Evidence of Wisdom, Love, and Power
“Thus saith Jehovah that created the heavens, the God that formed the earth and made it, that established it … that formed it to be inhabited” (Isaiah 45:18 ASV. Scripture citations below are from Genesis, ASV 1901).
The earth was methodically prepared for man. Now man is being prepared for eternal life.
First, God created “the heavens and the earth,” even though the earth was initially waste and lifeless. Thus, the earth was already in existence when the first creative “day” began (so the age of the heavens, and of the earth, could be as long as 14 billion and 4.5 billion years respectively, as most astrophysicists currently say, without contradicting Genesis). When “the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters,” the first “archaebacteria” were created, able to multiply even at temperatures up to 600°F (1:1-2). Thence, the first work was to thin the atmosphere, so that the Sun’s light might hazily penetrate to Earth’s solid mass (“Day” 1).
Day 2 saw the atmospheric pressure fall below 220 atmospheres to form a liquid-vapor interface, and then progressively to form sky between the clouds and the sea. The creation of a newer kind of microscopic life is discussed in the next article.
The work of Day 3 caused the solid earth under the sea to buckle and push up one or more continents above the water. The creation of grass, herbs, and fruit trees provided food for animal life yet to be created, while it converted carbon dioxide to the oxygen needed for that animal life.
Day 4 saw the atmosphere continue to thin, until the Sun could be seen as a disk in the sky, then slowly until the Moon could also be seen as a disk, and finally, until some stars appeared as points of light (1:14-19). The more-direct sunlight assisted the herbs and trees to grow.
The now-abundant vegetation provided food for fish, birds, dinosaurs, etc. (“living souls”), created during Day 5, which we may identify with what geologists call the Cambrian period. The main phase of the Cambrian explosion of life forms is thought to have been only five million years long, a bit more than five hundred million years ago. These life forms came in time to be food for other carnivores created later. Moreover, animal life converted oxygen to carbon dioxide, so there developed a balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide.
Day 6 then provided cattle, other large animals, and creeping things (also called “living souls”), higher in the food chain. Finally, man was created, at the top of the food chain. God then gave man a charge. “And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (1:31).
Each of the first six eras of creation ends with “And there was evening and there was morning, a ___ day.” However, there is no statement that “there was evening and there was morning, the seventh day.” So, when God “rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made” (2:2), it suggests that He simply paused for another four thousand years before beginning the “new creation.”
God determined to “make man in our image, after our likeness” (1:26), but began only by making him “in his own image” (1:27). Later, when Adam and Eve sinned, they gained the likeness (3:22) but lost the image. Now it is taking two thousand years to develop a priesthood to help restore man to that image, in another one thousand years.
The evidence is that God’s plan is on track.