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Creation Made In Seven Days, Or Was It?
In The Beginning God
Creation In 7 Days Or 1
My aim through this is not to prove or disprove any theories that are currently being studied and taught, but rather encourage further prayer, study and discussion around this very rich topic. I'm sure many theologians and intellectuals will call me a heretic but I assure you that I believe the Bible in its completeness and that it is the living Word of God Almighty. Have you heard a teaching on a bible topic and then while reading the scriptures sometime later find that what you have learned no longer satisfies the revelation flowing out of God's living Word. Well that is what I am hoping to convey here.
I believe God created the heavens and the earth in 7 days but not in the way traditionally thought. Some people believe that each day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day with God. I believe that too but not in the case of creation. I don't believe that creation took ages. The age theory usually supports the evolution theory. So what do I believe about Genesis I hear you ask. Well, I believe God made the heavens and the earth in ONE day!
Have I got your attention now. You are probably saying that I just contradicted myself in the space of one paragraph. First I say I believe in 7 days of creation then I say I believe God did it in one day. Well, I am actually just believing scripture as I read it. Look at the following two verses of scripture. Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Genesis 2:4 "These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,".
Notice the word day in Genesis 2:4. If God created everything in 6 days and rested the seventh why would it say He created it in one day in Genesis 2:4? That's a contradiction isn't it. But scripture and God don't contradict it/Himself. Therefore our understanding of God and His Word is lacking. Mine certainly is. So then lets do some study to see if we can resolve this issue. Also notice the word "created" in Gen 1:1 and the word "made" in Gen 2:4. In the Hebrew these are two different words meaning different things, not two different words used to express the same thing. In Gen 1:1 God is creating, in Gen 2:4, God is making. These are two very different processes.
God is Firstly An Artist
Let me use an example to clarify my reasoning. Think of God as an artist, or a sculptor, or an architect, or a designer or even a writer. When He has a desire to make something like a painting, or a sculpture of a raging bull, or a three storey mansion with a swimming pool and manicured gardens, or an italian suit or a beautifully illustrated book of the cultures of the world, He doesn't just immediately start painting, hacking marble, digging foundations, sewing material or scribbling words on a page does He? There is a creative process isn't there? He would imagine what His creations purpose, function and size would be among other things. He would decide what it would be made of to best suit those criteria. Then He would go about planning it, drawing up the design blueprints to use a common phrase. If He had a team He would get their input into the project. All of this is still in the invisible realm, in the creation phase. Nothing physical has yet been made because all possible scenarios of failure and success have to be considered and calculated to minimise risk of loss. Only then is a plan approved and work is started in accordance with the creators plan.
I used to think or believe that chapter 1 should be understood as a literal way in which creation came to be. That each day was to be understood as a day of 24 hours and God took six 24 hour days to create everything and rested on the seventh. Okay, let's have a look at the creation account in a literal natural occurrence.
From Gen 1:1-8 all seems to work out just fine, I have no problem believing an all powerful, all knowing God can create the universe and the earth. It's what happens between Gen 1:11-18. These are the accounts of day 3 and 4 and what is being created on these days. On day 3 God separates the dry land from the waters to make lands and seas. He commands the earth to bring forth grass, herb yielding seed, fruit trees yielding fruit with its seed and the earth obeys. Awesome, no problem there. It's day 4 I have a problem with. On day 4 God creates the planets, stars, the sun and the moon and He says they are too be for signs, for seasons, for days and years. If we look at day 4 in isolation there doesn't seem to be any issues or discrepancies, but seeing that we are looking at it in a very literal natural sense day 3 and day 4 have some major issues.
For instance, we find grass and plants growing on day 3. God told the earth to bring forth grass, herbs and fruit trees and it did. But how can photosynthesis take place without the sun? How can there be seed time and harvest if there isn't any seasons to activate those processes within the plants? If God was creating things in their correct order so that everything flows on naturally from the previous day shouldn't day 3 and 4 be swapped around? Did God make a mistake? No, or He wouldn't be God. Did the writer make a mistake? No, because it would compromise the validity of scripture being God inspired. So it must be our understanding of it.
