Genesis 1:3-5 (ESV)
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
Continuing in the Creation account, we see that God creates light by speaking. I went more in-depth with this in my previous post on Genesis which can be found here. My goal here will be to look at this from another perspective. We will discuss the age of the earth, the significance of the contrasts, and the goodness of Creation.
Firstly, the age of the earth. There are all sorts of positions to be taken. These range from OEC, Old Earth Creationism, to YEC, Young Earth Creationism, and everything in between. While a person’s salvation is not on the line discussing these issues, they are still quite important to determine a person’s consistency in their biblical interpretation. I intend to put forth my position, based on the text, and allow you, the reader, to determine whether or not my position is defensible and worthy of belief. I am a Young Earth Creationist. Here’s why:
- While the word “day” can mean a long, indeterminable period of time, its use in the phrase “And there was evening and there was morning, the first day,” most naturally means a singular, 24-hour period. The Hebrew word Yom, when preceded by a number in Scripture, always refers to a 24-hour period.
- What sort of “day” do you suppose can be broken down into “evening and.. morning?” The only sort of thing we have, that is broken into these categories, is our 24-hour day.
- Following Creation, we must rely on the lineages given in Scripture to determine how long it has been since that point. Genesis 5 provides the line of descendants from Adam to Noah. Genesis 11:10-27 outlines the descendants from Noah’s son, Shem, to Abram. Abram undergoes a name change (Genesis 17:5) and from there, the lineage is carried through to Christ in the first chapter of Matthew’s gospel account. Christ was incarnate about 2,000 years ago. When we add that to the number we get from the genealogical accounts, we come to about 6,000 years. This is what I believe the age of the earth to be.
Feel free to disagree with me in this. However, if you do, and you subscribe to an earth that is millions of years old, you have a lot of explaining to do about Paul saying that death entered into the world by Adam’s sin. (Romans 5:12)
Secondly, we will look at the contrasts in the passage. “And God separated the light from the darkness.” God is a God of contrasts. He is righteous. Therefore, he cannot partake in unrighteousness. This aspect of his nature is apparent in all that we do and see. We convict murderers because what they do is wrong. There must necessarily be a “right” for there to be a “wrong.” This is what we call seeing in “black and white.” We use this phrase when we can easily see the separation between things. I told my younger brother just the other day that we see in various shades of gray where God sees in perfect black and white. This astonishing separation of night and day is evidence of God’s incomprehensible perception. Let me ask you, at what point does a day begin? I don’t mean on a clock. I mean when can we say, “It is day, and the night has gone away?” At daylight? When is daylight? Is it when you can see the sun beginning to rise? Is it when it has risen? God knows exactly when the night ends and the day begins. That is much better perception than I have. Glory be to him in the highest!
Thirdly, let’s look at the inherent goodness of Creation. “And God saw that the light was good.” This speaks more to the character of God than most other things we will ever encounter. When a person does something, it bears his own stamp, or signature. He has left his imprint on his work. And whatever is displayed in the work is more prominent in the worker. (Hebrews 3:3) For God to have spoken light into existence and be able to see it with his all-perceiving eyes, and see that it is good, he must be perfect. He must be better than the light. His glory is, even here, on full display for all to see. Soli Deo Gloria!