The Day Without a Yesterday
The Moment Time Began
“God said, ‘Let there be light!’ …and there was light.” 1
Cruising at 35,000 feet over Greenland en route to the United States from Europe, a young lawyer looked down at a pristine landscape of rolling white splendor. Instinctively reaching for his iPhone he shot a digital photo of the awesome scene and forwarded it immediately to his dad in California.
© Waveland, Fernando Peon, Pixdaus
A chunk of water-covered, formless matter floated in dark, cosmic space for an indeterminate period of time until the Creator of the universe
transformed it into Planet Earth, teeming with diverse life forms.
Moments later, the father spotted the email message, spread the glimpse of the frozen ice field across his computer screen and reveled in a shared moment with the son. Darwin never was privy to this view. It existed beyond his knowledge. In Darwin’s day, this everyday 21st century event, as with a moonwalk, would have been dismissed either as a fraud or a miracle.
The extravagant displays of snow packs, sunrays and the birth of a baby are accepted as normal, everyday-life events but represent science in action. The iPhone photo shot from the cabin of an airliner is taken for granted as scientific fact in century twenty-one but likely would be viewed as a subtle hoax in Darwin’s day.
Talk of a moonwalk in Darwin’s day would have been viewed skeptically simply because the event defied the boundaries of known, nineteenth-century, observable science. Of course, boundaries of scientific knowledge stretch far beyond 1859’s conventional thought. Today’s science is yesterday’s miracle.
Life and its supporting ecosystem carry the fingerprints of God.
Intelligent thinkers contriving theories of the self-creation of the cosmos and life on earth without input from an intelligent source would be reluctant to posit that the iPhone created itself or that the moonwalk happened without NASA’s design development.
When observed events of nature baffle contemporary knowledge, finite minds tend to apply the “miracle” label. Miracles don’t conflict with laws of science; they only elevate, in bold relief, the limits of current scientific knowledge.
The slickest gambler could never toss a 13 with a standard pair of dice stamped with only 12 dots. The chance hypothesis odds are no better---impossible. For life from non-life to evolve from non-living matter is nothing more than an impossible dice throw---not science!
So it is, comparisons of possible explanations for the origin of life on earth present a paradox.
Why would a component of the conventional science community bet on chance, comparable to an impossible dice throw, as a “scientific” explanation for the origin of first life on earth while rejecting the possibility of the creation of life by the Supreme intelligent source of all life and the Author of true science?
Denial of miracles acknowledges the limits of contemporary science horizons. To deny the presence of intelligence in the universe vastly superior to the human mind is to confess conceit and the egocentric potential of the human psyche. To reject faith in a living, infinite intelligence in favor of life that created itself from non-life demands a stretch of faith that abandons the essence of the very rationality that doubters claim to represent.
Miracles of nature demonstrate the mastery of science by its Author.
Mortal minds enjoy the privilege of scientific search and discovery, but even the brightest genius can only scratch the surface of infinite complexity. The quest for knowledge staggers when exposed to the cosmos and earth’s ecosystem. The brightest human intellect shrinks to miniscule nothingness in contrast to a universal Divinity of unlimited power and infinite wisdom.
Humans believing the Genesis narrative describing the origin of life, respect and cherish the proven laws of science! Creation of all life in a real time week invoked the laws of science above and beyond the ability of finite minds to comprehend---the landmark event ranks as a miracle primarily because mankind can’t compete with the “mystery of Godliness.”
A few thousand years before the present, the creation week marked the beginning of all life on earth---original, unborrowed and underived.
The seven-day panorama offered evidence of God’s eternal presence, power, and transcendent authority in producing life as the highlight of a landmark event---a miracle beyond the bounds of mortal comprehension.
Miracles demonstrate the coordinated orchestration of the laws of science by the Author of all science show-casing his handiwork.
Paul the Apostle staked out a rational position.