And The Earth
Something Out Of Nothing
Is Day Really A Day
I believe God created in the order that it says He did, He just didn't make it that way. I looked up the definition of the word "day" in my concordance,here is Strong's Exhaustive Concordances' definition of the Hebrew word yom: age, always, continually, daily, birth, each, today. From an unused root meaning to be hot; a day (as the warm hours), whether literal (from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next), or figurative (a space of time defined by an associated term), (often used adverb) -- age, + always, + chronicals, continually(-ance), daily, ((birth-), each, to) day, (now a, two) days (agone), + elder, X end, + evening, + (for) ever(-lasting, -more), X full, life, as (so) long as (... Live), (even) now, + old, + outlived, + perpetually, presently, + remaineth, X required, season, X since, space, then, (process of) time, + as at other times, + in trouble, weather, (as) when, (a, the, within a) while (that), X whole (+ age), (full) year(-ly), + younger.
Some rabbinical sages say that a lot of the first 11 chapters of Genesis is written in Hebrew poetry or prose. With that in mind look at the highlighted and underlined part of the definition. The word yom can be figuratively understood as "a space of time defined by an associated term". So we are considering that each day is not necessarily a 24 hour period but rather an undefined space of time. With the above mentioned Strong's definition of day which is generally understood to be from sunrise to sunset or sunrise to sunrise lets look at how Genesis describes a day. After each creative process the writer says, "God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the # day." Why is a day described as evening and morning? It comes back to the use of Hebrew prose to convey a truth or characteristic of God. If you step back and look at the creation account broken up into 7 days you will notice something very interesting and powerful. The beginning is a blank canvas. Day 1, darkness and light, day and night (but no sun and moon!). Day 2, Creation of atmosphere to separate earth from space. Day 3, dry land, seas, grass, herbs, plants and trees bearing fruit with their seed. Day 4, galaxies, stars, sun and moon for signs, seasons, days and years. Day 5, ocean dwellers and creatures that fly. Day 6, creatures and beasts that inhabit the dry land, creation of mankind in God's image and likeness and delegation of blessing to be fruitful, multiply, replenish, subdue and have dominion. Day 7, God rests from His work.
Do you see it? Nothing becomes something out of nothing. Then the vast something is given form.Then form is given detail and identity. Each new "day" more detailed and complex than the one before. The use of the phrase "the evening and the morning were # day" I believe is a clue to this truth of progression from simplicity to complexity, dark to light to more light, death to life to more life, disorder to order to perfection.
Fish In The Sea
Birds In The Air
Every Beast Of The Earth
Is Day 8 Day 1 and Vice Versa
I have come to this conclusion, that the word yom is more about Gods stage of development in each creative process. Once He was happy with that particular stage He approved it and said that it was good and only then moved on to the next stage. Each stage was further development and increase of importance than the previous one. Each stage pointed upwards to the next stage, and all stages pointed to God as their author. All these stages were taking place in the invisible creative realm of being in the mind of God. God didn't make anything until He was finished creating and He was satisfied with it. The narrative of creation doesn't stop at the end of chapter 1, it continues in the first 4 verses of chapter 2. Culminating with Genesis 2:4 "These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,".
So, my question I would like to put to you is this: Once an almighty God has the perfect complete plan for His creation masterpiece could He not do it in one day? Doesn't the following scripture have that much more power, meaning and weight behind it? Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped, the evidence of things not seen." Didn't God have the substance and evidence before the fact? Or how about Romans 4:17, "...even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were."
I hope I have stirred you to dig a bit deeper into God's Word and our Heavenly Creator. Lets question our own understanding and level of revelation and not the Truth and validity of the infallible Word of God. Amen.