“And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.” – Genesis 1:20-21
Created on a separate day from the rest of the animals, you would wonder what is so different about the fish and the birds. Just like other animals they were used for food (Gen 9:2,3) , some were both clean and unclean (Lev 11:9-12 ) and they were meant to multiply, so why the different day?
Both of these types of creatures also in Scripture are used as images.
Jonah knows about this far to personally when the fish is used as a foreshadow of the tomb of Jesus. (Matt 12:40 ) Also Jesus, when calling His disciples uses their careers as fishermen to explain their new commission as His followers. (Matthew 4:18-21 ) A fish is where Peter had a lesson is trusting God, when he was told to go and gather the tax money from the slimy mouth. ( Matt 17:27 ) When John and Peter were discouraged with the lack of fish they were able to catch, they too learned a lesson about trusting Christ as God when He told them where to cast their nets. (John 21:6 )
Until the day where Christ declared it finished, birds were the poor mans sacrifice for sin. (Lev 5:7 ) God also used birds to remind men of His tender care, that He will take care of His people, as He does the birds. (Matt 10:29 ) But most importantly, a symbol of the Holy Spirit, a dove. (Matt 3:16 )
Though God leaves us wondering about the reason these creatures had a separate day for creation, what He gives us is a glimpse at their beauty, their usefulness and the symbols they might represent throughout the Word. As we look at the different way God uses these animals to teach, how is it we have learned? Like Peter, and John, have we learned to trust Christ as God? Have we become the fishers of men that He asks us to be? Do we know the presence of the Spirit in our life, and can people see it, not as a dove, but as a much greater thing?