I was recently asked a question which provides an opportunity to talk about the starry skies. 🙂
To start with, I believe Adam was formed form the dust of the Earth as the scripture says…Genesis 2:7…3:19. I believe this occurred approximately 6000 years ago. I do not believe in the theory of evolution.
But what puzzles me is the scientific view that teaches the universe is considered to be billions of years old; along with some evidence to demonstrate that claim.
Young Earth / universe teachers say that God could have made it appear to be billions of years old since nothing is impossible with God. I agree that nothing is impossible with God.
If the Earth / universe was formed in only six days and God made the Earth / universe to appear to be scientifically billions of years old when it may only be 6000 years old, it seems to me to be a form of deception. Why Would God do that? Now I know God is not a deceiver, so how can this question / controversy be reconciled?
You ask a great question that often can be confusing. There are godly people on both sides of the old earth / young earth debate. Your question is not specifically about that broader debate, but about the details of how the universe can “look” to be billions of years old, even if it is a more recent creation.
Let’s keep things in context and also with a comparison. Imagine walking up to Adam and Eve on the 3rd day after their creation as they are in the garden. You ask them, “How old are you guys? You both look around 20 years old to me.” Adam responds, “Oh no, we are only three days old.” Would our response be? “Wow, God is such a deceiver to make Adam and Eve look 20 years old, but only be three days old?” Not likely. We would recognize the very nature of creation lends to one that is fully mature at the exact moment of its beginning. God did not create Adam and Eve as infants. He could have, but didn’t. Because He did not, we can apply this same thinking to other portions of His created works. If we looked around the garden of Eden, we could say the same thing for an adult lion or elephant or a 200-foot-tall cedar tree. They are fully mature.
If we apply this logic to the stars, we can come to the same conclusion. Genesis 1:14-16 says that God created the “big” light (the sun) and the small light (the moon) to rule the day and night. We see that all the lights (including stars) are for signs and seasons. The sun, moon, and stars are fully mature and functional at the time of their creation. The sun marks a 24-hour day, the moon a 29.5-day month, and the stars in their constellations mark the four seasons (Psalm 104:19). For example, last night I was out imaging the skies and at midnight if you look north, you can see the big dipper at the 3:00 position (to the right of the north star, Polaris). This tells me that its around the winter equinox (Dec 21). At the spring equinox, at midnight, the Big Dipper is at the 12:00 position above the north star. At the summer solstice, it is at the 9:00 position and finally at the Fall equinox it is low on the horizon at the 6:00 position relative to Polaris. In fact, it gets even better. If you learn how to do it, you can figure out exactly what clock time it is simply by looking at the big dipper any time of the year. If you do an internet search of “Telling Time by the Big Dipper” you can also learn how. God set all the stars in place throughout the universe to create the specific constellations in order to give us a reference for seasons. They needed to be fully mature and functionally “old” enough to accomplish God’s creative purposes.
In addition to this, many people have written about the ways in which the various constellations tell the story of the Gospel message from the beginning of the creation. Whether the stars are billions of years old or younger is a different subject altogether, but even if it is a recent creation, the stars were created mature in the sky and fully functional in order to fulfill God’s purpose with them. There is no deception with God.