Chapter 5 A Marvelous Mantle of Green
As the Third Day begins, water covers the earth.
The water has been precisely measured out by the Creator, enough to cover the land and fill its deep places. The still waters are like a giant mirror, perfectly reflecting the clouds drifting across an open blue sky.
God’s next directive?
“Let dry land appear.”
What followed was clearly a massive rearrangement of both land and water! It was as though a giant hand had reached inside the globe called Earth, and forced some land areas up, while pushing other areas down! We can only leave the details to the mysteries of the Creator’s working--but the conclusion of the matter is clear: when God said, “Let dry land appear,” immediately, “it was so!” A large part of the land mass was raised, some areas of the deep oceans were made even deeper--and the waters flowed swiftly off the land and into the oceans and their deep places.
As a result of this restructuring of the globe’s land mass, about a third of the surface of the earth was now solid ground. The remaining two-thirds was covered with water, some of it so deep that a Mount Everest could be dropped in without a trace, just as the Creator had determined.
“What a demonstration of the Creator’s power and wisdom!” our Guide comments. “He is making final preparations before introducing the first form of life to a dead planet! He has in mind something so new, so revolutionary, so utterly God-like, that it defies description!
The First Forms of Life
What was in the Mind of the Creator?
“Let the earth bring forth grass and shrubs and trees!”
The voice breaks into the quietude of the globe. There begins a stirring from beneath the black earth that grows and expands relentlessly until it bursts forth into a magnificent mantle that covers the land!
A marvelous mantle of green!
The fields quickly become deep with lush, inviting grass. Grass of all kinds! Some with long blades, some short. And beautiful ferns, thousands upon thousands of kinds!
“Among all these plants, the vegetables and the grains—rice and wheat, barley and millet--were some of the first to be seen,” our faithful Guide chimes in, “because God showed clearly that He was particularly concerned with providing the food supply for men and animals.”
And God said, “Let the waters on the earth below the space be gathered together into one place, and let dry land appear.” And it came about, just as God had said. God called the dry land “Earth,” and the gathering together of the accumulated waters He called “Sea.” And what He saw He delighted in.
Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass and seed-bearing plants and trees bearing fruit, each according to its own kind and each producing its distinctive seed throughout the earth.” And it came to be, just as God had said. God looked, and gave His approval to what He saw. And that evening and that morning comprised Day Three.
Carrots and cabbage, the humble onion and the versatile potato, each appeared in the early stage of maturity, even though having burst on the scene only minutes before! Trees and shrubs, in amazing variety, began showing up everywhere, each different in appearance and kind, depending partly on the pattern of weather just yesterday established by the Creator. Trees that hugged the equator were mostly a broad, leafy style. Others, where elevation was higher, were for cooler areas, with hardy leaves and spear-like needles. And all with their seeds, of various shapes and appearances, ready to produce the next generation as a precise replica of those that were first seen on this eventful day.
And, oh, the fruit trees! Jewels of the forest, they sparkled with color and with the look of special loving care. Mangoes and apples, luscious pears and fragrant passion-fruit, could be seen in endless profusion. Fruits of all kinds, distinctive in different parts of the world, fruits that were both attractive and nourishing began making their appearance!
But most arresting of all? The flowers! What a fabulous array of color and endless variety was seen in the flowers scattered everywhere that day! Some were almost hidden in the shade of the trees towering above them. Some were clustered in little clumps of bursting color. Some were scattered recklessly it seemed across the fields, along the flowing rivers and beside the tranquil lakes.
“Beautiful. Stunningly beautiful!” our Observer comments with wonder. “Whoever prepared all this had a keen sense of beauty and an acute awareness of both beauty and balance!”
“Why, this is like one great, beautiful Paradise!” we exclaim together.
Indeed, the whole scene that was unveiled before our eyes on that Third Day gave vivid testimony to the love of things beautiful in the Great Creator. He showed himself to be not only a God of wisdom and power but also a God of Beauty--a God of profusion and overflowing abundance!
The Creator was taking the very first steps in creating life on Planet Earth! He made not just a tree here and a shrub there. He made a myriad of living plants--grasses and shrubs, large trees and small, flowering plants and lush fruit trees, a bountiful mantle of green for an otherwise dead planet!
God had, in a profusion of creative energies, made every kind of plant or tree that would ever appear on the earth!
And just how many might that be? We turn to our accompanying science-minded Observer. “Specialists have been able to identify 274,000 species of plants found on the earth,” he reported. “And this does not include many species which have already disappeared over the years!”
