Genesis 004 – How Long is a Day?

Genesis 004 – How Long is a Day?
Genesis 1:3-13 • Dr. Andy Woods • August 16, 2020 • Genesis


Genesis #4
How Long is a Day?
Genesis 1:3-13
August 16, 2020
Dr. Andy Woods

Good morning, everybody. Let’s take our Bibles, if we could, and open them to the Book of Genesis, chapter 1. The title of our message this morning is, “How Long is a Day?”

As you know, we’ve started moving through the Book of Genesis, the first couple of lessons laying the foundation. Genesis chapters 1-11 is about the human race and its beginning. Chapters 12-50 is about the Hebrew race.

We’re just moving into section 1 where we learn about four events. The first of which is Creation itself, chapters 1 and 2. Chapter 1 is about the creation of the cosmos. Chapter 2 is about creation of the anthropos. Cosmos—everything; anthropos—man. Chapter 1 is the whole Creation week. Chapter 2 is not focusing on six days but the sixth day. So both chapters give you a slightly different perspective on beginnings.

We have seen Genesis 1:1, where God, on Day One, brought the heavens and the earth into existence through His spoken Word, something out of nothing. And everything leapt into existence. But verse 2 is a description of what it was like in its unfilled and unformed state. It’s like a canvas in the hands of Michelangelo, and you’re just excited to see what is going to be produced on that empty campus. It’s like a giant lump of clay on a potter’s wheel in the hands of a talented potter, and you have great expectation and anticipation to see what’s going to be shaped and molded.

So verse 2 is really not a description of something that went wrong—as many people teach it—it’s just a description of that original Creation in its state of emptiness: unshaped, unformed, and unfilled. Then God, as we start to move through these Creation days, is shaping and molding. He is shaping and populating what He brought into existence—using that analogy of a giant lump of clay—in Genesis 1:1.

Now we move into the first day of Creation. Notice what it says in Genesis 1:3-5, where God brings into existence light. It says, “Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.” This, of course, is the way it works with God; He doesn’t have to wait around for some long process to occur.

In fact, why didn’t God just do it instantaneously and forget the six days entirely? We have an answer to that later; He was setting up a pattern for us in terms of our workweek. People say, “Six days? You don’t believe it could happen that fast, do you?” My answer is, “Why did it take so long?” God stretched it out in six days as a pattern for us.

So light comes into existence. This is a Latin word conceptualizing our understanding of Creation ex nihilo, “something out of nothing.” You say, “Wait a minute, now. Hold the phone! The sun, the moon, and the stars don’t come into existence until Day Four. So, how in the world can you have light without the sun?” As if “poor little old God” is dependent upon the sun. God doesn’t need the sun because He Himself is clothed in unapproachable light. In fact, I believe God deliberately did it this way. We’ll speak more about it if and when we get to Day Four. But He intentionally allowed light to come into existence before the sun because He knew throughout the corridors of time that man would worship what? The sun.

Man has a tendency to worship the created thing rather than the Creator Himself. And there’s a record of it—sun worshipers. They’re not just in Southern California; they’re all over the Bible. In Deuteronomy 4:19 you’ll see people worshiping the sun. When they do that, God simply says, “Go back to the record book. You’re worshiping the wrong thing. You’re worshiping the created thing rather than Me. Don’t worship the sun because of its capacity to emit light. Worship Me; I’m the source of light.” In fact, we got along quite well with light for Days One, Two, and Three before the sun ever came into existence.

Move on to verse and 4 which says, “God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.” So now we have light and darkness being separated. Notice here that the darkness is not bad—any more than the light is bad. It’s just a separation between the two.

Then you get to verse 5, also describing the first day, and it says, “God called the light ‘day,’ and the darkness He called ‘night.’ And there was evening and there was morning, one day.” This is how you know we’re moving through these days. It’ll say, “and God said…” There’s usually a statement about it being “good.” It’ll use the word “day,” which is the Hebrew word YOM. It’ll use the expression “evening and morning,” and then it’ll say, “That was the first day.” And you’ll find those elements through all six days of the Creation week.

So, Day One has taken place; light, now, has come into existence. This, of course, raises a very interesting question: How long are the days? So I’ve titled this, “How Long is a Day?” This is a chart I’m using to surface key issues as we move through Genesis 1. A lot of issues here! We talked about the importance of Genesis 1:1 last time as well as the alleged “gap theory.” Now, the third major issue that you run into in Genesis chapter 1 is the length of the days.

Unfortunately, evangelicals—or Bible believers—have a difficult time agreeing on this. There are at least four views on this. Now, why has it become so confusing and so cluttered? There’s a reason for it; I’ll share that with you in just a minute.

