The only proper biblical understanding of God’s Word is that it is creative. It is God’s Word that creates history. History does not imagine God’s Word; rather it is the fruit of his voice. This is the main message of the first creation account. More than any other phrase, “vayomer elohim” (and God said), is the most repeated.
It is clear that the author is trying to impart to us a deep reverence for the Word. We need to come to the Word of God with fear and trembling. The Word is the answer to all our needs. The Word creates and it is the foundation of the new creation. God’s Word is what is spoken and it must be real to us if we are to be real.
In light of the magnificence of God’s Word, animals cannot be the product of random chance. If they are, then Jesus is not Lord. Animals are the fruit of God’s Word and spring from the womb of the earth. This does not mean that God did not build somet type of evolutionary principle into the DNA of animals. Careful observation suggests that animals do evolve (some prefer the word ‘adapt’) in a limited sense just like man evolves over time. In the same way, our whole Christian walks are an evolution going from glory to glory. Even creation itself seems to evolve over six days, going from a lower order to a higher order. However, Genesis 1 does not record human beings evolving from animals. Yes, we have come from the same source––God through his earth––but human beings are of a different stock. There are boundaries that cannot be crossed. God made the animals according to kinds. How we classify these kinds can be debated by scientists. What we do know from this creation account is that there are distinct boundaries established between different kinds of animals that cannot be trespassed.
The very fact that God took six days to create the heavens and earth reveals that God was lovingly condescending to become like man and operate in his created world. God was setting an example and precedent for man. He was giving human beings a set cycle and rhythm. Creation comes from eternity and that is why it may seem to be the product of 16 billion years. Are the scientists wrong? Yes and no. Some may be reporting what they “see and hear.” But they are limited. Humility is needed on both sides of the debate by creationists and evolutionists.
Creationists should not glibly discard the findings of science, but neither should scientists be so proud to think that they know how the universe came into being and the length of time it took. Words like “it seems like,” “it may be,” or “it appears” should fill the scientists’ vocabulary. None of us were present at the beginning, but through God’s Word we can enter into the forming of the world as though we were there. We need to enter into the creation week and feel the work of creation. The more we enter in, the more our thoughts are clarified, but also the more mystery we encounter. In all our zeal Christians cannot eliminate the mystery of creation.
Prayer: Father, I pray that us believers would walk in humility when it comes to creation and science. Yes, we have your Word and yet your Word leaves us humble––it doesn’t explain all the details. But your Word tells us the essential things and I ask you, God, to help me stand on those essentials without compromise, in Jesus’ name.