Part 2 of 2

The Days of Creation

The Third Day

“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 he Seas: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. … And God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day.”—vss. 9-13

The Bible account of the work of preparing the earth for human habitation as it progressed during the third creative epoch is corroborated by geologists. The waters under the heaven were gathered together into oceans, seemingly by the buckling of the earth’s surface, forming deep depressions and hills. In a sense this is easily understood, but not actually so. The earth is a spheroid. We speak of countries on the other side of the globe as being “down under.” But really, which side of the earth is down, and which side is up? Actually, we accommodate these terms to a situation which we cannot otherwise describe.

The fact that gravity draws objects to the earth from ‘down under’ as well as ‘up above’, so ‘down’ is toward the center of the earth from wherever one’s location on the planet may be. But what is gravity? Newton discovered the law of gravity, but did not find out how this law is made to function. Again we must revert to the information which God has given us; namely, that his Spirit, his power, accomplished all the creative works. Call it gravity, if we wish, but actually it was the power of God that caused the surface of the earth to buckle, thus bringing about a separation of the sea and the land. See Job 38:8-11

On the land left dry by the water draining off into the sea, the power of God was further exercised, and vegetation sprang forth. Findings of geologists indicate that in this early period vegetation was extremely rank, and, compared with later times, grew much larger. It is reasonable to conclude, as geologists claim, that during this period the coal beds of earth were formed—the rank, the carbon-laden vegetation being buried as the earth’s surface continued to buckle and tumble.

The herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit, whose seed is in itself, are both said to have been created “after his kind.” This is a statement of fact. It has never been proved wrong. Both in the vegetable and animal kingdoms there are almost endless varieties of every species of plant and animal, with new varieties continually being developed; but no new species have appeared since God limited them with his Word, “after his kind.” That this fact is stated in the first chapter of the Bible helps to establish the entire Book as being what it claims to be—that is, the inspired Word of God.

The Fourth Day

“God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and It was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.”—vss. 14-19

The chief development during the fourth epoch was the appearance of the sun, moon, and stars. It would be reasonable to suppose that the light which God created in the first epoch emanated from the sun, but that the earth was then so densely surrounded with rings of vapor and gasses that it could not penetrate sufficiently to make a clear distinction between day and night. It was on the fourth day that the power of God operated to clear the atmosphere to make this possible.

As we have observed, verse one declares “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” indicating that the heaven, which would include the sun, moon, and stars, had been created and was in existence previous to the developments which took place in the fourth day, or era. Verse sixteen declares God “made” two great lights, the greater to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. While the Hebrew word here translated ‘made’ (asah), is often used in the Bible to describe a work of creation, it has a much wider use which justifies the thought that what occurred on the fourth day was that the sun and moon, which had already been created, were ‘caused’ to rule the day and the night.

Here are a few examples of the broader scriptural use of this word:

Referring to ‘Strangers’, or non-Hebrews in the Land, we are told that Solomon “set [asah] threescore and ten thousand of them to be bearers of burdens.” (II Chron. 2:18) Solomon did not create these men, he merely appointed, or set, them to their tasks.

Again, “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set [asah].” (Prov. 22:28) The reference here is not to the creating of a landmark, but to its appointment, or establishment.

The same Hebrew word is translated ‘appointed’ in Job 14:5. The text reads, “Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou has appointed [asah] his bounds that he cannot pass.” Here the reference is to God’s appointment of the maximum time man, in his fallen, sin-cursed condition, is permitted to live.

II Chronicles 24:7 is another example. The text reads, “The sons of Athalia, that wicked woman, had broken up the house of God; and also all the dedicated things of the house of the Lord did they bestow [asah] upon Baalim.” They did not create these dedicated things of the house of the Lord, but bestowed them.

These wider uses of the Hebrew word asah justify us in understanding Genesis 1:16 to mean that God caused, set, or appointed two great lights—two great lights, that is, which had previously been created—one to rule the day, and the other to rule the night. Not until this fourth epoch, or era, therefore, did time begin to be divided in units the length of which are determined by the sun. This is irrefutable proof that the creative days are not twenty-four hour days, but long eras, or epochs, of time.

The Fifth Day

“God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creatures that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.”—vss. 20-23

The power of God continued to operate. In the fifth day, or epoch, his power, or Spirit, caused the waters to bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth. Great whales appeared during this era; and doubtless also it was during this time that the giant prehistoric animals were brought forth. Both fish and animals of all kinds were created after his kind.

Again, let us remind ourselves of the great importance of this expression, “after his kind.” It is God’s way of saying that in the animal kingdom, even as he stipulated concerning the vegetable kingdom, species are fixed, and no amount of, tampering by man can change them. In all the annals of history there is no recorded instance of one species, either of plant or animal life, evolving into another species. The apostle knew this, and wrote, “All flesh is not the same flesh: there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.” (I Cor. 15:39) None of these can be changed.

The record of the fifth day says concerning sea life that the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind. The spawning and hatching of fish, especially the larger varieties, requires a great deal more time than twenty-four hours. The same is true in the reproduction of birds. Yet these are shown as taking place within the fifth day. We mention this because we believe it shows clearly that these creative periods were much longer than twenty-four hours.

“God blessed them,” the record states, “saying, Be fruitful and multiply.” In the great economy of God all his sentient creatures receive his blessing. The capacity of the shellfish to appreciate life may be very limited; nevertheless to have life at all is a blessing. Thus from the very beginning of God’s revelation of his designs we note that he is benevolent, kindly, and that all his works reflect, not only his wisdom and power, but also his love.

The Sixth Day

“God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping things, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and everything that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”—vss. 24-26

The sixth creative day, or epoch, witnessed a further development of animal life. In this day the domestic animals were created, as well also as the beast of the field, and the creeping thing. In verse twenty-four we read, “God said, Let the earth bring forth,” which might suggest something less than an individual creation of the many species of animals and creeping things. The next verse, describing the same work, says that “God made the beast of the earth after his kind.” The important consideration is that life in any form does not spring forth spontaneously. From the shellfish to man, every form of life was created by God, regardless of the methods which he may have employed.

The crowning work of the sixth day was the creation of man. Special emphasis is given to this, and more details. Indeed, it was in preparation for man that the work of all the other days of creation, including the beginning of the sixth day, was carried forward. Man was the highest order of God’s earthly creation: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion.”

Man was created to be king of earth, and when the great design of the Creator concerning him is completed, the earth will be filled with perfect human beings, exercising their original God-given dominion; and thus they will bask in the sunshine of his love forever. Paul wrote that we “see not yet all things put under” man, but as we continue we will discover the Scriptures abundantly testifying that ultimately man’s dominion over the earth will be restored, to the glory of God, and to the eternal joy of his human creation.—Heb. 2:8

Dawn Bible Students Association
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