Updated: May 14
Two days have already transpired during the creation week. On the first day, God stepped into His creative work and light was introduced. On the second day, He stretched out the heavens and introduced spacetime much like a master watch maker winds up a new time piece and begins the seconds ticking. On this third day, God sets the terrestrial stage from which the rest of His creative work would be observed.
Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:9-10
Scripture is clear about the end results of this Day 3 creative work - dry ground appeared at God's command. The starting state is described in verse 2 of Genesis 1 where it says that "The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters." Did the actions God initiated on Day 2 of separating the waters above from the waters below start a precipitation and condensation of minerals present in the water? Were volcanic processes used in which heavier basalt igneous rock caused portions of the earth to sink in elevation while lighter granitic igneous rock "floated" on the asthenosphere? We don't know because no one other than God was there to observe the founding of the earth. It is also difficult to know how much the earth was altered by the global flood described in Genesis 6 - 8. But, what we can be certain of is that God was setting a stage on which the rest of His creative work could either exist or from which it could be observed.
It is interesting to note today, that the oceanic crust is predominately comprised of the heavier, denser basalt which "floats" upon the liquid-like asthenosphere layer of the upper mantle. It is not a coincidence that this is where the oceans reside on planet earth. This very dense rock depresses the upper mantle more than the comparatively lighter granite-based continental crust which rides high on the asthenosphere. It is possible that God allowed these two forms of lava to issue from the mantle and utilized them to separate the waters from dry land. As we know, water flows to the low spots and would, thereby, gravitate to the lower oceanic crust, while the higher continental crust would shed the water. If this mechanism occurred on Day 3, we would expect to see some signs of erosion and sedimentation as water rushed off of the elevating continental crust. In the Grand Canyon, below the Great Unconformity, which most Biblical geologists believe to be pre-flood strata, along with the Zoroaster Granite and the metamorphic Vishnu Schist is a sedimentary rock layer called the Grand Canyon Super Group. In this sedimentary rock, unlike the sedimentary layers above the Great Unconformity, are found very few fossils. From a Biblical point of view, this is exactly what we would expect to find since no creatures had been created up to this point on Day 3 and ongoing sedimentation between Creation Week and the flood would have been non-cataclysmic and not produce an abundance of fossils.
However, I also believe that in separating dry land from the water, God did much more than what was obvious to the ancient mind. I believe He was also forming deep inside the earth what was needed to protect His soon-to-appear creation. The earth's core is made of highly pressurized and consolidated iron and nickel metals. This does two things to support life on earth. 1) It provides a perfectly balanced mass to supply an optimal gravitational field. Just a 5% change in the strength of the earth's gravity (either weaker or stronger) would jeopardize life on earth. 2) It creates a magnetic field that protects the earth from harmful cosmic and solar radiation. Without the magnetic field, life on earth would end.
To me, to see the order of the Creation Week, bolsters my faith in the validity of the Bible. The ancients did not understand the concepts of gravity and magnetic fields. They did not know they were essential for life on earth. If the creation account in Genesis was fabricated or just legend, we would expect that the order of creation events might be random or illogical to modern scientific knowledge. Instead, the more we learn about science and the world, the more it verifies that God was purposeful in the sequencing of His creative work. He was setting the stage for what He was about to do next.