Creation - Seven Days

creation 7 days

Moses wrote in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  As noted in a previous article, (In the Beginning God. Pt.1), Moses wrote under the Divine revelation and inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  He did not write for 21st century scientific debate.  Moses wrote so that the Israelites would come to know their God, their history, and their identity as Yahweh’s covenant people. He wanted the Israelites to know that the God of their covenant community is THE God who is the Creator of the Cosmos.  Moses’ source was God, not the pagan pantheistic myths of his day.  Moses’ assertion that nothing existed before God spoke it into existence was an attack on the polytheism and pantheism of his day. 

The creation account was a polemic against the pagan mythologies of the surrounding nations.  What was created on each day of the Genesis Creation Account was an attack on one of the gods in the pagan pantheons of the day and declared that these gods don’t actually exist.  R. Kent Hughes wrote,  “On day one the gods of light and darkness are dismissed.  On day two, the gods of sky and sea.  On day three, the earth gods and the gods of vegetation.  On day four, the sun, moon, and star gods.  Days five and six dispense with the ideas of divinity within the animal kingdom.  Finally, it is made clear that humans and humanity are not divine, while also teaching that all, from the greatest to the least, are made in the image of God.  Thus Biblical reality replaced myth.”  (Genesis, p.26).  Psalm 96:5 says, “For all the gods of the peoples (nations) are idols, But the LORD made the heavens.”  The Hebrew word for “idols” also means “worthlessness”.

When Moses wrote, he wrote about the history of the creation of the heavens and the earth.  Genesis 2:4 says, “This is the account (history) of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made heaven and earth.”  Francis Schaeffer wrote, “The mentality of the whole Scripture … is that creation is as historically real as the history of the Jews and our present moment in time.  Both the Old and the New Testaments deliberately root themselves back into the early chapters of Genesis, insisting that they are a record of historical events.”  (Genesis in Time and Space; p.15). 

The Bible makes it clear that only God creates.  And the Triune God was the only witness present when the heavens and the earth were created.  In Job 38:4 the LORD asked Job, “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?  Tell Me, if you have understanding.”  This is a question for every human being on this earth to answer and especially those who deny the Biblical account and speak dogmatically while making speculative statements about how the heavens and the earth came into existence.  When we deny Genesis 1:1, we are denying the only eyewitness account of the creation of the heavens and the earth.  Such a denial leaves us with nothing except our unending, ever changing, irrational, speculative theories that demand of us a faith that is far greater than the faith needed for believing the Genesis account in which God created.      

Genesis Chapter 1 tells us very clearly that God created the heavens and the earth in six 24-hour sequential days.  Cornelis Van Dam wrote, “The biblical text of Genesis 1 describes sequential action with one event following another over the span of six days.  As such it is narrating historical events.  As Edward J Young put it, “The events recorded in the first chapter of the Bible actually took place.  They were historical events, and Genesis one, therefore, is to be regarded as historical.”  The six-day sequence has a beginning.  The opening verse states that “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  There was no creation prior to this beginning.  God created the heavens and the earth from nothing.  This opening verse therefore also indicates the beginning of time and as such should be considered part of the first day.  Indeed, Genesis describes for us the beginning of history.  As the six days of creation indicate, creation took place in time.”  (In the Beginning; p.64). 

  1. Kent Hughes wrote that the Genesis narrative is not poetry but narrative prose. “The whole account is written in the normal Hebrew narrative tense. There is no question that the Genesis account is written as history….  The narrative tense presents a sequence in those six days that demands chronological reality.  Day two followed day one, etc.”  (Genesis; pp.25-26).  Derek Kidner wrote, “The march of the days is too majestic a progress to carry no implication of ordered sequence; it also seems over-subtle to adopt a view of the passage which discounts one of the primary impressions it makes on the ordinary reader.”  (Genesis; p.54).

The questions arise:  How did Moses understand what he wrote?  And how did the Israelites understand what they read or heard read to them?  Did they understand the account as a myth?  Certainly not!!  They knew the God Moses wrote about first hand.  They were eyewitnesses to what Yahweh did to Egypt.  And they would have never doubted that what Yahweh revealed to Moses was the truth.  Did they understand the six days of creation as metaphorical, as an unspecified length of time, or as geological ages?  Certainly not!!  Moses and the Israelites would have understood that God created in six 24-hour days.  The rhythm of “there was evening and there was morning…” would have ensured that understanding. 

Furthermore, this understanding is clearly seen in Exodus 20:8-10.  Yahweh commanded Israel, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work.”  And then Yahweh said in verse 11, For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them.”  The six days of work is rooted in the six days of creation!!  Exodus 31:17 repeats for us, “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth.”  It is clear that the time-frame for the command is very important or the command would have been meaningless.  On the other hand, if you claim that the days of the creation week were of unspecified lengths of time, or as some say, millions (or billions) of years, how would you apply the command to this time-frame?  Would you say in  vs.11For in six million years the Lord made the heavens and the earth….”?  And then would you say,  “Six million years you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh million is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work.”?

Have you ever wondered why the world, since the beginning of time, functions on a seven day week?  Do you recall how the French tried to change the seven-day week into a ten-day week?  Do you recall how that worked and how it collapsed?  As one writer noted, France’s plan sounded logical until it all went wrong.  Why?  They tried to change that which God has established in creation.  Hugh Ross wrote, “These experiments (by the French & Russians) demonstrate that we humans are biologically and spiritually designed for a week of six workdays followed by a seventh day where we cease from our work and focus on the most important issues of life.”

The words of the apostle Paul is a fitting closure to this article:  “Let God be found true, though every man be found a liar.”  (Romans 3:4). 



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