God named some things and not others – why?

Table Of Contents for: God named some things and not others – why?

The beginning of the world is described in the Bible like this:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

Genesis 1:1-2

God then named five things:


And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.
God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.
God called the light ‘day…’

Genesis 1:3-5a

Mankind can design, create and build amazing things, but we can’t make the sun shine for a few more hours a day!


and the darkness he called ‘night.’ “

Genesis 1:5

We may think that the night time is just not long enough after an evening of partying and it is time to get out of bed and go to work!
But we just can’t slow down the earth’s rotation.

Sky (Atmosphere)

And God said,
‘Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.’
So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it.
And it was so.
God called the vault ‘sky’. “

Genesis 1:6-8a

We can certainly spoil the ozone but if the Earth’s atmosphere started to disappear out into space could we do anything about it – probably not.


And God said,
‘Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.’
And it was so.
God called the dry ground ‘land’…”

Genesis 1:9-10a

The Earth is a beautiful planet with the right conditions for life.
In the soil of the land fantastic plants are able to grow.
The rocks of the ‘land’ provides us with gold, gems, minerals, oil, coal, etc everything that mankind can utilise.
We would have a problem recreating all these things.


Storm damaged Groyne near Brighton Pier.
Storm damaged Groyne near Brighton Pier [i]

and the gathered waters he called ‘seas’ ”

Genesis 1:10

Some people have bought a house by the sea and have then found that the sea is eating away the land.
To stop that is relentless and very expensive and often it is easier just to walk away from the property!

Adam gives names to everything else

Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky.
He brought them to the man to see what he would name them;
and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.
So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
But for Adam no suitable helper was found…”

Genesis 2:19-20

So why did God name those 5 things: day, night, sky, land and sea, but he wanted Adam to give names to everything else?

Perhaps God wanted to call attention to their importance and to show His unique power over them.

We have got no control over the day and night sequence, nor the weather, nor land or sea.

Whereas man named the trees, fruit, fish, birds, animals because he has the power to cultivate and organise these and to rule over them.
In fact God tells them to do so:

‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
God blessed them and said to them,
‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.
Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground
Then God said,
‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it.
They will be yours for food.’ “

Genesis 1:26-29

Does that mean that God was giving the thumbs up to killing off all the animals and lock them up in small cages, etc…?

No! The Lord wants mankind to care for all the animals, fish and environment.
The verse below hints at this:

The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.”

Proverbs 12:10

[i] Photo Credit: Les Chatfield  Flickr cc opens in a new window.

By Peter Reason

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