We now continue with our discussion of God’s creation of the heavens and the earth, calling attention to the question whether the “days” of Genesis 1 are to be viewed as ordinary days or as periods extending over thousands and millions of years. In our preceding article we first called attention to the significance of the word “YOM” in Genesis, the Hebrew word for day. And, secondly, we called attention to the fact that the concordistic theory, the Period-Theory, compels us to distinguish between the first three days and the latter three days of Genesis 1.
Before we continue with our discussion of this concordistic theory, permit me to return to what we wrote in our preceding article about the use of the word, YOM. We wish to add a brief observation. The reader will recall that we called attention to II Peter 3:8where we read that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years are as one day. The reader will also recall that we made the remark that the advocates of the concordistic theory take peculiar delight in quoting the first half of this passage, namely, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and that, therefore, the “days” of Genesis 1 may very well have been periods of a thousand years. We now wish to ask this question: Presuppose once that we read in Genesis 1 that the Lord created light in a period of a thousand years, would these advocates of the Period-Theory be willing to concede the possibility that these thousand years may have been one day? Why not? Does not II Peter 3:8 teach us that a thousand years are with the Lord as one day?
We now proceed with our grounds in support of our contention that the days of Genesis 1 are to be viewed as ordinary days of twenty four hours. Thirdly (we quoted two grounds in our preceding article), assuming that the days of Genesis 1 are periods, tremendously long periods of thousands or millions of years, what must we say of Adam? Would not the conclusion be unavoidable that he must have attained unto a certain immortality, a not being able to sin? Adam and Eve were created upon the sixth day. If this day were as long as these period theorists would have us believe, then the conclusion is certainly warranted that he would have reached the “not being able to sin.” Standing solidly in the Cause of the Lord for thousands and thousands of years, warding off successfully every attempt of the devil to lead him away from God’s commandments, he certainly would have attained unto that perfection. But this is not all. Assuming that Adam and Eve lived so long in the state of righteousness, may we not assume that children would have been born to them in that state of perfection and righteousness? And, of course, these children, we assume, would have become spiritually immortal also. Besides, assuming that Adam had sinned after the seventh day, and the sixth day had lasted thousands and thousands of years, would the sin of Adam affect these thousands upon thousands of humans born in the state of righteousness? One may object that all this “reasoning” is rather silly and far-fetched. To this we answer: that is exactly what happens when one departs from the literal reading of the Word of God. Refusing to subscribe to the wisdom of the Lord, one simply falls into the folly of sin. Depart from the clear teaching of the Scriptures, and the result will be inevitably that one will be confronted by all kinds of absurdities. Adam and Eve must have been busy thousands of years in the “keeping of the garden,” protecting it from all the attacks of the evil one before they enjoyed their first sabbath day. One might also be led to believe that our first parents really did not need that sabbath day, inasmuch as by that time they had attained unto spiritual immortality, the never being able to sin. The fact, let us say, that Adam and Eve would have become spiritually immortal, that thousands of. people would have been born in the state of perfection, would surely have made the fall inconceivable and impossible.
In the fourth place, the supporters of the Period-Theory point to the seventh day. They declare that, whereas the Lord God is still resting of His works of creation, the seventh day could very well have been a long period of time, and that for this reason it is very well possible that also all the other days of the creation week were long periods of time. This argument, of course, completely fails to make any sense. Fact is, the Lord is not only resting today, but His creative work is finished. He has ceased from creating, will not create again. If, then, the seventh day is a long period of time because the Lord has ceased from creating, then the seventh day is not only a long period of time, but it is eternal, without end. And if all the days of creation are equal in the sense that they are all such long periods, then we cannot escape the absurdity that all the days are equally eternal. This means that we are still in the first day; indeed, we are still in the first day, if all the days are eternal. All this, of course, is nonsense. This is not the meaning of the seventh day. The Lord had hallowed the seventh day. This was the day when the Lord and the creature (Adam) He had made rejoiced together in the Lord’s perfect work. And, as we shall see later, this seventh day was certainly an ordinary day of twenty four hours.
In the fifth place, we have already called attention to the fact that God not only created the universe, but that this creation of the universe also included the creation of time. It is, of course, because of God’s creation that we have our days, week and years. It surely did not require the Lord an entire day of twenty four hours, for example, to create the light or the firmament. The light and the firmament, etc., were called into existence by the word of the Lord and by the breath of His mouth. It is not an accident, we understand, that our days are as long as they are, of twenty four hours. And it is also no accident that our years are as long as they are. But the Lord also created the week. This is very obvious from the fourth commandment, to which we will call attention later. It is of the Lord that the earth turns upon its axis once in twenty four hours, and that the earth turns around the sun in the time allotted to one year. But the Lord created the week when He hallowed and set aside the seventh day to be a sabbath day. Thereby God called into existence the six-day work-week and the sabbath, the order of six plus one.
