The Fourth Day of Creation

God creating the Sun, the Moon and the Stars
God creating the Sun, the Moon and the Stars | Source

Genesis 1:14-19

And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for season, and for days, and years: and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

What follows is a possible account of what happened on the fourth day.

The Language of the Fourth Day

The language of verses 14-19 of Genesis 1 indicates that God created (asah) the heavenly bodies on the fourth day. This was not an age in which they developed, nor a revealing of an already created universe. The word “appear” (ra’ah) is used in verse 9, where the dry land appears out of the water. This was a pre-existing land that had been covered by the water until God gathered the waters together on the third day. On this fourth day, the stars were not appearing from behind cover, they were being newly made. The heavenly bodies did not exist until this time.

How Did God Create the Stars?

Dr. Russell Humphreys believes that God created all heavenly bodies, stars, planets, moons, etc., out of water. From 2 Peter 3:5 we learn that “by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and with water.” At the instant in which he created them, all the charges of the hydrogen atoms were lined up and created the magnetic field that is measured in each of the bodies.

The galaxies would have been created in a similar manner. God gathered water to equal the mass of a galaxy into one place. This would have caused a black hole. The black hole would have broken down the atoms of water into quarks, with the resulting energy release turning the black hole into a pulsar. The jets of the pulsar would become the arms of a spiral galaxy. The stars would then be formed in the arms of the spiral, but formed by God and not by any natural process.

Our sun
Our sun | Source

The Sun

The Sun was created before the Milky Way and directly from water. Our sun provides us with light and heat. The energy from the sun provides the energy for life on Earth. The sun is so bright that it blots out most of the heavenly bodies during the day. The moon, Venus, bright comets, and the occasional super nova, can be seen during the day. The sun is definitely the greater light ruling the day. The position of the sun gives us a limited ability to tell time. In the Northern Hemisphere, the sun moves from the left to the right. Place a stick in the ground between you and the sun, if the shadow from the stick is on your right it is morning, if it is on the left it is afternoon. The sun changes the position in which it rises and sets each day. In summer, it will rise a little more to the north than it does in winter, and it will set more to the north as well.

The Moon

The Moon has no light of its own, it reflects sunlight. When it was created, the Moon had no craters, these would come during the Flood. The Moon rotates at a speed which matches its orbit around the Earth, causing one side of the Moon to constantly face the Earth. The dark side of the Moon isn’t really dark, it just never faces the Earth, the sun lights it when the side facing us is dark. The Moon causes the ocean tides. The gravity from the Moon pulls on the ocean water (it pulls on the ground too, but the ground doesn’t move) causing the water to move with it. This will cause a high tide every twelve hours. If you like fishing, fish feed at moonrise and moonset, especially during the New Moon and Full Moon. Fish at those times and you will catch more fish.

In the course of a month, the Moon will move through four phases, New Moon, First Quarter Moon, Full Moon, Second Quarter Moon. It takes the Moon twenty-nine and a half days to pass through these phases, which means that a lunar year is shorter than a solar year. The ancient Hebrews used lunar months, but there is another way to mark the passage of the year.

Phases of the Moon
Phases of the Moon | Source

The Stars

The stars in the Bible include the planets of our solar system, and the galaxies far out in space, they include all of the heavenly bodies that are not the Sun and the Moon. All of the stars were made on the fourth day of creation, including the stars in other galaxies (creationist astronomers allow for star formation by the processes that God set in motion, but those processes are unknown). As the Earth orbits the Sun, the stars in the background change. Some of these stars appear to move together, these stars are called constellations. Through the course of a year the Sun will rise with a different constellation in the background. There are twelve of these constellations and they are known as the Zodiac and are useful as calendar markers.

Certain stars and groups of stars also serve as event or seasonal markers. The ancient Egyptians noted that the star Sirius, would disappear for about seventy days, it would reappear shortly before the Nile river started to flood. They would use this observation about Sirius to prepare their farms for the annual flooding of the Nile. The Pleiades are a star group that have also been used as a seasonal marker, for some people their appearance marks the beginning of summer, for people in other parts of the world, the beginning of harvest.

Orion, one of the most recognized constellations.
Orion, one of the most recognized constellations. | Source

Light Travel Time

One of the most common questions faced by a young earth creationist is, if the stars were only created 6,000 years ago, how does the light from stars billions of light years away, reach us today?

