After dividing the light from the darkness, the LORD God made the firmament, a term that means an expanse or something that is stretched out like a tent. This is what we know today as the atmosphere. God further divided the waters under the atmosphere from the waters above it. In other words, He separated the water vapors from the waters on the Earthâ€”the beginning of the water cycle.
The making of the atmosphere demonstrates Godâ€™s loving provision and protection. The atmosphere, an envelope of gases, surrounds the planet Earth and provides a perfect living condition on the surface of the earth. We are able to breathe freely because the atmosphere holds sufficient oxygen. Not only so, the atmosphere absorbs solar energy, recycles water, moderates the climate, insulates the Earth from extreme temperatures, keeps heat inside the atmosphere, and blocks much of the sunâ€™s incoming ultraviolet radiation. While we may not think much about it, we literally live within Godâ€™s protection everyday.
Consider the other amazing product of Godâ€™s creation: water. Did you know that the planet Earth is the only planet known to have liquid water at the surface? Without water, life on Earth would just not be possible. While the water we consume daily is such a common commodity on Earth, it does not even exist on other planets. Even more fascinating is the water cycle, which moves the waters between the oceans, the sky, and the land. As the heat from the sun reaches the Earth, water evaporates and turns into clouds. When the water vapor in the clouds condenses, it falls back to the Earth as rain. By this constant cycle, life on Earth receives a continuous supply of fresh water, sent directly from heaven.
God told Jeremiah to remind the Israelites that it is He who causes the awesome workings of nature in the atmosphere and in the waters: "When He utters His voice, There is a multitude of waters in the heavens: And He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth. He makes lightning for the rain, He brings the wind out of His treasuries" (Jer 10:13). Thinking about Godâ€™s marvelous creation reminds us of our relationship with our Heavenly Father. As we take a deep breath, as we feel the gentle breeze, and as we behold the blue sky, letâ€™s remember how much God cares for us. As we drink a glass of water, as we admire the ever-changing clouds, and as we look out the window on a rainy day, letâ€™s remember to be thankful always.
O Lord my Creator, you have provided for me so richly and freely. I enjoy your blessings daily, though I often take them for granted. May I never forget your love for me, so that I will always praise you and love you.