The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands. –Psalm 19:1
When did Genesis 1:1 take place? I’ve run back iCal as far as it would go, hoping that I’d find out when that significant event happened. Unfortunately, I couldn’t seem to get back into the B.C.’s. The question remains open. According to The Fount of All Knowledge, scientists estimate the age of the universe at 13.75 billion years. Creationists tend to throw out a number closer to James Ussher’s figure of creation at 4004 B.C. (or roughly 6,000 years).
I don’t know the correct figure. Neither do I believe that a precise figure is all that essential to right living with God. But I do trust the Bible’s account. Most significantly today, I trust what the Psalmist says at the beginning of Psalm 19. In the NASB, that verse is translated, “The heavens are telling of the glory of God.” It does not say that they “told” or “will tell” or “sometimes tell.” The heavens are telling. The Hebrew participle suggests this continuous action for the heavens. They are telling of that glory now and they have presumably been telling of it for 6,000 or 13.75 billion years, whichever might be accurate.
Imagine if you will that the astronomers and physicists have it exactly right. The universe as we now know it–that is post-Big Bang–has been hanging around for all those billions of years. Imagine a God who could set matters into motion so perfectly that they work out exactly where and how they are now. The astronomers and physicists will be quick to point out that I’m committing a variant of the teleological fallacy, claiming that the results that have appeared must have been the results intended.
Yes, I know that this is a fallacy. I realize that my place in the world, which seems to pre-ordained today, might just be a fluke of coincidence and whimsy. On the other hand, when I stand outside my house on Shamayim Hill and look up into a clear night sky. I can see and nearly hear the heavens declaring the glory of God. And whether it has been for 6,000 or 13 billion years, they’ve had a long time to practice that song of praise.