Oh, the incredible profusion of plants of all kinds that came from the hand of the Great Creator on Day Three! And within each of these categories of plant species were hundreds more of sub categories, each distinctive and different from any other! When the Creator first produced living things, He did it with a flourish!
Those Amazing Life Strands Make Their Appearance
“This would have been the first time God actually made use of the Life Strand, with all its information and its instructions,” says our very knowledgeable Guide. “He made a separate DNA Strand for each of these plants and trees!”
“What an amazing thought!” we all agree. “He had conceived in His Mind so clear a picture of what each plant would be and what it would produce, that He could transcribe onto a DNA strand every detail of its entire life-span!”
“That’s right! That is the only way a DNA strand could have been constructed,” comments our well-read Observer. “It would require a full picture of the plant or tree itself in advance, or it just would not work!”
“We now know that when God made the world of greenery,” explains our knowledgeable Guide, “He made use of the marvelous Life Strand, including its DNA. He made for each kind of plant or tree one Life Strand as a living blueprint--carrying as many as 300 million pairs of coded instruction--covering every detail and every stage of the life of the plant. And then it provided the blueprint for the next generation as well and for all that would follow!”
“But even the DNA instructions were not enough alone!” our Observer reminds us. “There had to be a process for replicating that Master Strand in large numbers, and then activating each cluster of cells (each gene) to produce an actual living organism!”
“Only when these complex features came together would the living plant come to life and fulfill its vital role! There is no other pattern in the entire world that could control all of these necessary processes and make them work! So it becomes abundantly clear that the Creator Himself on this eventful Day Three fulfilled these essential steps to make each tree and each plant:
- God the Creator made a the living blueprint, a Life Strand with its DNA, for each kind of plant or tree, so complex that each carried as many as 300 million base pairs of coded information. Only God could have done that!
- God the Creator provided for the replication of these Life Strands and for locating one each in every cell of the organism, where it was needed to fulfill its function at every stage of the plant’s life. Only God could make that happen!
- God in His wisdom fulfilled the final code-unlocking step, the turning on and off of the activating “switch”, in perfect accord with the need of each succeeding moment. In this way, God the Creator produced the living organism itself! Only God could manage that!
All of was happening in a world so infinitesimally small (one DNA is about 2.5 billionths of a meter in width!) that it is well below the threshold of human sight and far below the limits of human control or even significant influence!
It was Joyce Kilmer in 1913 who penned the words,
“Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.”
She knew only half the truth! God’s making of a tree turns out in itself to be so marvelous a procedure as to utterly stagger the imagination!
A Profusion of Greenery
The Great Creator on Day Three made all the vegetation and never, before or since, has there been seen such a transformation! The barren rock of Planet Earth, now covered with fresh soil, began to sprout everywhere with beautiful greenery!
Why green? We turn to our science-minded Observer and he gives an astounding explanation.
“Inside every leaf and each blade of grass, there are tucked away millions of God’s tiny Life Strands!” he says. “And under the direction of these Life Strands, the plant makes a tiny ‘factory’ within the leaf. This produces a substance with almost magical properties (called chlorophyll) which comes in various shades of green. And that is why both forest and field are green in color, and not blue or red!”
“This tiny factory produces food for the nourishment of the plant itself,” explains our Observer. “But that is not all! In an amazing way, it produces also virtually all of the food that will be needed by the animals and humans that will soon be seen! Just the right kind, the right texture and even the right taste!”
And another piece of the jigsaw puzzle falls into place: God is graciously providing the food for all of His creatures--for every day of the world’s history! He makes the declaration, “Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food. And I have given every green plant as food for all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, and the small animals that scurry along the ground—everything that has life.”
And what a bountiful provision it is!
“And how,” you ask, “does this marvelous green substance work?”
Again we turn to our well-read Observer, and he explains:
“The plant takes three steps:
- Being rooted in the earth, it reaches down and takes up water and nutrients from under the soil,
- It reaches up to take an always-present substance from the air (carbon dioxide),
- Then it reaches out to the rays of the sun for energy, and--wonder of wonders--it causes the green leaf or blade of grass to appear!”
“This miracle of plant wisdom is repeated over and over, and with great variety of shapes and sizes,” he further explains. “And, wonder of wonders, the food supply for the world’s animals and humans has been taken care of!”
We stand back in wide-eyed amazement as we take in the significance of the Creator’s very first steps in making living things! And we realize that we are in for an incredible Journey indeed, more wonderful, more mysterious than we had ever imagined!
But there is no sunshine!
And each of these living organisms reaches out desperately for life-sustaining sunshine!