But let’s look at these different views. Some would say that these are nothing more than revelatory days. They call this “days of revelation” and say, “God really didn’t create in six days. What He did is He showed Moses how He did it, and the movie lasted six days. God communicating to Moses lasted six 24-hour days, but there’s nothing in the Bible that says God actually created on six days.”

Now, where do they get this? They get this from the verb ASAH, which is used in Exodus 20:11 which says, “…in the day that the Lord God made [ASAH] earth and heaven.” They say, “Asah means ‘to reveal’; it means ‘to show.’ ” And they’ll usually retreat to Genesis 24:12 where the verb ASAH is used. It says there, “ ‘Lord, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today, and show [in other words, “reveal”; that’s ASAH] kindness to my master Abraham.’ ”

So, the idea is, “God didn’t create in six days. He showed Moses a movie.” Pardon that analogy, but it’s the best thing I can think of—a vision. And the vision lasted six days: Days of Revelation view. The problem with that, of course, is the verb ASAH can mean “to show” in Genesis 24:12, but typically words have many different meanings.

I like to use the word “apple” as an example. How many meanings can you generate from the word apple? It could be a piece of fruit. It could be a computer. It could be New York City—the “Big Apple.” It could be the pupil of one’s eye—the apple of one’s eye. How would I ever know what meeting to supply in a passage? What are my three rules for Bible study? Context, context, context. Does the context support that meaning?

You always look at context. Any more than I would read my wife’s grocery shopping list which says “apples” and think to myself, “Great! Free trip to New York City!” No! It doesn’t mean that all! There’s a context: it’s a shopping list. So, fruit is what she’s talking about. That’s how you study anything that’s written in linguistic form, and that’s how you study this verb ASAH. Yes, it can mean “show” somewhere else, but that’s not what it means here.

You’ll notice ASAH is used in Genesis 1:26, “ ‘Let Us make man in Our image…” And then Genesis 1:27 says, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him…” Now, that’s the Hebrew verb BARA, which means “to create.” So you’ll notice that ASAH and BARA are used in tandem; they are used in harmony with each other. You’ll see that in Genesis 2:4, ASAH and BARA together. You’ll see that in Isaiah 43:7, ASAH and BARA together.

So, can ASAH mean “to reveal”? Yes, somewhere else. But here, because it’s used in harmony with the word “create,” it means “to create.” In fact, Exodus 20:11 says, “This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created [BARA] in the day that the Lord God made [ASAH] earth and heaven.”

You see how it keeps getting used with BARA, which means “to create”? So, when you look in any Hebrew dictionary, you’ll see that ASAH doesn’t always mean “to reveal”; it doesn’t always mean “to show”; it can easily mean “to create.” See, the problem is that what people do is develop meanings of words from totally outside the context and read that into their present context to get the Bible to say what they want it to say rather than what it says. There is a fancy name for that error; it’s called illegitimate totality transfer. No extra charge for that.

But the fact of the matter is, words change meanings all the time. Look at this example. “I ran out of ingredients for the salad, so I decided to make a quick run to the store. While at the store, I left the engine running while I made the purchase, thinking that I would be right out again. However, while I was in the store, I ran into my good friend Edward who was running for county supervisor. This resulted in my having to endure a somewhat long-winded rundown on how his campaign was running. Finally, fearing that my car would run out of gas, I ran with great haste to the parking lot and returned home with the car surely running on fumes.” Look at how the word “run” changes over and over again.

And if a woman was saying this, she could complain that she has a run in her stockings. And if she has a little bit of a stomach poison—back poison—she’s got a case of the runs. Maybe I shouldn’t have brought that up in church. But the fact of the matter is, the word “run” changes even in a paragraph— radically. So, you don’t figure out what a word means in some other context. What does it mean here? So, here ASAH doesn’t mean “to reveal” or “to show”; it means “to create.”

The second view is, “Okay, these are solar days—24 hour days…” (And I’ll give you the evidence in a minute as to why I think they are solar days.) “…but the days don’t run in consecutive order.” In other words, what they’re saying is, “There could be vast gaps of time between each day.”

Now, why are people doing this with the Bible? Why are they always trying to find deep time somewhere? The issue is it relates to the holy Trinity. And when I say, “holy Trinity,” I’m not talking about the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, which is the holy Trinity we accept by faith; I’m talking about the holy Trinity of evolution, the dominant thought pattern of our time period. Evolution is, “from the goo, to you, by way of the zoo—over billions of years.” And in order for evolution to work, you’ve got to have deep time. I’m talking millions of years—billions of years. If you want to explain Creation without the Creator you’ve got to have deep time.

So people are hoodwinked by that philosophy. And I know a little bit about that because I went through the public school system where they taught me that evolution is a scientific fact; it can’t be questioned. And then I got saved! Now, my mind didn’t get renewed in 24 hours. I still had a lot of baggage that I was bringing with me into Christianity.

