Set in Stone: The 24-Hour Days of Creation
It would have been an awesome sight to witness God’s chosen people meeting their Savior at the bottom of Mount Sinai after their deliverance from Egypt, when our omnipotent Creator came down to make a covenant with them. The Almighty’s glorious presence covered the mountain with flames of fire, billowing smoke, and great flashes of lighting and thunder. The whole mountain quaked, and a trumpet blasted louder and louder as “Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice” (Exodus 19:19). This was the time in history when the awesome Kings of Kings spoke directly to His people in order to give them His Law for their well-being and prosperity. According to Exodus 32:16, God personally inscribed the Ten Commandments on slabs of rock: “Now the tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God engraved on the tablets.” As God established an everlasting covenant with the people of Israel, His words were set in stone to last for all time.
In the 4th commandment, God wrote:
Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Work six days and do everything you
need to do. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to God, your God. Don’t do any
work—not you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your servant, nor your maid,
nor your animals, not even the foreign guest visiting in your town. For in six days
God made Heaven, Earth, and sea, and everything in them; he rested on the
seventh day. Therefore God blessed the Sabbath day; he set it apart as a holy day.
Exodus 20:8-11 (The Message)
Later, in Exodus 31:16-17, the Lord further emphasized the pattern of six days of work plus one day of worship and rest as a permanent standard, stating: “Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.”
With the words of this everlasting covenant, Christians should have no question that God created the heavens and the earth in six literal days and rested on the seventh literal day. It was engraved in stone by God Himself. He chose six days to create, make and form the entire cosmos with His masterful design and to fill the Earth with life, putting man at the crown of His creation. Then, He set the seventh day apart as a holy day of rest—all for mankind’s good and His glory. These are God’s very words and must be taken seriously, as they clearly refer to the creation days of Genesis Chapter 1.
Compromising Scripture and Contradicting the Gospel
Due to the pervasive influence of evolutionary biology, geology and paleontology, many Christians today prefer to believe that the days of Genesis 1 represent great periods of time. Based on their interpretation of the rock layers, the fossil record and the origin of living organisms, evolutionists claim that the Earth is around 4.6 billion years old. If a believer accepts this as true, it follows that the days of creation could not be literal but must be metaphoric or symbolic. However, if we examine how Scripture employs the word “day” in context, it becomes clear that correct interpretation leaves no room for long ages.
Although Moses wrote the Genesis 1 account of creation, as with all of Scripture, it also represents God’s direct “Word.” John the Apostle reminds us of this as he begins his Gospel by writing in John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was God,” an obvious reference to Genesis 1:1 and to Jesus’ role in creation. The fact that the expression “God said” is used ten times throughout Genesis 1 (1:3, 6, 9, 14, 11, 20, 21, 24, 26 and 29) further emphasizes the literal nature of this passage as God’s spoken Word, not a poetic story made up by Moses.
Since God did not create the sun, moon, stars, planets and other celestial objects until the 4th day, some ask if the first three creation days could have been different time intervals. In Genesis 1, each day is both numbered and defined by the phrase “evening and morning” (in Hebrew culture the day starts in the evening at sunset). Throughout the Old Testament (OT) when “day” is modified with numeral or ordinal—as it is 349 times—it always means a 24-hour day. Also, when “evening and morning” is used in connection with “day” in the OT (38 times), without exception, it always means a literal day. So, why would Genesis 1 be an exception?
Some continue to speculate that perhaps the first three days were an exception to these rules, since the heavenly bodies, including the sun by which we calculate time, were not created until day four. According to the Genesis account of creation, God created the light on the first day. So Earth’s light did not come from the sun on the first three days, but from the Son of God, who is “the light of the world” (John 8:12). Beyond that, God does not need a celestial system to keep time. He is the Author of time, and could delineate its parameters any way He chose. Since the creation of the sun on the fourth day established our day as a 24-hour period, it follows that this design also applied to the first three days.
Furthermore, Genesis 1:3-5 describes the creation of light on day one of creation in order to distinguish daytime from nighttime on Earth, and establishes the phrase “evening and morning” to describe these phases.
Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light,
that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the
light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning
were the first day.
In other words, the length of a day consists of the elements of light and darkness—evening and morning—to make a complete 24-hour day. The repetition of the phrase, “So evening and morning were the first (second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth) day,” for each day of creation reveals a consistent pattern. Thus, since “evening and morning” are used to describe each day, they would have to represent the same amount of time even before God formed the sun.