“The Universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what is visible…For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible…all things were created by Him and for Him.” 2
David bowed humbly to the Creator’s indescribable power:“ For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.” 3
The Genesis narrative depicts a miraculous week of seven literal days during which life and its supporting ecosystem were created by God upon a chunk of water-covered, inert matter. No reference is made to the creation of water or earth’s inorganic matter at the beginning of creation week since both pre-existed for an indeterminate span of time.
“Now the earth was formless and empty; darkness was over the surface of the deep; and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” 4
The first day of creation (“The day without a yesterday”) arrived three days before there would be a sun and a Solar System! Its no coincidence that on the first day of that historic week the presence of God’s Spirit appeared in a blaze of glory, revealing the presence and the power of “the Spirit of God.” The first creation week miracle overwhelmed darkness. “And God said, ‘Let there be light…and there was light.” 5
John the Revelator made it clear that the Creator of the universe was the source of light! Referencing the future time when the righteous will be with God and “will reign for ever and ever,” he predicted: “There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light.” 6
The sun did not exist until God created it with the power to shine. The presence of “the Spirit of God” provided the light that created day one.
With what was to be Planet Earth turning on its axis, there appeared an evening and a morning in response to the light emanating from God’s Spirit.
Lighting an earth shrouded in darkness, three days before the sun existed, confirmed God’s presence and His pre-eminence with laws of science, highlighting the narrow limits of mortal thought.
“The Spirit of God” demonstrated Divine authority on day one by overwhelming darkness without aid of the sun. The burst of eternal light from God’s presence pulled back earth’s dark curtain. A transcendent brightness enshrouded what had been a water-covered, chunk of formless matter, floating in cosmic darkness for indeterminate eons of time.
After bathing earth in light emanating from His presence, the Supreme designer divided “land” from “sea;” wrapped an oxygen-based atmosphere around the emerging planet; and capped the land with a mantle of lush vegetation by the close of the first three days of creation week.
It wasn’t until the fourth day that God created the sun and the intricate balance of the Solar System. The Genesis account reminds readers, “ He also made the stars.”
The sequence of the three-day time-lapse before the sun and earth’s moon were created may have carried special significance. Had the sun been created on that first day rather than deferred until day four, humans might have been more inclined to bowing down to the visual dazzling rays of the servant sun rather than worshipping at the feet of the Supreme source of light and the Creator of life.
‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years.” 6
“God made two great lights---the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night…And there was evening, and there was morning---the fourth day.” 7 This stellar event included opening skies to a star-filled heaven with the Blue Planet orbiting the sun.
The sun, created to sustain life and to contribute to time computation, combined with the moon’s tide-pulling magic, took its place in cosmic space on creation week’s day four.
More than dividing darkness from light, the sun provides earthlings with a reliable methodology for calibrating time. Sun power sustains a living ecosystem; emits invisible rays; drives photosynthesis; filters water; and cleans air. The world’s food supply relies on the sun to do its thing enabling raindrops to fall from sun-induced evaporation. Earth’s proximity to the sun impacts climate.
Ever since day four, sunshine chases darkness away every 24-hours, painting the landscape with a kaleidoscope of colors guaranteed to soothe human psyches. The sun’s giant fireball delivers life-sustaining power to earth, fueled every day by what seems to be an unlimited tank of atomic energy. Moving through space in a path so precise that its location can be pinpointed hundreds of years in the past and predicted a thousand years into the future---the sun’s motion show cases mathematical dependability.
The sun occasionally delivers unwelcome surprises. In 1859 a geomagnetic storm scrambled earth’s electrical grid systems demonstrating the sun’s awesome power to wreak havoc.
Impressionable mortals tend to be awed by visible power. No question, the sun sustains and nourishes life, but the sun is not the original source of life. The ball of fire that rules the Solar System radiates a steady stream of light rays traveling at a speed of 186,282 miles-per-second and emits energetic power beyond easy comprehension. Impressive as it is, its only a servant of earth’s created life---not its original source or its god.