In the sixth place, to believe that the days of creation are periods means that one must inevitably fall into the error of evolutionism. There are, to be sure, those advocates of the concordistic theory who claim to reject the error of evolutionism. Evolutionism means that things have developed of themselves, that one species developed into an entirely different species, that finally the monkey developed into a man. It is claimed by these period theorists that the Lord created all the species. But, advocating the theory that the days of creation were long periods of thousands and millions of years, what do we have here? This, that the mighty speaking of God was a speaking that extended over millions of years! The Word of God, we know, inGenesis 1 and also in Psalm 33, declares that by the word of the Lord were the heavens made and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth, and also that the Lord speaks and it is and He commands and it stands. But, what a strange speaking of the Almighty we have here! Man, it is contended, did not develop from a monkey! God made Adam by His almighty, creative power! But, this forming of Adam by the Lord extended over millions of, years? Is this the Scriptural account of creation as set forth in Genesis 1? There we read: “And God said, Let there be light, and there was light.” Ask a child how long it required the Lord to make light, and he will tell you that it required Him just as long to make light as it took Him to say it! And this applies throughout the first chapter of Genesis 1. Hence, how majestic is Scripture’s account of the creation in Genesis 1! How marvelously and wonderfully Genesis 1 speaks of the almighty power of our God! And we will have occasion presently to call attention to other Scriptural passages. One thing is sure: that the speaking of God extended over thousands and millions of years is nowhere to be concluded from the Word of God!
In the seventh place, what a strange impression this concordistic theory leaves upon us as far as the work of the Lord is concerned! Then we have the utterly strange presentation that the Lord, in creating a building, constructs such a building that it has but one story above the ground and thousands of stories below, the ground. We mean the following. We believe, of course, that Christ will return upon the clouds of heaven. We do not believe that the world is gradually being prepared for the kingdom of God and of His Christ, and that, slowly but surely, sin and misery and wars and death, etc., will be removed and be replaced by the wonderful kingdom of God in Christ. This is the heresy of post-millennialism. We believe in a personal and bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ upon the clouds of heaven, and that then we will have the perfected kingdom of our God in Christ in a new heaven and a new earth. Then all that which is old shall have passed away and everything will have become new. When He will return we do not know. Only the Father knows the hour of the coming of the Son of Man. Let us presuppose that the coming of Christ into the world in Bethlehem took place in the center of history, that approximately two thousand years remain before His return at the last day. In the light of history and the signs of His coming which are held before us in the holy Scriptures, this is hardly conceivable. One can hardly believe that another two thousand years must elapse before His final appearance. But let us assume this merely for the sake of argument. The world, then, beginning with Adam’s fall, will have existed, shall we say, some eight to ten thousand years when Christ returns to make all things new. This is just like a carpenter or a builder who, when building a house, builds one floor above the ground and a basement of some thousands of stories below the ground! How strange! What builder builds in such a manner! And this should characterize the Divine Builder and heavenly Architect! From all this we may safely conclude that the concordistic theory, that the days of creation are long periods of time, involves us in all kinds of monstrosities, and that it does not compare with Scripture’s sublime and majestic account of the creation of the heavens and the earth.
In addition to the grounds we have mentioned in this article and in our preceding article, we now wish to conclude by calling the attention of our readers to the fourth commandment. It is hardly necessary to quote the fourth commandment. We do wish to emphasize that the ten commandments were proclaimed into the ears of the people by the Lord and given by the Lord to Israel through Moses upon the two tables of stone at Mt. Sinai during Israel’s sojourn from the land of Egypt to the land of Canaan. In this fourth commandment we are told that the Lord created all things in six days and that he rested upon the seventh day, and also that He hallowed the seventh day; we are to do all our work in six days and rest upon the seventh day. One wonders what Israel thought when these commandments were proclaimed in their ears, whether they concluded that these creation days were periods. Surely the days in which the people of God were to do all their work and the seventh day in which they were to rest and cease from all their labors were ordinary days of twenty-four hours. And if we read that we must labour six days and rest upon the seventh day because the Lord created all things in six days and rested upon the seventh, must we not apply the sound principle of exegesis that the same word in the same connection must have the same meaning? One therefore violates the holy and infallible record when he would maintain that the days of creation were long periods of time. The concordistic theory certainly violates the clear language of the Word of the Lord as set forth in the fourth commandment.