And God said, Let there be a firmament in the middle of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.…
I. THE ATMOSPHERE IS NECESSARY TO THE POSSIBILITY OF HUMAN LIFE.
1. Gathers up the vapours.
2. Throws them down again in rain, snow, or dew, when needed.
3. Modifies and renders more beautiful the light of the sun.
4. Sustains life.
II. IT IS NECESSARY FOR THE PRACTICAL PURPOSES OF LIFE.
1. The atmosphere is necessary for the transmission of sound. If there were no atmosphere, the bell might be tolled, the cannon might be fired, a thousand voices might render the music of the sweetest hymn, but not the faintest sound would be audible. Thus all commercial, educational, and social intercourse would be at an end, as men would not be able to hear each other speak. We seldom think of the worth of the atmosphere around us, never seen, seldom felt, but without which the world would be one vast grave.
2. The atmosphere is necessary for many purposes related to the inferior objects of the world. Without it the plants could not live, our gardens would be divested of useful vegetables, and beautiful flowers. Artificial light would be impossible. The lamp of the mines could not be kindled. The candle of the midnight student could never have been lighted. The bird could not have wended its way to heaven's gate to utter its morning song, as there would have been no air to sustain its flight.
III. LET US MAKE A PRACTICAL IMPROVEMENT OF THE SUBJECT.
1. To be thankful for the air we breathe. How often do we recognize the air by which we are surrounded as amongst the chief of our daily blessings, and as the immediate and continued gift of God? How seldom do we utter praise for it.
2. To make the best use of the life it preserves. To cultivate a pure life. To speak golden words. To make a true use of all the subordinate ministries of nature.
(J. S. Exell, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.