By honoring a fictitious sun god or man-made inanimate objects carved
from wood or chiseled in stone, small-minded humans tend to drift from truth, overlooking the origin and essence of life. Eventually, blinded by intense rays from the solar inferno, pagan cultures chose to worship the seductive power of the sun while ignoring the fact that the celestial furnace was put in place and stoked in perpetuity by the Creator.
No inanimate object, stone idol or graven image deserves human worship!
The Author of science created “living creatures” of the sea and “every winged bird” on day five, followed by the creation of “man in His own image” on day six. Humans did not originate by accident but were designed by the Ruler of the universe and given dominion over all other life on earth.
Not coincidentally a smorgasbord of fruits, grains and nuts were there, awaiting their arrival.
God placed humans on a pedestal of privilege, positioned to enjoy a relationship built on regular and direct communication with the Creator. More than a superficial article of philosophical faith to accept or reject intellectually, true religion opens the heart and soul to a spiritual fellowship with God that enriches every fiber of the being. More than a mechanical machine, a composite human has access to the same spiritual power that guided the lives of Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Peter, John and Paul.
Many respected cosmologists believe life exists in the universe beyond the Solar System’s dimensions. The Bible agrees. It’s axiomatic that the eternal, Most High God, and the universe He created, pre-existed the creation of life on earth. The Scriptures also confirm that angels, beings created superior to humans, also pre-existed the recent appearance of human life. Job describes the moment “when the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy” 8 celebrating the creation of life on earth.
David, author of Psalms, reflects worshipful respect of the Creator. “What is man that thou art mindful of him?...Thou has made him a little lower than the angels.” 9 Paul, the Apostle, notes the existence of angels, alerting mankind they may appear among us in human form. “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing, some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” 10 Augustine recognized a “super-celestial society” 11 as existing prior to the creation of humans.
The first human was fashioned from the dust of the ground---the crowning glory of the eventful week of miracles. Given dominion over all life on earth, humans were created in God’s image, Sui generis (a one-of-a-kind species).
In seven literal earth days, a sterile blob of chemical elements was transformed into a dazzling environment pulsating with diversified life forms, breathing in synchronous harmony.
All was perfection!
But the bucolic scene didn’t last. The Bible narrative describes how Satan, sinister adversary of all things good, launched a barrage of lies to challenge God and to mar creation. The bait was a fictitious promise of access to the secrets of universal wisdom---the same lure that attracts minds to evolution’s cunning fable.
Since no human walking today’s earth witnessed the planet’s dramatic transformation or knows the exact date of humankind’s birthday, day seven was set aside as a memorial, a perpetual reminder of the creation miracle. The seventh day crowned the series of miracles by being reserved as a day of rest, an interval of celebration and worship, honoring the Creator.
Pleased with what His command had fashioned, God rested on day seven, not because he was tired but to celebrate the conversion of water-covered matter floating in cosmic darkness to the stunning beauty of a new planet, throbbing with life.
Arbitrarily demoting the Divinely ordered weekly rest day to symbolism corrupts its significance and subverts God’s authority. Why would creation days of Genesis be metaphor while Deuteronomy and Exodus memorialize creation with weekly, literal-time rest days for one-time Egyptian slaves?
It makes no sense to suggest the 24-hour day earmarked for physical rest and celebration is a metaphor or symbol for an abstract stretch of time. Promising symbolic rest from physical labor spouts hollow rhetoric, and is a distortion of Biblical meaning.
“One of the best Hebraists in the world, James Barr of Oxford University,
had written in a letter, twenty years ago, ‘So far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Gen. 1-11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that…creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience…’” 11
In 2011, Hugh Williams, a successor Regis Professor of Hebrew at Oxford, reiterated the earlier Barr analysis. “So far as the days of Genesis 1 are concerned, I am sure that Professor Barr was correct…I have not met any Hebrew professors who had the slightest doubt about this…The position---that the author of Genesis 1 maintained that the world was created in six literal days---is nearly universally held.” 12
© Richard W. Johns
“Back in the day,” when horsepower provided the primary means of transportation, citizens of the era would have considered routine flights seven miles above Greenland’s snow packs a miracle.
