the Sabbath, the week originated at creation, and it has been preserved
and brought down to us through Bible history. God Himself measured off the
first week as a sample for successive weeks to the close of time. Like
every other, it consisted of seven literal days. Six days were employed in
the work of creation; upon the seventh, God rested, and He then blessed
this day and set it apart as a day of rest for man.
In the law
given from Sinai, God recognized the week, and the facts upon which it is
based. After giving the command, "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep
it holy," and specifying what shall be done on the six days, and what
shall not be done on the seventh, He states the reason for thus observing
the week, by pointing back to His own example: "For in six days the
Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested
the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed
it." Exodus 20:8-11. This reason appears beautiful and forcible when
we understand the days of creation to be literal. The first six days of
each week are given to man for labor, because God employed the same period
of the first week in the work of creation. On the seventh day man is to
refrain from labor, in commemoration of the Creator's rest.
assumption that the events of the first week required thousands upon
thousands of years, strikes directly at the foundation of the fourth
commandment. It represents the Creator as commanding men to observe the
week of literal days in commemoration of vast, indefinite periods. This is
unlike His method of dealing with His creatures. It makes indefinite and
obscure that which He has made very plain. It is infidelity in its most
insidious and hence most dangerous form; its real character is so
disguised that it is held and taught by many who profess to believe the
word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the
breath of His mouth." "For He spake, and it was done; He
commanded, and it stood fast." Psalm 33:6, 9. The Bible recognizes no
long ages in which the earth was slowly evolved from chaos. Of each
successive day of creation, the sacred record declares that it consisted
of the evening and the morning, like all other days that have followed. At
the close of each day is given the result of the Creator's work. The
statement is made at the close of the first week's record, "These are
the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were
created." Genesis 2:4. But this does not convey the idea that the
days of creation were other than literal days. Each day was called a
generation, because that in it God generated, or produced, some new
portion of His work.
claim to find evidence from the earth itself that it is very much older
than the Mosaic record teaches. Bones of men and animals, as well as
instruments of warfare, petrified trees, etcetera, much larger than any
that now exist, or that have existed for thousands of years, have been
discovered, and from this it is inferred that the earth was populated long
before the time brought to view in the record of creation, and by a race
of beings vastly superior in size to any men now living. Such reasoning
has led many professed Bible believers to adopt the position that the days
of creation were vast, indefinite periods.
from Bible history, geology can prove nothing. Those who reason so
confidently upon its discoveries have no adequate conception of the size
of men, animals, and trees before the Flood, or of the great changes which
then took place. Relics found in the earth do give evidence of conditions
differing in many respects from the present, but the time when these
conditions existed can be learned only from the Inspired Record. In the
history of the Flood, inspiration has explained that which geology alone
could never fathom. In the days of Noah, men, animals, and trees, many
times larger than now exist, were buried, and thus preserved as an
evidence to later generations that the antediluvians perished by a flood.
God designed that the discovery of these things should establish faith in
inspired history; but men, with their vain reasoning, fall into the same
error as did the people before the Flood--the things which God gave them
as a benefit, they turn into a curse by making a wrong use of them.
It is one of
Satan's devices to lead the people to accept the fables of infidelity; for
he can thus obscure the law of God, in itself very plain, and embolden men
to rebel against the divine government. His efforts are especially
directed against the fourth commandment, because it so clearly points to
the living God, the Maker of the heavens and the earth.
There is a
constant effort made to explain the work of creation as the result of
natural causes; and human reasoning is accepted even by professed
Christians, in opposition to plain Scripture facts. There are many who
oppose the investigation of the prophecies, especially those of Daniel and
the Revelation, declaring them to be so obscure that we cannot understand
them; yet these very persons eagerly receive the suppositions of
geologists, in contradiction of the Mosaic record. But if that which God
has revealed is so difficult to understand, how inconsistent it is to
accept mere suppositions in regard to that which He has not revealed!
secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are
revealed belong unto us and to our children forever." Deuteronomy
29:29. Just how God accomplished the work of creation He has never
revealed to men; human science cannot search out the secrets of the Most
High. His creative power is as incomprehensible as His existence.
permitted a flood of light to be poured upon the world in both science and
art; but when professedly scientific men treat upon these subjects from a
merely human point of view, they will assuredly come to wrong conclusions.
