The True Meaning of the 7 Days of Creation: Spiritual Rebirth
THE FOURTH DAY OF CREATION
Regeneration is the progressive development of the Divine life in the human soul. It is a spiritual creation, for when it is finished man stands forth a new creature. The old carnal life - the life of loving himself and the world - has been displaced by the new life - the life of loving the Lord and the neighbor.
No one begins regeneration with a deep love for the Lord, nor with a clear and living faith. The light of the Divine truth dawns upon the mind, and one sees oneself in contrast with the purity and the requirements of the truth; and as the truth points, with directing finger, straight to the duty to be done, one finds that one must compel one's natural man to do it. This is the beginning of the creation of God in the soul.
But faithfulness to duty, daily acting against the life - impulses of the lower self, leads one on and on to that state in which one begins to feel the warmth of a living love in the heart and a clear bright faith in the Lord and the realities of the inner life. The sun and the moon of the fourth day are this love and this faith set in the internal mind of the regenerating man. A man comes into this state by growth. The natural sun is therefore the symbol of the Lord's love given to man to be in him, his love of God and man, and the center of his life - the glowing orb, round which everything of his life must revolve, like planets round the sun. It is the greater luminary set in his mind; for of all graces, love is the greatest. "Love is the fulfilling of the law." "He that dwelleth in love, dwells in God, for God is love."
This is the sun of the soul. This sun comes to rule over the day. The regenerating man has his days and nights. It is day in the soul when he is awake and spiritually active; when the Lord, the Word, the church, the spiritual life and all that pertains to heaven are close and real to his consciousness. His soul is warmed by the Divine Sun and his mind enlightened by the light of the great love of God that is shining within him. We all have these day states. Then everything is bright and beautiful. God is near; the Holy Word glows with warmth; the church is a great reality, grand and beautiful; the sermon is full of instruction and help; the Holy Communion is the Sacrament of the presence of the Divine Humanity; and the members of the church come close in the bonds of a real spiritual brotherhood. This is the day time of regeneration; and the sun of the Divine love rules over that day.
But it is not always day in the soul of the man who is following the Lord in the regeneration. He has his nights as well as his days. It is night in the world, when the earth turns away from the sun. It is night in the soul when one turns away from the Lord and inclines to one's selfhood. We do this. Then the sun of the soul is not seen and its warmth is not felt. It is night. But in the case of the regenerating man it is not a night of thick, black darkness. The moon of faith rises high and full in the sky of his soul. He sees and walks by faith. The love of his day states is still there; he is simply in an obscure state. And in that state, faith reflects the light of love as the moon reflects the light of the sun. He still believes, although he does not feel the glowing warmth of love. God, the Word and the church are still realities. His faith is bright and clear. This is the moon that rules the night. And this faith is living. It is not mere intellectual assent to dogma. It is the soul's sight of eternal things - a belief founded upon a rational conviction of the truth.
So far as such a man's daily life, in its outward associations, is concerned, no change has occurred. He prays to His Father in heaven; he reads daily the Lord's Word; he attends faithfully to his duties as a churchman; he humbly partakes of the Holy Communion and in all external things acts as a Christian should. Only the man himself, the Lord and the angels know that it is night. He does not commit the folly of forsaking these things. He holds on to them, even if the love of them has grown less warm.
The man who turns away from and neglects the Lord and the church because he has come into night, shows, in an unmistakable way, that he never had any real love for his Heavenly Father and spiritual mother. There are men who mistake mere enthusiasm for genuine love. We have all seen them. The doctrines of the church solve their intellectual problems and they are fired by zeal for the church. They are zealous for the cause of the truth. But opposition arises, or persecution for the truth's sake; the world is indifferent to the things that seem so clear to them; night comes on - dark states in which their first love grows less ardent, and finally ends in cold. Then, they begin to doubt the truth, to question the Divine revelation. They are seen less frequently at the church service and finally sink into utter indifference. What does such a happening mean? It means that they never did really see the Lord as He is; that they never did really see the internal things of the Word and church. Their state was an external one - one of the understanding merely. But the man who has really come into day states who has in-mostly felt the movement and inspiration of the Divine love in his heart, when night comes to him, looks up to the moon and orders his walk and conversation by the light of faith - the lesser luminary, that rules the night.
But this is not all. It is said of God: "He made the stars also." The stars are distant suns, and the light from them travels over immense fields of ether in reaching our earth. They are God's beautiful symbols of spiritual knowledge which has come down to us from the past. The star the wise men saw was a spiritual star and symbolized the knowledge of the Lord's coming which had been handed down by tradition from the dim long ago. Much is said about stars in the Bible; and always they stand for the knowledge of spiritual things.
There come states to the regenerating man, in which faith is clouded - in which he cannot see clearly the Divine verities of religion. But no sane man loses his knowledge of spiritual things, especially his knowledge of what is taught in the Ten Commandments - his knowledge of what is right, of what is wrong.
Love may grow cold, faith may be darkened, but the knowledge that evils are to be shunned because they are sins against God abides. "He made the stars, also." The light that reaches a man from the spiritual stars - the knowledge of what he is to shun as sin and do as good - comes in the darkest night. It never fails.
And if in such a state one lives by star-light, shunning and turning away from the evils forbidden in the Lord's commandments and doing the good things they command, it will not be long before the moon will rise again in one's mental sky, giving one the light of faith, and later on, if one is faithful, the sun will rise again, and the Divine love fill and warm the heart. It is all wonderful - all the Divine guidance of the human lives that are committed to Him whose watchful care is never withdrawn from His child.
from Thomas King, Allegories of Genesis, 1922