On the fifth day of creation, God created aquatic animals and flying creatures (Genesis 1:20–23). These animals were created to live in the spaces God had prepared for them on days two and three. On day two, the Lord had created the sky (Genesis 1:8), and on day three, He had grouped the waters together to form the seas (Genesis 1:10). Everything was prepared for what He had planned for day five.
Aquatic animals. God created all things that live in water on day five. Scripture states, “So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds” (Genesis 1:21). Note, in this 24-hour period, God created various aquatic animals “according to their kinds,” including the large whales, varying types of fish, sharks, mollusks, and even the smallest of organisms, such as plankton. He intended for these animals to be abundant and fruitful (verses 22–23). The Lord’s command for the waters to “teem” (NIV) or “swarm” (ESV) with aquatic animal life (verse 20) caused the creatures in the sea to “multiply” and “abound” (Strong’s Concordance, 8317).
Numerous creatures were created by the Lord to inhabit the ocean. New species of sea creatures are still being found today. There are likely many sea animals that remain undiscovered as yet. In fact, according to the National Ocean Service, “scientists estimate that 91 percent of ocean species have yet to be classified, and that more than eighty percent of our ocean is unmapped, unobserved, and unexplored” (https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/ocean-species.html, accessed 11/2/20).
Flying creatures. In addition to the aquatic animals, God created the flying creatures on the fifth day of creation (Genesis 1:20). Most versions of the Bible consistently translate the word for these animals as “birds,” but the Hebrew word also includes other flying creatures. Not only were winged birds created on the fifth day, but also other flying creatures, including bats and flying dinosaurs.
Demonstrating great power, skill, and creativity, God made all the creatures that live in the sea and fly in the air. He blessed these creatures, commanding them to “be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let the flying creatures multiply on the earth” (Genesis 1:22, NHEB). Aquatic and flying animals in all their diversity glorify the Lord and give continual testimony of God as the Creator, the One who deserves our praise (Psalm 148:7, 10).