“When He prepared the heavens, I was there, When He drew a circle on the face of the deep, When He established the clouds above, When He strengthened the fountains of the deep…” (Pro 8:27-28)
In the beginning –
a young earth creation narrative
SYNOPSIS: The events during creation week – Holding God’s Word as the ultimate authority – A beginning filled with delight and rejoicing, or a beginning filled with chaos and confusion? – God rested on the literal seventh day of created time, or God rested on a symbolic seventh day, after billions of years?
I have yet to see a simple event-line to support the gap theory. Gap creationists I have spoken with have either been disinterested or incapable of doing this. Others have point blank refused, because, they say, there isn’t one. But a doctrine about historical events must have some kind of lineal event sequence, even if we don’t know years or times, in order to comprehend it. Also, for anything to have credibility it must follow basic lines of logic.
In fact, I challenge any gap creationist to piece together their old-earth narrative by joining the biblical dots supported by Scripture, in the same broad-brush picture view as I have done here with my young earth creation narrative.
Once a gap creationist tries to do this, they will find their narrative can only be compiled from outside sources and a handful of Scriptures taken out of context!
According to gap creationists, God created the heavens and the earth in Gen 1:1, but we are not told when or how or exactly what happened. And by verse 2 the earth had already sunk into a chaotic, confused and wasted state. This is all on account of a controversial reading of five words in Gen 1 (refer to Chapter 8, ‘Six Biblical Conundrums of the Gap Theory’).
The only reason for wanting to re-interpret these words and verses is because a) secular science says the earth is billions of years old – so the Bible has to fit this evolutionist timeframe of the earth somehow; and b) ancient cabbalistic rabbinical Judaism teaches that the Oral Law reveals there are layers of hidden meanings in the creation account that provide a different history to that of the plain reading of the Hebrew Bible (refer Chapter 10, ‘The Gap Principle and Kabbalah Connection’).
But if such a person were to read Genesis 1 as a continuous flowing narrative, which is what all world-leading Hebraists agree the Author intended (refer Chapter 6), they would start to see it differently. We will never be able to understand the literal six-day creation narrative fully in this lifetime, but it is what God has told us he did and he has confirmed this in other Scriptures (Ex 20:11; Gen 2:2-4). A person just needs to let go of their unbelief as well as their trust in man (eg. Bible commenters, ministers, rabbis and scientists) and have faith in what God actually says. Only then will all the pieces come together and make perfect sense:
“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Heb 11:3).
There is no other explanation on earth that makes more sense – historically and biblically, and philosophically and spiritually. Think about it! There is NO natural explanation/philosophy that has been, or ever will be, able to explain HOW the creation came into existence, because it was a supernatural event and no human being was present to witness it.
All other explanations require us to exchange the biblical mysteries God has included in the Bible for unbiblical mysteries devised by man. One famous atheist who came to realise this was Professor Antony Flew (1923-2010).
a renowned atheist renounces his “faith” in no god
Sir Antony Flew (pictured) was formerly Professor of Philosophy at the University of Keele, England. He also held positions at the Universities of Aberdeen, Reading and Oxford. Flew has been described as “the world’s most notorious atheist”. He set the agenda for modern evolutionary atheism for half a century and wrote more than 30 books promoting this belief.
Described as a “stellar philosopher”, Flew eventually changed his mind and concluded that there had to be a God. His book, aptly titled There Is No A God, was published in 2008.
So what was it that turned Flew around? Here was a man who believed in “following the evidence wherever it takes you” (as he explained in his book, quoted below). But rather than see Darwin’s blueprint of randomness being responsible for what looked like “apparent” design in the natural world, Flew was won over by the new evidence of design mandated by the existence of DNA (pictured below) and related biological machinery, coming out of discoveries in micro and molecular biology. Flew stressed that the main reason for “believing in a First Cause God is the impossibility of providing a naturalistic [Darwinian] explanation of the origin of the first living reproducing organisms”. He wrote about his conversion –from Darwinism to intelligent design – and how difficult it was for him to overturn his lifelong evolutionary presupposition.
