Rev. Key is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Randolph, Wisconsin.
Having considered the magnificence of the Creator, and how He created, we have yet to consider the time element in His creative handiwork How long did God take to form His creative handiwork?
We immediately state our answer on the basis of what we read in Genesis 1, and what is confirmed by many other Scripture references.
God performed His wonder work of creation in only six days. And those days are to be understood literally. They were, without question, twenty-four hour days just as we know the measure of a day.
The perspective of unbelieving science
We don’t seek to prove our position on the basis of science. Our position is simply biblical. We stand on the authority of God’s Word.
But let’s examine the perspective of science for a moment. Understand, one can only come to the position of an old earth – i.e., millions or billions of years old — if he rejects not only the Bible’s account of a six-day creation, but also the biblical account of the Flood.
First of all, we must remember that God created a full-grown creation, and therefore a creation with the appearance of age. When God formed the plant world, He did not seed the ground and wait for things to grow. When God called the animals forth, He did not bring them into existence by development from eggs, much less through a long process of evolution. He called all things into existence by the word of His power.
Creation was full-grown at the very time of its formation. When God made Adam, He did not make a baby. He created a man, and then the woman out of the man, both of whom were full-grown on the day of their creation.
In the very nature of the case, therefore, each element of the creation had the appearance of age – from man’s perspective – on the very day it was created. The unbelieving scientist, in refusing to receive the biblical account of God’s creation, fails to take this into account.
Secondly, the one who denies the literal account of creation and the fall fails to recognize that the universe has been radically affected by the curse. Through the fall and the curse, the whole creation came under the bondage of corruption, as we read in Romans 8:19. Both the plant and the animal worlds were dramatically affected, as was apparently the soil itself.
Thirdly, we must remember that the Flood brought cataclysmic consequences to the earth, so much so that Peter, in II Peter 3, speaks of the world that once was and the world that is now. To deny the Flood as revealed in Genesis, chapters 6-8, is to involve oneself necessarily in misinterpretations during geological studies. (For more extensive consideration of the Flood, I refer the reader to the editorial of the September 15, 1995 issue of the Standard Bearer.)
The scientist who doesn’t believe God’s own account of creation and of the Flood cannot possibly come to the correct conclusion concerning the time frame of the creation and the approximate age of what is, relatively speaking, a very young earth.
But for those who stand on the authority of God’s Word, there is sufficient scientific evidence to confirm their position.
The scientific evidences for a young earth are overwhelming, the argumentation of the evolutionists notwithstanding. The relatively recent eruption of the volcanic Mount St. Helens in the state of Washington is one example. The incident has provided explosive evidence which serves to confirm (I do not say “prove”) the biblical creation account of six twenty-four hour days and a young earth, and it demolishes the dating practices of modern science.
The eruption that God wrought in that volcano in 1980 is said to have had the explosive power of one Hiroshima-type bomb going off every second for nine hours straight. The lava flow of that volcano resulted in the formation of coal in rapidly deposited peat beds and sedimentary layers. Would one know how old such formations are, if he were to use the dating methods standard in modern science? They would appear to be millions of years old, although, in fact, they are only 15 years old!
Again, we can easily do without scientific evidence when it comes to dating the creation. We do not believe in a young earth because of scientific evidence.
In fact, we ought to remember, science cannot even study the creation as it was originally formed or existed prior to the Flood. The Mount St. Helens example mentioned above simple destroys the dating practices of modern science. It does not help us date the world.
But to stand on the foundation of the Bible is not to reject the sciences either.
We have a deep appreciation for the various fields of science, also teaching them in the light of Scripture to our children both in the homes and in our Christian day schools. We ought to study and observe God’s creative handiwork. Our children should learn about the plant world, the animal world, and the many other branches of scientific studies. For as we observe God’s creation, and as we study the sciences with the spectacles of the Scripture, as Calvin put it, then we will see all the more clearly the glory of our Creator and Redeemer.
But never may we subject the Word of God to the theories of men, and never may we elevate the sciences above the Scriptures. We do not believe in creation because of scientific proof, although the evidence abounds in support of Scripture’s creation account. We believe in creation and in the six-day creation account because it is given us in the Bible. God, who cannot lie, testifies of it.
The Almighty Creator did His work in six days. He did not need twenty-four hour days. He did not need six days, in order to create the various realms of the creation. After all, He is God, who speaks and it is done! But the Bible tells us clearly and simply that God created in six days, and rested on the seventh day from all the work that He had done.
How did God do so much in so little time? I call your attention only to Psalm 33:9. “He spake and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.” Powerfully, instantaneously God accomplished His purpose.
His tool of creation was His own powerful, efficacious, creative Word. He spoke, and it was done!
“Let there be light…. Let there be a firmament…. Let the dry land appear…. Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind…. Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven…. Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth…. Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind.”
“Let there be…and it was so.”
Yes, Scripture’s creation account is unmistakably clear. We must bow before God’s authority. “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day.” We read it in God’s law. And so we also are called to labor for six days, and to rest on the sabbath day, as God did in the beginning.
Do you struggle with doubts concerning the how of creation? Have the teachings of the scientists caused you to question your own beliefs in a six-day creation?
Then there is one solution. Prayerfully and quietly and with a willingness to listen, take your Bible in your hands and open it to Genesis 1.
We have no need to force a strained interpretation upon God’s record of His own omnipotence, as do those who are enslaved to the appearance of scientific respectability. We don’t have to twist the Scriptures in order to make them fit unproven scientific theories. The Bible is clear enough for our very small children to understand. All we need is the childlike faith of the Christian.
“By faith we understand.”
We understand. Faith, you see, is particular. Not all men will understand. The personal pronoun “we” refers to believers, elect in Christ Jesus, called unto salvation by the same powerful voice whereby he spoke and it was done whereby He commanded and it stood fast.
These things are hid from the wise and prudent, and revealed unto babes. For so it is God’s eternal good pleasure.
But in understanding, we find the joyful song of the psalmist flooding our souls: “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable” (Ps. 145:3).