I thought to myself as a young Christian, “Well, the science teacher told me that evolution is a fact. Now I’m a Christian, and I believe that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” So I was trying to mix the two together. And I tried to do that for a couple of years! Until I finally got under some good teaching that says, “Evolution is a philosophy—not a scientific fact.”

In fact, it takes more faith to believe evolution than it does, “In the beginning God created…” I like the title of one of Norman Geisler’s books, “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist.” Evolution has a holy trinity which you must accept by faith; the holy trinity is time, randomness, and matter. “Given those three things, anything could happen,” they say.

You say to an evolutionist, “This idea that you have that everything came about accidentally is sort of ridiculous.” It would be like taking cards, numbering them on one side—each card—one through 52—putting those cards in a paper bag, and randomly throwing them on the floor. What are the chances of those cards landing number side up, in a straight row, sequentially numbered 1 to 52? I would say the probabilities there are slim and none—and “Slim” just left town. And the evolutionist will come back and say, “Yes, but if you did that for a billion years, eventually it will come out that way correctly.”

So, you have to have time for evolution to work. That’s why there is this obsession amongst evolutionists for everything being so old, because it’s part of their faith assumptions. And that’s why people influenced by evolution are always trying to find deep time somewhere in the Bible. The problem is the more you look at the Bible, the more it doesn’t allow that. It gives you the impression that things came into existence—not millions of years ago—not billions of years ago—not trillions of years ago, but—thousands of years ago.

So, the whole young earth mindset is anathema to evolution. In fact, if you teach anything in academia related to the young earth, you lose your job, you lose your tenure, you’re de-published, your grants to do research are taken away. It’s like the kiss of death! Watch the Ben Stein movie sometime where he documents this. The movie is called Expelled: no intelligence allowed. In the form of a documentary, Ben Stein documents, historically, professors who dared to post something or insinuate that, “Maybe things are young.” How they are demonized and ostracized.

So, people are obsessed with finding deep time in the Bible. One of the things that they do, in addition to the revelatory days, is they say, “Okay, maybe these are 24 hour days, but we don’t know how much time exists between each day. I mean, there could be a million years between Day One and Day Two,” they say, “or between Day Three and Day Four.” This is called the “Solar Non-Consecutive Days” view.

The problem is God did it this way as a pattern for the workweek for the Jewish people. In Exodus 20:8-11 Moses—same author—says, “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the 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.”

“So, Israel, I could’ve done this in a nanosecond, but I deliberately stretched it out into six days and a rest on the Day of the Sabbath.” “Not, God says, “because I was tired.” “Poor God got tired.” No. As a pattern for the Jewish week. And He says, “In the same way you guys do the same thing. You work six days and rest on the Sabbath.”

Now look at your work week. Do you get a billion years off between Monday and Tuesday? Obviously not! This would violate the whole pattern of what is being spoken of here. You’ll find the same pattern in Exodus 31:15-17. We don’t have time to read all that.

So, the Revelatory Days view is not right. The Solar Non-consecutive Days view is not right. Now, the dominant view that’s out there today—you’ll run into it—is known as the Day Age Theory. Where they say, “Each of the Creation days is an age of time, and we can find our deep time there.” The dominant argument is the word “day” in the Bible can mean an age. And you know what? They’re right about that.

The Hebrew word YOM can mean “an age” elsewhere. Look at the New Testament, 2 Peter 3:8. Peter is speaking of a day and says, “But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.” So there’s an example where the word “day” can be elastic; it doesn’t have to refer to a 24 hour period.

And they like to quote Genesis 2:4, which is the same context that we’re dealing with here, where it says, “This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven.” They’ll say, Ah ha! You see, ‘day’ there refers to the whole week; it could be an age! It’s not just referring to a 24-hour cycle.”

What, then, would be the response to that? The response to that is, “Of course the word ‘day’ can mean an age…in another context.” But we don’t really care—do we?—what it means in another context. We care what it means where? In our context.

Look at how the word “day” can shift meanings radically in one sentence. Ken Ham, in his book, Answers in Genesis, writes this: “Back in my father’s day, it took ten days to drive across the Australian outback during the day.” Now, there what you’ll discover in one sentence is the word “day” means three different things depending on how it’s used. “In my Father’s Day” is an age. Then he says, “ten days”; those are literal 24 hour days. Then he talks about driving across the Australian outback.

That’s why I gave you the name Ken Ham; Australia is where he’s from. Because you’ll read that and say, “When was the last time you drove across the Australian outback?” The closest I’ve come is going to the Outback Steakhouse.

“…to drive across the Australian outback during the day.” “Day” in that last use is referring to 12 hours—not 24 hours. So, the truth of the matter is the word “day” can mean “an age” elsewhere. But you see, beloved, we have a specific context: first day, second day, third day. Very significant! A number is attached. And to each day it’ll say what? Evening and morning.It doesn’t say that in 2 Peter 3:8. It doesn’t say that in Genesis 2:4. But is sure says it in Genesis 1. More on that in just a minute.

