The Six Days of Creation
I sat with some preachers recently who expressed their opinion that the Genesis account of creation did not take place in six literal days, but that each "day" represented a 1,000 year span. Which interpretation does the internal evidence in the Genesis account support: six literal days of creation or six 1,000 year periods?
The Power of God and the Act of Creation Ex Nihilo, From Nothing
Hebrews 11:3 says: "Through faith we understand that the worlds [note the plural] were framed by word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." This echoes the repeated refrain in Genesis 1, "God said." The psalmist declares: "By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth . . . For He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast." Psalm 33:6, 9. These verses indicate that the all-powerful God [Elohim] instantaneously made the heavens and earth and everything in them by merely speaking them into existence. Nothing in these verses remotely suggest a process drawn out over long millenia of time.
The Order of Creation
The Genesis account reveals an ordered, logical process to the creation. When the earth was formless and void in the vast emptiness and darkness of space, God spoke: "Let there be light." And the light appeared. And He separated the light from the darkness, calling the light day and the evening night. And evening and morning were, the first day. God's first act of creation was to create light, and to fix a defined period of time - evening and morning - which formed the basis for the remainder of his creative week and activity. The first day, the light appeared. The second day, the sky was formed to divide the earth's atmosphere from space. The third day, the sun, moon and stars were made to govern the times and seasons. Note carefully that the sun ruled the day, and the moon ruled the night. That's our literal day. On the fourth day the waters were collected into one place and the dry land and the vegetation appeared. The fifth day, the sky and seas were filled with birds and fish. On the sixth day, the beasts of the field and humanity were created. And on the seventh day, God rested and blessed the seventh day and hallowed it.
The Mosaic Interpretation of the Genesis Account: Literal
There is nothing in the orderly account of creation to suggest that it should be taken other than literally. And the bible writers from Genesis to Revelation clearly understood the whole account to be literal and in six days. God reiterates the fact of a literal, six day creation by enshrining it in the ten commandments which He wrote with his own finger on two stone tablets and gave to Moses: "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy . . . For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day. Wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it." Exodus 20:11. Would God command humanity to keep a literal day, the seventh day, holy if there was not a literal seventh day to begin with? Anything other than a literal interpretation of the creation week of Genesis leads to vague and illogical conclusions.
The internal biblical evidence of the Genesis creation accounts supports an interpretation of literal days of creation. There is nothing in that account or anywhere else in scripture to support a metaphorical interpretation of the days of creation.