“… how easy it is to let preconceived theories shape the way we view the evidence instead of letting the evidence shape our theories … I have followed the argument where it has led me. And it has led me to accept the existence of a self-existent, immutable, immaterial, omnipotent, and omniscient Being.” (A. Flew, There Is No A God, p87)
Although Flew did not believe in the God of the Bible before he died (he was a deist), when confronted with the reality of the indescribable complexity of the so-called “simple cell” he concluded that there was no evidence for Darwinian processes in its formation. Intelligence must have been involved in life’s origin. The big question he was unable to answer before he died, however, was the identity of the God (Intelligence) behind the creation of the universe and all life.
A stumbling block for many people is the question: Who created God?
WHO CREATED GOD?
The answer? Everything that has a beginning has a cause (a reason for its existence). And as the universe had a beginning, it must therefore have a cause. The Creator of the universe, however, did not have a beginning. “God is absolute, eternal, first cause, pure actuality, an omniscient, omnipotent, and perfect being. Though related to the world as its cause, he is not affected by the world. He is essentially transcendent over the world; and the world exists relative to him as a temporal effect of his action. (Refer ‘Classical Theism’, Encyclopaedia Britannica).
This describes traditional, biblical Christianity, so why do certain people have a problem believing this?
Interestingly, man can somewhat envision eternity in a future context – ie. a form of continued existence that is not subject to the dimension of space-time that governs the physical domain. But the limited human mind finds it exceedingly difficult (impossible, I’d say) to image eternity extending into the past. It is the concept of infinity that our finite brains grapple with. That is where faith comes in – and we all exercise this whatever we believe about the past and the creation.
But it is not good enough to just have faith – because the object of our faith must be based on truth.
For example, a person can place an enormous amount of faith in an amulet, lucky charm or talisman (such as a rabbit’s foot, horseshoe, four leaf clover, piece of jewellery, etc), but if there is no truth behind that belief it is powerless.
Conversely, a person can have faith “as small as a mustard seed” in the one true God and mighty miracles will take place in their lives. For example, when the disciples came to Jesus unable to understand why they could not cast out demons in people:
“Jesus said to them, ‘Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you’.” (Matt 17:20; Mark 11:22-23)
To “move mountains” in this context means “to accomplish most difficult, stupendous and incredible things” (Matt 21:21; 1 Cor 13:2). This is the reality for a true believer in Christ – to experience the Creator’s miracles in their heart, mind and life.
.“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Rom 12:2).
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” (Eze 36:26)
Returning to the matter of the gap theory, if we change the Genesis six-day creation account to a “re-creation” account because we don’t know when or how the “initial earth” was created, we are just pushing the problem back – to another creation – because we don’t know how and when that version of the earth was created, either. (And thus we find ourselves in the company of evolutionary science once again, with its claim of multi-verses.)
AT the beginning… of the creation
God has not given us a detailed account of how he created. (How can the making of a miracle be explained to our finite minds in any language?) And the original creation, before sin and the curse entered the world, would have looked very different to the earth today. But with our limited human understanding let us revisit Genesis 1 from the 6000-year-old-earth perspective.
However, let us do so from Proverbs 8, which confirms the creation account in Genesis 1.
Proverbs 8 tells us the historical background of how Wisdom was with God when he “established, stabilised and secured” the “invisible universe”, then set a “circuit” upon the “primeval ocean, abyss” (kuwn; shamayim; chuwg; tĕhowm). This was when Wisdom saw the beginning of “the sons of men”. And the description is the same God communicated in Job 26, 38-41, during which time “the sons of God sang for joy” – thus connecting the sons of men to the sons of God [angels] in the same creation narrative.
“When he prepared (established and secured) the heavens (invisible universe), I was there: when he set a compass (circuit) upon the face of the depth (primeval ocean): When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: When I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.” (Pro 8:27-31)
And I would be interested to know how it is possible for the wisdom of God to have been rejoicing daily and full of delight while hovering over a chaotic mess of a planet so obliterated it had been reduced to a formless body of water with no firmament?