If the writer of the Book of Genesis—who we believe is Moses—wanted to say each day is an age, he could have easily done that through the use of the word OLAM, which he does not do here. OLAM can mean forever. Psalm 90:2, God exists from everlasting to everlasting, OLAM repeated twice. But OLAM can also mean “an age,” a long age outside of a 24 hour timeframe. For example, Exodus 21:2 says, “If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years; and in the seventh he shall go out free and pay nothing.”

Verse 5, “But if the servant plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ 6 then his master shall bring him to the judges. He shall also bring him to the door, or to the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear [wow!] with an awl [I don’t even know what that is; to me it looks like it hurts. You guys know what it is—that’s more important]; and he shall serve him forever. For how long? Forever—that’s OLAM.

Now, did the guy never die? No. It’s talking about OLAM as an age of time—outside of 24 hours. This is Moses writing this. See, if Moses wanted to say “an age” in Genesis 1, he could’ve just used the word OLAM, just like he does in Exodus 21. Moses didn’t do that. He said day (which is YOM) with a number, and then he attached the expression “evening and morning.”

If Moses wanted to say an “age” or a “long day,” why didn’t he just attach the adjective “long” to the word day? There is an adjective for “long” in Hebrew. Why didn’t he just attach that to the word YOM if he was trying to say that each day is an age? Moses didn’t do that. He gives you YOM, number, evening and morning.

This is from one of my favorite commentators on Genesis, Jonathan Sarfati. He has this chart in one of his books where he says, “Here were all the Hebrew expressions available to Moses if he wanted to say, “an age.” Look at all of the words at his linguistic fingertips that he could have used. Moses doesn’t use any of those words! He says “day” with a number and with the expression “evening and morning.”

Therefore, I do not believe that the intent of Genesis chapter 1 is to communicate that each day is an age. Yet it’s very popular with people who are very influenced by evolutionary thought because they’re always looking for deep time somewhere.

I’ve given you all the wrong views. What’s the right view? The right view is these are solar consecutive days. These are 24 hour days, and Tuesday follows Monday immediately. It doesn’t overlap it, but it follows it. And Wednesday will follow Tuesday. And Thursday will follow Wednesday, etc.

In other words, these are days just like we experience them today. In fact, God stretched out the process this long where He could have spoken it into existence as a pattern for Israel—and ultimately the human race—concerning the workweek. How do we know that? Because as I mentioned before, there’s a number attached to each day in Genesis 1.

It doesn’t just say “day.” It’ll say, “first day…second day…third day.” The fancy name for this is a numerical ordinal modifier. No extra charge for that! And when you see YOM with a number anywhere else in the Old Testament, it always refers to a 24 hour day! No discussion about it.

For example, Joshua 6:3. Remember? They had to march around the walls of Jericho for the walls to fall. Remember how long they were to march around the walls? Joshua 6:3, six days. Nobody thinks they were out there for 6 billion years.

Esther 4:16 talks about how she is to fast for three days. Now, if the fast went 3 million years she would’ve starved to death. YOM always means—with a number—a day somewhere else in the Bible.

Now, Moses didn’t just use a number; he used, also, the expression “evening and morning.” I mean, YOM—or day—with a number would be enough. But Moses says, “Just so nobody is confused about it, let’s throw in the expression ‘evening and morning,’ which I would understand as a normal, 24-hour earth rotation.”

So, Moses doesn’t just give one qualifier; he gives two. Therefore, it doesn’t matter what “day” means somewhere else in the Bible. What we’re dealing with here is a specific context where he uses a word with a numerical ordinal modifier. And just to avoid all confusion, he throws in the expression “evening and morning” for all six days. And just to avoid the confusion, the same author, Moses, in Exodus 20:8-11 and Exodus 31:15-17 says, “God intentionally did it this way as a pattern for the Israeli workweek.” So, what we experience in our normal workweek is exactly how God did it in the six days of Creation.

Now, people are very upset about that because if you believe that, you leave out deep time. And if you leave out deep time, you’re denying a member in the holy trinity of evolution. And that’s what people are fighting about.

It’s interesting that in Genesis 5:5 we read these words, “So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years; and he died.” Now, think about this for minute. If each day is a million years, and Adam is created, let’s say, midway through Day Six, he didn’t die at the age of 930, did he? He would’ve been 1,500,930 years when he died, if each day is an age.

Presumably, he lived through half of Day Six, let’s say, and all of Day Seven. So if you make each of those days a million years, then you can’t make any sense of the fact that he died at the age of 930. He should have been 1,500,930. But that is not what the Bible says; the Bible says, “930 years and he died.”

