The following may have already been said (though perhaps not in this manner), but I think it bears repeating. “To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.” (Philippians 3:1)
If I take a building and knock out its window, I have merely knocked out its window. I can replace the window at minimal cost. A few people might even fall out of that window, and be killed, but by contrast with how many people are in that building (let’s say thousands), my loss is still minimal.
Knocking out windows is easy. Someone with a brick can do that. And the person doesn’t need to be highly intelligent to be able to do that, either. He just has to be strong enough to pick up the brick and throw it through the window. Now there are many people like that in the world, who pick up relational bricks and throw them through relational windows. For example, a man with a hot temper may throw a relational “brick” at another person. He has broken a window. Like the window in our story, he needs to fix that window, lest someone “fall out” and be killed. He needs to do some repair work (repentance, in this case, and sincerely humbling himself before God and man) in order that the window be patched up as best as possible, so that people don’t fall out and he lose some of his family members, or his co-workers (or his job, for example).
A man of higher intelligence, but equal (or greater) foolishness, may want to do more damage still. He may design some sophisticated system whereby he can, at one and the same time, destroy all of the windows on one floor. Now he has caused a major “headache” for all of the people on that floor. Not only that, but the people in the rest of the building are beginning to get a little worried. “Maybe this will happen on our floor”, they begin to reason to themselves. Many people fall out of those open windows, and many lives are lost. People go to great expenditure to get everything fixed. The cost, all around, has been greater. The man in our story may represent a leader of the church, who falls into sin. Because of his sin, and because he is in leadership, people lose faith in Christ. They leave the church. Perhaps they never find another one. They are dismayed, let down, and hurt. Bitterness, fear, and lack of trust settle in. Many lives have been affected.
Yet, another man, we’ll call him the “mastermind fool” makes a plan to take down the entire building. Multiply the size of the building by a thousand times, and you have a ten thousand story building. The man is a “practical” man in a way and knows that it is impractical to try and take out each of the stories in that ten thousand story building. It would be too costly for him; he certainly couldn’t do it without engaging many many more people; and he could not gain enough cooperation to complete his task. So he decides to do it in this manner: take out the foundation. That is all. Take out the foundation of that building and the entire building will fall. It is so easy, so practical, and so possible, he reasons within himself. He does not need to focus on each and every story. He needs but to focus on one layer, the foundational layer, the layer that supports everything else. Once removed, the whole building is guaranteed to fall, to come crashing to the ground, and to crumble into a many fragmented pieces. The man will be elated if he can accomplish his task, and he begins to pursue it with everything that he has in him.
But in this case, the man is Satan, and he has to work through human agency if he is going to able to accomplish his task of bringing down the church — God’s master ten thousand story building. His main goal — and he is steadfast in this — is to attack the foundation of God’s word, which is the creation account of Genesis 1-11, which is the foundation stone, or building stone, for the rest of Scripture. If he can accomplish his goal of “bringing down” Genesis 1-11, he will have accomplished his goal: he will have caused the whole building to crumble. But God’s foundation is firm, and cannot be changed. Genesis 1-11 will always be Genesis 1-11, and what God has said will always be what God has said. Evening and morning will always be evening and morning; not millions and millions of years. “And the evening and the morning were the first day.” (Genesis 1:5) This is, and always will be, the Jewish way of counting days: they start in the evening and end before the next evening has started. Thus, the reference here is to an earth day — the day as a Jewish person would count it (Moses, a Jewish person, was the one who wrote Genesis. It is written from the Jewish perspective and to understand what the Jewish perspective is, helps us to understand all of Scripture.)
Thus, there should be no debate on the matter, really. What God said, he did. It is really that simple. But unfortunately, an intellectualism has crept into the church, an intellectualism, I believe, that is really founded by Satan himself, who desires to “take down” God’s master foundation (Genesis 1-11). Thus it is that man has looked upon the layers in the rocks or in trees, and has realized that, generally speaking, a layer means something. Well said and true. But to assert that a layer *has* to mean something, all of the time, is simply not true, and removes God from the equation all of the time. Let me explain. If I reason that a layer in a tree *has* to mean one years worth of growth in that tree, then I do God a disservice when he all of a sudden puts a fully developed tree on my front lawn (God can do that, you know; God can do anything he wants). If I then cut down that tree and find 150 layers inside of it, and decree that “this tree must be 150 years old since I have found 150 layers in it” — I have made God out to be a liar; I have put the study of science, as I know it and interpret it, above my knowledge or acceptance of God.