A gravity well
A gravity well | Source

Gravitational Time Dilation

Dr. Russell Humphreys first proposed in 1994 that Time Dilation could affect the length of time it takes for starlight to reach Earth. Originally proposing a White Hole Cosmology, Dr. Humphreys, in solving a metric for Relativity, has now abandoned that theory for a Universal Gravity Well. Proposing that God created the universe from water, Dr. Humphreys has suggested that God created an amorphous sphere of water 2 million light years in diameter. On the second day, God expanded this sphere to 24 billion light years in diameter. This shell created a gravity well that slowed time. As God created the galaxies, the Earth was driven deeper into the well, into a timeless zone. The mass of the galaxies also moved them into the timeless zone. Once God had finished creating the galaxies and stars, he stretched them out to lift them out of the timeless zone. As the timeless zone collapsed, light followed immediately behind it, becoming visible on Earth on the fourth day.

All of the heavenly bodies, planets, stars, and galaxies, were created on the same day, but being in a timeless zone, nothing happened until God stretched out the heavens (Isaiah 40:22) lifting them out into a zone of time. The galaxies at the outer edge are the first to leave this zone and their light begins to travel. The timeless zone collapses inward toward the Earth at the speed of light until finally, Earth itself was pulled out of the timeless zone. Note that the Earth did not enter the timeless zone until the galaxies were created on the fourth day, and Earth left the timeless zone while it was still the fourth day. On Earth, time was paused while God created the heavenly bodies.

How Many Stars?

In Genesis 15:5 God says to Abraham, “Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.” Abraham lived before the invention of the telescope, on a clear night he would have been able to see about two thousand stars, not really a big number, yet the passage indicates a large number is to be expected. Even if all the stars of both hemispheres were visible at the same time, there would still only be about six thousand stars. Later, in Genesis 22:17, God tells Abraham that “I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore”. Now there is a lot of sand on the sea shore, but there were still only two thousand stars visible to Abraham, so what did God mean?

What God knew is that there are more stars than there is sand on the sea shore. With the aid of telescopes it has been estimated that there are between 200 billion and 400 billion stars in our galaxy alone. The average galaxy is believed to have 100 billion stars. The promise that God gave to Abraham exceeded that which was visible.

The northern night sky
The northern night sky | Source

God versus Goldilocks

In the evolutionary scheme of things, there are things that appear to be just right for life. For creationists this is because God made them that way to support life on Earth. For evolutionists they are the product of chance.

1. Gravity

In order for the universe to have formed at all, according to the Big Bang Model, gravity had to be just right. A stronger gravity would have caused a massive black hole. A weaker gravity would have allowed dust to simply swirl around without coalescing into anything meaningful. I believe that God created Gravity as it is to maintain the life he was going to create.

2, Galactic Habitable Zone

Were our solar system closer to the center of the Milky Way, it would be subjected to much higher levels of radiation. In an evolutionary scheme, this would prevent the formation of life. It would also make it impossible for us to live on any planet outside of this habitable zone.

3. Stable Star

Our sun is a stable star. Among the stars that have been observed there are two problems that we don’t have to worry about. Many stars are variable stars, that is, the amount of light and heat they generate varies a considerable amount. A variation of ten per cent is enough to cook our planet, or freeze it. God gave us a stable star to support life on Earth.

There are stars that give off large coronal mass ejections. These are ejections of the actual mass of the star. The energy and mass of these ejections would destroy life on Earth (as was shown in the movie Next). We can be thankful that our Sun is a quiet star.

4. Solar Habitable Zone

Earth’s orbit is in just the right spot to maintain life. If Earth were closer to the sun, it would be too hot, like Venus. If it were further away, it would be too cold, like Mars. Earth is in just the right orbit to sustain life.


5. The Right Sized Sun

Were the sun smaller and cooler, Earth would have to orbit in a much smaller orbit to stay warm. This could cause the Earth to become tidally locked, forcing only one side of the planet to face the sun and becoming incredibly hot, while the other side always faced away, becoming incredibly cold.

Conclusion

It has often been stated by cosmologists that we live on a not very special planet, orbiting a not very special star in a not very special galaxy. In their opinion, there is nothing special about our place, our planet, or our person. The information strongly suggest otherwise. We live in a special place in our galaxy, we live in special place in our solar system, orbiting a special star, and we live on a special planet. That also leads me to believe that we are special to God, each and every of us.

