According to Genesis 1, the sun was not created until Day 4. How could there be day and night (ordinary days) without the sun for the first three days?
1. Again, it is important for us to let the language of God’s Word speak to us. If we come to Genesis 1 without any outside influences, as has been shown, each of the six days of creation appears with the Hebrew word yom qualified by a number and the phrase “evening and morning.” The first three days are written the same way as the next three. So if we let the language speak to us, all six days were ordinary earth days.
2. The sun is not needed for day and night. What is needed is light and a rotating earth. On the first day of creation, God made light ( Genesis 1:3 ). The phrase “evening and morning” certainly implies a rotating earth. Thus, if we have light from one direction, and a spinning earth, there can be day and night.
Where did the light come from? We are not told, but Genesis 1:3 certainly indicates it was a created light to provide day and night until God made the sun on Day 4 to rule the day. Revelation 21:23 tells us that one day the sun will not be needed because the glory of God will light the heavenly city.
Perhaps one reason God did it this way was to illustrate that the sun did not have the priority in the creation that people have tended to give it. The sun did not give birth to the earth as evolutionary theories postulate; the sun was God’s created tool to rule the day that God had made ( Genesis 1:16 ).
Down through the ages, people such as the Egyptians have worshiped the sun. God warned the Israelites, in Deuteronomy 4:19 , not to worship the sun as the pagan cultures around them did. They were commanded to worship the God who made the sun—not the sun that was made by God.
Evolutionary theories (the “big bang” hypothesis, for instance) state that the sun came before the earth and that the sun’s energy on the earth eventually gave rise to life. Just as in pagan beliefs, the sun is, in a sense, given credit for the wonder of creation.