And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds[a] fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day. Gen 1:20-23 ESV
So far we’ve got Light & Dark, Water & Sky, Land & Plants, and Planets & Stars. What’s on God’s agenda for today? Filling the water with creatures great and small, and filling the sky with birds of every sort. Like everything else He’s made so far, God was pleased with His handiwork. Typically this would be the end of the daily creation project, but today God adds something new: a blessing. He says, “Get to work making more just like you to fill up the spaces I’ve created.” (Fun fact: Birds and most fish both reproduce by laying eggs!) Sticking with the pattern, day 5 starts with darkness and ends with light.
The first thing that strikes me about the 5th day of creation is the amazing degree of creativity. I know it’s in the name, but think about it. God dreamed up every sea creature, from whales and eels, to jellyfish and plankton, and everything in between! He put some of his most unique creatures in the dark depths of the sea, in places where humans couldn’t even see them until the recent technological advances giving us a window into a largely unexplored world. If God would put that much effort into tiny sea critters, how much care and ingenuity will he invest into beings made in his own image?
Observation number two is the shift from our original pattern. On all the other days of creation, God “seeing that it was good” is the wrap-up. Day 5, however, is different. God concludes with our first blessing: “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” The ability to produce life is a privilege and stamp of approval from our heavenly Father, connecting us to Him and His creative spark. Hidden in the blessing is also a responsibility. God gave them the ability to multiply and sets an expectation that they use His gift to do just that.
As I look at God’s investment in the creation of the earth, I am reminded of the intricate beauty just outside my door. I want to take more time to appreciate his elaborate design. I’m also prompted to consider the gifts God has given me, and wonder if I have fulfilled my responsibility to produce a return, to multiply. How do these verses speak to you?