Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.
The six days of creation having been accomplished, God ends His creation with a Sabbath. Of course, God wasn't “tired” and in need of rest. Instead, He “rested” in the sense that He ceased His labor. We might compare it to a “rest” in a piece of music where the music pauses deliberately and not because the performer is tired.
While the 7th day is marked by no work, there is still a lot we can glean from this passage. As I've done in previous posts, I'm going to break this passage down verse by verse.
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
The clause, “and all the host of them,” is significant. Everything that exists in heaven and earth was created in the six preceding days. The “host” - meaning the stars, the sun, the earth, the seas, the plants, the animals, man, and every other created thing – came to be in the span of those six ordinary days. There is no room for millions or billions of years.
And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made;
This verse says God ended His work. This wasn't just a pause (as in my musical analogy); God “ended” His work. The universe He intended to create had been accomplished and God is no longer creating. This conforms nicely with the 1st Law of Thermodynamics that roughly says no new matter/energy is being created. It's a sort of prediction being made by the Bible. God created natural processes and the universe continues largely under their divinely appointed rules. Of course, Jesus performed creative acts, such as the multiplication of the loaves and fish or the turning of water to wine. It is precisely because we know new things don't naturally appear that we can be certain these acts were supernatural.
Conversely, the fact that God ended His work contradicts the theory of Theistic Evolution. According to TE, God continuously created from the moment of the Big Bang to the creation of man billions of years later. According to evolutionists, stars are still being created (even though we've never seen it happen) and they say animals continue to evolve (evolution by definition) so God's creative work has never really ceased.
and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
God could have created the universe in as short or as long a period of time that He wanted. He could have created it instantly. He could have created it over the course of billions of years. It's not a question of what He could have done but rather what He has done. He deliberately chose seven days.
Perhaps one reason He chose the seven day week was to set a precedence for us to follow. In Exodus 20:8-11, we read the following:
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
God has purposefully established our seven day week to mirror the seven day creation week. This would make sense only if these were seven, ordinary days. The passage is unambiguous. Everything in heaven and earth was created in only six days and the LORD rested on the seventh. Again, there is no room for millions or billions of years.
These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.
Before I conclude, let me highlight an amusing aside. Note the use of the word “day” in this passage: “in the day that he LORD God made the earth and the heavens.” In this context, the word covers the entire week of creation and not just a 24 hour period. Theistic evolutionists often argue that since “day” has several meanings, it could mean millions or billions of years in Genesis 1. We see here an example of such a use where the word day clearly means more than 24 hours. However, young-earth creationists never argue that “day” can only mean 24 hours. Instead, we interpret the Bible according to a plain reading of the text. The context here clearly shows the meaning of the word. In Genesis 1, it clearly means a single evening and morning (i.e. – a single rotation of the earth). I've wondered before why it is that seemingly bright people can understand the meaning of the word “day” every other time it is used in the Bible except for Genesis? //RKBentley scratches his head//
The narrative of the creation ends with the labeling, “these are the generations of the heaven and earth.” The inclusion of the title at the end of the chronology rather than the beginning like we might expect had stymied scholars for centuries. The “book of the generations of Adam,” for example, which details Adam's creation, the Fall, the Curse, the murder of Abel, and the birth of Seth, begins in Genesis 2:5 and ends in Genesis 5:2. Perhaps this is what led to the confusion that Genesis 2 was a second creation account; that is, people believed it was introducing a chronology rather than concluding one.
So there they are. The generations of the heavens and earth as clearly told to us in Genesis 1. Time, space, matter, sea, air, land, plants, animals, and man – all created in six ordinary days with God resting on the seventh. One week. No mystery. No ambiguity. And no billions of years.