Exo 20:8 "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Exo 20:9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work…Exo 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Okay, I know that is a strange title but let me explain. As I am starting to preach through the book of Genesis, I spent a few weeks dealing with Scriptures that in one way or the other cannot be understood if evolution is true. Along with that we have looked at some that are compromised if we try to make the six days of creation anything other than 24 hour periods. The text above is one of those examples.
For instance, it is undeniable that the Lord is establishing a 7 day week for Israel under the Old Covenant. He uses the creation week as the blueprint for their six day work week where God rested or took a Sabbath after “working” for six days. There is no way you can make “days” in verse 11 mean eons without suggesting that the Lord is completely misrepresenting the creation week to the Jews. If they are six eons then this comparison makes no sense and there is nothing in the text that suggests that the days of one week are different than the days of the other.
Besides this I think there is another reason why we have to understand that the Lord is referring to the creation week as six 24 hour periods in the Exodus text. The subject here is not so much the 7 day week but the Sabbath and the reason for its observance. The Lord rested on the seventh day because there was nothing left to create. He had declared that every aspect of creation was good. There was nothing left to perfect because it was just as God wanted it from the beginning.
Creation is not continuing to evolve because the Lord did it right from the beginning and he commanded all life to reproduce after its kind. He established that no species can evolve into something else. The Sabbath rest of God on day seven did two things; it declared that there was nothing left to be created or changed with creation and it pointed to the future fulfillment of the true rest of God. This future rest in turn proves that the first creation was done immediately and not through gradual progression. Let me try to prove this.
We find the writer of Hebrews bringing all this together especially in chapter 4. He is warning those Jews who were being tempted to add the works of the Law to faith in the finished work of Christ. As Paul does in Galatians, he says that if you do this you pervert the gospel and cannot be saved. He points back to those Jews who died in the wilderness and did not enter the Promised Land or the “rest” because they did not have faith, Heb 3:17 And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness?
Heb 3:18 And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? Heb 3:19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief. Rest is a good illustration of salvation because God has done a work in the cross that fully accomplished our salvation and through faith we can rest in Christ and stop trying to work our way to heaven which is impossible.
In chapter 4 he brings in the creation rest as an even better example of entering into God’s rest or salvation, Heb 4:3 For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, "As I swore in my wrath, 'They shall not enter my rest,'" although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. Heb 4:4 For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: "And God rested on the seventh day from all his works." And here we see him making the point I made earlier that God resting on the creation Sabbath was to show that creation was done once for all and there was nothing left that needed to be finished, although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. And then in vs. 10 we see it again, Heb 4:10 for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.
And so my point in all this is not to show salvation through faith alone apart from works. I imagine anyone reading this blog already understands that. It is to show that if you buy into God creating the universe over time by a process you are undermining salvation by the finished work of Christ alone! Christ didn’t begin the process of salvation on the cross and there are any number of steps after this that are necessary for our justification. When he said, “It is finished” on the cross as he died it was an echo from the creation week when he said it the first time. There is nothing left to be done!
I would say that if the creation week was a matter of age long time periods, that would fit better into Roman Catholic’s theology. They believe the cross was only the beginning of our salvation but there are many other things we must add to it in order to be finally saved. We might say they believe salvation is a process or something that must “evolve” before it is finished.
If our salvation rests fully on the finished work of Christ then creation took place in one week and then it stopped; it was never a process.
Jer 32:17 'Ah, Lord GOD! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.