Please read Gen 1:1-5 beforehand
A. THE BEGINNING OF ALL THINGS (Gen 1:1,2)
- “In the beginning, God …”
There was a moment when absolutely nothing existed. Try to imagine that – no sun, moon stars, earth, nothing. Only the unseen Spirit God existed, and He had been there forever (Isa 40:28). He was not created.
- “God created the heavens and the earth.”
The words “heavens and earth,” are used to indicate “everything” (Joh 1:3).
Let us first consider the earth (we will deal with the heavens later). Since nothing existed at that moment, it means that He had no materials from which to create the earth. In the Bible, the word “create” means to make something from nothing. If we picture Him as a person, His two outstretched hands would have been empty. He had no sand, rock or water from which to make the earth, neither did He need anything. He is the all sufficient One. He needs no-one’s assistance or supplies to enable Him to do what He determines to do. Therefore all created things belong to Him and Him alone.
- “And the earth was without form and empty”
What did the earth look like immediately after He had created it? It was formless and empty or desolate: it did not have exact dimensions like it has nowadays. It did not have an exact diameter and circumference or continents with definite coastal lines. It was formless, somewhat like a lump of clay.
And it was empty; the waters were empty of fish and there were no trees nor animals. The whole earth was enveloped in water, totally covered with water – deep water.
- The earth was covered by water.
It was like a drop of water suspended in the endless universe. The very deep restless waters surged, milled and formed into endless waves. In this enormous supply of water, we already see the wisdom of God for all life on earth would be dependent on water.
- Earth was also enveloped in darkness.
If, at that stage, you would sit in a boat floating on the waters, you would not be able to see anything above or around you, not even your hand held right in front of your eyes, for it was dark, pitch dark. You would be totally unable to move around for light was unknown on earth and there was nothing by which it could be created. Earth was hidden in eternal night. Even the outer space in which it hung, was pitch dark. If you would approach it through outer space, you would crash right into it, for it was invisible.
At this stage it was poor and powerless, unable to improve itself, but it had tremendous potential for God had created it for a purpose.
- The Spirit of God moved, hovered on the face of the waters.
There was only one living Being on the earth and that Being was God. His Spirit hovered over the waters right in that pitch-dark night. He was not put off by the depth of the waters nor by the intensity of the darkness of the night as we would have been, on the contrary, His Spirit was moving across the waters waiting on the Father to speak the words that would release Him to carry out what He planned to do there. He was going to change that dark and empty place into a sunlit orderly world where you and I could be born.
- When was the earth actually created?
(The following passage is of no practical value for most believers but may interest those that strive to reconcile the claims of some scientists with the teachings of the Word.)
In Gen 1:1 it is said that “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”. The starry heavens were however only created on the fourth day (Gen 1:14-19) so it would seem that “the beginning” to which verse 1 refers, covers the whole period of creation, which was six days (Gen 2:2,3 and Ex 20:11). So, what it actually says, is that during the six days of creation God created everything; both the starry heavens and the earth and all that is on them.
On the first day of creation, light was created (Gen 1:3-5), but it says nothing about the creation of the earth as a body on that day. Did He first create the earth and thereafter the light on the same day? If so, why is that not stated like with some of the other days where it is clearly stated that he first created the one item, then the other? Regarding the second day, for instance, it is recorded that God made the sea and dry land and then made the plants – on the same day. The creation of the earth as a body and the creation of light are however not clearly thus linked together as having taken place on the same day.
There is therefore a possibility that Gen 1:1 speaks of the earth as already being in place at that moment and that its creation was only completed from there on.
Why is this important? Because it leaves room for the possibility that the earth could be the remains of a previous creation of God. The fossils which archaeologists now discover, and which scientists claim to be millions of years old, could then well be dating back to such an earlier period in the history of the earth.
B. THE FIRST DAY OF CREATION: GOD CREATED LIGHT (Gen 1:3-5)
- God spoke the light into being
God needs no light for He himself is light (1 Joh 1:5) and to Him darkness is like light (Ps 139:12) but He knew that light would be a necessity for almost all life to exist. Therefore, into the throttling darkness He spoke just four words, “Let there be light” and suddenly the whole globe was flooded with light. What tremendous authority there is in God’s words. He created light from nothing.
(This is very important to note for we will later see what power a Christian can exercise with his tongue – how he can bring darkness or light into his life and world by his words.)
Light normally needs a source like a candle or the sun from which to shine, so He probably also created a source.
God then inspected the earth with the light reflecting from the water and concluded that it was good.
- Day and night
He did however not want continuous light, He also wanted periods of darkness to afford his creation the opportunity to rest and revive its strength. Darkness is something which cannot be created for it is not a substance in itself; it is only the absence of light. So, He caused the light to dim at times, thus bringing darkness over the earth as we do when we switch off the light when going to bed.
How did He dim the earth’s light? Probably by letting the earth rotate, exposing subsequent sections of its surface to the light source as is happening now with sun as the main source of light.
He also gave names to every thing He created and called these two periods,” Day” and “Night”. After some hours the first period of light (day) expired, then darkness (night) took over and ran its course. Then light (day) dawned again and God considered the first day of creation to have been completed.
Question: If God measured His days from daybreak to daybreak, why do we measure our days from midnight to midnight?
(So, it seems that the Lord also took a break after each of His working days. Your working day too, is not complete until you have had a proper night’s rest.)
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