of light in transit. But why? It would mean we were studying light that never really came from the stars we "see". God would have also needed to have compensated for the gravitational forces that were not yet in play. But if God did that, then it means the laws of physics were not yet fixed on Day 1, because the light and gravity perceived from space did not really come from there. However, Jeremiah clearly says that God's covenant is with the day and night (Day 1) through the fixed laws by which their apointed times still come.
12 Have you ever in your life commanded the morning, And caused the dawn to know its place;
13 That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, And the wicked be shaken out of it?
In Job 38's account of Day 4, God caused the dawn to know its place, by making a covenant with the sun, moon, and stars. Until now, all the sun could do is provide the Day with light. It was Day 4 when the sun itself could be seen coming over the horizon.
30a When He marked out the foundations of the earth…
Besides the sun, there were also the moon and the stars. Though both existed from before Day 1, it was Day 4 when they could be seen over the seas, and used for navigation. It was their visibiliy on Day 4 that would allow mankind to mark their location in time and space within the universe.
19 The moon marks off the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down.
20 You bring darkness, it becomes night, and all the beasts of the forest prowl.
21 The lions roar for their prey and seek their food from God.
22 The sun rises, and they steal away; they return and lie down in their dens.
23 Then man goes out to his work, to his labor until evening.
As He did at the close of Days 1 through 3, Jesus rode his chariot-cloud (the Holy Spirit) into the sunset, and on into the sunrise of Day 5.
09/15/2012 - Clarified references to 1Enoch 2-4