And God saw every thing that He had made and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
What a simple verse, truly! But as always, God’s text is packed with meaning, and in this case, utterly under attack for centuries now. Sadly, it is professing Christians who have likely done the most damage with attempts to put meaning here that is not inherent in the text. Notice I did not call those attempts “well-intentioned,” as a truly well-intentioned attempt at interpreting the Bible will start with a biblical worldview and a belief that scripture is the ultimate authority.
This verse follows a pattern of verses in Genesis 1. Once on the first day, twice on the third day, and once on both the fourth and fifth days, God looked upon His creation and calls it (or some aspect of it) “good.” (Gen 1:4,10,12,18,21) During the sixth day, God refers to His creation again as “good,” before He made man (Gen 1:25). But when God declares creation very good, He declares it “complete.” The word used for very has a slightly different connotation than we are used to in English where it is comparative. It is more a description of completeness, or done-ness, to be understood as superlative, exhibiting without reservation the idea of “wholly” or “exceedingly” good, in this case. It is now that we apply proper hermeneutics to infer that sin could not have existed at this point in creation. For creation to be wholly good, by God’s standard of Goodness, sin could not have tainted creation. Since death is the result of sin, we also can know with certainty that no death had occurred, based on properly and reasonably interpreting the Bible.
Secondly, the other pattern that was followed for this chapter was the “evening and the morning were the nth day” phrase. One of the favorite arguments of people who want to reconcile (or compromise) the Bible with evolution and an old age for the Earth is that the Hebrew word Yom, used for day, can also mean a long age. But when have you ever referred to an evening and a morning as anything but a 24 hour day? When have you ever referred to 6 consecutive periods of an evening and a morning as anything but 6 days? You wouldn’t, because it defies reason. God didn’t do this either. God described what occurred, and the order in which it occurred. One reason that He chose to do it this way, I believe, is to intentionally contradict the “wisdom” of man. Evolution and Big Bang theories say the sun came before the earth; dinosaurs (land animals) before birds; and death before man ever existed. Genesis 1:1-31 deliberately and directly contradicts these ideas. Ex 20:11 aids to confirm this. 2 Peter 3:3-7 even prophesies about today’s “scoffers” and believers in uniformitarianism!
Dear reader, God created the world in six consecutive 24 hour days, and then rested. Since the first sin, man had no true rest! God painted a beautiful picture on that seventh day of the rest we have available to us in Christ. If you will give up the strivings of your own hearts, the works of your own hands and lay it all at the cross and follow Him, you can enter that rest spoken of in Hebrews 4:10-11. All those who thirst, come…John 7:37-39.