The initial creation of matter in the universe was miraculous. From that point, creation scientists have been able to provide a possible method of how our solar system and later, galaxies, were formed. All of the heavenly bodies were created from water (2 Peter 3:5), and then transformed into the objects that now exist. As the galaxies were created, Earth was found in a deep gravity well which stopped time. God stretched out the heavens (cosmological expansion) lifting Earth out of the timeless zone. Light from the farthest galaxies, which were created on the fourth day, traveled while Earth was in the timeless zone, arriving here on the fourth day. The apparent "Goldilocks factors" exist because God created the Universe to support life on Earth, therefore, all the physical laws, and the position of our planet, and our solar system, should, and do, reflect God's purpose.

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. Psalm 19:1-4

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Comments 9 comments

willrodgers profile image

willrodgers 3 years ago from Deerfield Beach, Florida

With all of this scientific data, I wonder and am saddened every day that my grandson and all other children in US schools are still being taught Darwinian Evolution. We must take back our schools


barrydan profile image

barrydan 3 years ago from Calgary, Alberta, Canada Author

I hope this information helps Will.


edwardtbabinski 3 years ago

Sun created "from water?" The sun is over 98% HYDROGEN AND HELIUM with extremely little OXYGEN, but water is HYDROGEN AND OXYGEN. So God would have to turn a whole lot of oxygen atoms in water into simpler atoms, like helium, to form the sun. But THE SUN PERFORMS THE OPPOSITE OPERATION EVERY DAY, it is turning hydrogen and helium into heavier more complex atoms, including oxygen, every day. So it would have made more sense if God created the sun and stars out of Hydrogen and Helium to start with and simply let them do their thing instead of... "starting with water."

The reason the Hebrew story starts with "water" is not because it is scientific, but because the ancient divided the world into four basic elements, water, earth, wind, fire/light. And they often began their creation stories with water, and they often imagined that their little flat earth cosmoses lay in the midst of primeval waters of chaos above and beneath them, and even at their shores, and that God was constantly holding back the chaotic waves of water from the sky, from beneath the earth, and along the shoreline, commanding the waters not to advance any further during high tide. That was the ancient way of viewing the cosmos.

Humphries is an idiot for taking ancient Near Eastern creation stories OUT OF CONTEXT and trying to pump them up into "scientific" stories. And fellow Evangelicals like John Walton and others are now studying the OT creation tales in light of their ORIGINAL CONTEXT, THEIR ORIGINAL WRITERS AND READERS, and recognizing all the mythical elements within them. Humphries needs to catch up.


edwardtbabinski 3 years ago

A growing number of Evangelicals agree that the Bible begins with myth in Genesis 1 (and, even William Lane Craig says he doesn't know how to interpret Genesis 1, and that Evangelicals need to think in more than just "young-earth" terms):

There's Wheaton OT professor John Walton's new video series, "Genesis Through Ancient Eyes"

http://biologos.org/blog/series/genesis-through-an...

John Walton's new scholarly work, Genesis 1 and Ancient Cosmology

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/20...

Research articles on biblical cosmology at BIOLOGOS.org such as

"Mesopotamian Cosmic Geography in the Bible"

http://biologos.org/uploads/projects/godawa_schola...

"Biblical Creation and Storytelling: Cosmogony, Combat and Covenant" (an article that demonstrates that not all the creation stories in the Bible are found in its opening chapters, and some of those stories, found in the Psalms, Job, etc. could be as old or older than the final versions of the creation stories that were placed at the start of Genesis 1, and these other stories involve the ANE motif of "creation via combat").

http://biologos.org/uploads/projects/godawa_schola...

"Interpreting Genesis 1, who's the literalist now?" (the article includes a link to a video on the topic by Michael Sheiser, and Sheiser is a scholar in the fields of biblical studies and the ancient Near East, and Academic Editor of Logos Bible Software.

http://michaelsheiser.com/TheNakedBible/2012/09/in...

____________________

WILLIAM LANE CRAIG "DOESN'T KNOW" HOW TO INTERPRET THE BIBLE'S OPENING CHAPTER

William Lane Craig (who is not an expert in ancient Near Eastern studies like Walton or Sheiser, above) has a multi-part series on Creation and Evolution that is currently ongoing, that includes his take on a recent book by two Evangelicals who argue in favor of Genesis 1 being in debt to ancient mythical ideas (In the Beginning... We Misunderstood: Interpreting Genesis 1 in Its Original Context by Johnny V. Miller & John M. Soden)

Craig's proposed "defense" is to imagine that maybe Genesis 1 contains mythical ideas, but ancient people (from the Egyptians to the Mesopotamians) never took their ideas of divine creation (cosmology and cosmography) literally, since according to Craig, they viewed the world symbolically. So Craig's "defense" is to argue that the ancient mind made as sharp a distinction as Craig makes between symbolism and literalism, i.e., between what he assumes to be purely symbolic depictions of the world and the gods, and a more literal understanding. (Contra Craig, I would suggest such categories were not kept as neatly divided inside the ancient mind as Craig keeps them in his own.)

