“And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.” (Genesis 1:19, NASB)
The fourth literal day comes to an end. The entire day was involved in two very important creations. First, the creation of many bodies to which light is bound. Among these are the sun and moon, the two great lights, as well as the stars. These objects were, and in some cases continue, to draw much attention as gods in themselves or ways of determining the future. God specifically combats that in several details through day four. First, there is documentation of God’s command that these light bearers exist. Second, specific bounded purposes are assigned to them. Third, their creation and fulfillment of purpose is recorded to show creation took place according to God’s command. This removes any ability of the pagan or false teacher to assign further importance, purpose or meaning to the sun, moon and stars. They are strictly to divide day and night; allow determination of seasons, days and nights; give light to the earth; and, divide light from darkness. Again, this establishes a clear teaching of God as creator of everything.
We can find creation myths formulated around this time from pagan cultures. These myths have several common characteristics. One main characteristic is that they acknowledge many gods. These gods procreate, battle and eventually the myth selects one as prominent. The specific culture would then tell how that prominent god takes up residence at their shrine or has some special relationship with them though a local object/place. The sun and moon were often gods in these creation myths.
In great contrast to these myths, we need only the verses described thus far. There is mention of only one God. The earth (though not yet all life) and all heavenly objects have been created by God in four days. There is no mention of other gods, specific shrines or heavenly objects of power. There is only the One God working out His will.
(I will hopefully find time to go back to the myths later as more contrasts become evident.)