144 hour creation? Maybe.

It should come as no surprise that I am a creationist. I believe in the Biblical account of Creation. It is this belief in the Biblical account that makes me question a statement common among my fellow creationists. “Creation occurred within six consecutive literal 24-hour periods.”

It’s not the six that I balk at, nor the consecutive. It’s the 24-hour periods part. Now, I’m readily willing to admit that creation may have occurred in six 24-hour periods. I just fail to see how the Scripture backs up that assertion.

And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. —Genesis 1:14-19

God created the sun on the fourth day of creation, and made it a sign for “seasons, days, and years.” Thus we have the creation of the solar day. Obviously, then, from the fifth day of creation onward, a day was 24-hours long, with rare exceptions (Joshua 10:12-14, 2 Kings 20:8-11). However, prior to the fourth day of creation, the day/night cycle was not based on the sun (Genesis 1:16-18), but rather on a light that emanated from God Himself (Genesis 1:3-5).

My point is not that creation was accomplished by evolution. That’s ridiculous. God spoke, and it was done (Psalm 33:9). Also, I doubt that the length of the pre-solar days were drastically different from the solar days. After all, God both invented the concept of “day” and also set the sun to rule over it.

Instead, my point is that when we stand up for the Bible, we must be careful that we are standing up for what the Bible says, and not what we think it says. I’ve written about how a failure to do this leads some Christian leaders to actively recommend to young men (and women) that they break God’s commands against divorce, because they conflate Biblical and governmental definitions of marriage when reading the Bible.

Every day, I come across people who are gifted in exegetical gymnastics. The other day I had someone try to make the case to me that God never compels compliance, and that God would never enact a law compelling Sabbath observance. I read Numbers 15:32-36 to her. Cane Caldo recently wrote of a sermon in which a priest used Jesus’ statement “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” to teach that, among other things, “Good Christians don’t hate their family; usually because they have Christian families.”

The only way to know whether an idea or an argument is Biblical is to take it back and compare it to the Bible. The only way to do this in practical life is to be intimately acquainted with the actual words of Scripture. It only by study that one can rightly divide the Word of Truth. Know the Bible, and then when assertions are made that contradict or go beyond scripture are made, you will not be able to help noticing them.

5 thoughts on “144 hour creation? Maybe.

  1. That.
    I’m going to be blogging the opening chapters of Genesis in a couple of weeks. I wish I didn’t have to work so many hours–blogging about the Bible is far more interesting.

  2. God does not compel to obey. That statement is on a note stuck to my computer monitor. If God does compel to obey then mankind has no responsibility. Your example in Numbers is about the just punishment of a man who made a contract with God and then broke it. Trying to take the Bible and make it have any ‘life’ apart from the Holy Spirit, the Father and the Son leads to every kind of religious error. The simplest explanation of Genesis creation is for the six 24 hour days. To strain at a gnat for a more complex script shows the working of a strange spirit, one that gives voice and hearing to the philosopher mathematician’s metaphysical ramblings. http://www.mrc.uidaho.edu/~rwells/Critical%20Philosophy%20and%20Mind/Chapter%2023.pdf
    For a better answer/understanding I direct you without endorsement to this physicist: http://www.setterfield.org/

  3. @Bobbye,

    “Your example in Numbers is about the just punishment of a man who made a contract with God and then broke it.” I see no Scriptural evidence of this particular man entering a contract with God. What the passage does show is the punishment of a man who violated a God-breathed law (Exodus 31:14) compelling Sabbath observance. Thus, it is sufficient to falsify the claim to which I was responding, “God would never enact a law compelling Sabbath observance.” He did enact one, and those who chose to violate it faced a rather stiff penalty.

    “The simplest explanation of Genesis creation is for the six 24 hour days. To strain at a gnat for a more complex script shows the working of a strange spirit, one that gives voice and hearing to the philosopher mathematician’s metaphysical ramblings.” I’m not looking for a more complex script, I’m simply pointing out what the Bible says. The Bible makes it clear that the first three days of creation were not solar days. Could they have been the same length as solar days? Absolutely! However they could also have been either shorter or longer. To make it an article of faith that they were the same length as a solar day is to place our faith in something other than God’s word.

  4. Thus, it is sufficient to falsify the claim to which I was responding, “God would never enact a law compelling Sabbath observance.” He did enact one, and those who chose to violate it faced a rather stiff penalty.
    So, was this man some random Chinese, Greek, Indian who accidentally wandered into the Hebrew camp in the wilderness? And if at that time in history God required the death of all human beings who did not keep the Sabbath, why didn’t He kill all of the Chinese, Indians, Egyptians, Indo-Europeans ect.? If you cannot understand that compliance with the ‘law’ given by Moses was tied to the covenant made between God and all the people with Moses at Sinai, then you have nothing but a rule Book that offers no hope.

  5. “So, was this man some random Chinese, Greek, Indian who accidentally wandered into the Hebrew camp in the wilderness?” The Sabbath command also applied to the stranger and sojourner. Exodus 20:10, Deuteronomy 5:14

    “And if at that time in history God required the death of all human beings who did not keep the Sabbath, why didn’t He kill all of the Chinese, Indians, Egyptians, Indo-Europeans ect.?” I’ll defer to Paul on this one. Romans 4:15, 5:13

    “If you cannot understand that compliance with the ‘law’ given by Moses was tied to the covenant made between God and all the people with Moses at Sinai, then you have nothing but a rule Book that offers no hope.” My hope is founded on a completely different covenant. Jeremiah 31:31-34, Hebrews 8:1-13, 10:10-22

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