In the BeginniningNote: in the video I refer to this as “Part 6”. This is Part 7. It was just a mistake on my notes.
The Test: Believe or Not Believe
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
Genesis: Origins, Beginnings
In the Beginning (time), God (force), created (action),
the Heavens (space), and the Earth (matter).
A loving, eternal, all powerful, personal God
created us in His image for a purpose
Nothing X Nobody = EVERYTHING
In the Beginning
“And the earth was …”
It is significant that every verse in the first chapter of Genesis (except Genesis 1:1) begins with the conjunction “And” (Hebrew waw).
- This structure clearly means that each statement is sequentially and chronologically connected to the verses before and after.
- Each action follows directly upon the action described in the verse preceding it.
“Without form and void”
This phrase is, in Hebrew, tohu wavohu, or tohu waw bohu.
- It was formless and void (tohu and bohu), darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.
- Tohu means wilderness or unformed.
- Bohu means empty or uninhabited.
“Darkness upon the face of the deep”
- The physical universe, though created, was as yet neither formed nor energized, and light is a form of energy.
- The absence of physical light means darkness, just as the absence of form and inhabitants means a universe in elemental form, not yet completed.
- No evil is implied in either case, merely incompleteness.
“Darkness was over the surface of the deep,” because God hadn’t created light.
The entire surface of the earth is water; a global, primordial ocean, surrounded by universal darkness.
- Psalm 104:5–6 (NKJV) 5 You who laid the foundations of the earth, So that it should not be moved forever, 6 You covered it with the deep as with a garment; The waters stood above the mountains.
- Like a cloak that covers you, the garment of the earth was water, and it says the waters were standing above the mountains.
- The unformed earth was literally covered with water.
In a sense, this is like a potter, who wishing to fashion a beautiful vessel and then to fill it to be used, first takes a lump of clay and places it on the wheel to mold and fit it to his purpose.
- God first gets the raw material, and it is a mix of elements covered with water existing in universal darkness – this before He begins to shape it.
Proverbs 8:23–29 (NKJV) [The writer of Proverbs confirms Genesis] 23 I have been established from everlasting, From the beginning, before there was ever an earth. 24 When there were no depths I was brought forth, When there were no fountains abounding with water. 25 Before the mountains were settled, Before the hills, I was brought forth; 26 While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields, Or the primal dust of the world. 27 When He prepared the heavens, I was there, When He drew a circle on the face of the deep, 28 When He established the clouds above, When He strengthened the fountains of the deep, 29 When He assigned to the sea its limit, So that the waters would not transgress His command, When He marked out the foundations of the earth,
- This section of Proverbs 8 is a remarkable summary of the work of the Second Person of the Godhead on each of the first three days of creation.
It was He who existed before there was an “earth” or a “deep” (Proverbs 8:23, 24), and it was He who “set a compass upon the face of the depth [deep]” (Proverbs 8:27).
- It is thus a striking reference to the earth’s sphericity, especially referring to the shape of the ocean, the spherical form of whose surface is everywhere the standard of measurement in the vertical—that is, from sea level.
The fact that this “compass” had to be “set” on the face of the deep shows that the face of the deep originally had no such sphericity—it was formless, exactly as intimated in Genesis 1:2.
4 “The face of the waters”
Although the marvelous universe had been called into existence by the omnipotent Creator, it had not yet been imbued with energy and set in motion.
- This must await the energizing action of the Spirit of God and the activating power of the Word of God.
5 “The Spirit of God moved” (hovered)
The word “Spirit” is the Hebrew ruach, which is also the word for “wind” and “breath.”
- Since the universe was everywhere in need of activation, that person of the Godhead who is both omnipresent and energizing is appropriately mentioned as working in the creation at this point.
This activity of the Holy Spirit is called that of “moving” in the presence of the waters.
In modern scientific terminology, the best translation would probably be “vibrated.”
- If the universe is to be energized, there must be an Energizer.
- If it is to be set in motion, there must be a Prime Mover.
As the outflowing energy from God’s omnipresent Spirit began to flow outward and to permeate the cosmos, gravitational forces were activated and water and earth particles came together to form a great sphere moving through space.
- Other such particles would soon come together also to form sun, moon, and stars throughout the universe.
- There was now a “compass” on the face of the deep, and the formless earth had assumed the beautiful form of a perfect sphere.
- It was now ready for light and heat and other forms of enlivening energy.
The “hovering” is not a MINOR point.
- God is that He is directly involved in His creation.
- His hand is never lifted from the elements and the working of the material order.
- His presence is there superintending.
Genesis 1:1 (NKJV) 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Show the slides from “The Size of Things”
The plain meaning of Genesis 1:1 is unmistakable.
- Let the Bible determine your system of belief…
- Or bring your system of belief to the Bible and make the Bible fit it.
“The only proper way to interpret Genesis 1 is not to ‘interpret’ it at all. That is, we accept the fact that it was meant to say exactly what it says.” (Morris)
“Where the Bible makes plain sense,
seek no other sense,
lest you turn it into nonsense”.
The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) is adapted from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. All rights reserved. https://www.crossway.org/