We receive many questions concerning the time of Creation and the length of the days mentioned in Genesis 1. We have posted a number of articles on the subject and some of those will be listed at the end of this Feed Back. Most of the questions we receive generally deal with the possibility that the days of Creation were longer periods of time. However, in the nearly year and half of Creation Revolution, I believe this is the first time we’ve had someone ask if the earth was really rotating at the time of Creation, so I wanted to take this opportunity to respond to this question.
From: Michael E.
I read your recent article about the 24 hour days in Genesis 1. My question is it an accurate assumption that when God was creating all things that a day was the same as our 24 hour period? A day is from one sunrise to the next, but when God was making his creation, is it possible or probable that the earth did not rotate as it does today?
Michael, your question is very welcome and I pray that I am able to provide you with a satisfactory answer.
One of the first and most basic rules of understanding Scripture is to determine the intent of the author. In the case of Genesis 1, the author is God who gave Moses the words to record what He wanted us to know about the Creation of the man and everything else in the universe.
It is obvious by the intent of the author and the Hebrew narrative form that Genesis was written in, that Genesis is a historical account of a real event. If anyone questions that, all they have to do is read the New Testament to know that Jesus Christ frequently quoted from Genesis and treated it as factual and true.
Since we know that Genesis 1 is a true historical account, we now need to take a close look at the words that God chose to use to tell us about what He did. The first expression of time used is found in verse 5 that states:
And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
The phrase, ‘evening and morning’ refers to a cycle of dark and light which can only come about by either the earth rotating around the source of light or the light has to rotate around the earth. Then the phrase ‘the first day’ follows to indicate a combined light and dark cycle that comprises a 24 hour period.
There is also a significant event in verse 5 that many people overlook. In the first part of the verse we read:
God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.
When God named Day and Night, He was establishing a covenant with them to come at their appointed times. The Hebrews’ were fully aware of this covenant with day and night and the fact that it was a permanent covenant that was never to be broken.
During the time of Jeremiah, the Hebrews were complaining that God was not keeping His covenant with them. In Jeremiah 33:19-21, 25-26 God responds to their complaint through the prophet Jeremiah:
19 The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: 20 “This is what the LORD says: ‘If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night no longer come at their appointed time, 21 then my covenant with David my servant—and my covenant with the Levites who are priests ministering before me—can be broken and David will no longer have a descendant to reign on his throne.
25 This is what the LORD says: ‘If I have not made my covenant with day and night and established the laws of heaven and earth, 26 then I will reject the descendants of Jacob and David my servant and will not choose one of his sons to rule over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. For I will restore their fortunes and have compassion on them.’”
When I share these verses in Jeremiah with others, they generally ask two questions:
1. When did God make this covenant with day and night to come at their appointed time?
2. Why did God choose the covenant with day and night to use as his example?
The answer to the first question is ‘when God named the light Day and the dark Night’. There are only 5 things during Creation that God personally named Day, Night, Heaven, Earth, and Sea. The Hebrews understood that when God named them that He was establishing a covenant with them just as He did when He changed Abram’s name to Abraham, Sarai’s name to Sarah and Jacob to Israel as signs of His covenant with them.
The answer to the second question is that the Hebrews knew that God’s covenant with Day, Night, Heaven, Earth, and Sea were permanent covenants that He would never break. That also goes with the fixed laws of heaven and earth, which were also established at the time of Creation. By using this covenant as His example, God was telling the Jews that He would not break His covenant with David either.
Therefore, not only does the wording evening and morning refer to the cyclic event caused by the earth’s rotation, but it has been a permanent occurrence from Day 1 until the first heaven and the first earth pass away (Rev 21:1-3).
Michael, I pray this helps and here is the list of articles that you may find helpful in the issue of the days of Creation:
Charles Spurgeon’s uplifting messages for each day of the year will comfort and refresh you in your walk with God. Spending time with God at the start and the close of each day will bring a new joy in your life. Supplemented by key verses of Scripture, these devotional passages will help you to experience God’s free favor, obtain victory through Christ, and receive help through every trial. As you reflect upon God’s Word and His principles, you will find peace about the day you are about to face or the day that has just passed. Spurgeon’s rich biblical insights, extraordinary eloquence, and clarity of logic are interwoven throughout the daily selections to enhance your fellowship with God.