“And the earth was waste and void; and darkness was upon the face of the waters: and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
“And the earth was waste and void …”
This refers to the state of the earth in the first phase of its creation, and it is also an apt description of the other planets as they are observed to continue in our solar system to the present time. Mars, Venus, Mercury, etc. are still waste and void. It is not necessary to postulate billions of years between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 in order to help God find the time to do all that He did for our earth. It is true, of course, that no revelation has been given with reference to the time-lag between these verses; but men’s imagining that billions or trillions of years elapsed here or there does nothing to diminish the mysterious miracle visible in Genesis. If it should be supposed that God launched a waste and void earth upon a journey that required billions of years to accomplish His wise designs, then, God’s power in doing a thing like that is one and the same thing as His ability to have spoken the perfect and completed earth into existence instantaneously.
“And darkness was upon the face of the deep …”
This is a reference to the state of the earth when it was waste and void. The melancholy waste of the mighty seas; and it is not necessary to understand this as a reference to the molten, superheated earth, in which metals, earth and all elements, with the abundant waters might be referred to collectively as “the deep.” In such a condition all waters would have been driven into the earth’s atmosphere. The big thing that appears in this verse is the abundant water supply, one of the principle prerequisites of life in any form. This water supply was evidently part of the special creation benefiting our earth, making the passage a further detail of God’s creating the earth (Genesis 1:1).
“And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters …”
Significantly, the Third Person of the Godhead appears here alongside God Himself. Whitelaw assures us that the term for “moved” actually means “brooded” as in the older versions; and it means “to be tremulous with love.”
The Spirit here is the Blessed Holy Spirit, concerning whom much more information appears in the N.T. The primeval chaos that characterized this early phase of our planet is most significant. The complex, systematic order that characterized it later could never have evolved from chaos. Without the fiat of Almighty God, the unaided chaos would have become more and more chaotic. The Second Law of Thermodynamics is absolutely irreversible. Only creation could have changed chaos into order and symmetry.
God made all things “ex nihilo.”