God created the heavens and the earth in six days.
The Bible asserts that GOD created the heavens and the earth within six days.
1:31 Then God saw everything He had made, and indeed, it was very good. So evening and morning were the sixth day.
2:1 Thus heaven and earth and all their adornment were finished. 2 And on the seventh day God finished the works He made, and He rested on the seventh day from all the works He made. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His works God began to make.
(Genesis 1:31-2:3 OSB)
Under the Law of Moses, GOD sanctified the seventh day (Saturday, the Sabbath):
9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work:neither you, nor your son, your daughter, your male servant, your female servant, your cattle, nor your stranger who sojourns with you. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath Day and hallowed it.
(Exodus 20:9-11 OSB)
GOD later repeated this instruction, calling it a sign of the covenant between GOD and Israel:
12 Again the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 13 “You shall direct the children of Israel, saying, ‘See to it that you keep My Sabbaths, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know I am the Lord who sanctifies you. 14 You shall keep the Sabbaths, because this is holy for you to the Lord. Everyone who profanes it shall be put to death; for whoever works on it, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. 15 Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath, a holy rest to the Lord. Whoever works on the seventh day shall be put to death. 16 Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbaths, to observe them throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. 17 It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord created heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He ceased and rested.’
(Exodus 31:12-17 OSB)
Over the past two centuries, scientists have confidently asserted that the earth evolved over a period of billions of years, most of which occurred in undocumented or unpreserved history. In their view, human beings weren't even around for most of that time period, evolving much later in the process.
This theory of the origins of life directly contradicts the creation account. If the Bible is to be understood literally, Scripture claims that the earth is only a few thousand years old (probably 5,000-7,000).
These two doctrines are commonly referred to as "old earth theory" and "young earth theory."
However, is the Genesis creation account intended to communicate a literal timeline? There is significant debate and disagreement amongst believers and Bible students.
On the literal interpretation side, it may be argued that:
- Scripture clearly states that one evening and morning were involved in each day of creation. Why would the biblical author state this if the time period were much longer?
- GOD prescribed the Sabbath (a 24-hour time period) as a holy day of rest expressly in imitation of His own seventh day rest. Why would GOD do this if the seventh day were a much longer time period?
On the other hand, it may be argued that:
- Humans mark time according to the rotation of the earth on its axis and around the sun. The earth (land) and the sun were not in existence on the first day(s) of creation.
- Therefore, it would be logical for the evening and the morning to be longer than a 24-hour day because the "normal" operation of time as we know it did not yet exist.
- The Genesis account was never intended to communicate a literal 24-hour time period, but rather a sequence of events that were segmented into stages referred to as days.
While the Scriptures do not expressly settle the matter in other places, in my assessment, this is ultimately a test of faith. Are we going to believe the Scripture or not? Over the millenia, where the Scriptures have been challenged by various doubts regarding perceived conflicts or inability to corroborate Scripture's claims, every time, without fail, the Bible has been proven accurate. In my own personal growth and walk with GOD, I have repeatedly learned, over time, that the Bible means what it says and it communicates clearly, not ambiguously or confusingly. GOD intended His message to be understood.
Therefore, in the end, I shall leave this with what Scripture plainly asserts: In six days, GOD made the heavens and the earth, and all that is in them.