My point in bringing up Adam’s age is this: you, as a Christian, will pay a price in other areas of Bible interpretation when you don’t take God at His Word on the first page. If you will not take God at His Word on page 1—and you’re going to go through a bunch of linguistic gymnastics to make God’s Word fit your worldview—which may be a wrong worldview—and you sit in judgment on the Bible—not understanding that the Bible is here to sit in judgment on us—you don’t just escape the problem in Genesis 1.

Because now, in Genesis 5, I’ve got to come up with another interpretation to justify my misinterpretation of Genesis 1. And suddenly the Bible becomes…  It’s like a pretzel. It’s Chubby Checker hermeneutics: “Twist and Shout.” Chubby Checker sang “The Twist,” right? The point is that it’s terrible hermeneutics. Can we agree on that?

Why do people do this? Here’s a quote from Gleason Archer, a top-notch scholar. Did you know that Gleason Archer knew 21—perhaps more—Semitic languages? He was the kind of guy who was just gifted in languages. I’m very jealous because language and learning languages was always difficult for me, but there are some people who just pick it up like that.

Gleason Archer was at genius level. He wrote a book called Survey of Old Testament Introduction. When he became engaged to his future wife who was from France, wanted to meet her parents and have a conversation with them, he just pulled out a book and learned French on the plane right over so he could converse with his future mother and father-in-law.

Now, I have a little bit of inside information on Gleason Archer. He had a difficult time finding his way out of airports and simple things, which is what happens to very smart people. They’re really IQ powerful in one area, but common sense was more difficult for him. But Gleason Archer was a linguistic genius. He wrote Survey of Old Testament Introduction.

He says something very revealing here on page 196 to 197 concerning Genesis 1. He says, “From a superficial reading of Genesis 1, the impression would seem to be that the entire creative process took place in six twenty-four-hour days.” Amen! I wish he had stopped writing because then he goes on and says, “This seems to run counter to modern scientific research, which indicates that planet earth was created several billion years ago.” As smart as he was, he doesn’t know that; he wasn’t there to see it. But he believes that’s what science teaches.

So what science teaches is overriding his understanding of a normal reading of Genesis 1. And I like to point this out because it shows you that even the best of the best can get seduced by philosophies from the outside—and use those philosophies to rewrite the Bible. This guy has forgotten more about Hebrew than I’ll ever know. And yet even he himself acknowledges, “That’s what the Hebrew text says, but I’ve got one eyeball on the Bible and one eyeball on Carl Sagan.” That’s what he’s admitting here.

What I believe is that this was a six twenty-four-hour day cycle. Just like we experience days today: solar consecutive days. God speaks, and light comes into existence. And that is Day One.

Now we move into Day Two, Genesis 1:6-8, where God is going to speak a second time, and now water and sky come into existence. Notice what He says in Genesis 1:6-8. “Then God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7 God made the expanse, and separated the waters that were below the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse; and it was so.” I mean, there’s not even a committee here to outvote God.

Verse 8, “God called the expanse “heaven.” And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.” Now, isn’t this interesting? We’ve got waters below the expanse. What would that be? I would think that would be ocean. And then we have this expanse that is called here “sky.” So far, so good, because in our world we have oceans and a sky. And then it says something very interesting here: the sky separates the waters below (ocean) from the waters above.

Now, aren’t you curious what the “waters above” are? And this takes us into something that I happen to believe is true. I don’t know if I would start a new church over this, but I believe that a ball of water at Creation—and God speaking these things into existence—surrounded the earth at one point in history. This seems to be implied in Genesis 1:6 and 7.

And it’s interesting in Psalm 148 where each of the entities are praising the Lord in Creation—they’re personified as praising the Lord. All the different entities in Creation are mentioned. The light is praising the Lord; the stars; the luminaries are praising the Lord; the earth is praising the Lord. And it says this in Psalm 148:4,  “Praise Him, highest heavens, And the waters that are above the heavens!

So, as Psalm 148 looks backward at Creation, it seems like it’s a reference to Genesis 1:6-7 where there was an actual sphere of water that surrounded the earth, probably looking something like this slide, or perhaps looking something like another slide. Now, once again, this is a model.

It’s not something to go to war over. But when you adopt any model in the Bible, you want to adopt the model that answers the most questions. And by my way of thinking—and I’m not a scientist—the canopy theory model answers a lot of my questions. Such as, “Why are people living so long before the Flood?”

We looked at Genesis 5:5 earlier, which says that Adam lived 930 years. Now, the oldest living man prior to the Flood was a man named Methuselah. When we get there, I’ll try to show you that his name in Hebrew actually means, “When he dies it will come.” That could be a reference to the Flood. It shows you the patience of God because God said, “Judgment will come when Methuselah dies,” and he lived the longest. It shows you how long God waited in the days of Noah.

