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  • Writer's pictureBrian Fuller

144 Hours That Changed The World

I believe God supernaturally created the universe, the world, all of its contents and creatures and two human beings in six, 24-hour days. That belief is based upon the natural reading of the historical account written in the first two chapters of Genesis. The Genesis record was given by divine inspiration to Moses by the only eyewitness to creation: God. God was the only person there. And, there is only one record of origins: Genesis. This creation creed was the consistent, nearly universal, belief of Jews and Christians until about 200 years ago.

Today, those who like me, announce their belief in this clear, sequential account of 144 hours of creation are in danger of pejoratively being referred to as "young earthers," "literalists" or "the calendar-day people." (I suggest simply calling our tribe "Biblical Creationists.") But if you want to be considered a more nuanced, insightful theologian, you simply need to subscribe to the day-age view or the literary view with its three Neapolitan flavors of framework view, analogical-day view or the cosmic-temple view. All of these alternatives have one thing in common: they try to squeeze into the history of origins billions of years.

Unfortunately, many Christians have breathed in so much of the culture's air of naturalism that they have looked for alternatives to the Scripture's clear teaching, because they cannot understand how all of this could have been created in six days. I appreciate Martin Luther's admonition here:

"But, if you cannot understand how this could have been done in six days, then grant the Holy Spirit the honor of being more learned than you are."

According to Genesis 1, this is how special creation took place in 144 hours:

  1. Day One: Heavens and Earth/Light and Darkness

  2. Day Two: Separation of the Expanse (firmament). Water above and below.

  3. Day Three: Land appears, oceans contained and plants grow to maturity.

  4. Day Four: Sun, moon and stars created to be the clock for the planet.*

  5. Day Five: Sea creatures, fish and birds created.

  6. Day Six: Animals, two humans (Adam and Eve)

  7. Day Seven: God rested.

I believe that everything was created in six, ordinary, 24-Hour days for the following reasons.

This is the plain, normal meaning of the passage. God knows how to communicate, better than anyone. These first five books of the Bible were not written to theologians, academic elites, scientists, poets or Hebrew scholars. Rather they were former slaves-probably uneducated-on their way to the Promised Land. The Lord commanded his people to teach their children the word and works of the Lord (Deuteronomy 6:1-7). So, Genesis was plain, and clear, easily to be understood. The Bible interpretation principle is timeless: when the plain sense makes sense, seek no other sense. The teaching of the clarity of Scripture (perspicuity) is that the Lord communicates in such a way that His people can understand. The clear meaning of Genesis 1 is that these days were six, ordinary 24-hour days.

That is what the word "yom" (יום) means.

The word for day in Genesis 1 is the Hebrew word "yom"(יום). The word is used in many places in the Old Testament and can be used to refer to an undefined, period of time, like our English word "day" can. However, the context is how we know how the word is to be interpreted. Consider.

  • Whenever yom is used with a number, (359 times outside of Genesis 1) either cardinal numbers (1, 2, 3, etc.) or ordinal numbers (first, second, third, etc.) in all 359 occasions it always means ordinary, 24-hour days.

  • Whenever yom is used either with the word "morning" or "evening" (19 times outside of Genesis 1) it all 19 occasions it always means ordinary, 24-hour days.

  • Whenever "morning" and "evening" occur together, without "day" (38 times outside of Genesis 1) in all 38 occasions it always means ordinary, 24-hour days.

  • Whenever yom occurs with the word "night" (53 times outside of Genesis 1), in all 53 occasions it always means ordinary, 24-hour days.

Question: What more could God have said to communicate these were ordinary, 24-hour days? What if He had used the word yom with numbers, morning, evening, and night? Wait...He did!

God interpreted them as six, 24-hour days with His own finger.

Did God intend for us to understand the six days of creation as ordinary, 24 hour days? Yes. At Sinai, when the Lord gave the ten commandments, he says concerning the fourth:

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy... for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy." In Deuteronomy 9:10 we are told that these ten commandments were written "with the finger of God." God, the only eyewitness to creation, gives commentary to His own inspired, perfect Word by saying that He made everything in six days and rested on the seventh. And that is the reasoning behind the fourth commandment mandating Saturday rest. So there you go. Mic drop.

Jesus takes Genesis 1-2 as history

In the Gospels the Lord Jesus quotes and references Genesis 1-2 as historic. He refers to humans being made in the image of God (Matthew 22:21; Mark 12:17; Luke 20:25). The Lord refers to Abel as an historical, righteous person and the first martyr (Matthew 23:335; Luke 11:51). Jesus refers to God creating the world. (Mark 13:19) All together, there are eight references to the first 11 chapters of Genesis by Christ. It is clear that Jesus viewed Genesis 1-2 as historical narrative genre that records for us actual historic events. Jesus believed that God created the world, and that mankind was "male and female," from the beginning.

The conjunction "and" is significant, especially in Hebrew.

A fifth reason to believe that everything was created is the repeated use of the conjunction "and" in Genesis 1. Its use in the first chapter of the Bible is more significant than the use of the word and in English. In English we draw up a list by use of a colon. ( : ) By using the colon we are saying that these things are under the same category. Similarly Hebrew uses the waw consecutive. The waw-consecutive (waw=and ) similar to the colon punctuation, expresses consecutive action. The writers of the Bible uses this style to express actions and events that are the logical sequence of actions and events that are mentioned immediately before. So, what this means for Genesis 1 is that the first chapter of the Bible describes a sequence of events that occur one after the other throughout the creation week. Do you see it? And God said...And God saw...And God separated...And there was evening and there was morning...And God said...And God said...etc.

Francis Anderson observes: "A string of WP (waw-consecutive) clauses in narrative prose (historical) stages events as occurring in a time sequence one after another. It is implied that one is finished before the next begins, so it is possible to speak of the verbs as 'perfective' in aspect. So the events of Genesis 1:14-19 have an opening waw-consecutive "And God said," and a closing pattern of waw-consecutives "and it was evening, and it was morning" separating the 4th day from the previous and subsequent commands God issued. The point for the interpreter is that each day in Genesis 1 must be a completed event!"

It was good, good, good, good, good, and very good.

The Genesis account gives God's evaluation after each day of creation week. (except day two) If these days were actually billions of years that included death and bloodshed by tooth and nail and survival of the fittest (evolution) there is no possibility for God to have evaluated that it was good and very good.

If you can believe the first verse (and probably the most familiar and most read verse) of the Bible, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1) you will be able to believe every other verse in the Bible. This is why before the names are listed in Hebrews 11 in the "hall of faith" we are told that everyone must begin here: "By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible." (Hebrews 11:3)

Of the over 2300 times that yom (day) is used in the Bible, the only place that interpreters are trying to get yom (day) to mean something other than an ordinary 24-hour day is in Genesis one. That tells us a lot.

"But, if you cannot understand how this could have been done in six days, then grant the Holy Spirit the honor of being more learned than you are."

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