The literal statements in this story are vessels for deeper ideas.
Read the creation story in the Bible: Genesis chapters 1 and 2.
Does science contradict the Bible?
The inner truth of this story is all about the series of internal steps God takes people through as they develop spiritually. The Bible and science become compatible once we realize that the Bible is not really concerned with scientific facts, but instead uses ideas suited to illustrate important truths about humanity’s inner, spiritual reality. God’s primary focus is not to teach us science. What God wants to do is use the Bible to tell us about deep, eternal, unchanging truths that will have a much greater impact on us than our mere understanding of the physical world.
Application to life
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
We all begin our spiritual life in void and darkness. The Lord is "hovering" over our life, waiting for us to invite Him into our lives and begin the process of spiritual rebirth.
Day 1 God said, "Let there be light."
Our spiritual life begins when we truly see the light--that is, when we acknowledge the Lord in our lives, and start to turn from ourselves to the Lord.
Day 2 "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters."
We become aware that we have an inner self (the expanse) and an outer self (waters under the expanse), and we begin to set spiritual priorities, putting the things of God first, ordering our lives.
Day 3 "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb, and the fruit tree...."
We are the earth and must prepare the ground. The Lord and His Word are the seeds that He plants, leading us to actions of being useful and kind to others.
Day 4 God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day....
Love and faith are the two lights symbolized by the sun and moon and cannot be separated. Loving the Lord first is the great light. From this, all things then can grow and develop in His order.
Day 5 "Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly..."
This stage is characterized by living the truths that come from acknowledging the Lord's love. The things we do now take on new life that is from the Lord.
Day 6 "Let us make man in Our image..."
The Lord forming us "in His image" means becoming spiritual and making choices that reflect this new life. Our actions and deeds begin to reflect the Lord's true kindness and humility.
Day 7 ...And God rested....
The seventh day represents a state of peace that comes from confidence in the Lord. It is a peace that is beyond description: "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you" (John 14:27).
What does it call me to do?
Which of these days speaks to you and calls you to action?
-Adapted from Secrets of Heaven 16-63 and Genesis 1:1-31 for the Pause: Make Space for God Spiritual Growth Program.