In the end, after reviewing young and old-earth creationist as well as theistic evolutionist interpretations of Genesis 1, Craig sums up matters by saying, "I don't know":

"I think that you can see from this survey of various biblical interpretations of Genesis 1 that there is quite a wide range of interpretations of Genesis 1 that have been defended by Bible believing Evangelical scholars. It is not the case that we are 'boxed in' to just one interpretation that is valid and sound for anyone who is a Bible believing Christian. There's quite a wide range of interpretations of Genesis 1. And you might say, well, which of these interpretations is the best? If any, which one would you endorse? And here I have to give my candid view, I don't know. I have been studying and reading on this subject a long time and I'm still uncertain as to what is the best view, so I don't have a sort of hard and fast opinion on this, but I think that's alright. I think that the Christian can be open-minded with respect to various interpretations of biblical passages, and doesn't need to pigeon-hole everybody into one acceptable interpretation."

SOURCE: William Lane Craig, Defenders podcast, series 2, "Section 9, "Creation and Evolution," Part 12

"When it says that Adam was created out of the dust of the earth, if this is a figurative narrative that could well describe human hominid forms, the material stuff out of which these are made. I don't think that it's clear, unless you take this in a very literal way, I don't think it's clear that even human evolution would be incompatible with biblical theism."

SOURCE: William Lane Craig, Defenders podcast, series 2, "Section 9, "Creation and Evolution," Part 13

http://www.reasonablefaith.org/defenders-2-podcast...


barrydan profile image

barrydan 3 years ago from Calgary, Alberta, Canada Author

The idea that Genesis 1 is a creation myth is widespread, yet it is also wrong. The creation myths of the ancient near east differ substantially from Genesis 1. They are in fact theogonies rather than cosmogonies. That is, they are accounts of the gods rather than accounts of creation. Creation is almost incidental in these accounts, whereas in Genesis it is the focus of the account.

http://davelivingston.com/creationstories.htm


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 3 years ago from Texas

There are so many issues with this, issues that both you and Dr. Humphreys are clearly capable of understanding, given the grasp of these concepts that you show in some of your explanations, if so much effort weren't put into trying to resolve all the obvious conflicts to make this viewpoint work. It's like you both have tunnel vision in trying to resolve one conflict, only to cause numerous others elsewhere.

For example, for there to be enough mass gathered in one place as to cause a 'gravity well', enough so to distort time to the levels required for this to work, then the earth would have simply crumpled under the enormous levels of gravity being in the well. Not to mention the fact that the stars millions and billions of light years away that this idea is trying to rectify have mass as well, so the displacement between mass near and mass far throws a wrench in the whole thing.

Plus, this would mean that here on Earth it really would have happened in 6 days, which means dismissing the entire geological time scale, which is the culmination of practical data from numerous schools of scientific study from geology, physical geography, geophysics, soil science, oceanography, glaciology, the atmospheric sciences, and all the various sub-disciplines of each. All of which are in complete agreement with one another, and all of which have practical applications based on the data they collect.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geological_time_scale

In previous discussions you criticized my viewpoint as accepting input from sources outside of the bible, yet the only other source I'm drawing from IS God's creation. And just as Augustine said hundreds of years ago, God reveals His nature to us through both the 'book of scripture' and the 'book of nature', and that "interpretation of biblical passages MUST BE informed by the current state of demonstrable knowledge".

There's no need to redefine the entirety of science just to make a very narrow interpretation of Genesis work. It works literally without changing a thing. Between plant life on land (day 3) and animal life on land (day 5), the atmosphere really did become transparent where before it only would have been translucent, and the continents really did drift from deep in the southern hemisphere where days would have been 6 months, to between the poles as they still are today, giving us 24 hour days. This is no coincidence. There is no conflict and no need for all of this.

As for the bible, while I totally agree God is in control and that He can make sure the bible is exactly what it needs to be, it was still written by humans. For example, do you really think the exact same story happened 3 different times (Gen12, 20, 26)? Do you really think Abraham told Sarah to say she was his sister twice, fooling a Pharaoh once and then Abimelech the second time? And do you really think this same thing happened to Abimelech twice? Once with Abraham and once with Lot? Or do you think there's a chance that over the ages these oral stories, especially over the course of hundreds of years of Egyptian enslavement, could have been mixed up a bit?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wife%E2%80%93sister_n...

