Six thousand years ago, give or take a year or so
OK, stop me if you’ve heard this story (yeah, as if you could stop me). This story took place six thousand years ago. In a place very, very close to where you are right now. In fact, it took place exactly where you are right now. And it’s about the beginning of our little, blue planet. But before the story begins, let’s get an answer to a very important question. And the question is:
Why do Christians say the world began six thousand years ago?
Well, here’s a quote of an answer many (if not most) Christians give for that question.
“The reason that some Christians claim that the earth is only a bit more than 6000 years is that they take certain verses in the Book of Genesis literally. In the creation account in Genesis 1, the creation of the earth is described as occurring in six “days.” Most believers assume that these days are not literal 24-hour days. They believe that these “days” are periods of undefined length. The days are poetic descriptions of the stages over which God created the earth and the different life forms on the earth. Genesis 1 is a metaphorical description of the process by which God created the heavens and the earth.”
Sometimes you can find an answer like this:
“A minority of Christian believers take the ‘days’ literally. Fundamentalist Christians are unanimous about this belief. They are sometimes known of as “young earth creationists.” This explains the young earth, but it does not explain the 6000+ years. Genesis then gives genealogies which, if taken to have no gaps and fully literally, can be used to calculate an age of the earth to be between six and seven thousand years. Bishop Ussher, of Ireland, famously calculated that the universe was created in 4004 BC. Again, few Christians take these genealogies to be able to produce a precise age of the earth, but some do.”
OK, the people who say the days of creation were not “literal 24-hour days” are wrong. Let’s just get that out there straightaway. Because the creation account in Genesis is crystal clear that they’re days just like the days we experience now. Here’s a synapsis of that crystal clarity:
- Genesis 1:5 NKJV
God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.
- Genesis 1:8 NKJV
And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.
- Genesis 1:13 NKJV
So the evening and the morning were the third day.
- Genesis 1:19 NKJV
So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
- Genesis 1:23 NKJV
So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
- Genesis 1:31 NKJV
Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
And don’t say, “Wait a minute. Those days could certainly be “poetic descriptions of the stages” of time God took to create.” Because, as always, the Bible clearly clarifies itself to anyone who’s willing to dive in a little deeper when necessary.
As for me, I believe the Bible actually says what it means. Sure there are metaphors sometimes. And allegories. And similes. But generally speaking, you can trust something like a reference to a day to mean a day like you experienced yesterday.
That’s OK. Because I believe the conflict arises from a focus on the word, “day.” And I’ve read articles that expound on the Hebrew translation for “day,” which is yom. And most of those articles try to explain how yom, used with a number, is almost always associated with a literal day. Et cetera, et cetera, etc.
But let’s take the focus off the word, day. And put the focus on the evening and morning part. Notice it’s one evening. And one morning. Not plural evenings and mornings. What purpose would it serve God to confuse us and make us wonder (and debate about) what He meant by an evening and a morning being the first day? And second day. And so on.
Short answer is, it would serve NO purpose.
Still not convinced?
After the people of Israel had escaped Egypt, crazy as it might sound, they complained about their circumstances. And Moses told them, “At evening you shall know that the Lord has brought you out of the land of Egypt. And in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord…”
There’s that evening and morning thing again.
Then Moses told them, “This shall be seen when the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening, and in the morning bread to the full…”
Hmm…doesn’t seem like those could be “ages.”
Can you imagine eating that meat in one age and then waiting who knows how long before breakfast in another age? Yeah, no. That’s not how it went.
And that’s also not how it went when God created the heavens, the earth, and all the universe. He didn’t create all that just to have something to do. I believe He created all that (and all of us) because He’s relational, good, and loving. And He wanted and loved us even more than you and I want and love pets.
Of course, He could have created some slime and wait to see if and when it would evolve into something marvelous. But why would He want to wait to have more relationships? After all He’s God. He can create instantaneously. That’s how He created this world six thousand years ago. Or seven. Or just a few more.
And that’s infinitely FAR more amazing than creating a primordial soup and letting it stew for millions of years.
No. I love the God who’s incomprehensibly awesome and yet considers me to be his friend. And just in case you think this is just a religious thang, the point is, it matters to YOU regardless of your belief. Because if I’m right about who the one, true, living, loving Creator of all life is, then there are definite and permanent consequences for your choice.
God? Or no God?
Eternal life in Heaven? Or eternal anguish and torment in hell?
Door number one leads to is a bottomless well of Living Water to nourish your creativity and imagination forever. Door number two leads to a bottomless pit of fiery torment where your anger and resentment will never be quenched.
If you haven’t already, pick Door Number One.
I got kinetic love. I got potential love.
And there’s a kingdom come waiting down the line.
I got a lavish love. And I got a simple love.
And I gotta share this love ‘cause it ain’t just mine.
(from my song, Kinetic Love)
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