The young-earth creationists face an uphill battle in their righteous war against heresy. For one thing, the text they believe relates the history of the world is mostly out-of-whack with everything we know about the history of the world. What’s more, the text they say MUST BE READ LITERALLY actually has most of the reliable markers of a figurative text: obvious metaphors like trees whose fruit has magical powers and talking animals whose ability to speak is not treated as a miracle, characters who have no names (Eve is known only as “the woman” until the end of Genesis 3; Adam essentially has no name, since his name means “the man”), an indeterminate time and place (yes, the text seems to make an effort to describe its setting; then again, the description doesn’t fit any geographical location that we know of), etc.
But, there’s no need to despair. For God left his brave warriors an ace in the hole — a reassuring confirmation of their enduring correctness to give them comfort and strength in their long and lonely fight. And, actually, God — being the good God that he is — gave the young-earthers two aces in the hole. You can find them in the Bible at Exodus 20:11 and 31:17:
“For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” — Exodus 20:11
“It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.” — Exodus 31:17
I’ll be honest with you: I do see these two texts as legitimately difficult challenges for both the old-earth and allegorical Genesis views (both of which I firmly hold). This is because I believe that — since the Bible is an ancient and complicated book — we should seek to interpret it holistically, and allow the parts of scripture that are more clear help us interpret the parts of it that may be less clear. Read on