And if that’s what his name means, everybody probably got nervous every time the guy got a sore throat or something. “Keep him alive as long as we can!” But he lived to 969 years. Adam lived 930 years. Now, I can either look at those numbers, get out my whiteout and eraser and say, “The Bible doesn’t mean what it says,” or I can take it for what it means and says. I am of the opinion that Adam lived actually 930 years. Methuselah lived 969 years.

Here are some of the ages of those guys before the Flood. Seth, 912 years. Canaan, 910 years. Mahalaleel was just a young man—he only lived 895 years! Methuselah, 969 years. Lamech, 777 years. To me, the ball of water surrounding the earth would explain their ages for the simple reason that that ball of water could have played some sort of role in reflecting/refracting/reducing the sun’s ultraviolet rays which cause the aging process to accelerate.

In other words, there was something in place that allowed people to live so long before the Flood. It was like a filter. That’s why pilots get hazard pay, because they’re up and around that intense stuff where it could have an effect on their longevity, their lifespan. So it would explain the long life spans of early man as recorded in the Bible.

It would also explain the strange looking animals. Aren’t we finding those in the fossil record constantly? Animals that, when you assemble the skeletal remains, don’t really have any parallel to animals that we know today. We give them the name, what? Dinosaurs. Why do we keep finding those strange looking creatures? We’re finding them because at one time there was a type of…I don’t know if you want to call it a “greenhouse effect,” a “filter,” that allowed animals to grow differently and larger than what we have today.

In fact, the Book of Job mentions a couple of them. Job, of course, is the oldest book of the Bible, predating the Book of Genesis by six centuries, written during the times of the patriarchs. Study Job 40:15 and you’ll run into this creature called the Behemoth. What is that?

Study Job 41:1, and you’ll run into this creature called the “Leviathan.” And people say, “Well, that’s just a hippopotamus.” Really?

Job 40:17 talks about its tail, “He hangs his tail like a cedar…” Now, I haven’t been to the zoo recently, but I don’t remember a hippopotamus looking like that! I mean, where did those strange animals come from? I’m of the persuasion that Noah—in their hibernation—or maybe in their infancy—took them into the ark and they came out of the ark and grew into full stature in a world that was different than what they had known before. And they died off. And that’s perhaps why we see these skeletal remains of animals that really don’t have any real correlation to what we know today in terms of the animal kingdom.

By the way, you’d better come up with an answer fast on this, because the number one reason the youth reject the Bible is because of dinosaurs. Did you know that? I was shocked to learn that. No credible answer has been given for dinosaurs. So, therefore, the secular biologist has the “real” history, and we have the “fake” history. I actually think we have answers that make sense!

So, as you’re ministering to your children and grandchildren, you’d better start thinking about these kinds of things. Because they could slip right through your fingers once they get under the mindset of the secularists—particularly at the University.

This canopy that surrounded the earth? To me it also explains, “Where did the floodwaters come from?” I have seen people ridicule the Flood for a long time, and they say, “How could you believe in a global Flood? Don’t you understand that there’s not enough moisture in the clouds to flood the earth?” So, they are assuming that how we experience rain today is how they experienced it at the Flood. That’s an assumption.

How do you know God used the clouds? The Bible doesn’t say that. Could it not be that God simply released the canopy that surrounded the earth? You say, “Does the Bible say anything like that?” Look at Genesis 7:11 which says, “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened.”

Genesis 8:2, “Also the fountains of the deep and the floodgates of the sky were closed [following the Flood].” So, water came up from the ground in some sense, and it came down from the floodgates of the sky. Could that not be God simply releasing the canopy?

It’s interesting that the civilization prior to the flood didn’t even know what rain was. How do I know that? I know that from Genesis 2:5-6, describing the garden of Eden. It says, “Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the Lord God had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground. 6 But a mist used to rise from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground.”

So, you’re dealing with a civilization and a generation of people that didn’t even know what rain was; they had no concept of it. That’s not how God brought moisture; it came up from the ground. Now, you understand that, and you understand why Noah was a man of faith.

Noah is mentioned in the Hall of Faith, Hebrews 11:7, because he was a preacher of righteousness (2 Peter 2:5). And Genesis 6:3 says Noah and the Spirit strove with man for 120 years. What was Noah preaching about? He was preaching about—I believe—a global Deluge when he himself didn’t even know, conceptually, what rain was. So, he had to completely—100%—trust the promises of God because they probably made no sense to him at all. His faith was totally in the revelation of God and not what his senses were telling him. That’s why he’s in the Hall of Faith.