Not only that but Satan, who is said to have been living on this decimated planet was, apparently, still ruling over this mess and the ensuing re-creation process, as he was the rightful ruler of the Earth – which hardly seems something for Wisdom to have been revelling in and celebrating.
The first day of creation
Back to Gen 1:1-5 – which constitutes the first day – we can try to imagine how this miracle might have happened. This is because God deals with the real world (reality), therefore it must be possible to construct a likely sequence of events, taking into account some known simple science. (Science simply means “knowledge”.)
Gen 1:1 tells us Who did What, When – “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”.
The universe began when God created an empty space, devoid of features, which declared the boundaries of the physical domain. “The Lord God… measured heaven with a span” (Is 40:12). “The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished at his reproof” (Job 26:11). “He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing” (Job 26:7). Once again God confirms that he created the earth before anything else.
The heavens had no astronomical bodies as yet and were waiting to be filled. As for the earth, it began its existence as a mass of water/fog, devoid of any defined shape or features. “The Lord God… has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand” (Is 40:12). God’s Spirit hovered tenderly (brooded) over this deep (Gen 1:2). Then he commanded a supernatural light to illuminate this body (perhaps similar to that which will illuminate the new earth, Rev 22:5).
God tells us “He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deep in storehouses” (Ps 33:7). “He determined its measurements… and stretched the line upon it” and “fastened its foundations” (Job 38:5-6). “He drew a circular horizon on the face of the waters, at the boundary of lightness and darkness” (Job 26:8, 10). Having fashioned the water into a sphere, he set it rotating. “He set a compass [circular journey] on the face of the deep” (Pro 8:27).
We know all this happened on the first day, because the illuminating light source and rotating watery globe divided the light from the darkness, evenly and instantly, and brought the first 24-hour day-and-night cycle into being. This was the very first day when the earth was a rotating sphere of fog/water being the nascent universe described by God here as “earth”, and time began to be measured in the physical realm, as one revolution from evening to evening.
THE SECOND DAY OF CREATION
On the second day, God made the firmament by separating the waters on the globe to create the sky, cloud formations and the earth’s atmosphere. “He divided the sea with his power” (Job 26:12). “God said, ‘Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters’… and God divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above [together with] the firmament. And God called the firmament heaven” (Gen 1:6-7). “He binds up the waters in his thick clouds, yet the clouds are not broken under it…” (Job 26:8) “I made the clouds its garment” (Job 38:9).
This watery division may also explain the abundance of water, in one form or another, which is found everywhere in the solar system, often as ice.
(It is in comets, planetary rings, on moons, formerly on Venus, on the polar caps of Mars and possibly on asteroids.) Now the fog was condensed into liquid water and also absorbed by the newly created atmosphere, measured today as the relative humidity of the air.
The third day of creation
On Day Three, he commanded landmasses to appear. “And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called Seas” (Gen 1:9-10).
“The earth standing out of the water and in the water” (2 Pet 3:5). This caused the rapid formation of vast oceans, gushing rivers, creeks, lakes and cascading waterfalls all over the planet. He “calculated the dust of the earth in a measure. Weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance” (Is 40:12). Following this by his word he commanded lush grasses, plants in full flower, mature herbs and fruiting trees to cover the earth. “Then God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth’; and it was so… For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast” (Gen 1:11; Ps 33:9).
The fourth day of creation
God’s account of creation reveals that the earth was made habitable before the universe was expanded and filled with heavenly bodies, by the breath of God’s mouth. “By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth” (Ps 33:6). Not surprisingly, this is contrary to the philosophy of modern secular origin science (which is modelled on the concept of the big bang and evolutionism).
On the fourth day, God describes stretching out the heavens as a “tent” or “curtain” (Is 40:22).
He formed the universe by stretching it out in all directions. And what exactly did God stretch out? We know it today as “spacetime” – described in a mathematical model that fuses the three dimensions of space and the one dimension of time into a single four-dimensional continuum, although we don’t know all what it consists of.
