Guys we are finally here! It was starting to feel like we would never get into the scripture! But I am so excited to get into Genesis 1
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness [a]was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.” – Genesis 1:1-5
In verses 1-5 of Genesis we see God creates the heavens and the earth and they are formless. Then God creates light, to separate the darkness, and create day and night. This is what God did on the first day of creation.
Well that is a hard days work. Can you imagine waking up in the morning and going to work and your boss is like “Ok, we’ve got a hard day today, we have to create a whole new universe and light for the universe, and its gotta be done today.” I think I’d quit 🙂
But seriously, our God is amazing guys!
Now some of you might be a little confused by the Genesis 1:3-5. God creates light, but if we keep reading we see that God doesn’t create the sun and the moon until the fourth day of creation. So where is the light coming from? Well there is a verse in Revelation that could be the explanation, and its really cool!
“The City had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is it’s light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in it’s light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.” -Revelation 21:23-24
How awesome is that? One day we wont need the sun or the moon, Jesus who is the Light of the World, will be the literal light of the world! And a lot of Bible scholars think that this is what is happening in the first 3 days of creation. It is just a theory, but its a really cool theory!
So, now that we have talked about the cool stuff, it’s time for the hard stuff. Was the earth created in millions of years, or 24 hour days?
Now I want to preface this with saying that we can disagree on this, and absolutely still be friends! I have intelligent, faithful people in my life that believe either of these theories. I say all of this because I have seen this be a more divisive issue than it needs to be. I have seen huge arguments about it. I know there are churches that are based around it. But guys this doesn’t have to be a hill to die on. And I will be completely honest with you and say that this issue has never been all that important to me personally in my faith. All I need to know is that God created it 🙂 I will also be honest and say that I am not an expert in either belief. I’m just going to tell you guys what I see when I look at the scripture, because I didn’t want to skip over this and not talk about it at all.
Alright now that I’ve given that disclaimer and made it clear that I dont hate you if you disagree with me, and I hope you wont hate me either 🙂 lets get into it.
Personally, I believe that the earth was created in 24 hour days, for a couple of reasons.
For thousands of years Christians took the language in Genesis 1 literally. This didn’t really change until the time of Charles Darwin. And it was around this time that people really started to believe that you had to make a choice. You either have to believe in science or God, and the two can never intersect. That’s what we are taught in school, it’s what divides believers and churches. But I want to challenge that! Because so often the world tells us that we are unintelligent for believing in God, so often we are told that we are not logical, so often we are beat down for our beliefs. But did you know that some of the greatest scientists in history have been Christians? To give one of my favorite examples, Sir Issac Newton. Easily one of the greatest minds in history and he was a Christian!
And before you go thinking that he lived in a different time or something like that, Newton lived during the age of enlightenment. This time was one of the biggest pushes against Christianity ever. Newton was often mocked for his faith. In fact, in one of his biographies it talks about him being so fed up with his colleagues that he decided to build this amazing model of the solar system. By all account this thing was magnificent. And when it was finished he invited his colleagues to his workshop to see it. And they all start fawning over this amazing model, asking him where he bought, and Newton tells them that he didn’t buy it. Surprised they all start complimenting him on building such an amazing model. And Newton tells them he didn’t build it. Now very confused they ask him where it came from. And Newton replied that there was an explosion in his workshop and when all the dust settled the model was just there.
Funny as that story is, I tell it to you guys because its not so funny when you are being constantly mocked for your beliefs. It’s not so funny when you are being told that you are stupid for believing in God. But when that gets you down just remember some of the greatest minds in history have believed in God.
Now after that funny pit-stop lets get into the actual theories. The first is the gap theory. Essentially this theory states that there is a gap in time between when God creates the earth and God creating light in the first day. So this theory is attempting to explain why the earth appears so old. The problem that I personally have with this theory is that most of the the scientific evidences of the earth’s age are fossils, and we can see in Genesis 1:1-2 that the earth is formless and void. God hasn’t created the plants and the animals yet. So even if it was true that there was a gap in time it doesn’t explain why fossils appear older.
The more popular theory among Christians is the day age theory. To boil it down this theory states that God started evolution and that each of the days talked about in Genesis actually represents an a stage of evolution spanning millions of years. Now, this is the theory that I leaned toward for many years of my early Christianity. Growing up in school taking science classes this was the easiest explanation for me, and I understand why people believe it.
But, about four years ago my pastor was teaching on this passage and he brought up a few simple points that made me rethink my stance. Firstly, that the word used for day in the original Hebrew texts is ‘yom’. Which is used 2,301 in the Bible and it almost always refers to a 24hr day. More than that though, Hebrew is a really interesting language and there are actually a lot of words that God could have used to say ‘a period of time’, but He chose to use the word that literally means a 24hr period of time. Now I hold pretty firmly to the belief that God doesn’t make mistakes with the words He uses in the Bible, He says what He means. This is only further illustrated in Genesis 1:5 when He says that the evening and the morning were the first day. Those words don’t have another meaning in the Hebrew, He said evening and morning.
Finally there is what it says on the subject in Exodus.
“Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.”- Exodus 20:9-11
So, for me this sealed it. When God is speaking in this passage He uses the word ‘yom’ again. He is talking of His creation and He tells His people that one day out seven you are to rest as the Lord rested. He doesn’t say every couple of million years have a Sabbath. God says that He created the world in 6 days and on the seventh He rested.
Friends, I have never really struggled with accepting things that I don’t fully understand in the Bible. I don’t fully understand the creation of the universe. But then I don’t fully understand God, but I still believe in Him. I don’t need to wrap my head around it. I think that accepting that you don’t fully understand is apart of humbling yourself before the Lord, and recognizing that He is greater than yourself. Just because I don’t fully understand something, doesn’t mean that it’s not true. If it were, there would be a whole lot of people arguing that math doesn’t exist, cause I certainly don’t fully understand that :). Jokes aside. God created the heavens and the earth in all their glory. That is all I need to know.
What I do want to encourage you on is to not be discourage by whatever the current scientific theories are, much as people have tried, the Bible in all its thousands of years has never been disproven. While the Bible is not a scientific textbook, when it does speak on science, it is absolutely true. Look at Isaiah 40:22
“It is He who sits above the circle of the earth.”
Imagine the magnitude of the arguments about this verse from the time of Isaiah in about 700 BC to the time of Christopher Columbus in the 1400s! That is a long time to argue whether the Bible was right and the earth wasn’t flat like nearly all scientists believed.
Or in Job 26:7 where it says
“He hangs the earth upon nothing.”
People did not believe that the earth was just floating suspended in space at this point. Depending on your culture there were different theories, like the Greeks who believed that Atlas held up the world, or people in the south pacific that believed that the earth sat on the back of a giant turtle. Regardless, people didn’t believe what the Bible said for a long time. But as we know, it turned out to be true.
I believe that God created the earth in 24 hour days, because that’s what He said He did, I have enough faith to trust that, whether I understand it or not. But if you believe the gap theory, or the day age theory that’s ok! All we need to agree on is that there is a God, and he created everything.
The point is that we don’t have to try to fit God into the theories of today. The theories will pass away as they always have as people try to make sense of this world. But the good news is that we can rest in faith that God created this world, I don’t know about you guys, but that is a very comforting truth for me.
As always I pray for you all, I pray that as we study God word together whether we agree with each other on the details that we can grow together in Christ. I pray that this post would glorify Him. I pray as we walk through uncertain issues in our beliefs that we would trust in God, that we would take the leap of faith that He is who He says He is. In His amazing, awe-inspiring name, Amen!