The Earth has passed, scripture would seem to indicate, through three stages: 1) The original earth, 2) The chaotic earth, and 3) The restored earth. God created the original perfect Earth ex nihilo [Isa. 45:18], meaning “out of nothing.” The word “created” in Genesis 1:1 comes from the Hebrew word bara, which means “to create, to bring into being” without the use of preexisting materials.
The present Earth was not created in this sense, for the Hebrew word used is asah, which means “to make out of already existing materials.” Therefore, the original perfect Earth was “created” (bara) in the beginning, passed into a chaotic state (for reasons we have already discussed), and the present Earth was “made” (asah) in six literal 24-hour days as the Bible plainly teaches:
For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day…[Ex. 20:11a]. There can really be no debating this. This speaks of six, literal 24-hour days. This is the restored earth. The account of the restoring of the Earth begins in Genesis 1:3. The Word says,
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. [Gen. 1:3 – 5] This was clearly one 24-hour day. It was morning and evening. In this we see God beginning to bring order out of chaos. I want to reiterate the fact that the chaos was not God’s doing. The Prophet Isaiah gives us the picture of God creating a perfect and orderly world [Isa. 45:18]. Besides the other proofs we have given showing the fact that God did not create the Earth in chaos and disorder, a sensible view of the heart of God also will be evidence of this. Everything that God creates is perfect [Gen. 1:31; Isa. 45:18; James 1:17]. God has never created something in chaos and disorder!
Satan, however, is the master of this. He loves to take what God has made good, and turn it into something bad, that which is holy into that which is profane, that which is orderly into total chaos. The Devil delights in corrupting the life and twisting the mind of men and women. Jesus said, The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. [John 10:10]
Even as Satan took great delight in rendering the Creation of God a total shambles, he also delights in doing this to the heart of people. But God, through the marvelous work of His Divine Grace is able, in a moment’s time, to restore that which the Devil has brought into chaos, and make it more beautiful than before!
Are we saying then that God Created the Earth in six literal days? Yes. We are saying that God restored the Earth in six literal days, as recorded in Genesis 1, beginning at verse 3. I believe that God originally Created the Earth long ago, again, possibly millions, even billions of years ago. The amount of time spent in doing that, how it was carried out, we aren’t told. I want to make it abundantly clear, if I have not already, that I do not believe that the Earth or anything in it was brought forth by the process of evolution. No, God Created the Earth. It did not evolve over a long period of time with simple systems becoming more complex. With lower life forms passing into higher life forms, God being the “first cause” of it all. Someone says, “But you said that God possibly Created the Earth millions, or even billions of years ago originally.” Yes, that is what I believe. “Doesn’t that make you a Theistic Evolutionist then?” No, it does not. I reject the notion that God used the evolutionary process to Create. To me, the two are mutually exclusive. There is another commonly held notion that I believe we need to address in looking at this subject.
The six days of Creation were not geological ages or periods of time. There could have been eons of ages that lapsed upon the Earth between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2, as already discussed; but when God reestablished the Earth, He did so in six solar days [See Ex. 20:11]. In this verse Moses likened the six workdays of man to the six days in which the Lord renewed the chaotic Earth. There is no reason to view the days of Creation as periods of time anymore than there is reason to refer to the six workdays of man as six periods of time.
Some have misconstrued the verse that says, one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day [2 Pet. 3:8b], to state that the six days of Creation are to be understood as ages of time. However, God says not that one day IS a thousand years, but that one day is AS a thousand years, as far as time is concerned. The eternal God is not concerned with any particular span of time, for compared to eternity, time is immaterial. It is true that the word “day” is used in scripture to refer to an extended period of time such as, “the day of the Lord” [2 Pet. 3:10]; but in Genesis chapter 1 each day is limited to “the evening and the morning” and is numbered individually. We have no reason not to take literally what God has so simply stated in His Word.
As we study the six days of creation, the two Hebrew words bara, “create,” and asah, “made,” must be redefined, for they are two distinctly different words in the Hebrew text. The word bara, “create”, has to do with the divine action of bringing into existence that which did not already exist and is only used three times in Genesis chapter 1. However, the word asah, “made,” is used in the remainder of the chapter.
On the first day God did not create the light; He made it to appear (1:3). On the second day God did not create the waters (because they already existed), but divided the waters (1:6). On the third day God did not create the Earth (because it was created “ in the beginning”), but made the dry land to appear from beneath the waters (1:9). On the fourth day God did not create the sun, moon, and stars; He regulated the already existing solar system (1:14 – 18).
There is an exception where the word bara, “create”, does appear in Genesis 1 after verse 1. It is used in connection with the creation of animal life in verse 21. Because life was again being introduced, the creative power of God was essential during the fifth and sixth days of re-creation, as it was “in the beginning.”
When God began to reestablish the Earth, the entire globe was covered with water, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface [Gen. 1:2]
THE FIRST DAY – RESTORATION OF LIGHT
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. [Gen. 1:3 – 5]
The events of the first day restored light to the planet and regulated day and night on the Earth as it was originally in the beginning [Jer. 4:23 – 26]. There has been some debate among scholars and commentators on this point, as to whether or not this light was from the sun (although the sun is not mentioned until verse 14). This account also caused scientists at one time to question the Genesis account because it recorded light existing apparently before the Creation of the sun. It has since been proved that cosmic light can exist on the Earth apart from the sun, and under certain circumstances the Earth may become self-luminous.
There is another point to consider here however. One of the attributes of God is that He is transcendent. In other words, He is different from, above, and separate from His Creation. He needs nothing and no one. God is totally self-existent, and self-reliant. In fact, the Bible says, “…God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” [1 John 1:5b]. We also know that during the coming Kingdom Age, the New Jerusalem, the city will have, no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. [Rev. 21:23] The point is, light is no problem for God, with or without the sun.
DAY TWO – RESTORATION OF ATMOSPHERE
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. [Gen. 1:6 – 8]
It needs to be understood that there are three “heavens” referred to in scripture: the first heaven, or the clouds [Ps. 77:17 – 18; 104:2, 3]; the second heaven, or the starry space [Isa. 13:10; 14:13]; and the third heaven where God dwells [Isa. 14:12 – 14; 2 Cor. 12:2 – 4]. The firmament described in the passage before us is the first heaven – the clouds, which were originally created to retain moisture to water the Earth [Isa. 14:12 – 14; Job 38:25 – 30; Ps. 104:2, 3]. On the second day God simply restored the atmosphere to its original condition by raising part of the waters that covered the Earth into the clouds. Therefore, the atmosphere providing oxygen for the sustenance of life was established.
There is an interesting, and significant omission from the record of this day’s work, for the words of approval, “and God saw that it was good,” are not stated in connection with the atmosphere. It is very possible that as soon as the firmament was established, the disembodied spirits of the pre-Adamic world along with Lucifer , “the prince of the powers of the AIR” [Eph. 2:2], swarmed into earth’s atmosphere.
We have given you much to “chew” on this time. Next time we will pick up with the third day, the restoration of land and vegetation. Plan to join us if you can.