And God said, Let there be a firmament in the middle of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.…
The second day's work is the forming of an expanse or heaven in the creature, by which the hitherto unbounded waters are divided from the waters. God then names the expanse. At this stage the state of the creature, that it is drowned in waters, begins to be perceived. Such is the second state or stage in the new creation. In the midst of the waters a heaven is formed in the once benighted creature. That unstable element, so quickly moved by storms, is the well-known type of the restless desires of the heart of fallen man; for "the wicked are like the troubled sea, which cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt." Before regeneration, unquiet lusts everywhere prevail: the whole man or creature is drowned and buried in them. In the progress of the new creation, these waters are not at once removed: indeed, they are never wholly removed till that other creation comes, when there is "no more sea." They are first divided by a heaven; then bounded on the third day, when the dry land rises up out of them. This heaven represents the understanding opened, as the rising earth upon the third day shows us the will liberated. For till now, "the understanding has been darkened"; nay, it is written of the natural man that he has "no understanding." But now the heaven is stretched. Christ "opens the understanding" of those who before this had been His disciples. And thus another precious gift, once hid with Christ in God, now by Christ is wrought in us also. A heaven is formed within the creature; a heaven into which darkness may return, and through which clouds shall pour as well as bright sunshine; a heaven which for sin may be shut up and become like brass, but which was made to be the home and treasure house of sweet and dewy showers; a heaven like Israel's path through the sea of old, sorely threatened by dark and thick waters, but, like that same path, a step to resurrection power, and worthy to be called "heaven," even by God Himself; influencing the earth in untold ways, here attracting, there repelling; the great means after light of arranging and disposing all things.
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.