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I really appreciate this question.  Some would use the word ‘day’ to indicate an unlimited amount of time; therefore giving way to the thought of evolution.  Let’s look into the Word of God and let it speak for itself.  Genesis 1:5 says, “And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.”  This is the first mention of the word ‘day’ and it is used twice in this verse.  The word comes from the Hebrew word ‘yowm’ and means: a day (as the warm hours), whether literal (from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next), or figurative (a space of time defined by an associated term).  Realizing that this word can be used literally or figuratively, we need to see how it is used in other places to determine how we are to understand it here.

In Genesis, chapter one and verses 5, 8, 13, 19, 23 and 31, each day is described as having an evening and a morning.  These two words, evening and morning, literally mean dusk and dawn.  This clearly shows that in this instance, each day is a literal 24 hour period.  Continuing with the thought of literal days we go on to read in Genesis 2:1-3, “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.”  God blessed and sanctified a literal day, the Sabbath as the day He ceased from His labors.

This truth is re-emphasized in the giving of the ten commandments where we read in Exodus 20:9-11, “Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 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.”  As the Lord told His people to rest for a literal day, He uses the seven literal days of Genesis as an example.

We may very well ask, why didn’t the Lord create the world in just one day?  Isn’t He able to do that?  Indeed, He is able to do that, but the Lord used six days as an object lesson for His people.  We learned in Genesis 2 that the Lord rested on the seventh day.  We also read in Exodus 20 that man was to rest on the seventh, or Sabbath day.

Are we to rest on the Sabbath day?  Are we commanded by the Lord to rest on the seventh day, which is Saturday?  No, we are not.  The keeping of the Sabbath was for those under the law, or the Jewish people.  We see from several portions in the New Testament scriptures that the early church observed the first day of the week.  Mark 16:9 shows us that the Lord Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week.  That says, “Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.”  We see that the church was gathered together on the first day of the week in Acts 20:7 where it says, “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.”  We see that the collections of the church were taken on the first day of the week in 1 Corinthians 16:2, “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.”

I think we can see from the use of the word, that the six days of creation in Genesis, chapter one, were literal days.  As we think of God’s creation, may we be reminded of the purpose of God’s creation.  We read in Colossians 1:16, “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.”