It may be innocent to speculate beyond what God's word has revealed, if
our theories do not contradict facts found in the Scriptures; but those
who leave the word of God, and seek to account for His created works upon
scientific principles, are drifting without chart or compass upon an
unknown ocean. The greatest minds, if not guided by the word of God in
their research, become bewildered in their attempts to trace the relations
of science and revelation. Because the Creator and His works are so far
beyond their comprehension that they are unable to explain them by natural
laws, they regard Bible history as unreliable. Those who doubt the
reliability of the records of the Old and New Testaments, will be led to
go a step further, and doubt the existence of God; and then, having lost
their anchor, they are left to beat about upon the rocks of infidelity.
have lost the simplicity of faith. There should be a settled belief in the
divine authority of God's Holy Word. The Bible is not to be tested by
men's ideas of science. Human knowledge is an unreliable guide. Skeptics
who read the Bible for the sake of caviling, may, through an imperfect
comprehension of either science or revelation, claim to find
contradictions between them; but rightly understood, they are in perfect
harmony. Moses wrote under the guidance of the Spirit of God, and a
correct theory of geology will never claim discoveries that cannot be
reconciled with his statements. All truth, whether in nature or in
revelation, is consistent with itself in all its manifestations.
In the word
of God many queries are raised that the most profound scholars can never
answer. Attention is called to these subjects to show us how much there
is, even among the common things of everyday life, that finite minds, with
all their boasted wisdom, can never fully understand.
Yet men of
science think that they can comprehend the wisdom of God, that which He
has done or can do. The idea largely prevails that He is restricted by His
own laws. Men either deny or ignore His existence, or think to explain
everything, even the operation of His Spirit upon the human heart; and
they no longer reverence His name or fear His power. They do not believe
in the supernatural, not understanding God's laws or His infinite power to
work His will through them. As commonly used, the term "laws of
nature" comprises what men have been able to discover with regard to
the laws that govern the physical world; but how limited is their
knowledge, and how vast the field in which the Creator can work in harmony
with His own laws and yet wholly beyond the comprehension of finite
that matter possesses vital power--that certain properties are imparted to
matter, and it is then left to act through its own inherent energy; and
that the operations of nature are conducted in harmony with fixed laws,
with which God Himself cannot interfere. This is false science, and is not
sustained by the word of God. Nature is the servant of her Creator. God
does not annul His laws or work contrary to them, but He is continually
using them as His instruments. Nature testifies of an intelligence, a
presence, an active energy, that works in and through her laws. There is
in nature the continual working of the Father and the Son. Christ says,
"My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." John 5:17.
in their hymn recorded by Nehemiah, sang, "Thou, even Thou, art Lord
alone; Thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host,
the earth, and all things therein, . . . and Thou preservest them
all." Nehemiah 9:6. As regards this world, God's work of creation is
completed. For "the works were finished from the foundation of the
world." Hebrews 4:3. But His energy is still exerted in upholding the
objects of His creation. It is not because the mechanism that has once
been set in motion continues to act by its own inherent energy that the
pulse beats and breath follows breath; but every breath, every pulsation
of the heart, is an evidence of the all-pervading care of Him in whom
"we live, and move, and have our being." Acts 17:28. It is not
because of inherent power that year by year the earth produces her
bounties and continues her motion around the sun. The hand of God guides
the planets and keeps them in position in their orderly march through the
heavens. He "bringeth out their host by number: He calleth them all
by names by the greatness of His might, for that He is strong in power;
not one faileth." Isaiah 40:26. It is through His power that
vegetation flourishes, that the leaves appear and the flowers bloom. He
"maketh grass to grow upon the mountains" (Psalm 147:8), and by
Him the valleys are made fruitful. "All the beasts of the forest . .
. seek their meat from God," and every living creature, from the
smallest insect up to man, is daily dependent upon His providential care.
In the beautiful words of the psalmist, "These wait all upon Thee. .
. . That Thou givest them they gather: Thou openest Thine hand, they are
filled with good." Psalm 104:20, 21, 27, 28. His word controls the
elements; He covers the heavens with clouds and prepares rain for the
earth. "He giveth snow like wool: He scattereth the hoarfrost like
ashes." Psalm 147:16. "When He uttereth His voice, there is a
multitude of waters in the heavens, and He causeth the vapors to ascend
from the ends of the earth; He maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth
forth the wind out of His treasuries." Jeremiah 10:13.
God is the
foundation of everything. All true science is in harmony with His works;
all true education leads to obedience to His government. Science opens new
wonders to our view; she soars high, and explores new depths; but she
brings nothing from her research that conflicts with divine revelation.
Ignorance may seek to support false views of God by appeals to science,
but the book of nature and the written word shed light upon each other.
are thus led to adore the Creator and to have an intelligent trust in His
mind can fully comprehend the existence, the power, the wisdom, or the
works of the Infinite One. Says the sacred writer: "Canst thou by
searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?
It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst
thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than
the sea." Job 11:7-9. The mightiest intellects of earth cannot
comprehend God. Men may be ever searching, ever learning, and still there
is an infinity beyond.
Yet the works
of creation testify of God's power and greatness. "The heavens
declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork."
Psalm 19:1. Those who take the written word as their counselor will find
in science an aid to understand God. "The invisible things of Him
from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the
things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead." Romans