We should also be aware that to deny the literal meaning of “day” in Genesis 1 in favor of long periods of time undermines the gospel of Jesus Christ. As Genesis 1 states six times, God declared that everything He originally made was “good.” However, in Genesis 3, Adam sinned giving us the reason for Jesus, “the last Adam,” to come and save us. As 1 Corinthians 15:45 says, “And so it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.” We also read that Adam’s sin brought death and decay not just to man but to all of creation, as Paul informs us in Romans 8:20:
“For the creation was subjected to futility,” and that all of creation is in “the bondage of corruption,” Rom. 8:21. In spite of this, we can rejoice because Christ our Savior brought forgiveness and eternal life. “For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:21-22).
Because “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), and it was Adam’s sin that brought death and destruction into creation, the evolutionary timeframe of millions of years of death and struggle before man entered the world stands in direct conflict with Scripture. According to the evolutionary interpretation of the fossil record, death and struggle are good processes that lead to “new and improved” species. Scripture tells us that, from the beginning, God wanted man to have eternal life. Sin and death are enemies of mankind and of His creative order that require a Redeemer. However, the evolutionary notion of long ages of biological competition and destruction completely eliminates the need for the “good news” of Jesus Christ. If death is good and mankind evolved from lesser animals, what need do we have of a Savior? The concept of men evolving from animals also does away with moral absolutes as determined by our Creator in favor of moral relativism determined by man, not to mention the existence of our eternal souls. Indeed, if evolution is true, then Christ poured out His blood at the Cross for nothing.
The literal interpretation of the days in Genesis 1, which results in a young earth of a few thousand years in age, is faithful to God’s Word and gives understanding and power to the Gospel. Do we accept what man has contrived and popularized through the secular media over the last century-and-a-half—which is not supported by Scripture—or do we anchor our very being in the revealed Word of God? Let a day be a literal day, as God spoke it.
Hard Evidence that Refutes Evolution
The evolutionary bias that has predominated in science and the popular media for decades regarding an “old Earth” of millions and billions of years, and which vehemently censors the young earth perspective as contrary to science, conveniently ignores virtually all conflicting scientific evidence. In fact, a growing wealth of proof exits in support of young earth origins (as well as for a young universe) of which every Christian should be aware. These evidences may conveniently be found on creationist websites that support a literal interpretation of the days of Genesis, including ours (www.creationstudies.org). The evolutionary community purposely denies, disregards and dismisses these facts, because they are a grave threat to evolution and because, instead of a loving Creator, they prefer to believe in time as the “magic wand” that turned dust into life.
For decades, one of the main lines of evidence that secular science has used to support the supposed hundreds of millions of years of time that evolution requires to turn dust into life is the geological record. However, as a new DVD called Set in Stone shows, an abundance of geological facts tell a different story. As the subtitle of this video states, an honest study of our planet’s rocks reveals convincing Evidence for Earth’s Catastrophic Past. Produced by the Truth in Science organization in England—the birthplace of modern geology—this film features creationists John Whitmore, Paul Garner and Andrew Snelling.
It takes us to historic geological sites in the United Kingdom to show how catastrophic forces best explain their formation. Indeed, as Set in Stone reminds us, before evolution became popular it was commonly acknowledged that most of Earth’s geological features were the result of Noah’s worldwide flood, the greatest catastrophe our planet has ever known. This DVD takes a fascinating and beautiful look at some of the rocks and fossils of the “Emerald Isle” that you won’t want to miss.
Forgive the pun, but these resources provide “hard proof” for the rapid and catastrophic formation of the geological record that easily disproves the evolutionary fable that rock layers formed slowly and gradually over hundreds of millions of years. Contrary to what evolution says, the present is NOT the key to the past. As the Bible informs us—and as the scientific facts of geology presented in this DVD confirm—everywhere in our world shows proof of God’s handiwork, by which He created all things in six literal days, and of the great Flood by which He remade the face (geology) of the Earth. As Romans 1:20 says, our Creator’s “invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made…”
As we at CSI endeavor to provide “cutting edge” science resources in defense of the truth of creation, we are truly grateful for each one of you who pray for and support our ministry. May God bless you and yours, as you honor Him in all you do!
In His service,
Executive Director & Founder of CSI