Transformation of a lifeless chunk of inert matter into a vibrant planet brimming with lush plant and diverse animal life, within six, real-time days, warrants miracle status. The event ranks outside the scope of finite human comprehension. This display of Divine power deserved remembrance, celebration and worship by beings honored to have been given life in the image of the Creator.
The seventh and final day of creation week was preserved in perpetuity as a reminder that God designed and created all life while guaranteeing humans a weekly, physical rest with the opportunity and duty to worship the Creator.
The human spirit did not create itself, emerging from some mysterious chemical recipe lifted from the Periodic Chart of the Elements! Humans exist as significantly more than a product of a blob of protoplasm that evolved by chance. The human body is endowed with a spiritual sensitivity---God’s gift!
The creation Sabbath provides a physical respite for mankind while reserving a moment in time to remember earth’s birthday and to worship the Creator. The God ordained monument in time guarantees a breather from work-place stresses garnished with a quiet time to study, celebrate and explore the precise beauty of natural world sciences.
This sacred weekly rest cycle erects a barrier to involuntary servitude while assuring that all Homo sapiens are created equal. Once evil intruded by corrupting created perfection, this God-given respite was ignored and human labor was subverted. Slavery emerged as a disgraceful fabric of a shackled mindset that infected and destroyed cultures.
The multitude who had been ”slaves in Egypt” welcomed emancipation. The Sabbath served as a perpetual reminder to Abraham’s descendants that “the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm.” 13 The welcomed command to rest one day each week, as cited in Deuteronomy 5:12-15, replicated the fourth commandment of Exodus and the Genesis account of creation week that had earmarked day seven as a literal day of physical and spiritual rest.
If only metaphor, God’s command for a weekly physical rest would offer little solace to exhausted, former slaves who survived dawn-to-dusk labor in the 24/7 searing heat of Egyptian “iron-melting furnaces” 14
The sacred observance also highlights the very real spiritual re-creation of the soul through the risen Christ. Those choosing to accept and walk with God are introduced to a new birth of freedom coupled with the promise that the Life-giver, will return to earth to award forever life to all who believe His promises and cherish his counsel.
At the core of the commandments, the God-given day of rest invites worship and regular communication with the Creator. The Ten Commands are meant to be a guide to abundant living, not a redundant burden or an arbitrary restraint. God’s gift of quiet time to humans offers a full dimension of freedom, not a burdensome restraint or a pro-forma mandate echoing the ritualized cacophony of a “resounding gong or clanging cymbal.” 15
It was Christ’s custom to worship on the seventh day Sabbath.“…When the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach.” 16 When challenged by critics, He reminded followers “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord, even of the Sabbath.” 17
The Decalogue’s ten rules for better living translate the essence of God’s flawless character into language humans can understand and embrace. This codified reflection of perfection isn’t subject to change any more than the immutable character of God and the laws of science are subject to shifts in the wind or human manipulation.
Christ’s death didn’t abolish the fourth commandment any more than it dismissed the sixth, “Thou shalt not murder.”
Paul counseled first-century Christians to remember the Sabbath-rest!
“There remains then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God, for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.” 18
Failure to honor and keep the Sabbath, with its call to rest and to worship, removes a historic bulwark protecting susceptible humans from being conned by contrived, false gods and the evolution deception.
The regular night/day sequence of 24 hours plays to human need for breaks from stress and physical exhaustion. Sleep comes naturally when darkness swallows the sun’s rays. Humans function best when allocated an oasis of time for rest, one-day-in-seven. It’s more than coincidence that the Creator set aside the seventh day of creation week for rest.
