God organizes the spheres of His influence often gently at first. A still small voice works well. But as God works in His creation too as he makes the creation interact. Creation needs to work together. Any community that is healthy has to see within itself the parts that are compatible and complimentary.
20 And God said, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky.” 21 So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swarm, and every winged bird of every kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.
So now we can see that God is continuing to extend the creation to creatures that can think and among them creatures that reproduce sexually and asexually. The sexual aspect on the earth speaks to collaboration between the initiator and the responder. He calls it good but goes on to charge them to be fruitful and multiply. Something that could be easily missed is that this charge is for reproduction that comes from collaboration between the complimentary genders. By nature, one side initiates and the other side receives. There is room for acceptance in nature in that the initiator may not be received and the receiver may not be initiated upon.
But on the other hand, such collaboration does happen in creation or we would not have a planet full of living beings much less 7+ billion people. It is a beautiful things that creation carries on itself with a system of harmony in sexual reproduction in being fruitful.
Birds or fish do not get married, but it is pretty cool that God starts this collaboration of conception mostly with non- land mammals. Here God is emphasizing the spiritual with settings that are not based on where we are prone to look at in our first emphasis as land bound creatures. We are carnal and God is spiritual. God is able to create the creatures that are dirt-centered but He is in no rush. It is as if God uses the sky, theologically called the first heaven to remind us of the third which is where eternal fellowship occurs with Him (the apostle Paul talked about being caught up to the third heaven). To accept compatibility is to accept that God is our Ultimate Other and He wants a relationship with us as His designed receivers. He is returning for a pure and spotless bride.
waters bring forth swarms of living creatures
Through much of the Bible, the oceans of the earth symbolize the nations that are not in covenant. In the gospels we see fish referred to as a symbol for those who are not participating yet in the gospel of the kingdom. What is normative in our involvement of fish is for them to come from their water realm onto our table. What is normal for those that are outside of the base of salvation history is to come to the shore of the kingdom of God through the gospel and not for man to stray from the gospel and try to breath water and act like a fish. “While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30.
and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky.
Frequently through the Bible God uses birds to speak grace to us, so really God is not being vainly repetitive here. We saw in the prior post about the third day that God had the incremental unfolding of baptism on His mind when he created the sky as a dome that would be a barrier between the water basin that wrapped around the earth and the waters below. For birds to be described as flying “across the dome of the sky” is like God putting grace upon grace.
For this grace of God shown through birds, one does not have to look long to see this throughout the unfolding agenda towards, and in, the gospel throughout the Bible. Noah used a raven and then a dove to see if the earth was become habitable again. Turtledoves were what were offered up for a sacrifice by poor parents of a newborn who could not afford the more expensive animals (e.g Joseph and Mary consecrating Jesus in the temple). And of course, the Holy Spirit coming upon Jesus “as a dove” as the Father confirms His sonship for the world to see.
When one sees this passage with other hindsight of salvation history playing out, one can see that we ought to be like fish as individuals or even countries that know what it is to repent and turn to God. But at the same time, know that God gives us signs of His good will along the way and that are not dirt-bound but heaven sent.