Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.” God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day. (Genesis 1:20-23)
This fifth day focuses on the creation of two types of beings. They are physical representations of the inhabitants of the two spiritual realms.
Sea creatures dwell below the surface where darkness prevails. Many of them have a frightful appearance. In this passage they’re even called monsters (huge strange beings). They depict what goes on in this lost world –including the unseen forces of evil.
Birds naturally take to the sky, dwell in trees and frequent the ground. The Bible’s prophets use similar imagery for angelic beings. They have magnificent wings, live in heaven above and come to the earth to carry out God’s desires to save us ().
The Bible is full of metaphors about above and below –up and down –raised and fallen. God dwells up in heaven; His ways are above our ways; lift up your hearts and eyes to heaven; lift one another up; and when the heavens and earth pass away, a new heaven will come from above. At the other extreme: Satan will be cast into the pit; he was cast down from heaven; mankind fell in the garden of Eden; someone who misleads little ones will be cast down into the sea with a millstone around his neck.
All in all, the most hope-filled contrasts are those about being raised to life from death, like: Lazarus (John 11), Jarius’ daughter (Mark 5) and the many people from their tombs at the crucifixion (Matthew 27). Elisha also raised two men (1 Kings 17 and 2 Kings 4). All of these were foreshadows of the ultimate resurrections: Jesus’ –and those who put their trust in Him ( ).
Another aspect of “above and below” is that of “good and evil.” Many deny that God created them both. But the Old Testament contains passages where God states that He made the quiet and also the storms –even whirlwinds (tornados) and earthquakes. Here’s one from Isaiah.
I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting men may know there is none besides me. I am the LORD, and there is no other. I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things. “You heavens above, rain down righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness grow with it; I, the LORD, have created it. (Isaiah 45:5-8)
Even before man was created on the sixth day, the choice was ready to be made. Where shall we spend eternity? The two trees in the garden symbolize that fact just a few pages later in Genesis. The entire theme of the Bible is about giving up our way (which ends in death) and accepting His way (it brings life through His Son).