“Until about thirty years ago, astronomers thought that the universe was composed almost entirely of this ‘baryonic matter’, ordinary atoms. However, in the past few decades, there has been ever more evidence accumulating that suggests there is something in the universe that we cannot see, perhaps some new form of matter” (NASA).
The Bible says this entity can be removed, burnt up, torn, shaken, split apart and rolled up like a scroll.
Albert Einstein described it as a smooth non-material fabric that is distorted by the presence of gravity and energy fields of various strengths. (In some way, this heavenly fabric can be opened to reveal another dimension; Acts 7:56).
God tells us that he “adorned the heavens” with gravitational bound galaxies and a host of astronomical bodies and forces (Job 26:13).
This included the Milky Way that contains our solar system. These heavenly objects – the sun, moon, planets and stars – were to be signs for us on earth and to provide multiple light sources to measure days, seasons and years.
“Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth’; and it was so” (Gen 1:14-15). The sun would rule the day and the moon would rule the night “to divide the light from the darkness” (Gen 1:18). Everything was fully operational, including the paths of light emanating from all the illuminating astronomical bodies (Job 38:18-24). And God said it was good.
The initial temporary supernatural light source was no longer required and would have been removed. The first phase of God’s creation was complete – making a suitable habitat on earth, with flora and heavenly bodies to mark time and seasons. Now the environment was ready for phase two – creating biological life. At this point, the Lord may have become an active agent by entering into his creation. This seems to be indicated by the fact that he walked upon the face of the earth and formed man out of the dust of the ground (Gen 2:7).
the fifth and sixth days of creation
Day Five, God filled the waters with living creatures and the sky with birdlife.
“Then God said, ‘Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.’ So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.” (Gen 1:20-21)
When the sixth day dawned, the Lord brought forth every creature on the land – all beasts and insects abounded.
Last of all would be the crowning glory of His creation – man and woman would be made (asah) in the very image of their Maker. Then He instructed them to multiply and fill the earth.
“Then God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind’; and it was so. … Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth’.” (Gen 1:24,26)
At the end of the Sixth Day, God finished the entire physical process and declared it “exceedingly good”.
Until this act of creation, completed within one week as described in Gen 1 and Gen 2, NO plant or herb had ever existed on the earth before, as it was dependant (in part) on the creation of man!
“This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground;” (Gen 2:4-5)
There was nothing left now for God to do – on earth or in heaven – so He rested and set a day aside for man to commemorate His unique act of the six-day creation period!
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. … For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” (Ex 20:8-11).
Nothing could be simpler to understand. Nevertheless, some people, who claim the Bible is their authority, refuse to believe it!
And God rested… after billions of years
Now let us take an honest look at the gap theory, by peeling back the esoteric layers and exposing it for what it is really saying. Below I present this alternative version of Scripture – without the equivocations (doubletalk) gap creationism relies on and hides behind. (Refer Chapter 1):
“For in six days the LORD re-made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day of the renovation: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it… Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were set in order. And on the seventh day God of the re-creation ended His work which He had done, and He rested on this seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed this particular seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which He had made over billions of years.” (Gap theory version of Ex 20:11; Gen 2:1-3).
And I cannot help but think how ingenious, crafty and subtle the Destroyer is – to introduce an indeterminate period of time before the first day of creation based on nothing. After all, the beauty of nothingness is that all evidence is circumstantial and you can’t disprove it – a bit like the belief in aliens, leprechauns, fairies and trolls (refer Chapter 11).
Furthermore, by introducing this extra time period at the beginning of creation, the devil has successfully separated the Sabbath day from its biblical significance – that of being the FIRST EVER Seventh Day in history of the creation, mentioned 10 times in Genesis alone, and as the day God rested after his six-days of labour!
Images: Benny Marty Shutterstock.com; iStock.com/CrossEyedPhotography; iStock.com/titoOnz; Lightstock; mpaniti/Shutterstock.com; Pexels; Pixabay; Wikicommons.
“The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.” (Gen 1:2-3)