If then I am a geologist (studying rocks and rock formations), or a paleontologist (studying fossil organisms), and because of my understanding of science decree that the earth “must be such and such number of years old” then I have also done God a disservice if it causes me to doubt what God has written in his word. Now at this point I will say that if you do not have the Spirit of God, I can easily understand how you would doubt God’s word; that is easy enough to understand as the man without the spirit of God cannot discern God’s word; it is just a book written by man, which could be full of errors. But if you do have the spirit of God, and if you use your understanding of science to put into question or change or modify the Scriptures, then what have you done? Have you not put yourself above God’s word and become a judge of it, rather than on who submits to it?
And what then does Genesis 1:5 say, and how else can you rightly interpret it? “And the evening and the morning were the first day.” (Genesis 1:5). This statement, “And the evening and the morning were the [1st/2nd/3rd/4th/5th/6th] day”, is repeated six times. I wonder. Why do you think God included that “one liner” six times in the first chapter of Genesis? (Genesis 1:5,8,13,19,23,31) Do you suppose it is because he is leaving us “without excuse” to either believe him, or be called “liars” by him when the time comes for us all to be judged by him on the day of judgment? “Let God be true, but every man a liar.” (Romans 3:4)
I am simply concerned, that is all, that you not be “taken in” by what the devil is trying to do: this discreditation of Genesis 1-11. It seems to me very clear, very simple, very straightforward. I’m not even interested in what the opposition has to say, because it seems to be so clear that “why would I question God on what he has said in Genesis 1:5,8,13,19,23,31”? I have no reason to question it, no reason to doubt it, whatsoever. I am absolutely content believing it, and, even as the scientist that I am, see no need whatsoever to try and “harmonize” Genesis 1-11 with what science appears to show. As a God-fearing Christian, what I *will* do is allow God to show me how science supports Genesis 1-11. But I *will not* allow Satan — the enemy of God — to whisper temptations in my ear concerning this, for I have no reason to doubt God. God is the one who saved me in an instant (not millions of years), who revealed himself to me in an instant at age 22 (again, it took a literal fraction of a second for him to do this), who grants me dreams and revelations of the future, and the past, and the present, insofar as it relates to his will for my life, and in terms of what is expedient for me to know, and whatnot! There is, simply put, no reason to doubt. And so why should I? Why should I want to debate within myself, what is clear? Is it not Satan who is trying to take down God’s master ten thousand story building? So why should I want to enter into debate, when all seems very clear to me.
Those who don’t understand, and who “must” harmonize science with Scripture in order for them to accept Scripture are missing one fundamental ingredient in their lives: the Lord himself. Their endless pursuit is to study science so that they can prove that science either agrees with, or disagrees with, Scripture. But that is not the standpoint from which I come. The standpoint from which I come is that I fully embrace Scripture as being true and reliable, because the Lord himself has revealed that to me. Those who cannot accept Scripture and embrace it as it is, without micro-analyzing it (and in reality they have called God a liar already) are missing the Lord. They are missing the Lord himself, who is the source and inspiration to be able to understand these Scriptures: he is the A-Z, the “Alpha and Omega”, the one through whom, and by whom, we come in order to be able to understand Scripture.
I thus leave you on this point: Don’t look to science to solve your problems or answer your questions about what is right or wrong with the Bible, for this amounts to idolatry. But rather, look to the Lord, and see through his eyes. He is the one who created Adam and Eve in a day, from the dust of the ground; and when they were formed, they were formed as perfect adults though they were yet “fresh from the oven” and baked on that same day. Yes, their apparent ages were in conflict with what we today, in our intellectualism, would “decree” as being their “actual” ages, for they looked to be fully matured adults, but were just created on that same day. So don’t be fooled by science, lest, one day, peradventure, you meet God, and he call you a liar. “Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” (Proverbs 30:6)
God bless you as you ponder these things. As with all of our articles, you may feel absolutely free in sending this to whomever you want.