Bible Blogging Commentary: Genesis 1:2-5
The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. - Genesis 1:2-5
The importance of this text is two fold. First, that all creation is bound in its existence to God is confirmed and assured. There is nothing created that does not have God for its creator. And this principally is the meaning by which God is called "Holy, Holy, Holy" which most accurately means "set apart".
The second matter of importance is that God's first actions is not in fact creation of a living thing. There is nothing first created the is able to propagate or recreate as living things do. Set aside for later days are the animals, plants and humans. But more importantly, the sun, moon and stars are set aside lest individuals think that our daily order is based upon anything less than God (Dan 2:21).
So instead God's first declaration brings forth light. Paul indicates that this is modeled in speaking of Jesus Christ and the gospel (2 Cor 4:6). If God givenlight is truly the indication of night and day then nothing else can be described as putting the universe into motion but God's word (Acts 17:24-25, 28). God is the source of time and the flow of history, He judges it and is greater than it. This is the meaning of "the first day."
*The Bible Blogging Commentary is a slow and simple treading of the Scriptures. No quotes from other theologians and no explicit Greek/Hebrew lessons.*