Genesis 1:2

17 Oct

Gen. 1:2 ” Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”

Now when it is said that the earth was formless and empty, what exactly does that mean?  Does it mean that it was a blob?  What kind of emptiness was there?  And why does the end of the verse deal with water if the earth was empty?

These are all very good questions class…and I would love to explain.

If the earth was formless, that means there is no form (duh) and formation deals with order and order is the exact opposite of what the earth was like.  The earth was without order, there was no rhyme or reason to what happened there, and as it is explained by “Big Bang Theory” people, with volcanoes and odd weather and earthquakes and just general chaos “ruled” the face of the planet while it cooled.  I imagine the same thing happening here, there was no structure and no order to the planet, and before anything could be done, God had to put everything in order, so that there would be a structure and patterns and a rhyme to everything that went on here.  The darkness is another way to reiterate that chaos seemed like “it” was in control of the planet, and well, quite frankly, ancient Jews were scared to death of chaos.

The creation story, no matter how literal you take it, is a way for an ancient people group to explain how everything got to be the way it is and explain that God is the one who put everything as it is.  It is a way for them to demonstrate their faith in God’s sovereignty while explaining how they came to be there.

So for Jews to be scared witless about chaos and to add that into their story, the unknown, the unfathomable deep (the ocean), all of those things which can not been seen and hardly understood…these things God has control over.  These things, God is master of.

With the Spirit of God there, hovering over the thing that is “unknowable” , the Jews (and us) can learn that

1. God is in control of what appears to be chaos

2. God will put chaos in its proper place and bring about an orderly system

3. God is sovereign and no matter what “it” is that we are afraid of (for most of us it is the unknown), we can have the peace of knowing that he really is in control

So this single verse tells us quite a bit about God, and it shows us even more that when things get nutty around here, its nothing for him to step into and place everything where it needs to be.


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