September 16, 2009

Why Six Days?

Category: Bible - OT - Genesis :: Permalink

God had no reason to make the world in six days, except as a pattern for His image, man, to follow  — James B. Jordan, Through New Eyes, 11.

All too often, when we look at Genesis 1, we see it simply as a story about how the world was created.  It’s background for the rest of the story, and so it is important for that reason.  It is also something about which we debate.  Perhaps the first thing that comes to our minds today when we think of Genesis 1 is controversy: creation vs. evolution, literal chronological six-day creation vs. the framework hypothesis, and so forth.

Those debates are not unimportant, but we do Genesis 1 a diservice when we reduce it to a topic for debate or see it simply as background.  God did not have to create the world in six days.  He could have created it at once, already structured and populated and lit up the way it was at the end of Day 6.  But instead He didn’t.  He created with “problems” built in — dark, unstructured, unpopulated — and then spent six days fixing those “problems.”  Why?  If we don’t ask that question, we haven’t yet begun to see the importance of Genesis 1.

The theme of the Bible is not simply redemption.  In fact, that becomes an important theme only in Genesis 3.  But from Genesis 1 on, we have another prominent theme, the theme of maturation.  God creates the world and then works with it, maturing it, making it more and more like heaven: lit up, structured, populated.

But that process isn’t complete by the end of Day 6: God tells man to be fruitful and multiply, thereby indicating that the completion of the heavenization of the world is a task given to man.  As Jordan says,“Man is to labor to take the raw material of the earth and remodel it according to the heavenly blueprint: ‘Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven’” (Through New Eyes, 42).  And therefore what God does in the six days is designed to teach us wisdom about our own work.

And even if we get distracted by controversies or, for some other reason, fail to see this theme clearly in Genesis 1, we recognize it implicitly.  After all, it’s the basis of our own seven-day week.

Posted by John Barach @ 4:41 pm | Discuss (0)

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