Genesis 1 – In the Beginning

This Week’s Devotion Theme: God Created!

Today’s Bible Reading: Genesis 5-6 and Matthew 3

Last month, I did a devotion on Romans chapters 1-3, where I discussed the fact that we do not have a blind faith, owing in part to the abundance of evidence all around us that there is indeed a creator.  The key verses were Romans 1:18-20 – The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

To kick off the SeekGrowLove Devotion’s new topic-based option, what better place to start the new year than the book of Genesis?  For those that enjoyed the creation devotion from Romans last month, I hope you will be glad to learn that creation will be the daily devotion topic throughout this week.  Let’s start at the very beginning:

Genesis 1:1-5 – In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

There is a lot of disagreement, among Christians in particular, whether the six days of creation were actual 24 hour periods, or longer periods.  Why is that?  I believe it’s because if you do a little study, taking the genealogies found in Genesis chapters 5 and 11, which indicate there was approximately 2,000 years between Adam and Abraham (and archaeological evidence indicates Abraham lived about 2,000 B.C.), you would discover that scripture points to the Earth being relatively young.  That is, if you agree that the Creation week which ended with the creation of Adam was a literal week, instead of a much longer period of time.

But of course that young earth idea flies in the face of what many scientists believe (and many, perhaps most, Christians have adopted as well), namely that the earth is billions of years old.  Thus, there are many theories on how one should understand Genesis chapters 1 and 2, given the widely accepted age of the Earth.  One theory is that the word day in Genesis doesn’t actually mean a 24 hour period.  It has been suggested that day in Genesis represents a much longer time period.  But we should dig a bit deeper into the original language of Genesis to get a better understanding of what was meant by the word day, when used in phrases like “the first day.”

The Hebrew word for day in Genesis is yom.  It can have several meanings (much like our own word for day) – a period of time, a specific period of time, a year, the time of day when it is light out, and a 24 hour period of time.  However, the Hebrew yom is used with a number (such as the first day) 359 times in the Old Testament outside of Genesis 1, and every single time, it is clear that it means a 24 hour period.  Genesis is the only place where the meaning of yom is questioned.

There are other Hebrew words that mean time or an indefinite period, but they were not used.  The only Hebrew word that can represent a 24 hour period is the one that was used in Genesis to describe the creation days.  I don’t believe that was an accident.

Another theory, known as the gap theory, is that the Earth appears old because God created the Earth, as described in Genesis 1:1, then paused a very long time, before continuing with the rest of creation, beginning as described in Genesis 1:2.  But there is a verse outside of Genesis that sheds heavy doubt on that theory. 

Exodus 20:8-11 – Remember the Sabbath by keeping it holy.  …For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.  Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

If, as this passage says, God created the Earth (as it says in Genesis 1:1) AND everything in it in six days, then clearly there is no possibility of a gap as the gap theory posits.  Furthermore, when the plural form of yom, yamim, is used, as it is over 700 times in the Old Testament, including here in Exodus, it always means a literal 24 hour period.

Isaiah 45:18 – For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!): “I am the Lord, and there is no other.   Again, scripture outside of Genesis indicates that the Earth was designed to be inhabited from the beginning, not to remain empty for any long period, before life was added.

Additionally, the word remember in Hebrew, when used as a command, as it is in Exodus 20:8, always refers back to a real historical event.  This is especially important because there are multiple theories out there that the creation account is simply a myth or a metaphor.

I believe that when you take the entirety of scripture into account, it clearly supports that the creation week was a historical event, and took 6 literal 24 hour days to complete.

But what about the evidence that the Earth appears very old?  After all, without this idea, I doubt that people would actually question the veracity of the creation account.  Well, in my studies of that evidence, I have found it to be inconclusive at best, and often fraudulent or intentionally misleading.  Perhaps the biggest issue is the fact that radiometric dating methods have been proven unreliable, inconsistent, and return vast age ranges from which scientists cherry pick the dates that suit their narrative.  For example, lava that had hardened into igneous rock after the Mt. St Helens eruption in Washington State in 1980 was radiometrically dated to be 300,000 – 400,000 years old.

The following quote illuminates the problem.

The troubles of the radiocarbon dating method are undeniably deep and serious.  Despite 35 years of technological refinement and better understanding, the underlying assumptions have been strongly challenged… It should be no surprise, then, that fully half of the dates are rejected.  The wonder is, surely, that the remaining half come to be accepted. 

Radiocarbon, Ages in Error,” Anthropological Journal of Canada, Vol 19, No 3, p.9 illuminates the problem.

There is much more to say about the evidence of errors within dating methods, but a daily Bible devotion is not the best place to expand further on those ideas.

If anyone has any questions or comments they would like me to address on any of the devotions dealing with creation this week, please reach out to me at gregrlandry@gmail.com

-Greg Landry

SeekGrowLove Editor: We thank Greg for tackling the job of discussing creation and the Bible during our devotions this week. Too often Godly kids have turned away from the truths of Scripture when faced with “smart” college professors teaching evolution. Greg has studied much and presents the truth of Scripture as well as the errors and inconsistencies of evolution. So, this week we offer a deeper look at creation than could be covered in one day of devotions. Dig in with us – and keep reading from the Bible reading plan as well. Print your copy below and mark off those passages as you go. God bless your journey with Him – from beginning to end!

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