But where the bible had to be penned through the filter of fallible humans with free will, hence all the issues God had with humans that the whole book is about, the natural world is a direct reflection of its creator. And the creation account, simply by reading it from the 'from the surface' perspective specified in verse 2, lines right up with what the vast majority of the world's scientific community says actually happened. It all lines up without having to refute and redefine so much heavily verified data. It doesn't require a redefined cosmology or a completely re-imagined concept of how the layers of earth settled.

There's so much insight, so much to be learned, if you'd just open your mind to the possibility. I urge you to at least consider it for a moment. You're clearly a brilliant guy, and someone who I think would have an even deeper appreciation for everything this insight into God would provide, if you'd just give it a chance.


barrydan profile image

barrydan 3 years ago from Calgary, Alberta, Canada Author

I gave it a chance, it failed. You keep referring to current science as being in complete agreement, yet time and again it is shown NOT to be in agreement. The Nebular Hypothesis fails, the development of new species by new information fails, even the geologic column and the order of fossils fails (Days 5 &6). You say that fallible humans wrote the Bible, but you cannot see that fallible humans developed science. You make science infallible, but fault the Bible. The Majority of the world's scientific community denies the Bible as anything but an invention of mankind. I will not base my theology on the works of such a philosophy.


HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

HeadlyvonNoggin 3 years ago from Texas

Yes, science is the product of fallible humans as well, but the difference is science allows for, and actually demands, scrutiny and testability. Something that simply isn't possible where the bible is concerned. Not that I"m making light of the bible as I clearly see some very on-point information in Gen1-11. Keep in mind that fallible humans also came up with what you're talking about. Humphreys is no different than anyone else. And as for science being in total agreement, I don't mean everyone agrees on everything. I'm referring specifically to the geological time scale and how many different fields of study regularly test and verify data that lines right up with this same timeline. Whether or not the scientific community accepts or denies the bible is irrelevant to what they're empirically determining via the scientific methods. Though recent polls have shown that there is a much greater percentage of those in the scientific community who are in fact believers and who do hold the bible in higher regard.

You and I both hold the bible in high regard, there's no doubt there. But what I'm trying to point out is that you're actually holding fallible human interpretations of the bible in high regard as well. That's not one and the same as the bible itself. Science can provide context. Something solid to then stand the stories of the bible atop of. Without that you just have the fallible human element.


barrydan profile image

barrydan 3 years ago from Calgary, Alberta, Canada Author

Thank you for your comment Headly. You are using science as the foundation for your beliefs about the Bible. To say that beliefs about the Bible have not been subject to scrutiny is to ignore history. The New Testament epistles give evidence of challenges to the beliefs of the early Christians. The writings of the early church fathers also show that the beliefs of the early church were being challenged.

As for science demanding scrutiny and testability, if the same standards of evidence were used in regard to the Bible as applies to evolution, the Bible would have to be considered literally true. Science IS totally dependent on the fallible human element. If we hold the Bible in high regard it is because we believe that the Bible is the revealed word of God, there is a supernatural element in its revelation, its interpretation, and its preservation. Using the grammatical-historical method of exegesis we read it with the understanding that it is meant to be understood by the ordinary person without an initiated priesthood to interpret it, this also excludes the priesthood of scientists. In the ordinary usage of words and grammar, Genesis 1 reveals a week of 7 24 hr. days.

As I mentioned early in my hub, this is only a "possible" account. As Dr. Humphreys mentions in his interviews, his theories represent a "possible" method of explaining the science of creation. The science I have presented deepens our understanding of scripture without changing the grammatical-historical meaning. The science you present requires a change in the meaning of the text under consideration plus, a change to all the theology dependent on that text, both Old and New Testament.

YEC scientists do their science by asking, If the Bible says ..., then the science should show this. This is true of Dr. Humphreys, Dr. Hartnett, Dr. Lisle, and Dr. Gentry. The evidence that each of them has presented, and which I have represented in my hubs has done this.

The science you have represented says, If science says..., then the Bible should say this. It is science that decides the meaning of the Bible, science becomes the ruler of scripture and God only speaks with the permission of the fallible human element. The Bible is reduced to a fallible human undertaking and science is elevated above God.

I will take the Bible as my foundation, and science as a fallible human undertaking.

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