The science of chronobiology indicates circadian rhythms built into 24-hour days are influenced by light. Disruption of the orchestra of rhythms can cause negative effects on the body. Biological clock systems also include circaseptan rhythms in sync with the seven-day week. France imposed a ten-day week late in the eighteenth century but abandoned it as a failure twelve years later!
”Science has discovered amazing seven-day cycles in the very building blocks of plant and animal life. These newly found sevens… lie buried in us humans---deep in our metabolic, hormonal, and neuronal networks…There are no known external rhythms in nature that could explain the near universal existence of the seven day social week...
“The seven-day cycle is not a cultural or religious invention. Rather, we can now say these four things about the rhythm of seven: 1) it is of "very ancient" biological origin; 2) it is independent from environmental cycles of sun, moon and stars; 3) it is imbedded in all living cells and in short, 4) it is the beat to which all life is tuned.
“In humans, we found the circaseptan rhythm to be the key coordinating rhythm for a complex myriad of cycles, all harmonizing to make up our body clock. The biological base of seven-day cycles (also called heptads or circaseptans) clearly gives this amazing building block priority in time: it existed before culture or religion ever recognized a seven-day week in history. Such an intricate, indisputable base and such a fundamental common design require us to reconsider this double question: is there a common beginning, a common designer of all life?” 19
No wonder the Creator reserved the seventh day of creation week as a day of rest for humans---a permanent, celebratory monument to remember and to honor the King of the universe. Had all mankind been faithful in observing this Divinely ordained weekly recognition of God’s love and awesome power, evolution could never have found a foothold in the minds of men!
God is now and forever, the power source that lights the world.
The beginning of scientific wisdom pre-dated the beginning of time as computed by finite minds. The Creator of light and all life on earth is the Author of all science. Analysis of origins lacks substance without remembering and acknowledging its Creator. No credentialed scientist or scholarly theologian is all knowing.
Proven science disciplines deserve recognition by true religion just as genuine religious faith deserves the respect of science. Science and Scripture co-exist as collaborative disciplines.
While intelligent minds respect the laws of science, there exists a jaundiced view of futile attempts by some science practitioners to concoct theories of origins of life by chance. Science alone has yet to create spheres free-floating perpetually in space; the simplest living, reproducing cell in a laboratory; or demonstrate mutated DNA that transformed one species up the taxonomic ladder to a new and different class, order or family.
To reject faith in a living, Supreme intelligence in favor of an abstract theory that life created itself from non-life demands a stretch of faith that abandons the essence of the very rationality that atheists and doubters claim to represent. Religion and science are inextricably comingled in synchronous harmony. Its not an either/or choice.
Human life is much more than a biological vapor floating in space.
Seven billion human beings constitute an informal jury with each person entitled to a vote. The jury deserves a fresh look at all available evidence: authentic science; the “Book of Nature;” the 3500 year-old Genesis narrative composite of origins history; and the two-thousand year old record depicting the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God.
The ultimate issue in play by the jury of global peers: did matter and life self create by accident or is there a supreme intelligent source that designed and directed the process?
One picture can be worth a thousand words in describing “intelligent design.”
Formula for genuine faith can be built on a chain of evidence. “God never asks us to believe without giving us sufficient evidence upon which to base our faith. His existence, His character, the truthfulness of His word, are all established by testimony that appeals to our reason; and this testimony is abundant…Our faith must rest upon evidence…Those who really desire to know the truth will find plenty of evidence on which to rest their faith.” 20
An objective jury verdict will find the evolution theory contradicts the overwhelming weight of all available evidence. Superstitious nonsense is consistent only in its incoherent irrationality. Rejecting faith in the all-wise, all powerful Creator while embracing a luck-of-the-draw invention of the human mind as “science” epitomizes intellectual hypocrisy.
Regardless of the seductive label, marketing a poison pill as a vitamin does nothing to enhance public health.
“I know this world is ruled by infinite intelligence. Everything that surrounds us - everything that exists - proves that there are infinite laws behind it. There can be no denying this fact. It is mathematical in its precision.” 21