13. Patterns in the 6 Days of Creation
PATTERNS IN CREATION. DAYS 1 - 7
Please read Articles 1-15 sequentially or they won't make sense
A. INTRODUCTION: UNDERSTANDING THE CREATION FRAMEWORK
(Guest article by Phil Baird, Vermont, Australia)
The creation account in Genesis Chapters 1 and 2 is often seen as too simplistic and has been the source of much controversy. However, as one delves diligently into the account, allowing the Holy Spirit to be your guide through the scriptures, it becomes apparent that this simple account contains much Godly wisdom. Many times God uses the simple things to confound the wise. 1 Corinthians 1:20 - 25 asks the question, “Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe……For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man”.
The creation exposition contained in Genesis has not been recorded merely to satisfy man’s intellect and reasoning as to the manner in which God “brought into being the things that are of the created order” (even though the Biblical account is absolutely true in every detail and correctly ordered). It is “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command so that what is seen was not made out of what is visible” (Hebrews 11: 3). Perhaps the creation days may never have been recorded at all if they hadn’t contained additional, valuable revelation concerning God’s purposes for mankind throughout the ages. It would have been sufficient to say, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The ‘Creative Week’ reveals a pattern that mirrors what God has been accomplishing spiritually throughout man’s history since the time that mankind fell into sin. God had a plan for man’s redemption and He has been working out that plan throughout time. So how does the Creative Week speak to us with some relevance today and even concerning marvellous events still future? God’s desire is for us to understand and be gathered into His purposes and that which He longs to see accomplished.
The cartoon shows what God achieved in six of God's days. These days are discussed in more detail a little further on.
© Phil Baird/creation6000.com
According to scripture, God worked for six days creating the world and on the seventh day He rested, so we need to ask the question - has God worked again to this pattern by taking another week to redeem mankind? This is how the term ‘Week of Redemption’ has arisen among Biblical scholars. The key to our understanding of how God is working to a time frame is found in 2 Peter 3:8. “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day” (NIV). The King James version put it this way, “But beloved, do not be ignorant of this one thing that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.” God has not recorded anything in His Word by accident and, when scripture records something written as strongly as this, a serious Bible student knows that this is an important key to unlocking aspects for their understanding (Proverbs 25:2). “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings”(NIV). Peter not only states that a day is like a thousand years, he turns it around and reiterates again that a thousand years is like a day. Does this mean then that the creation days in Genesis could be a thousand years long?
Does it also mean that the nearly six thousand year history of mankind, according to the Bible, is also part of a week of God’s time? Are we now living in God’s ‘Redemptive Week’ nearing the end of the sixth ‘one thousand year day’ and drawing closer to that final millennium day of one thousand years, mentioned in the Bible, when God and man will again enjoy rest? I believe this to be true and have therefore set forth the following supportive material.
B. TIME: PATTERNS OF TIME
I find it quite remarkable that Moses (the one who compiled the book of Genesis with its creation account) finds it important to help us understand time from God’s perspective when he wrote the only Psalm attributed to him. In Psalm 90 he first records that God lives in eternal time. Verse 2 says “…from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” Later, in Verse 4, he tells us that a day in God’s sight is as a thousand years, “For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by. ”Finally, he gives us the usual time frame for man’s life when he writes “The length of our days is seventy years –or eighty, if we have the strength.”
Moses was also the one who received the pattern for the tabernacle from God. Some would see little significance in this tent that the Children of Israel built in the wilderness and find it difficult to understand why only two Bible chapters tell us about the creation of the world when some forty-five chapters are given to the construction of this tabernacle. However, it contains an abundance of revelation concerning God’s purposes through time and eternity. Its measurements actually give us an indication of God’s time frame for man too. The area of the Outer Court’s curtain measured 1500 square cubits. This area of the tabernacle, with its instruments of brass, speaks to us of the Law period from Moses to Christ, which lasted for approximately 1500 years until Christ fulfilled the law on the cross in around 30 AD. The source of light for the outer court was just natural light so, during the Law period, God in His mercy allowed lots of religious and ceremonial activities, which appeal to the naturally religious man, to preserve them until Christ came and fulfilled their ordinances.
The second part of the Tabernacle was the Holy Place which measured 10 x 10 x 20 (2,000 cubic cubits) and points to the two days of God’s time for the church age. The only light in the Holy Place was the menorah, a pure golden candlestick with 66 parts, which speaks of God’s Word; the only light for the church today. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105). [The 66 refers to the 66 books of the Bible]. The oil that illuminated this candlestick speaks to us of the Holy Spirit, which was poured out at the beginning of the church age. We no longer need to have lots of religious rituals today because we have the light of the Holy Spirit which dwells in us and God’s word to guide us. The final area of the tabernacle was the Most Holy Place, which measured 10 x 10 x 10 or (1000 cubic cubits), which points us to the millennium of 1,000 years where Satan is bound and God once again can rest from His labours. The light in the Most Holy Place was the Shekinah glory of God and points to this time when we will dwell with God himself (Revelation 20).
C. UNLOCKING THE SCRIPTURES
Having unlocked the key that Peter has given us it begins to open up our understanding of so many other scriptures. For example, the prophesy in Hosea 6:2 concerning the coming of the Messiah doesn’t make much sense unless you view the days in the light of what Peter says. Hosea 6:2 says, “After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence.” In the New Testament, when Jesus delivered the demoniac of his many demons, they shouted out, “What do you want with us? Have you come to torment us before the time?” (Matthew 8:29). “And they begged him repeatedly not to order them into the Abyss” (Luke 8:30).”The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” He gave them permission and the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about 2000 in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned” (Mark 5:12 &13). This again is a pointer to the 2000 years of the church age when demons have access to people if they open themselves to their influence. Demons can no longer oppress believers during the millennium because they will be 'chained up' for 1000 years.
