“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” Genesis 1:1,2
No three sentences ever penned could be so pregnant with purpose and possibility as those. This isn’t the beginning of everything, God Himself has always been, but it is the beginning of the great story of redemption as revealed to mankind. And the first thing God wants to tell us about everything is that He made it. He created it on purpose and therefore no part of creation is without purpose.
So the earth was not without purpose, but it was without form. It was a wasteland, a dark, colorless, vacuous space. The Hebrew word for “the deep” implies an abyss, a deep, surging mass of water. This might all sound like a description of nothing but in reality “without form” is a pretty accurate description of the physical properties of water. And void is an extremely accurate description of everything else!
Consider this: all matter is made of atoms. Atoms are made up of protons and neutrons, which form a nucleus, and electrons which orbit it. Now electrons are about 2000 times smaller than protons and neutrons and the space between them is relatively enormous. If the orbit of the electrons were represented by the walls of a major-league baseball stadium, the nucleus of protons and neutrons would be a marble placed in the center of it. And you know what would fill up all the rest of that space? Nothing! Atoms are actually made up of 99.99999% empty space, or void. And since everything is made up of atoms, everything is made up of mostly nothing! It’s still 99.99999% void, just like it was in the beginning.
Hebrews 11:3 tells us that God is the creator of both the visible and the invisible and that the visible things are actually made out of things that are invisible.
“By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.”
Sounds a lot like atoms, right? In fact, Colossians 1:15-17 gives us even more insight by stating that it is through Jesus Christ that not only was everything created, but in Him everything holds together. If the electrical charge between the proton and the electrons held in orbit around it were altered by just one billionth of one percent, the matter it represented would explode! Check out this article for more blind-blowing scientific speculation about what holds the universe together.
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible— all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”
So Genesis 1 is the account of how the .0001% that we call matter interrupted all that void. When God created the heavens and the earth, He created all the matter that was ever going to exist in them apart from His own miraculous intervention. And when the Holy Spirit “hovered over the face of the waters” all the energy that was ever going to exist had it’s source right there. Scientists call this the First Law of Thermodynamics. It states that neither matter nor energy can be created or destroyed.
The law of conservation of energy states further that we can’t run out of or make new energy. It just changes forms, from potential to kinetic, and visa-versa. Just like matter, all energy comes from God. Paul says it this way in Acts 17:24-28,
“The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is He served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since He himself gives to all mankind life and breath and EVERYTHING… In Him we live and MOVE and have our being.”
Energy is the ability to do work. And what a work was about to be done! That third sentence of the Bible is just oozing with the anticipation of it! SOMETHING was going on over that dark, watery abyss. The Hebrew word Rachaph means to brood, flutter, move, or shake. The Holy Spirit was certainly about to shake things up! God was at work!
The energy I used to type these words, the energy you used to take this up and read it, existed in God at the time of creation. We move because He Moved. And we exist because Jesus Christ holds our atoms together by the word of His power.
Do you need a better reason than that to worship Him, the Alpha and Omega, the God of the beginning? How about 2 Peter 3:7?
“By the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgement and destruction of the ungodly.”
Peter warns us that scoffers will come in the last day following their own sinful desires (not scientific method). According to Peter, these scoffers deliberately overlook the fact that the earth was formed out of water by the word of God and destroyed by water in the flood of Noah’s day. But listen to the words of hope he gives us through the rest of chapter 3.
“The Lord… is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance… According to His promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells…Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by Him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the patience of our Lord as salvation.”
Do you hear that hope? The world God created, now marred by scoffers, will be destroyed in judgement. But oh the patience and salvation of the Lord! Those who repent will see the new heavens and new earth where righteousness dwells. Peter concludes with another warning, that knowing these scoffers will come we need to take care that we not be carried away by their error and lose our own stability,
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”