I am finally drawing my series on the days of creation to a close. It has taken me far longer than it should have, but there have been so many interesting topics to cover that this has been laid on the backburner. In previous articles, we have discussed the first five days of the universe, from scientific laws to the creation of heavenly bodies, to the creation of the first life. However day six stands out. Day six has more written about it than any other day of creation. This is due to the fact that the crown jewel of God’s creation, the only thing made in God’s very image, man, was created on Day six. While humanity was the most important of God’s creations, he was not the only thing created on the sixth day. This article will focus on the non-human life created on the final active day of the creation week, while a future article will focus on the importance of man.
Genesis 1: 24-25 describes the formation of non-human life for us. “And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.” This is a pretty clear statement about what God made on the sixth day. Notice that God used a spoken word to create. This is what we see consistently throughout the remainder of Creation. On day one God spoke light into existence. On day three God spoke both land and plant into existence. On the fourth day, He spoke the heavenly bodies into existence and on day five He spoke the sea and air life into existence. This consistent use of the spoken word to bring about the creation of living and non-living things is important. It is a subtle indicator of the power of God’s Words. It took great power to create the world from nothing. That power came from God, via His Words.
Note that the phrase “after his kind” or “after their kind” is repeated five times in those two brief verses. God wanted to make it clear that animals only reproduced after their kind. There was no room for change from kind to kind. For anyone wanting to know more about what kinds are, feel free to check out my articles on the subject here and here. This insistence on limits to change between the created kinds is one of many reasons the Bible cannot be combined with evolution.
Unlike other days of creation, the Bible gives us some extra information about the sixth day of creation. This is found in Genesis 2: 18-20. “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.” These verses make it clear that God created man first, even though he is listed last in Genesis one. The difference in the listing was likely for emphasis. Listing man last in Genesis one may have been to indicate he was the most important of God’s creation. In any case, Adam was clearly made first. However, God recognized that man needed some companionship. He thus made the land animals as companions for man. However, no animal could be man’s helpmeet, something God knew. Thus God made a woman, taken out of the man, to be man’s helpmeet. More on that in my future article on the importance of man.
The sixth day was God’s final creative act. It is fitting that God completed His creation with the most obvious, familiar, and useful creatures in the world. In creating the land animals and man, God established the perfect balance of world ecosystems. This balance would persist until man’s sin brought the curse on the world.