In Revelation 20:1 it says that the devil and all his demons are to be thrown into the Abyss at the end of the church age and at the start of the millennium. Numbers recorded in scripture are always significant and here we have a pointer to the time when Satan and his demonic forces will be thrown into the Abyss. The Abyss is not the Lake of Fire (Gehenna) because, at the end of the millennium, they will be released again for a short time. There is no return from the Lake of Fire.
The Book of Joshua also speaks of this same time, but it alludes to God’s people inheriting the ‘Promised Land’ after crossing Jordan (the river of death). God specifically said that the Ark of the Covenant was to cross over Jordan about 2000 cubits ahead of the congregation of Israel (Joshua 3:4). The ark that will save God’s people in this second destruction of the world is represented in Jesus. He is our ark of safety and His resurrection happened nearly 2000 years ago. The righteous in Christ will be resurrected at His return (the Second Coming) and inherit the ‘Promised Land’.
THE WEEK OF CREATION
Turning our attention again to the first week; the ‘Week of Creation,’ what grounds do we have to believe that they could also have been approximately 1000-year days? Some scholars argue that a day must represent twenty-four hours, but this is clearly not so in the light of many instances in scripture. In Genesis, the twenty-four hour day did not come into existence until the fourth creative day when God declared, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years” (Genesis 1:14). Notice also that God warned Adam not to eat from the ‘Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil’ for He declared that in the day you ate from it you will surely die. I’m sure it’s true that something died spiritually in Adam the day that he ate from it. We could say that he died from the inside out! However, he didn’t physically die that day. He lived for 930 years (Genesis 5:5), but he never managed to live another day of God’s time. The longest living person recorded in scripture was Methuselah who lived 969 years (Genesis 5:27). No man has ever outlived a day of God’s time since the fall.
I’m not denying that God could have created the world in 24-hour days from the timing of events but it becomes apparent that there surely must have been an expanse of time for the creation days. Consider day six when first God creates all living creatures, the animals that inhabit the world. He then creates Adam who it says named all the animals. Adam was made a perfect and intelligent creation, but I think he would have taken more than a minute or two to observe each creature and give them their appropriate names, according to their natures. We then see that for a time there was no companion for Adam and so God finally creates Eve to be by his side (Genesis 2:20 & 21). I find it inconceivable to imagine all this happened on one of those 24-hour days or 12 hours of daylight, which God brought into existence on Day 4.
E. WEEKS OF CREATION AND REDEMPTION
The ‘Week of Creation’ and the ‘Week of Redemption’ are allegorically alluded to in Genesis 29:15 – 30 where it is recorded that Jacob worked TWO WEEKS of SEVEN YEARS for his two wives, Leah and Rachel. After working for seven years Jacob was deceived and had to work another seven years (which the Bible refers to as another week / Genesis 29:27), to get the one that was his heart’s desire. Many of the historical stories in the Old Testament contain a prophetic element allegorically and are a rich treasure trove of revelation for the serious Bible student (Consider for example the story of Abraham offering up his only son at the very same place where Jesus was crucified two thousand years later - on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem). Notice what Verse 20 says, “So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her”. God also worked for one week or a few days, which culminated in a wedding or the joining together of Adam & Eve. However, God has had to patiently work another week to achieve His ultimate purpose, which will again culminate in a wedding between Christ and His church. Notice what Jacob says in Verse 25, “Why have you deceived me?" (NIV), or as the King James Version puts it, “Wherefore then hast thou beguiled me?” We see a similar expression in Genesis 3:13 when Eve replies, “The serpent deceived me” (NIV) or “The serpent beguiled me” (KJV). Like Jacob, who endured fourteen years God is also patiently waiting to fulfil His plan (James 5:7). Consider how emphatic God was in establishing the 7-day week as the pattern for mankind. The Law that was introduced under Moses firmly established man’s week as six days work and the seventh day a day of rest, a reflection of God’s week. It reflected God’s working week of six days work (6,000 years) and the seventh day rest (1,000 years).
There is balance, pattern and order in everything God does and there are many wonderful patterns and progressions in the Creative Week, which become evident upon closer examination. For example, the creation that took place on the last three days sequentially inhabits that which God created on the first three days (two perfect threes). This is illustrated schematically below. Man and the animals have filled the land with its vegetation; the fish and birds have filled the sky and sea, while the sun moon and stars fill the world with light. Man was created on the sixth day and the number six is significant as the number of man throughout scripture. The number seven is the number of divine completeness. God’s Word is sealed with the number seven and seven is prolific throughout the book of Revelation where God completes His plans for mankind.
This is illustrated further in the pairs of days I have compared side by side below.
Consider the interesting pattern in the book of Ephesians, which has come down to us in six chapters, divided clearly into two parts. The first three chapters set out the theological basis for living as a Christian whilst the second three guide us practically in how we can live in that reality. They reveal how man, a fallen triune being (body, soul & spirit), can be united with a triune God (Star of David).
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS BY CHARLES PALLAGHY:
Phil Baird taught me this material, and the material in the next article, way back in the late 1970-1980's in Melbourne. It is a beautiful demonstration how God works progressively and logically preparing the ground work each time for what is to come next. God took His time over the Creation, nothing haphazard or unpremeditated. This, God also does in our lives - 'But we all, with unveiled face seeing the glory of the Lord as in a mirror, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord, the Spirit' (2 Corinthians 3:18).