Scoff Less, Understand More
September 3, 2022
In a Word: The Day of the Lord
Discussions of the veracity of the Bible hits a speed bump in its very first Book and its very first chapter, God creating everything in six days.
There are literally hundreds of discussions and theories about the meaning of the word “day” or “yom” in Hebrew. While the Scientific community is correct in its view of a 24 hour day scenario making the account an impossibility (sunrise and sunset did not even exist yet), the Faith community will point out that God accomplishes the impossible, people refer to such accomplishments as “miracles.”
First, the Bible is not an Encyclopedia of Scientific theory. It is a record of Historical accounts for the spiritual edification of Mankind and a roadmap to the transcendent, to a life everlasting. It is not how matter interacts. It is how Humans are supposed to interact with their Creator and each other.
As for the accounts in Genesis, this resource expands on the Biblical account in a head spinning discussion: https://biologos.org/common-questions/how-long-are-the-days-of-genesis-1/
Simplifying the very complex mind expanding task of reading through that article (not that I’m against expanding one’s mind), the conclusion is like the morning mist that dissipates with the heat of the rising Sun. Let me just conclude that the account of Genesis is literary, not literal. I might prefer the description “lyrical,” as in poetry.
The most important thing I take away from reading the Creation account (besides God being the Creator) is He created Humanity so they could “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
Yet this is what is connected to my most important thing, “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.” “BY THE SEVENTH DAY GOD HAD FINISHED THE WORK HE HAD BEEN DOING” This is to say that Humankind had been made. God rested. Then, afterwards, God set aside a park and placed Adam and Eve in it. The importance for this distinction is the establishment of this very same pattern which God would use throughout Biblical history, including setting aside the Promised Land and placing the Chosen People in it. See the similarity?
I’ve heard it said that repetition is the key to learning. I’ve also learned that banging my head against the wall, because it feels so good to stop is not unlike the experiences of the Children of Israel. We can possibly learn from their bad behavior towards God. After suffering the horrible consequences of their disobedience, when they repented they received God’s favor, comfort, happiness, health, and protection.
The culmination of God’s plan is completed in the Good News of Jesus the promised Messiah (or Christos in the Greek). “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” — Hebrews 10:16 Then He adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”
Words matter. Understanding matters more.