Could you imagine the ridicule that Noah went through, talking about this for 120 years? Not to mention this ark that he just put in his driveway. “What’s that doing here? I mean, why would you need something like that when it doesn’t even rain?!” The insanity of the whole thing, the way he looked, the ridicule that he no doubt experienced from the unsaved world because he was walking by faith and not by sight.

By the way, that’s the same ridicule you experience from the natural man. Because the things that you believe in don’t make any sense to them! They’re contrary to the physical senses. But you’ve made a decision that you’re going to trust the revelation of God, the Word of God, over what your five senses tell you. And that makes you seem foolish, the Bible says, in the eyes of the natural man. And yet the natural man—who doesn’t have the Spirit—1 Corinthian 2—is in no position to judge the spiritual man.

So Noah is walking by faith and building this giant whatever it is in his driveway. Probably speaking of a coming Deluge, and the world itself didn’t even know what rain was! And everybody had a great big laugh about it…until the canopy was released. Now it’s not so funny anymore because we’ve got 40 days and 40 nights of intense rain. Not through the clouds, but I would think through the gradual releasing of the canopy.

And the guy who endured the abuse because he believed God? All of a sudden, he looks like the smartest guy in the world. You see, the Bible uses these as examples of how fast our faith will be vindicated one day—even though it looks foolish in the eyes of the natural man.

So, the canopy theory would explain the long life spans of man. It would explain these strange beasts of which we have no parallel today. It would also explain where the floodwaters come from. It also explains something else. Why is it that after the Flood everybody’s lifespan starts getting reduced? Have you ever asked yourself that?

Because there’s a genealogy in Genesis 5 giving the ages of the pre-flood patriarchs. There’s another genealogy in Genesis 11 giving the ages of the post-flood patriarchs. And what you’ll see is their lifespans start getting cut back. They’re not living into their 900s anymore. The first record we have is Shem; he’s only living 600 years. And then Arphaxad, 400 years. Salah, 400 years, roughly. Eber, roughly 400 years. Peleg? Now we’re down to 200 years. Serug, 200. Nahor, 148! And then, finally, Abram shows up. He only lives 115.

There’s another chart showing you the decline of their ages. Living into their 900s pre-flood. Their ages start getting cut back dramatically post-Flood. Why is that? The canopy is gone. The barrier is gone. The protective greenhouse covering is gone. And now Psalm 90 says that if you reach 70 to 80, consider yourself fortunate.

So, I don’t know, would I start a new church over this? I don’t think I would. It’s just a model, and any model that you adopt, you try to figure out which model answers the most questions. To me, a lot of questions are answered through the canopy theory idea.

Then we come to Day Three, Genesis 1:9-13. We won’t get any further than Day Three. Some of you may feel like this has been 3 billion years. Genesis 1:9-13 is where now God is bringing into existence land and vegetation. Day One: light. Day Two: earth and sky. Day Three: land and vegetation.

Look at what it says in verse 9, “Then God said, ‘Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear’; and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land ‘earth,’ and the gathering of the waters He called ‘seas’; and God saw that it was good.”

So, “waters” are the seas. Dry land is coming up from amongst the ocean; we call it the earth or the ERETS. And nothing is wrong, nothing is broken, nothing is being renovated. God keeps saying that it was good. TOV over and over again, “good…good.”

Then you get down to verses 11 and 12, and you start seeing plants, vegetation, fruit trees, and seed. “Then God said, ‘Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit [look at this] according to their kind [you should underline that] with seed in them’; and it was so. 12 The earth produced vegetation, plants yielding seed [there it is again…look at that] according to their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, [this is a third time here!] according to their kind; and God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, a third day.”

So, now we have plants, vegetation, fruit trees, and seed appearing from the earth that has come out of the waters. And I’ll be making the case, when we get to Genesis 1:29-30, that early man was herbivorous—not carnivorous. He was a vegetarian; not a meat eater. Why would you say that? Because it says it in the Bible. And because God created a world with no death in it, and to have a steak lunch, I’ve got to kill something. So, it would make sense that you’d have herbivorous man—not carnivorous man—in the original design of God.

Now, this is Texas, and now I’m stepping on people’s toes because we’ve got a steakhouse on every corner. “Them is fightin’ words,” right? “In fact, I had my lunch plans all set up. I’m going to go get a steak. Are you telling me I can’t get a steak?” No. You’re going to get your steak, but you’re going to get it in Genesis 9, not Genesis 1. More on that later.

You’ll notice that it says, “after their kind.” This is very, very important because the evolutionists are saying that all species are related. After all, that’s how an ape—another species—became a man who is so smart (there on the far right) that he’s looking at a cell phone with his briefcase. And the guy on the left of the slide? That’s your great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather.

Evolution basically is teaching that the species are not distinct, but they’re related. See, this is one of the things I was struggling with as a new Christian because I thought all life—they call it the continuity or the chain of being—is related. But the Bible keeps saying, “Things produced after their kind.” Mr. and Mrs. Giraffe create a what? A baby giraffe! They don’t create a human being.

