Everything Scripture teaches about sin and redemption assumes the literal truth of the first three chapters of Genesis. If we wobble to any degree on the truth of this passage, we undermine the very foundations of our faith.
The amazing excellence revealed in the creative work of God is forfeited to a very large degree if we abandon the days of creation in favor of an ages-long evolutionary process.
If the biblical creation account is in any degree unreliable, the rest of Scripture stands on a shaky foundation.
According to Revelation 21:1-5, God will immediately create a new heaven and a new earth (cf. Isa. 65:17). Do we really believe He can do that, or will it take another umpteen billion years of evolutionary process to get the new heaven and new earth in working order? If we really believe He can destroy this universe in a split second and immediately create a whole new one, what’s the problem with believing the Genesis account of a six-day creation in the first place? If He can do it at the end of the age, why is it so hard to believe the biblical account of what happened in the beginning?
If the Lord wanted to teach us that creation took place in six literal days, how could He have stated it more plainly than Genesis does? The length of the days is defined by periods of day and night that are governed after day four by the sun and moon. The week itself defines the pattern of human labor and rest. The days are marked by the passage of morning and evening. How could these not signify the chronological progression of God’s creative work?
Creation was complete and immediate by the fiat (decree) of the personal, omniscient, omnipotent designer in six literal days. a. The primary use of the Hebrew word yom (“day”) is of a literal twenty four hour day, used in this way over 1,900 times out of more than 2,200 Old Testament occurrences. b. The Hebrew word yom refers to a literal twenty-four-hour day when qualified by a cardinal or ordinal number, as in Genesis 1. There the ordinal numbers are also accompanied by the article, which means literal days are definitely in view. c. “Evening” and “morning” normally define a twenty-four- hour day. d. The order of creation’s six days followed by one day of rest is the basis for the Sabbath law (Ex. 31:15—17).
God the Father by John MacArthur and Richard Mayhue taken from Biblical Doctrine by John MacArthur and Richard Mayhue, copyright 2017, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org. Page 215-216.
The terms "evening" (Hebrew ereb) and "morning" (Hebrew boger) each occur more than one hundred times in the Old Testament and always have the literal meaning – that is, the termination of the daily period of light and the daily period of darkness, respectively. Similarly, the occurrence of "day" modified by a numeral (e.g., "third day") is a construction occurring more than one hundred times in the Pentateuch alone, always with a literal meaning. Even though it may challenge our minds to visualize the lands and the seas, and all plants, being formed in one literal day, that is exactly what the Bible says! We are not justified at all in questioning either God’s power to do this or His veracity in telling us that He did.
The individual days of creation are denoted by the phrase, “So the evening and the morning were the first day” (Gen. 1:5), “…second day” (Gen. 1:8), “…third day (Gen. 1:13), etc. All of this seems to call to mind a “day” as we know it. And when we study the other uses of the word in the Old Testament, we find that where the word yom is preceded by a numerical adjective (i.e. “first,” “second,” “third,” etc., as in Genesis 1), it always refers to a twenty-four hour day.