And that’s true with anything in nature. Things only produce after their own kind. You have no evidence of one species becoming another. In fact, they’re still looking for that evidence; they call it the “missing link.” Which is a great name for it because it’s still missing. That’s what they’re always looking for.

Now, when I was going through elementary school, they had all these pictures of the “missing link.” I thought, “Wow! This is scientifically true.” Only to find that what they actually found was a tooth of an extinct pig—and everything else on that picture—to my deceived young mind—was an artist’s rendition of “what we know the missing link is going to look like once we find it.”

If this process has been going on for billions and billions of years—as they tell us it has—we should find missing links everywhere, shouldn’t we? And the only thing you can give me is an artist’s rendition of it from an extinct pig’s tooth? We’re being deceived, folks. The fact of the matter is, the Bible doesn’t say that life is all related—apes produce humans; it says that things produce after their own kind.

Verse 13, “And there was evening and there was morning, a third day.” After their own kind is very significant to understanding the spiritual birth. Because Jesus, when He was speaking to Nicodemus at night—I call it the “Nick at Night Conversation”—told him, “You must be born again to see or enter the Kingdom of God” (John 3:3-6).

Then Jesus says this in verse 6, “That which has been born of the flesh is flesh, and that which has been born of the Spirit is spirit.” What is He referring to? He’s referring to, “they produce after their own kind.” The flesh can’t give you the Spirit. In fact, if you’re a human being and you get the Spirit inside of you, that’s not something that was produced by the flesh. That involves a miracle of God that God implants into you because that would be an example of something coming into me that’s different than my own kind—not “after” it. Do you see that?

That’s why the greatest miracle that God is doing today is He is putting His Spirit in the hearts and minds of people who can’t produce it on their own. Because the only thing the flesh can produce is the flesh, and things produce after their own kind. I can’t produce the Spirit.

No amount of religiosity, or trying harder, or being “gooder” can give me the supernatural work; it’s something that only God can do! Because God has to defy His pattern of doing things because I can’t get it on my own! I can only produce flesh. The work of the new birth is something outside of your species—outside of your kind—that God supernaturally places inside of you.

The spiritual birth of a human being is the greatest miracle God is doing today. When it happens in somebody, it’s an absolute miracle! “Well, gee, Pastor, can you think of a good segue into the gospel for today?” Well, if that’s not a segue into the gospel, I don’t know what is! There are many people within the sound of my voice—and I know this because I did this for 16 years of my life—who are trying to get spiritual through activity. That’s the world of religion.

God is saying, “It’s not going to come in your life through activity and good intentions and keeping a moral code. It’s going to come into your life through a supernatural miracle.” And that miracle can only happen in a person when they fulfill God’s condition, which is faith alone in Christ alone.

The only thing the Spirit can do prior to that is convict a person of their need to trust in Christ alone by faith alone for salvation. But to actually receive the Holy Spirit inside of you requires something miraculous; God has to deposit it into you—being born from above. And that can’t happen through religion. It can’t happen through works of the flesh. It can’t happen by trying harder. It can’t happen by walking an aisle. It can’t happen by joining a church. It can’t happen by giving money to a church. It can’t happen by filling out a decision card. It can only happen miraculously.

And God gives us the condition for the miracle, which is to believe. “Believe” is another way of saying “trust.” The Spirit convicts us of our need to do this, and we trust in what Christ has done for us and—boom! “Katie, bar the door!” If that’s happened to a person? Pow! They’re regenerated at the point of faith alone in Christ alone.

So, if you want that miracle to happen to you—and don’t wait around for a bigger one—this is as big as it gets—our exhortation is for anybody to trust in Christ and Christ alone for salvation. That gives you the new birth.

And there was evening and there was morning, a third day.” Next time we move away from shaping into populating. Day One connects with Day Four. Day Two connects with Day Five. Day Three connects with Day Six.

Day One, light. Day Four, now God puts the luminaries into the sky to sustain the light. Day Two, water and sky, connects with Day Five, now God is putting sea animals in the sea and birds in the sky. He’s populating what He shaped. See that?

Day Three, as we studied today, is land and vegetation. Now, on Day Six, God begins to create animals to exist on the land. And then He creates the pinnacle of His whole created order, which would be who? Humanity, the beings that bear God’s image. So that’s the direction that we’re moving in. Let’s pray.

Closing Prayer

“Father, we’re grateful for this record in the Book of Genesis. It’s so exciting just to study these first three days. And we sit with bated breath wondering what You might have for us the next time we’re together as we continue our verse by verse study through the Book of Genesis.

We’ll be careful to give You all the praise and the glory. We ask these things in Jesus’ name.” And God’s people said? “Amen.”